Premier League

Supporting role suits Nacho

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Tue, 12 Feb 2013 15:58:00

Coventry have signed defender Carl Dickinson from Watford on a one-month loan agreement.

The 25-year-old has been drafted in by Mark Robins as cover for regular left-back Blair Adams, who suffered an injury in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Yeovil.

Dickinson has made 44 appearances for the Hornets since joining from Stoke in the summer of 2011, but he has found first-team chances hard to come by by this season.

He has been restricted to only six appearances under Gianfranco Zola, and has not played a senior fixture since November.

Dickinson spent a month on loan with Portsmouth early this season, and he will now be with League One Coventry until 12 March.

Keith Curle was dismissed earlier this month after less than a year in charge at Meadow Lane.

County's development squad boss Chris Kiwomya was handed the caretaker role, making him their 10th manager since 2007.

"I am just sick of it now," Judge told BBC Radio Nottingham. "I have only been here two and a half seasons and that is my sixth manager.

"I don't know what is happening to the stability they want to have. They have to stick with it. Eventually they have to stick with the manager. They cannot keep doing it."

Chairman Ray Trew said a combination of poor performances and falling attendances was behind the decision to sack Curle, but Magpies skipper Neal Bishop has backed Judge's call for stability.

"In three and a half years I have seen off 10 managers. We were in an indifferent run of form, but overall we felt we were on the right track. The players are all disappointed.

"We could see we had had the right man in charge. Some people had said the manager was too close to the players but that's a load of rubbish; he was hard but fair.

"I have seen Judgey's comments and I fully support him. But we are professionals and we have to get on with on it."

Reports this week suggested the Rugby Park number one was close to penning a deal with the Ibrox club that would see him join Ally McCoist's side after their transfer embargo ends on September 1.

Bell admits his agent has held discussions with the Irn-Bru Third Division side but was adamant that he has yet to put pen to paper.

And the Scotland keeper admits there is still a chance he could stay with Killie in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League or even join another as-yet-unnamed suitor.

The 26-year-old told said: "There has been discussions but I haven't signed anything with anyone yet.

"My only focus right now is to be with Kilmarnock until the end of the season and do my best for them.

"I'm still in talks with Kilmarnock too and, while I know there's been a lot in the press about it, nothing has been done.

"My agent has spoken to a number of different clubs. It's not just one club.

"He's been talking to Kilmarnock for the last two or three months, and there's been three or four other clubs who have contacted him to ask about my situation.

"I feel it's only right that as a player I look at all avenues but nothing has been agreed yet.

"I'm injured at the minute and that is what I'm concentrating on."

A hip injury means Bell will miss Kilmarnock's trip to Inverness on Wednesday alongside injured team-mates Rory McKeown and Cillian Sheridan.

With those three first-team regulars unavailable, boss Kenny Shiels will once again put his faith in youngsters such as Ross Barbour, Mark O'Hara and William Gros having lost three players in the January transfer window.

He did add to his group with the free-transfer arrivals of Celtic youngster Rabiu Ibrahim and Sammy Clingan from Doncaster Reserves but resisted the urge to add loan signings to his group, opting instead to give the youngsters a chance.

Shiels said: "We want to be a club who grows our own players and doesn't bring in loan players, because that is a real football club.

"I don't blame clubs for going down the loan route but what we are doing is impeccable. We're doing it the right way.

"Not bringing in loan players massively disadvantages you but that's the way we are going."

The 26-year-old has settled quickly following his ?8.5million deadline day transfer from Malaga, helping the Gunners keep clean sheets in victories over Stoke and Sunderland which boosted hopes of breaking back into the top four.

Monreal, who scored his only goal for Malaga in his final appearance last month, intends to continue going on about his job behind Arsenal's impressive forward line.

"I am asked to defend well and not so much to score goals. When I go forward and assist others, it is as if I have scored, so that is a great satisfaction for me," Monreal told Arsenal Player.

"It is difficult to say what your own qualities are, but I am a committed person and so give 100 per cent in every game.

"That is the best attribute that every footballer can have, that every Saturday you give everything you have got for your team."

Arsenal host Blackburn in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, and Monreal would love nothing more than to end his first campaign in English football with a medal around his neck at Wembley.

"One of the things any player wants is trophies," said Monreal, whose first full game for the senior Spain team came after their 2010 World Cup triumph.

"I cannot complain about my career, but I would like to win a trophy and I hope I can do this with Arsenal."

Monreal's arrival to offer competition for England full-back Kieran Gibbs, who is still sidelined by a thigh problem, saw Andre Santos fall further down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium.

The Brazilian has returned to his homeland on a loan deal with Gremio.

The 29-year-old was signed from Fenerbache for ?6.8million in August 2011, but made just 26 appearances.

Santos feels the short-term move will work well for all parties.

"I am confident this is the best for both Arsenal and myself," he said on the club's official website.

"I just want to say a big thanks to all the people that helped me at this wonderful club.

"I wish all the best for the team for the remainder of this season and of course, I'll be following the team from Brazil.

"Finally a special thanks to all the wonderful Arsenal fans who supported me during this period here at Arsenal. I leave not with a 'goodbye', but with a 'see you soon'."

Santos clearly feels he still can be part of Arsene Wenger's plans in the long-term.

Speaking in a separate interview with the London Evening Standard, he added: "The idea is to go there, play well and be able to come back strong. Do I have a future at the club? For sure.

"This is a loan deal and after this season we will see where everything stands.

"I always wanted to stay at Arsenal until the end of my contract. This is a club where I feel comfortable and honoured to play.

"However, when the club acquired another left-back it was clear to me that I will not play. I need to play, get my confidence back and Gremio is a good platform for this.

"I talked (with Wenger) and we decided together this would be a good chance for me to get on top of my game.

"He gave me a hug and told me Arsenal would always welcome me back with open arms.

"He did (want me to stay), but he wanted to see me happy and if I am not performing all the time, then I am not happy."

Santos spent three months on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury during a Champions League tie at Olympiacos in December 2011.

He added: "Things did not work out as well as I expected. I am not satisfied.

"Hopefully, when I am back, I will be on top of my game and then I will be able to help the team the way I want to."

Arsenal, meanwhile, remain hopeful midfielder Jack Wilshere (thigh) and Laurent Koscielny (calf) will shake off their fitness concerns ahead of next week's Champions League last 16 first leg clash against Bayern Munich.

Both could be rested for the FA Cup tie, while Thomas Vermaelen is expected to train this week after missing the last two matches with an ankle problem.

With Monreal ineligible for Europe, Vermaelen could be asked to fill in at left-back against the Bundesliga giants.

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