TALKING SPORT - Latics don’t need to impress ... just win

UNDER normal circumstances, a point against Aston Villa wouldn’t be too bad a result for Latics.

But these are not normal circumstances, and three points are a must this weekend.

Villa have flattered to deceive this term, which started with the upheaval of losing Martin O’Neill only days before the big kick-off.

Gerard Houllier is still finding his feet in the hot-seat, and the weekend win over West Brom was unconvincing to say the least.

But that’s maybe what Latics are short of – an unconvincing performance that returns three priceless points anyway. We’ve had enough instances this season of the opposite. Sadly, hard-luck stories don’t get you anywhere, as the league table will testify.

IT says plenty about how highly Terry Newton was regarded, as a player and a person, that so many of his former team-mates have enthusiastically volunteered for a special tribute game next year.

A cast of legends will lace up the boots again to salute Tez, and it should be a great way to remember the former Warriors hooker, while at the same time helping his kids for the future.

I REALLY rate Amir Khan and it’s pleasing to see his stock grow even higher with his win in Las Vegas last weekend.

The real acid-test of his credentials would be if he took on Manny Pacquiao.

Khan, though, has already ruled out the prospect of facing the world’s best fighter because – he says – he has so much respect for him.

“It would cause too many complications,” he said.

Of course it would. It’s exactly the same reason why I would never race against Usain Bolt.

NORTHAMPTON rugby union club issued a media advisory last Thursday, as someone pretending to be Chris Ashton is posting remarks on Twitter under his name.

“I’ve been told it’s the greatest try ever scored at Twickenham,” tweeted ChrisAshton14 in reference to ‘his’ long-range score against Australia last month. “I don’t want to blow my own trumpet here but, you know, Toot Toot.”

A team-mate is thought to be behind the prank, in response to Ashton’s own Mickey taking. Which got me thinking about when I asked Chris to jibe his Warriors team-mates three years ago for a pre-season supplement. “Every man wants to be him, every woman wants to be him,” he wrote about himself, before unloading on his team-mates. Michael Withers? “Can run 100m in 10 minutes.”

Micky Higham? “Tighter than a submarine door.”

Harrison Hansen? “Romeo didn’t fancy Juliet as much as Harrison fancies himself.”

But his best was reserved for Gareth Hock: “When I showed him how to work a cash machine, he put his card in then asked why it hadn’t given him any money.

“I told him you have to tell the machine how much you want. He leaned in close and whispered, ‘Can I please have £30.’”