Sat, 01 Dec 2012 08:26:00 – David Moyes has not ruled out bringing Joleon Lescott back to Everton if Manchester City decide to sell.
The England centre-half has been sidelined at City in recent weeks by the emergence of Serbia youngster Matija Nastasic.
And despite the acrimonious nature of his move from Goodison Park to the Etihad Stadium three years ago, Lescott would be welcomed back by his former manager.
Moyes said: "If Joleon wanted to come back - if I thought we needed him - I'd be delighted to have him back.
"If he was available he'd be someone I'd maybe show an interest in."
The Scot was angered by Lescott's attitude while his ?22million transfer was going through, but he said: "I can understand why the player wanted to go.
"When Joleon left, Everton were in a different place to where we are now. Everton look more likely now to be at the top end than they do now."
Royals supporters have begun to question McDermott's methods following a frustrating start to life back in the Premier League.
But McDermott hopes Saturday evening's glamour game with United proves a timely reminder of just how quickly he has transformed the Championship winners' fortunes since taking charge three years ago.
He said: "When we were second from bottom in the Championship, if you said to each and every single one of our supporters, 'You're going to be on nine points after 13 games in the Premier League and you're going to be playing Manchester United at 5.30pm on the telly on a Saturday rather than get relegated - would you take that?', they probably would.
"Let's have a sense of realism here. This is where we're at as a club.
"What we've done in the last three years is pretty incredible.
"We've punched above our weight financially.
"But we've got to keep doing that and find another way of finding results and winning and we've done that over the last few years and we need to do that in this league."
McDermott suggested it was the younger fans, who had known little but relative success, who needed a history lesson on a club who have spent nearly their entire existence in the lower leagues.
"You might have a younger generation of supporter who has seen nothing but relative success in the last 10 years," he said.
"Then you have an older generation of supporter who knows historically where the club has come from.
"Fans are entitled to their own opinion on the team and that's what makes football what it is."
Reading do have a game in hand over most of their relegation rivals but Tuesday's defeat at Aston Villa left them four points adrift of safety.
Teams around them are also starting to pick up points, putting the pressure on McDermott's men to do the same quickly.
"Does it worry me? There's not a lot I can do about that," he said.
"All I can do is make sure we get our performances right and our own results right.
"There're 75 points to play for, a lot of points to play for.
"We need to do our stuff, really. I'm sure we'll get a break soon."
A consolation place in the knockout stages of Europe's second-tier competition is now the best City can hope for from their disappointing Champions League campaign.
The Premier League champions have failed to win any of their first five Group D matches and will bow out of the tournament after their final match against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
Even finishing third in the group will be a tough task. City will need to beat the group winners in Germany and hope Real Madrid, also already through to the last 16, can do them a favour against Ajax.
Mancini said: "Yes, we want to stay in the Europa League - this is normal.
"It is another competition, another trophy to try to win.
"Maybe when it starts in February it is not so important and could be a problem because we play more games, but if you arrive in the semi-final or the final it becomes an important competition for us. And for this reason we want to stay in Europe."
Mancini knows the club owners have been disappointed by the Champions League failure but remains confident of delivering a successful season.
The Italian has spoken to chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak about the situation.
Mancini said: "He is happy with the way we are going in the Premier League, and we have the FA cup to come.
"Obviously they (owners) are so disappointed about the Champions League, and this is normal because our target when we started the competition was to get to the knockout stage - and anything can happen when you arrive there.
"But we didn't do well and for this reason I think they are disappointed but they understand it takes time to succeed in the Champions League."
It is City's second successive failure in the Champions League but Mancini feels he need look no further than this week's opponents for inspiration.
German champions Dortmund also crashed out at the group stage last year but have been inspired this time around.
He said: "Last season, for instance, Borussia Dortmund went out at the group stage with only four points.
"But this season they are looking like one of the teams who can win the competition.
"One year can change everything. We made some mistakes on the pitch but this is the Champions League."
The Red Devils head to Reading on Saturday evening knowing victory will ensure they are top of the Premier League when they take on City in the first Manchester derby of the season at the Etihad Stadium on December 8.
Some critics cannot quite believe it, nor that United have a seven-point advantage over third-placed Chelsea, given that their performances at times have been quite poor.
They have gone behind on an incredible 13 occasions and Michael Carrick described Wednesday's win over West Ham as "far from a classic".
However, Ferguson is not joining the criticism.
"I don't think the form has been that bad to be honest," he said.
"But when you are manager of this club, you have to go through that analysis about Manchester United not being as good as they used to be.
"We are still top of the league so we must be doing something right."
And they could soon be boosted by the return of defender Nemanja Vidic.
The United skipper has made just 13 appearances since straining a calf muscle at West Brom in August 2011, which started a chronic run of fitness problems.
In Basle last December, Vidic ruptured cruciate knee ligaments, which ended his entire campaign.
