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Joe Aribo: Rangers players can learn so much from ‘Uncle’ Jermain Defoe

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Joe Aribo has paid tribute to the father figure of the Rangers dressing room Uncle Jermain Defoe.The Ibrox veteran is poised to make his Bournemouth loan deal a permanent move in the coming days and former Charlton playmaker Aribo is delighted.He and midfield partner Glen Kamara have made sure to soak up as much as they can from the former West Ham, Portsmouth and Spurs striker.And they believe the good habits that have kept him tucking away goals at the age of 37 are already rubbing off on those around him.Nigeria international Aribo said: You can see what Jermain does for us, Glen Kamara and I. We call him Uncle!You can see how professional he is, he is the first one in and the last one to go home.It just shows why he is still able to do what he is doing, even at the age he is at.Defoe will have to bear the burden of leading Gers attack this weekend as top-scorer Alfredo Morelos completes a three-game ban as his team take on Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.Aribo admits there are major differences in the way the two operate.But having seen Defoe notch his 16th goal of the season during Wednesdays win over St Mirren he reckons it is down to the rest of the Light Blues line-up to adapt in order to get the best out of a poacher who sits eighth in the Premier Leagues all-time goals list.We know what Jermain can do and we know what kind of striker he is, whereas Alfredo is very different to him.You have to adapt to who you are playing with and that is what we have to do.Defoe was on target in Gorgie last season as Gers claimed a 3-1 win but their previous Tynecastle visit this term was a more frustrating afternoon as Steven Gerrards side had to settle for a 1-1 draw.Aribo knows there will be a hostile reception waiting for his team as hearts look to kick-start a miserable season.But he believes he is now part of team getting used to the added pressure being applied to their shoulders as the title race with Celtic heats up.He continued: It was a difficult one to take because obviously the result wasnt what we wanted but we have the chance to rectify what we did the last time and come out and be better.They use it (Tynecastle) as a big factor for them and you can see with the crowd being close it is a bit intimidating but you cant use it as an excuse and we just have to be better than last time.One thing I have always said is that the fans here at Rangers, they are just ruthless, they want to win every game and it has to be by a big margin.I know every week I have to perform, I have to be the best that I can be and we have to do that as a team also.That pressure makes you a better player and a better person because you know if youre sloppy or youre not at your best then you will come out of the team. It is good pressure and it is what you need to be the best that you can be.Momentum is a big thing and if you are winning then you just want to keep winning, keep playing and keep the games coming thick and fast so you can keep winning.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ffedb313-7c32-4f8b-805c-8c979ef2dc8c'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Joe Aribo: Rangers players can learn so much from \u2018Uncle\u2019 Jermain Defoe'});

