News in brief

Thursday 7 February 2002

David Dunn has shaken off his calf injury and is almost certain to replace suspended Gary Flitcroft for the trip to Fulham this coming Saturday.

Dunn last played for Rovers against Manchester United on January 19, but hurt his calf in that game and was replaced by Flitcroft with 65 minutes gone.

The 22-year-old midfielder has now made a relatively quick recovery from the problem and is poised for a return to the side in place of Flitcroft, who begins a three-game suspension when Rovers travel to Craven Cottage.

The match will mark Dunn's last chance to impress England coach Sven Goran Eriksson before the Swede names his squad for the forthcoming Holland friendly.

The spectacular goal scored by Dunn in the England Under-21s' game against the Dutch earlier this season fired the youngster into the limelight and he was tipped for senior international honours at the time.

But Dunn's prospects have not been helped since by Blackburn's poor league form or his latest injury which has ruled him out of the last four matches.

LADIES

Fulham have had five players named in the England Women's squad for their World Cup qualifier against Portugal at Portsmouth later this month.

Cottagers stars Mary Phillip, Katie Chapman, Rachel Unitt, Rachel McArthur and Rachel Yankey were named in Hope Powell's 24-player squad as England, who currently sit in third place in their group behind leaders Germany and the Portuguese, look to snatch second place and a chance to qualify via the play-offs.

Over 6,000 tickets have already been snapped up for the game at Fratton Park on Sunday, February 24 and these cost £3 for adults and £1 concessions. The finals of the tournament will take place in China in September next year.

HAYLES WARNING

Barry Hayles has warned the rest of the Premiership that Fulham are ready to "hammer someone" as they look to end their recent goal drought.

Fulham have struggled to score goals in recent months, with Jean Tigana's men hitting the net only 23 times in 24 Premiership matches this term.

But Hayles, the club's current top scorer with six strikes to his name, believes the goals will come sooner rather than later.

He said: "The manager has told us that we have to put our chances away and I think it will happen.

"We've had set pieces that we should have capitalised on in recent games but it will come right.

"We know what we've got to do. We're going to hammer someone soon and they better watch out."