News from todays papers

Last updated : 03 June 2003 By Michael Morris

Lennie wants Wilkinson on the coaching staff.

PAUL WILKINSON, one of the most highly-rated coaches in the Football League, last night said he was "flattered" Cardiff City boss Lennie Lawrence wants to make him part of his Ninian Park backroom team.

The former Everton and Middlesbrough striker worked with Lawrence when he was in charge of Grimsby and also played under him when he was manager at Middlesbrough in the early 1990s.

Wilkinson was reserve-team manager with the Mariners until last Thursday but was booted out of Blundell Park as part of cost-cutting measures at the cash-strapped club.

"It's nice to be linked with a big club like Cardiff - but I can't really say anything at the moment," Wilkinson told The Western Mail.

"It's flattering that Cardiff want me. It's always flattering when a club wants your services - and I am keen on a quick return to football.

"I am disappointed about what has happened to me at Grimsby. Now I've got to look to the future."
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Danish and Swedes on Lennie's menu.

LENNIE Lawrence and his Bluebirds will fly off to a favourite destination as they plan for success in Division One.

Lawrence has arranged Cardiff City's pre-season tour for Scandinavia. They will be based in the Swedish city of Malmo and travel to play Danish teams Koge BK (Saturday, July 19) and BK Frem (Monday, July 21) before taking on former European Cup finalists Malmo on Wednesday, July 23.

Last season, Lawrence's first full campaign, City went to Scotland to step up their preparation, but this time he has gone for the Scandinavian experience.

"I've been there before - the last time with Grimsby Town a couple of years ago - and everything is spot on for a pre-season trip," said Lawrence. "The training facilities are excellent, there is a nice climate, decent pitches and reasonable games. Overall, it's a good place to be."

City's match at Koge is their first pre-season match, while they have one game at Ninian Park and that is against Charlton Athletic on Friday, July 31 (7.45pm), which is Scott Young's testimonial match.

The Ninian Park capacity will remain at just over 21,500 in Division One next season. That will allow visiting clubs the same number of fans, up to 2,150, as last season and they will again be housed in the Grange End.
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Lawrence is set to be the loan arranger.

LENNIE Lawrence will use the loan market to strengthen his squad with Premiership quality players.

The Bluebirds team boss will move aggressively to sign up to four loan players on season-long deals.

"The loan market for First Division clubs is as productive as it has ever been," said Lawrence.

"Premiership clubs have big squads with top quality players on the fringes who would certainly help Cardiff City's cause and benefit their own careers by a season in Division One.

"We can have four long-term loans and umpteen short-term loans during a season.

"There are also a record number of Bosman transfer players available and there are many players of the right quality available. The transfer market has changed dramatically and it's my job to ensure Cardiff City make the most of the situation."

Among City's top targets is John Robinson, who has been granted a free transfer by Charlton Athletic.
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Delaney dreams on Ninian return.

FORMER Cardiff City defender Mark Delaney has not ruled out a return to Ninian Park.

The Welsh defender had a nightmare season last term after breaking his foot against Azerbaijan in November, but he admits he kept a close eye on the Bluebirds' promotion charge to Division One.

"I've watched them all the way this season, and they have tremendous support and ambition under Sam Hammam. It's been very interesting to see what's going on down there," said Delaney..

"I had a great time at Cardiff and still have lots of friends in the area, who keep me in touch with things. They have always had great potential, and now it's being put into practice."

The Aston Villa player spent a season at Cardiff after being plucked from League of Wales outfit Carmarthen Town in 1998.

And the 26-year-old has not lost the sight of who gave him his first break in the professional ranks.

He said: "I have to be totally honest, I've got a real soft spot for the Bluebirds and would take any offer in the future very seriously indeed."
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