January 25th 2020, 5:15 am

City fan Davies out to add to United woes

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Scott Davies grew up idolising a club very much in the shadow of Manchester United so the Tranmere captain would relish putting one over the Premier League giants in the FA Cup this weekend.Aged 32, Davies recalls Uniteds years of supremacy under Sir Alex Ferguson all too painfully but the lifelong Manchester City supporter reflected with some satisfaction about how the tide has turned in recent years.While Davies insists he will keep his emotions in check for the fourth-round encounter at Prenton Park on Sunday, the goalkeeper hopes Tranmere can increase the pressure on Uniteds under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is enduring a tough time at Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)Twenty years of my childhood and growing up as a teenager was absolute torture, so the last 10 years or so has been great, he said. They always looked down on Man City over the years but now its turned around quickly. If myself and my football club can have an influence on them having another bad day then great.It would be unbelievable. Ive already had plenty of text messages along those lines, from United supporters as well!Im not a big lover of Man United, Ill be totally honest, but on Sunday Ill be totally professional and approaching it in a different manner.Davies was in the away end when City claimed a seminal 6-1 victory over their city rivals at Old Trafford in 2011.Mario Balotelli, second left, memorably celebrates after scoring in Manchester Citys 6-1 win over Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)He added: It was a great day for me and my old man, hes a huge City supporter and been going there 30 years. I go to most home games and a lot of away games when were not playing Sunday and midweek games so Ive been to plenty of derbies at Old Trafford and at City.Theres a big hatred for Manchester United in the family but on Sunday its purely professional.Tranmere advanced to this stage courtesy of an extra-time victory over Watford in their third-round replay on Thursday night but Davies admitted United will prove an even more formidable foe this weekend.While Tranmere were routed 7-0 by Tottenham last year, Davies pointed out their win over Watford as well as their back-to-back promotions to League One after play-off final triumphs proves they can handle the big occasion.Were under no illusions that it will be a huge task, Davies added. We saw what happened last year in the game with Tottenham but you learn lessons from occasions like that. Good morning!Any sore heads going into work today? #TRFC #SWA pic.twitter.com/Mtt7Mzx9Za Tranmere Rovers FC (@TranmereRovers) January 24, 2020We dont just want to compete, we want to win. If you said that we were going to beat Watford in the third round, youd have probably said no chance.You can touch on the play-off experiences, theres enough experience in the dressing room, so on that front its just another one and one we can play in with no pressure.As for the significance of this tie to Davies, whose career started at Morecambe and has taken in Fleetwood and Accrington while he has made in excess of 200 appearances for Tranmere, he knows it will stay with him forever. Ive played in much more important games when it comes to my career, when it comes to promotions I think theyre bigger games, he added. But when youre talking memories Im a realist, I probably wont reach the top level now, I play my football at the level I play my football at and these occasions are huge for us, huge for me personally, theyre memories Ill take for with me for life.When Im working doing whatever in 20 years time, Ill look back and be able to say that I played against Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round, no one can take that away from me.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By David Charlesworth, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '06f0f79d-9136-4a1c-8270-d08e48200829'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'City fan Davies out to add to United woes'});

January 25th 2020, 5:15 am

Liverpool new boy Takumi Minamino living up to Jurgen Klopp’s expectations

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Liverpools January signing Takumi Minamino is living up to manager Jurgen Klopps expectations as he looks to make his second start for the club.The Japan international, a 7.25million arrival from Red Bull Salzburg, is in line to play in the FA Cup fourth-round tie at League One Shrewsbury on Sunday, having made his debut in the previous round against Everton.A minor complication was introduced to Klopps plan when the 25-year-old had to come off the bench to play nearly an hour in the 2-1 win over Wolves after an injury to Sadio Mane.Takumi Minamino, left, came on against Wolves (Nick Potts/PA)Making his Premier League debut was a big step, according to Klopp, and he has to decide how much that took out of the player.We have to think about what we do, because he played much longer than we thought, said the Reds boss.Yesterday night was a big step for him. For nobody was it a game where you shine and play your best game ever.When you come in as a new player in this kind of battle, showing up like he did, not with his skills but with his mentality and character, fighting like crazy, closing gaps, it was a super start.Hes pretty versatile and he did exactly what he had to do. I have to see how he reacted to the intensity to that game."He was fighting like crazy and closed gaps, was involved in a lot of situations. That was just a super start, to be honest." @takumina0116 will draw plenty of worthwhile experience from his introduction to life in the #PL, Klopp believes https://t.co/x91L9MGBM8 Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 24, 2020I dont know him long enough in that regard, but each game helps.Minaminos only other previous involvement was 70 minutes against Everton when he did not really get a chance to settle in, having only arrived at the club five days earlier.However, Klopp is happy with how his integration is going.Hes a super boy exactly the player we expected, he added.You saw so much of his ability (against Wolves). As a footballer you cant only play on the days when everything is clicking, scoring two goals, all that stuff.This game was a proper fight and he was completely ready for that. View this post on Instagram That was a very significant game for me. It was a difficult game, but we could win! I will keep on fighting till the end!!A post shared by takumi minamino (@takumi18minamino_official) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:42pm PSTA new team, adapting, and from a tactical point it was an outstanding game.In training we see the finishing and the creating. Hes the player we wanted and now hes ours.Klopp will rest most of his first-team stars for the trip to Shrewsbury but will still be able to field a much stronger line-up than he did when the squad was affected by injuries for the last round.Centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, back from lengthy injury absences, are likely to start, as is striker Divock Origi, probably Adam Lallana, providing he recovers from illness which forced him to miss the Wolves game, and possibly Fabinho as he makes a gradual comeback from an ankle injury.Its a chance for a lot of players. I didnt make the line-up yet. We have to wait for all the medical reports, said Klopp.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Carl Markham, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '6d6cea19-be25-499a-82fe-7f083a524607'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Liverpool new boy Takumi Minamino living up to Jurgen Klopp\u2019s expectations'});

