Fans Helping Stelios

Last updated : 13 January 2006 By Matt Bottom
He said: "The fans have shown me love and I love them as well.

"When you receive so much love, you can only give it back to them.

"On match days the supporters are very polite. They have helped me a lot, you cannot imagine how much.

"It gives me the encouragement and power to continue to do my best for them.

"I see it as a hug from the fans and that is very important to me being a foreign player and not English.

"I enjoy my football here. That is one of the reasons I am staying. I know what the manager (Sam Allardyce) wants and this is the best place for me."

Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce has denied claims that Jussi Jaaskelainen and Tal Ben-Haim will be leaving the club in the transfer window.

"I wouldn't consider letting Jussi go in any shape or form," he said.

"He is contracted to us until 2007 and he is playing for Bolton Wanderers week in and week out, so there's no need for any discussion other than that.

"And it's the same with the speculation over Tal Ben Haim. That simply ain't going to happen because of the numbers game and our problems.

"The players we are taking to Blackburn tomorrow are going to be asked to play the full 90 minutes because all we've got behind them are academy players.

"So, if we can't get somebody in to alleviate the problem, not just while players are away at the African Nations Cup but for the rest of the season, we will just have to cope with the players we've got."