Weekend paper round up

Last updated : 12 July 2004 By Michael Morris

EVEN if Sean Gregan costs Cardiff City close to half a million pounds, he will be worth every penny.

That was the message today from former Cardiff City striker Kurt Nogan, who played alongside the West Brom hard man at Preston for two seasons.

With Gregan now topping manager Lennie Lawrence's wish list for the new campaign, Nogan urged the City boss to play his cards right in any future negotiations.

Because the ex-Luton marksman says if he can land his man - and the declarations of Hawthorns boss Gary Megson about bringing players in before losing any suggest he will have to bide his time - Lawrence will quickly feel like he has hit the jackpot.

"Sean will be an instant hit with the City supporters," said Nogan, who joined City from Preston four seasons ago only to suffer an unhappy spell with his home town club.

GARETH WHALLEY last night lifted the lid on the chain of events behind the bonus payment row which could yet see him part company with Cardiff City.

In a candid interview, Whalley has opened up about the toughest three months of his career and admitted he is still angry and hurt by the way the affair was handled.

And though he has 12 months left on his contract, he fears he may have played his last game for the Ninian Park outfit.

Whalley missed out on a £50,000 bonus after being dropped by manager Lennie Lawrence one match short of the 23 required to trigger the payment.

After the premature end to Whalley's season, club owner Sam Hammam publicly slated the unassuming 30-year-old and challenged him to find another club if he wasn't happy with the situation.

TONY WARNER is not expecting too many surprises at Cardiff City - having trained his mind to predict the future.

The 6ft 5ins Liverpudlian is best mates with England's number one David James after spending seven years as his understudy at Anfield.

For Warner their meeting of minds was to prove a huge influence on his own goalkeeping career.

In fact, so much so that the two men, who bear more than a passing physical likeness to one another, even share the same sports psychologist.

And because of that Warner believes he can cope with almost anything thrown at him this season - quite literally.

"I'm very close friends with David James and he has introduced me to a few people who have helped me improve my game a lot," said Warner.