January 25th 2020, 4:10 am

Pep Guardiola not expecting to face weakened Fulham in FA Cup

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Pep Guardiola is expecting to face a strong Fulham side in the FA Cup this weekend.The Cottagers, who are in contention for immediate promotion back to the Premier League, face Guardiolas Manchester City in the fourth round at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.Returning to the top flight will be manager Scott Parkers top priority but City manager Guardiola does not think they will make many changes or ease up for the tie.He said: I dont think so because their next game is in six or seven days.If they had a game after two or three days, maybe, but I dont think so. I think he will put into the game the best team as possible.When a team is third in the Championship it is because they have something.They are a team that want to play and they are a team with personality. We have spoken about that with the team and hopefully we can be ready because it is a final.The FA Cup is an important competition, its a traditional competition and we have to try to do our best.Holders City could make changes, however, as Guardiola looks to keep his big guns relatively fresh for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United next Wednesday. Guardiola has close to a fully-fit squad available following Aymeric Laportes return from a near five-month lay-off at Sheffield United in midweek.Guardiola said: When the team is fit it doesnt matter who plays, the selection will be good.It is not about this one (player) or another one. Always when I put out a team they have the responsibility to try to win the game. It doesnt matter what my selection is.Fulham, relegated last season, were third in the Championship heading into the weekend and their style of play under Parker has drawn comparisons to Guardiolas City.Guardiola said: What Ive seen is theyre a really good team. I like the way they play and their results speak for themselves.Its not easy being relegated and the year after being there. I think it speaks quite well about the manager and the team.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Hampson, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '94512cd4-6246-4e22-b396-fa5adf2e1148'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Pep Guardiola not expecting to face weakened Fulham in FA Cup'});

January 25th 2020, 4:10 am

Monk hails Sheffield Wednesday’s FA Cup response after heavy league defeat

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Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk was pleased with his sides response after last weekends 5-0 drubbing by Blackburn as the Owls beat QPR 2-1 at Loftus Road to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.The visitors scored through Morgan Fox and Sam Winnall before a Nahki Wells consolation in stoppage time and Monk challenged his players to replicate the improved display in the league.We let ourselves down badly last week in front of our fans at Hillsborough and knowing 3,000 fans were coming down today, the aim was to restore a little bit of pride back into that shirt.Its what we talked about in the week. Actions speak a lot louder than words and that performance and that win goes a little way to making amends for last week.For the majority of the game, we controlled it and as youd expect, the home team in the last 15-20 minutes are going to throw everything at you.Thats what they did, but I think you saw the bodies on the line. Then we scored the second goal at the perfect time.The number one thing is the intensity you play at, the attitude you play with and the focus that you play with at the level you need.When these players do that, youve already seen what theyre capable of doing, but were not a team that can afford to be anywhere below it.Mark Warburton was desperately disappointed by the manner of his sides exit.In the first half, we probably had the majority of possession, but we didnt really threaten their goalkeeper and lacked a bit of guile and then we gave a really poor goal away.We came out much better in the second half, but again, huffed and puffed and never really forced any great saves. It was a little bit lame tonight.Jack Clarke made his full debut after joining on loan from Tottenham, but frustrated the crowd as he was dispossessed on numerous occasions when in promising attacking positions.However, Warburton has no doubt the teenager will come good.Hes a 15m player, but hes a boy, so hes got to adapt to the level, but theres no doubt he will do. You saw what he did for Leeds United, so hes a very talented player, he added.There have also been rumours swirling around about Burnley possibly recalling Wells as QPR battle to keep one of their key goalscorers at the club until the end of the season.Warburton said: Nahkis very happy at QPR, so thats all I know. Were linked with all these players some of them Ive never heard of so thats the nature of the window. Enjoy it while it lasts.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8cbc53c5-5bce-42cf-ae0b-2253f24b873f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Monk hails Sheffield Wednesday\u2019s FA Cup response after heavy league defeat'});