Then, just five matches into the new season, the 31-year-old experienced a tightness around the knee that required him to undergo more surgery, and even raised fears about whether he would ever return to his best.
However, Vidic has been more upbeat about his comeback, indicating at the weekend that he was ready to rejoin first-team training.
And whilst the final decision has been left to the 31-year-old, Ferguson is not ruling out the prospect of Vidic returning for Wednesday's Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj at Old Trafford.
"It would be nice to play him on Wednesday," said Ferguson. "I wouldn't be afraid of that.
"He has returned to training and done all his work but he needs matches."
After the problems of last season, the Argentinian has been restored to prominence at the forefront of City's attack this term.
He began the campaign with four goals in as many games but then hit a barren spell and has scored just three since.
Two of them came against Aston Villa a fortnight ago but Tevez has had to settle for a place among the substitutes for the past three games.
Mancini said: "No, I'm not disappointed about this form recently.
"About Carlos I can say nothing (critical) because when he plays, even if he is not 100 per cent, he's a fighter, he puts everything he can on the pitch, so I can't say anything against him.
"But it is clear that we want our strikers to be scoring goals and at this moment Carlos is not strong and for this reason he was on the bench in the last three games.
"But on Saturday that could change, or in the derby. He's not 100 per cent because he has played many games and that is why at the moment he is not so good."
City take on Everton at the Etihad Stadium this weekend before travelling to Germany for their final Champions League group game against Borussia Dortmund.
They then face rivals Manchester United in an eagerly-anticipated derby the following Sunday.
One player Mancini is hoping for more from is playmaker Samir Nasri.
The Frenchman has not made a consistent impact since joining City in a ?24million move from Arsenal last year.
The 25-year-old was also left out of the squad for the midweek trip to Wigan as a precaution against a calf problem.
Mancini said: "In my opinion we are talking about a top, top player here.
"If he wants he can change every game, but I think he can do better.
"He has played some good games for us but he can do better because he has everything.
"I don't think he has struggled.
"We are talking about a player like Nasri or (Yaya) Toure or (David) Silva - we always think they can change every game they play because they are capable of doing that.
"But sometimes in spells when we are playing a lot of games in a short space of time, like at the moment, a player can be tired.
"Samir also had a problem with his calf in the last two games but I wait for him to play always a fantastic game because he can do this."
The Manchester clubs have opened up a gap at the top of the Premier League with Chelsea now six points behind second-placed City.
That has led to some seeing the title race as a fight between City and United but Mancini is not writing off the prospects of the Londoners.
When asked if Chelsea can still compete, Mancini said: "Yes they can. Why not?
"They had done a good job until recently. They have a strong team and strong mentality.
"The season is long and in February, when the Champions League starts, everything can change."
Rangers sit at the foot of the table eight points adrift of safety and seek their first victory of the season when they host Aston Villa on Saturday.
Redknapp has ruled out embarking on a spending spree in January, instead demanding that the current squad start delivering.
"They are the ones that are here, they're the ones that got us into this mess and they're the ones that are going to get us out of it," he said.
"And they can do it. I feel there is enough here for us to do it. That's the situation we are in.
"I won't spend our way out of trouble. If we can get some points, who knows maybe in January we'll make a loan or two if need be.
"By the time January comes we are going to know basically. We've got to make sure we are not cut adrift and we are back in there with a chance.
"What's the point of the club spending money and bringing more players in if you are cut adrift? We don't want that situation.
"The club isn't going to put itself in a position where it is overloaded next year with a lot of big wages when it's not in the Premier League.
"What we do in the next six or seven games will decide where we go in January."
Redknapp reacted to suggestions of divisions within the dressing room by revealing every player has been given a clean sheet.
"We all start together. Until somebody takes a diabolical liberty with us or with me, they're a part of it," he said.
"And it would have to be diabolical because I don't do that very often, isolate people or send them away.
"I've not had to pick too many teams at the moment but in this game, the players you pick think you're great and the ones that you don't pick can't stand the sight of you. That's football, it never changes.
"I've got to pick a team that will win the games, I'm not too worried about upsetting people."
The Republic of Ireland defender has not kicked a ball in anger since Euro 2012. It has left Villa shorn of experience in the back four, with the sale of James Collins to West Ham and the loaning out of Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton to Bolton and West Ham respectively.
Now skipper Ron Vlaar is sidelined with a calf problem ahead of Saturday's match at QPR which makes him a major doubt.
Lambert said: "Richard went for a test on Saturday and then another one yesterday. We are just trying to find out what we think it could be.
"It is really frustrating. We are unsure at the moment what is this ongoing problem. It has come from the groin area/hip area as such. "That is what we have to try and nail down and put to bed one way or another to try and get to the bottom of that.
"He is still a long way off (from being available) and it is frustrating for Richard."
