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We'll have a freedom to play against City: Bannan

Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan has set his sights on upsetting Manchester City after proving his point to former club Aston Villa.

Bannan returned to Villa Park on St Stephen's Day for the first time since being sold in the summer by the club he served for nine years, and came out on the winning side.

A spectacular injury-time strike from Dwight Gayle earned Palace a 1-0 victory to lift them out of the relegation zone ahead of today's trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Bannan (above) played a key role against Villa and almost opened the scoring with a shot that was tipped onto a post by Brad Guzan. The only sour note for the 24-year-old was being booed by Villa fans, although there was plenty of applause when he was substituted late on.

He said: "It's football, people move on to different places, but hopefully I've shown that I'm good enough to be playing in this league and hopefully they'll be the ones that will be sorry for selling me.

"This club will always be in my heart. I support them now kind of as well so it's a bit sad to see people booing but it happens in football. When I came off at the end there were a few that clapped so it was nice to see they appreciated me."


Stoke boss Mark Hughes has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association following his touchline dismissal at Newcastle on Thursday.

Hughes was sent to the stands in his side's 5-1 Premier League loss at St James' Park, after his furious reactions to the sendings off of Irish internationals Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson.

A FA statement read: "Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has been charged by The FA following his side's game at Newcastle United yesterday. It is alleged that his behaviour in or around the 40th minute of the fixture amounted to improper conduct.

"Hughes has until January 2, 2014 to respond to the charge."

If he accepts the charge or is found guilty, Hughes faces a financial penalty in a standard case and no touchline ban.