January 24th 2020, 7:23 pm

Derby boss Phillip Cocu criticises referee Darren England after Northampton draw

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Derby boss Phillip Cocu hit out at the referee as his side were taken to an FA Cup fourth-round replay by Northampton following a goalless stalemate at the PTS Academy Stadium.While the Rams, captained by Wayne Rooney, failed to muster a shot on target, the biggest flashpoint came in the early stages.Northampton skipper Charlie Goode allowed Jack Marriott to get the wrong side of him before hauling him the the ground with Derbys bench then left up in arms as referee Darren England opted against blowing his whistle.With a replay now due at Pride Park, Cocu will have an extra fixture to deal with on a night where he felt he was let down by the official as the Dutchman suggested the use of VAR should not be required for such a clear foul.The decisive moment of the game is the red card, what should have been a red card, he said.I dont think we need VAR for these kinds of incidents, if you dont see it you shouldnt be here leading the game. There is no doubt about it, a great performance from the referee.Cocu also revealed he was told by fourth official Darren Drysdale that Goode later awarded the man of the match award should have been dismissed.Yes, it is a foul, he replied when asked what Drysdale had said to him.At least one had a good vision, I think the linesman had good vision too so I cant give you any explanation why there is no foul given because if he doesnt pull him down Jack will score.While bemoaning the call of referee England, Cocu did admit his much-changed side were not at their best, adding: It was the game we expected, they were very direct and full of energy.We struggled now and then and maybe that was our fault, tactically we did not exactly perform what we had discussed. We adjusted it and had more control of the game and I think we did better and better but couldnt get the goal.Rooney was largely kept quiet by the Sky Bet League Two opposition, who were more than deserving of a replay after creating the better chances including Vadaine Oliver hitting the top of the crossbar.Cobblers boss Keith Curle agreed with Cocus assessment of the big call of the evening but felt Northampton were good value for the draw.I can only say that the referee must have been unsighted, he said.From where I was, I thought he would have had a decision to make and it would have been quite an easy decision for him so I can only assume he was unsighted and didnt see it and if you dont see something you cant give it.We needed to be on the same page and I thought we were and then we needed that little bit of luck but you earn luck and we earned that draw against a very good team and we will accept that challenge of going to Derby and plying our trade again.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '712f8da0-8acf-451e-8f79-9d38ee797239'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Derby boss Phillip Cocu criticises referee Darren England after Northampton draw'});

January 24th 2020, 6:06 pm

Jose Mourinho says Tottenham’s winter break scheduled at the ‘wrong moment’

