McInnes looks set for Dons job
Sun, 24 Mar 2013 17:15:00
James Tomkins is determined to earn himself a new contract at West Ham United and represent the club at the Olympic Stadium.
The Hammers are set to move out of their Upton Park home and take up residence at the base of London 2012 in time for the 2016/17 campaign.
Tomkins is aware of how special the atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium promises to be, having formed part of Team GB last summer.
He is desperate to experience the thrill of competing on such a stage for his boyhood club, but acknowledges that he will first have to convince West Ham that he is deserving of fresh terms.
Tomkins told the Sunday Express: "It seems so far away right now but it will come soon. It should be a brilliant moment.
"My contract expires just before it happens but hopefully I will still be around because, just like all the fans, I am looking forward to that occasion.
"This has been my club since I was eight. It's hard to see me ever being anywhere else because I have been here so long, and my family are as excited as I am.
"To see their son potentially playing there makes them very proud. And being a local boy, I will be doubly proud to be there."
It remains to be seen who will make up the West Ham playing and coaching staff when they move into their new home, but Tomkins feels current coach Sam Allardyce should be given every chance to guide the club into an exciting new era.
He added: "He is doing a great job here.
"He got us promoted at the first time of asking and you can't ask for much more, really."
Stoke have enjoyed great success in their previous six seasons under Pulis' stewardship, but there is a sense in the stands that the team has stagnated this campaign.
Crouch, though, believes Pulis and the Stoke board will kick the club on again once a minor blip has been overcome.
He said: "I look around the club and I can see it getting stronger. The squad is improving every year.
"It's true to say that if you look at most clubs that make progress, they find themselves having to sell the players who do best. But the thing is, that hasn't happened at Stoke.
"Look at somebody like Ryan Shawcross, who has signed a long-term contract when people said he might move on, while Steven N'Zonzi has been a real find.
"You can look at the squad and, season on season, it is always better than the year before.
"Players are happy to sign new contracts because they can feel the club is always moving forward. That's credit to the manager for persuading people to sign contracts and it is credit especially to the chairman, who has been fantastic with the investment he has made in the squad."
He added: "But it doesn't matter what a chairman does or what a manager says, if players sense things are not right they will always move.
"That hasn't happened here and it tells you that the feeling within the group of players is that we can still do a lot more."
The 20-year-old front-man is attracting attention from a host of Premier League clubs and is believed to have been watched by scouts from Arsenal, Spurs adn Stoke during Denmark's 3-0 win over the Czech Republic on Friday, in which Cornelius scored his first international goal.
"First of all, we are happy on Cornelius' behalf," stated sports director Carsten V. Jensen to Sporten.dk.
"I am particularly happy how he handles the situation around him. It's not easy to keep your focus on your displays when you get a lot of attention."
The Danish giants are hoping to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League after the summer and therefore the club have no plans to sell their talented striker.
"Selling players is not in our plans," he added.
"We are in a phase where both the side and individual players are making progress and the most important thing for us is to prepare the club for the challenges which hopefully will come."
Evans had been left out of the original squad after suffering a quad injury during Hull's pre-match warm-up against Crystal Palace earlier this month.
However, he has now been added to Michael O'Neill's party after passing a fitness test.
Northern Ireland's game against Russia was called off due to snow on Friday and then again on Saturday, meaning they need a result on Tuesday to salvage anything from what had been seen as an important double header at home.
Evans adds to O'Neill's midfield options in the absence of Chris Baird, who would have been suspended against Russia before coming into contention against Israel.
It is understood the former St Johnstone and Bristol City manager could be unveiled as the Dons' new boss as early as Monday morning.
Current boss Craig Brown announced last Monday that he was retiring from management and would step aside immediately if the club found an instant successor.
Aberdeen reportedly had a move for Ross County manager Derek Adams rebuffed before agreeing a deal with McInnes - the details of which are set to be finalised.
McInnes led St Johnstone to promotion in his first full season before establishing them as a comfortable SPL.
But he lasted just 14 months at Bristol City, leading the Championship club to safety in his first season but paying the price for their continuing struggles.
The former Morton, Rangers, West Brom and Dundee United midfielder was sacked in January after a 4-0 defeat by Leicester sent City to the bottom of the table.
The 41-year-old's first task at Pittodrie will be to try to earn the Dons a top-six spot.
Aberdeen sit in ninth place in the SPL and have won just once in 11 games in 2013, but they are only two points off the top half of the table with games against Hearts at home and Dundee United at Tannadice to come before the split.