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James aims to knock Baggies off their perch

Nottingham Forest defender James Perch is desperate to be involved in tonight's crucial Championship clash with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

Perch missed the first half of the season with a shin injury and only played his first 90 minutes of the season in last weekend's FA Cup third round draw against Birmingham City.

Forest go into tonight's clash knowing victory will move them above their hosts and into the automatic promotion places as they look to continue their unbeaten run of 16 league ties.

The 24-year-old said: "I want to kick on now. I have one game under my belt and it has done me no harm playing 90 minutes.

"Now I can push on and hopefully be involved in a massive game against West Brom.

"The boss said when I was injured, I could come back and be one of the most important players."

Baggies boss Roberto di Matteo has also played down the significance of tonight's clash and the upcoming trip to face leaders Newcastle, demanding his side treat every game with the same level of importance.

"I think they are important games but I don't think they are decisive," said Di Matteo, who will hope to have Romania centre-half Gabriel Tamas available as he awaits a work permanent after his loan from Auxerre.



Stan scours LOI to save Darlington

STEVE STAUNTON is set to look to the League of Ireland in his bid to save Darlington from crashing out of the English football league.

Staunton's side prop up League Two and the former Irish boss has been linked with many out-of-contract League of Ireland players, such as Glen Crowe (ex-Bohemians), Tadhg Purcell (ex-Shamrock Rovers) and Gary Dempsey (ex-St Pat's Athletic).