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Jose Mourinho has complained that the Premier League has timed Tottenhams winter break wrong.Spurs, who are in FA Cup action at Southampton this weekend, are due to clock off for two weeks after next Sundays league game with Manchester City.They will return to action against Aston Villa on February 16 three days before their Champions League last-16 tie with RB Leipzig. The winter break is split over two weekends, so Spurs in theory could have had their game with Villa on the weekend of February 8-9, giving them more time to prepare for their European fixture.It is what it is. I am not happy that the break comes in the wrong moment because the break should be before the Champions League, Mourinho complained.In the end before the Champions League we dont have the break. We have to play Aston Villa on the Sunday before playing Red Bull (Leipzig) two days later.To make matters worse, if Spurs draw at Southampton on Saturday then they will have to play a replay on February 4-5 when they are supposed to have downed tools.Mourinho is less concerned about that, adding: We really dont care about the break really.TEAM NEWS: @Ben_Davies33 (ankle), @HKane (hamstring) and @MoussaSissoko (knee) are continuing rehabilitation. @HarryWinks (ankle) is being assessed ahead of this weekends match against Southampton.#THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/mbSQZCR6sA Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 24, 2020If we have to play Southampton in a second match it means we are still alive in the competition and it is better than losing.If we can choose a result, the one we are going to try to get is of course to win the match, if we get a draw we are still alive. To play at home in the second match is better than to lose.Spurs will head to St Marys without a recognised striker following their failure to sign a replacement for Harry Kane.Teenage Troy Parrott is their only other out-and-out striker, but he is 17 and Mourinho has said he is not ready to replace Kane.But he might get the chance to impress at Southampton.Troy Parrott is Spurs only fit striker (Jonathan Brady/PA)He is ready to work with us every day like he is doing, the Portuguese added. He trains with the group, after training he has a special programme of individual development of his qualities as a striker and this club takes very good care of the players.That is the only thing I can say. If he has to play with us, he will.He will do his best, he will show his good qualities, he will show his fragilities because at this moment he is a 17-year-old kid with fragilities in his game.But in this moment I cannot tell you, it is possible he is selected for this game.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '35aae4ec-dbc9-412a-afe2-7ca787661bac'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Jose Mourinho says Tottenham\u2019s winter break scheduled at the \u2018wrong moment\u2019'});

January 24th 2020, 5:49 pm

Fox and Winnall fire Wednesday into fifth round

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Sheffield Wednesday matched their best showing in the FA Cup since 1997 after strikes from Morgan Fox and Sam Winnall settled an all-Championship tie at Loftus Road.The first half was drifting towards an uneventful conclusion until Fox saw his effort squirm just beyond Joe Lumley for the 26-year-olds third goal of the season. After the break wastefulness from the hosts was punished as Winnall capitalised on slack marking to sweep home before Nakhi Wells made it 2-1 to bring some cheer to the home fans on a cold night in W12. Midway through the first half Jacob Murphys curling effort was kept out by Lumley before QPR set off on a breakaway. Ilias Chair went speeding down the pitch before laying the ball inside to the onrushing Marc Pugh, who fired his shot wide of Cameron Dawsons right-hand post. The teams looked set to head into the break all square before Wednesday scored a goal that can only be described as soft. A quick throw-in by Sam Hutchinson, level with the 18-yard box, looped over Todd Kanes head and landed at the feet of Fox. The left-back seemed confused that he had so much time to compose himself before seeing his shot from six yards trickle under Lumleys desperate dive. The second half was similarly short on chances, with Rangers fans getting increasingly frustrated with full debutant Jack Clarke, as the Tottenham loanee was dispossessed on several occasions after failing to deliver a cross. Bright Osayi-Samuel came on in his place in the 66th minute and almost had an immediate impact with his pass finding Chair, who fired wide. Jordan Hugill then had his first chance of the game, but scuffed a shot wide after a glorious delivery from Kane. Osayi-Samuel kept getting involved, with his vibrancy and relentless running causing the Wednesday backline problems, but the hosts were lacking a cutting edge. The game would probably have been done and dusted had the recently introduced Atdhe Nuhiu not fallen over and Lumley not miscontrolled to let the ball run away from him. Pugh felt he was nudged over by Wednesday captain Tom Lees in the 88th minute, but Keith Stroud waved away the complaints. Kadeem Harris went close before Garry Monks men bagged the decisive goal, as Nuhiu swept the ball out wide to fellow substitute Adam Reach, whose pinpoint cross was finished emphatically by Winnall to spark jubilant scenes in front of the 3,024 travelling fans. Wells then rounded Dawson to keep the game alive and Ebere Eze subsequently won a corner to ramp up the volume before Pughs wayward effort ended hopes of a comeback.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '53a3c364-a6d4-4af4-9d3c-63e1213008b2'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Fox and Winnall fire Wednesday into fifth round'});