Lambert added: "He is not training at all. He does little bits himself with the physios but I think even that is starting to hurt a bit.
"I would say he is out to the new year, the way it is going at the moment.
"It is frustrating with the other defensive (injury) problems because the squad isn't the biggest in that area."
Lambert does not have such concerns at the other end of the pitch with Christian Benteke continuing to enhance his reputation since his ?7million summer move from Genk.
The Belgium international, 21, scored his sixth goal of the season to earn Villa victory over Reading in midweek and climb out of the bottom three.
Lambert said: "I never put an expectancy level on him because, with somebody of that age, you don't need to put that pressure on them.
"You don't need to come in and say 'he's going to do X, Y and Z. You just need to let him get on there with things.
"But I think with his performances, he's getting to that point where you think 'I know what you're capable of and what you could do.'
"My own expectancy level is probably getting higher every time he takes to the pitch."
Benteke is already starting to look a bargain capture even though it is the most money Lambert has splashed out on a player in his managerial career.
He said: "If you look at the market, then you're never quite sure of what somebody's worth because of the way the values are.
"But we needed somebody like him to come into the football club and he's performing at a really high level the way he's playing.
"He'll create all the headlines because of what he's doing and the role he's playing."
There has been little love lost between the pair since they had a clash of style and words when they were managers of Blackburn and Liverpool.
The feud started when Allardyce felt Benitez had made a 'game over' hand gesture when Liverpool went 2-0 up against his Blackburn side in 2009.
Spanish coach Benitez had sarcastically suggested Barcelona were looking at imitating what he felt was Blackburn's robust style, while Allardyce declared the issues had become "personal", adding "that's why I don't like him and the feeling is probably mutual".
However, Allardyce insists Saturday's game must be all about what his West Ham players can do on the pitch as they aim to avoid a third straight Premier League defeat.
"There is always a mental battle and I think the bottom line is whatever managers say between themselves, people can construe one way or the other, but it is about your players going out and doing it," he said.
"You can use certain things in what you do prior or during the game and, from my point of view, I always see it as good banter.
"Does it effect players? I don't know. I am not so sure it does. It is one of those things, we can't all get on can we?
"We might not have got on so well over the years, but it is a long time ago and a lot of water under a bridge since then."
Allardyce said: "I suppose what he didn't like was getting beaten. It's always been the way, but as far as I am concerned this is the top level, so you can pit your wits against every manager.
"Every manager is different and you will weigh up the tactics they like to play and get yours ready.
"If you get it right you can upset the big boys, Liverpool were at the time and we managed to upset them."
Allardyce insists his focus has to remain on West Ham's gameplan, not possible touchline tantrums with his opposite number.
He added: "Chelsea are coming as a fantastic football side that won the FA Cup and the Champions League, so I am more concerned about the players they are going to pick and how they are going to set up and how my team are going to cope with that, than what Rafa's going to say about me.
"It would give me no more satisfaction than beating any other manager - the satisfaction would be fantastic if we can get a result against Chelsea."
The Gunners have already fallen 12 points adrift of current league leaders Manchester United after 14 games, and defeat against Swansea at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday would see the Welsh club climb above them.
Laudrup is a big admirer of what Wenger has achieved in his time at Arsenal, but does not see them as being in the frame when it comes to the destiny of the Premier League trophy.
When asked if he thought Arsenal could win the league, the Dane replied: "No. Not because they have dropped points but because I think the title is only between the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, and at the moment the Manchester clubs have the advantage in terms of points and momentum.
"The Manchester sides are very strong, they win tough games. Look at Manchester City at Wigan. It was a difficult game, it was 0-0 for a long time, and then they get two goals and three points and head home.
"They are very solid and win games when they are not playing well."
Laudrup believes an inability to match the investment of the top three is what is costing Arsenal in the hunt for trophies.
He said: "There are a lot of teams who want to win, there are City, United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, they all want to be up there, but there are only a certain amount of top, top players.
"It's not only in England, it is the same in Europe where you have Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus.
"If we are talking about top, top players, Arsenal cannot buy the players that City, United, Chelsea, Real Madrid or Barcelona can buy.
"They have to do something else and I think Arsene Wenger has done great for many years trying to find players to make a good team.
"They have won titles but it is more difficult as the top three have more money, and when you have to buy two forward players who can make the difference, money is an issue. Money does not always win titles but it helps."
Summer signing Michu has been a key figure in Swansea's strong start to the season - the Spaniard has already scored nine goals since his ?2million summer move from Rayo Vallecano.
The 26-year-old was also linked with Arsenal and Laudrup is delighted he was able to get a deal done.
"I am just happy he is here," said the Dane. "We have seen what he can do.
"He is getting goals for us and working hard as the second striker or third midfielder,
"He has a presence on the pitch, he is a big guy, so he is very important for us."