FRIDAY FOOTBALL RUMOURS: Chesterfield Spireites, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County

Sky Bet League Two Football - Chesterfield FC v Bury FC 'Manager Paul Cook
Sky Bet League Two Football - Chesterfield FC v Bury FC 'Manager Paul Cook

Big match for Chesterfield tomorrow ... and who has Paul Cook backed for promotion? Here’s a round-up of today’s top football rumours and backpage stories:

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook has backed Southend United to achieve promotion to League One ahead of his side’s trip to Roots Hall. Read more: {DT|}

SOUTHEND United are hoping to complete a loan swoop for Burnley right-back Luke O’Neill ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Chesterfield at Roots Hall. Read more:

SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has labelled this Saturday’s crunch League Two clash with Chesterfield as bigger than the forthcoming FA Cup tie with Premier League side Hull City. Read more:

SOUTHEND United’s assistant manager Dave Penney wants his players to again rise to the big occasion when they take on promotion rivals Chesterfield at Roots Hall tomorrow. Read more:

Sheffield United are ready to battle League One rivals Peterborough in the race to sign Scotland under-21 international Stefan Scougall. Read more:

Stephen McGinn admits Sheffield United’s players must rediscover their ruthless streak or risk undermining the club’s battle for League One survival. Read more:

Wednesday may have plundered 12 goals in their last three home games but Stuart Gray wants to make sure that they can nick wins in closer contests where chances are hard to come by. Read more:

Midfielder Kieran Lee has paid tribute to Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager Stuart Gray, revealing: ‘He has made us believe again.’ Read more:

STEVE McClaren admits he faces a dilemma over team selection ahead of Derby County’s Championship clash against Brighton & Hove Albion tomorrow. Read more:

Richard Keogh could come back into the reckoning for Derby when Brighton visit the iPro Stadium. Read more:

Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law has strengthened his squad by signing experienced former Burton Albion striker Shaun Harrad on contract until the end of the season following his release by Bury. Read more: {DT|}

And nationally: Mauricio Pochettino refused to commit his long-term future to Southampton last night. Also: Robin van Persie is backing under-fire Manchester United boss David Moyes - and wants the doubters to give him time......Jonas Gutierrez has blasted Alan Pardew for booting him out of Toon. Mauricio Pochettino, the Southampton manager, insisted yesterday that that he would not follow Nicola Cortese out of St Mary’s Stadium in the short term but admitted that he could not guarantee that he would see out the remaining 17 months of his contract. Also: Sergio Aguero sounded a warning to Manchester City’s rivals by saying that he expects it to take no more than a week before he returns to peak form and fitness. The Southampton owner, Katharina Liebherr, has reacted with surprise to the notion that former chairman Nicola Cortese was forced out, the club having offered him a new salary package last year and requested minor changes in the way the club was run. Also: The Manchester United striker, Robin van Persie, has described David Moyes as “our leading man” and, in his strongest affirmation of faith in the manager, has declared that he will change the club’s fortunes. Robin van Persie is convinced David Moyes has the ability to turn round Manchester United’s league season. Also: Bernie Ecclestone’s command over Formula One has been diluted for the first time in 40 years with the announcement that he is no longer signing the cheques.....Mauricio Pochettino is ready to walk away from Southampton in the summer after hiring a team of lawyers to study the fine print in his contract at Southampton. Southampton have slapped a £30m price tag on teenage star Luke Shaw. Also: Jose Mourinho has earmarked scoring sensation Diego Costa as his major summer signing......Robin van Persie has backed David Moyes to recover from his horror start at Manchester United. Mauricio Pochettino last night put himself on collision course with his employers by threatening to quit as Southampton manager if his players are sold. Also: Tom Ince is ready to sign for mega-rich Monaco, placing major doubt over the future of dad Paul as Blackpool boss. Mauricio Pochettino has pledged to remain at Southampton until the end of the season, when he will assess his options regarding the final year of his contract as he digested what he called the “heavy blow” of the departure of chairman, Nicola Cortese, on Wednesday evening. Mauricio Pochettino has cast fresh doubt over his long-term future at Southampton by revealing that a decision on whether he remains manager next season will be put off until the summer. Also: Ravel Morrison has been left confused over whether West ham want to sell him this month. Mauricio Pochettino has vowed to stay as Southampton manager until the end of the season but could change his mind if the club sell players without his agreement.