January 24th 2020, 5:49 pm

Bruce says double loan swoop shows Newcastle still have pull in transfer market

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Steve Bruce is convinced Newcastles successful double swoop for loan signings Nabil Bentaleb and Valentino Lazaro proves the club still have a pull in the transfer market.The Magpies have landed 25-year-old Schalke midfielder Bentaleb and Inter Milan winger Lazaro, 23, for the rest of the season, with the former looking to rebuild his career after falling out of favour in Germany and the latter desperate for regular football as he attempts to retain his place in the Austria squad for Euro 2020.Asked about the pair, a delighted Bruce said: It just shows that weve still got that little bit of a pull where people want to play for a big club with the support weve got, and the Premier League is always a pull.Lazaro is all about playing and going to the Euros and playing with Austria. Weve worked extremely hard to pull it off, people behind the scenes as well, because when somebody like him becomes available, then Im sure there were many suitors.There are just not enough top players that we are all looking for, especially in January, so usually you look for a fall-out, like with Bentaleb, or someone who its not gone so well with like Lazaro at Inter. For us to get those two, that right quality, is vitally important.Bruce confirmed that Bentaleb will start Saturdays FA Cup fourth-round tie against Sky Bet League One club Oxford the paperwork for Lazaros move was not processed in time for him to figure with the former Tottenham midfielder keen to prove his worth once again following nine months on the sidelines at Schalke.He said: We spoke to Les Ferdinand, Tim Sherwood, people who had him as a young boy. The two of them were glowing about him, so no problem.Its fair to say he will have an argument but he wants to win and Ive got no problem with that. The people Ive spoken to, who had him before, had no issues at all.I always check up and all the reports I came back with were nothing but positive. Hes got himself into this situation because hes had a row with someone, but how often have we seen that?(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Damian Spellman, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'af23bf70-3a9d-40e9-9071-c60d9bb420c9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Bruce says double loan swoop shows Newcastle still have pull in transfer market'});

January 24th 2020, 5:49 pm

Erling Braut Haaland continues remarkable scoring run as Dortmund thrash Cologne

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Erling Braut Haaland came off the bench to score twice as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Cologne 5-1 to move up to third place in the Bundesliga.Haaland had started as a substitute despite scoring a hat-trick on his debut at Augsburg last Saturday.But the Norwegian, who had been linked with a move to Manchester United, made a dramatic late impression with a brace in the final 13 minutes to seal an emphatic win.Welcome to the show pic.twitter.com/AxX61LZxWZ Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) January 24, 2020Raphael Guerreiro had put Dortmund ahead inside the opening minute after a neat cut-back by Jadon Sancho, and Marco Reus doubled the lead on the half-hour mark.Sancho got on the scoresheet three minutes into the second half and after Mark Uth pulled one back for the visitors, Haaland emerged to continue his stunning run of form.Dortmunds victory moved them back up to third place in the Bundesliga table, level on points with Bayern Munich and four behind leaders RB Leipzig.Ante Rebic scored the only goal as Milan beat Brescia (Luca Bruno/AP)Ante Rebic also came off the bench to score the only goal as Milan moved up to sixth place in Serie A with a hard-fought 1-0 win at struggling Brescia.Ernesto Torregrossa and Dimitri Bisoli both missed fine chances to give the hosts the lead before Rebic struck in the 71st minute to hand his side their fourth straight win in all competitions.Third-placed Rennes failed to make significant ground on Marseille in Ligue 1 as they were held to a 1-1 draw in Nice.81 Flaviennnnn ! Premier but de Flavien Tait en Rouge et Noir synonyme dgalisation.#OGCNSRFC : 1-1 pic.twitter.com/4li5lNlvSb Stade Rennais F.C. (@staderennais) January 24, 2020Kasper Dolberg put the home side in front two minutes after the interval but after Mbaye Niang hit the woodwork, Flavien Tait grabbed a point for the visitors nine minutes from time.Ruben Garcias 81st-minute penalty and a later strike from Inigo Perez gave Osasuna a 2-0 win over Levante in their mid-table battle in LaLiga.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7f4ae7fb-c489-44f7-a1de-7bbc96ca43f6'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Erling Braut Haaland continues remarkable scoring run as Dortmund thrash Cologne'});

January 24th 2020, 5:49 pm

Bournemouth hope magic of Harry Potter can conjure up FA Cup progress

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Eddie Howe hopes Bournemouths squad can harness the wizardry of a Harry Potter actor in order to conjure some FA Cup magic.James Phelps, who plays Fred Weasley in the fantasy film series, was a special guest at the Cherries training ground this week.Ahead of Mondays fourth-round tie at home to Arsenal, 33-year-old Phelps posed for photos with Potterheads Ryan Fraser and Nathan Ake. View this post on Instagram Big Harry Potter fan so was a pleasure to meet @jamesphelps_pictures Wandering around the club todayA post shared by Ryan Fraser (@ryanfraser94) on Jan 23, 2020 at 8:52am PSTBournemouth boss Howe waved his magic wand as his side ended their Premier League hoodoo by beating Brighton on Tuesday evening and he is keen to exploit any possible advantage, including help from the supernatural world.He said: I didnt know too much about it to be honest its not like we were looking for some wizardry to come in and make a difference to us!I think its something thats just happened, a little bit by coincidence but if there is any magic to be had, well take it.I should lie, but Ive never actually seen a Harry Potter movie, so I apologise. I cant say whether hes any good or not Ive got no idea.Eddie Howe has admitted he has not seen a Harry Potter film (Mark Kerton/PA)Film fans Fraser and Ake each posted pictures of themselves with Phelps on Instagram, while goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale expressed displeasure at being excluded from the impromptu photocall.The struggling Cherries remain in the relegation zone on goal difference following the much-needed midweek success against the Seagulls, which was only their second in 13 top-flight fixtures and ended a six-match winless streak.Im not sure how many celebrity supporters we have around the world, so its nice to invite people in, continued Howe.We invite people in from many walks of life, people that need our support and help, people that have had a really tough time.And, of course, if theres someone we might think the lads might be interested in meeting or there might be some connection there, I think its nice to be able to do that.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ed Elliot, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '64d385f5-9e9a-4847-9e32-504adbcf6f0f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Bournemouth hope magic of Harry Potter can conjure up FA Cup progress'});

January 24th 2020, 5:49 pm

Shrewsbury striker hopes to realise Lang-held dream of scoring against Liverpool

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As an Everton fan, Shrewsbury striker Callum Lang grew up dreaming about scoring against Liverpool. On Sunday, he will try to dump Jurgen Klopps world and European champions out of the FA Cup.For the 21-year-old Lang, on a season-long loan at Montgomery Waters Meadow from Wigan, the fourth-round tie will be personal.From sitting in the stands watching Liverpool knock out the blues in the 3rd round to playing against them in the 4th round pic.twitter.com/GsgQYv5fTq Callum Lang (@callumlang10) January 14, 2020Lang was at Anfield when a youthful Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 in the third round three weeks ago his suffering enhanced as he was made to sit amid the home fans with his girlfriends family but the result gives him a chance to face a club whose academy he once played in. Lang was 10 when he joined Liverpools academy, playing alongside the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold in their development teams, but he was at least spared from having to pull on a red shirt.In the development squad you wore your own kit, Lang said. I wore an England kit to keep it safe. I didnt have it in me to wear the Everton kit. My dad wanted me to wear it, but England was safer.Despite his Everton connections, Lang admitted it was still a brutal day when he was released by Liverpool.When you get let go, you are gutted, he said. Youre crying like every kid is when they get released. Straight after that I went to Bolton and the same thing happened. LIVERPOOL: We are now sold out of tickets for the @EmiratesFACup game with @LFC , @STFC_Tickets are keeping a waiting list in case any tickets become available, if you want to go on it email tickets@shrewsburytown.co.uk or pop down #salop pic.twitter.com/1blqCT31bP Shrewsbury Town FC (@shrewsweb) January 23, 2020As a kid your dream is to play football and it was looking like it wasnt going to happen, but I went to Wigan and they gave me a contract straight away.Lang has since spent time out on loan at Morecambe and last season was at Oldham, where he wrote FA Cup headlines with the winner over then Premier League club Fulham in the third round.That is probably the highlight of my career so far, Lang said. It was such a big game and I had all my family there. The way the game went, from 1-0 down to getting the equaliser, scoring the penalty and then scoring late, it was just the way it worked. It is a moment I will never forget. I still look at the video all the time.Lang admitted last season had been a strange one, with Oldham sacking Frankie Bunn before Paul Scholes brief, ill-fated spell in charge, but one he feels helped him develop.Lang says his goal at Fulham is the highlight of his career so far (John Walton/PA)His season-long loan at Shrewsbury has been hampered by a metatarsal injury which sidelined him for three months, returning in early January, but he is looking to take further steps under Sam Ricketts, who has his own ideas for Langs development.This is only my assessment but I think hes very similar to Diogo Jota at Wolves, said Ricketts, who has encouraged Lang to study videos of the Portugal forward.He can play in a top two or drop into a three, he can go wide. Hes a goalscorer but hes quick. Theyre very, very similar players. Not big in height, in stature, but a nuisance to play against. Langy is very similar. Now Lang is hoping to be a thorn in the side for Liverpool this weekend. As a kid all I dreamed of was coming off the bench and scoring a little header last minute against Liverpool at Goodison or Anfield.Obviously if I can do it here that would be just as special. It is such a special moment for the club and Im sure it will give me the same sort of feeling doing it in a Shrewsbury shirt as it would an Everton one. It is the stuff of dreams as a kid and a moment I have thought of since I was a boy.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ian Parker, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '37b3ebd1-05a5-4eb1-9489-ba1fd30c276f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Shrewsbury striker hopes to realise Lang-held dream of scoring against Liverpool'});

January 24th 2020, 5:49 pm

Klopp: This is no time to party

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Liverpool may be having an outstanding season but manager Jurgen Klopp insists there is no party in his mind.The Reds are 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand, needing nine more victories to guarantee a first title in 30 years, having dropped just two points so far.They are also in the last 16 as they look to defend their Champions League crown and have a fourth-round FA Cup tie at Sky Bet League One club Shrewsbury to look forward to on Sunday. on the #PL table pic.twitter.com/EECyDva9dR Premier League (@premierleague) January 24, 2020But despite all the plaudits coming their way, Klopp said this was not the time to be celebrating.There is no 10 per cent party in my mind, no 15 per cent, no eight per cent, there is just no party, he said.After the game (Thursdays 2-1 win at Wolves) we had these little meetings where I tell the boys what I think and, to be honest, I had to remind myself to say, congratulations, the result was outstanding.We have no time to make assessments, we analyse our next opponent and then we go in.It is not that we forget what we have to do better. We are all happy with each other, obviously; in a good place, that is clear, and we were in a good place last year and the year before when we didnt win anything.Good morning, Reds pic.twitter.com/CLhFeg3XPH Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 24, 2020We just like working together, working together on improvement and there is still a lot to improve. That is our life.Anyone in the past who looked like they would win something and then stopped never got rewarded in history.I dont think about (it) but I think if I look back, it makes sense after the last game, whichever that game will be as we are still in two cup competitions.Klopp will rest most of his first-team stars for the fourth-round trip to Shrewsbury but does not underestimate their League One hosts. | Sam Ricketts previews Town's fourth-round FA Cup tie with Liverpool. | Win, lose or draw we want to leave the pitch knowing we gave it our all." #Salop Shrewsbury Town FC (@shrewsweb) January 24, 2020Of course it is tough, thats the really good thing of a cup competition, he added.Shrewsbury qualified in a difficult game, having to play twice, and have been looking forward to this game since they qualified and they knew before that we would be the opponent.The lower-league team playing at their home ground is an advantage, hopefully the pitch will be OK I have no idea so far about any circumstances.That is proper cup and I like that. Is it a test? Yes, maybe, but it is not like I test the players, it is a test in general as you play against a team who fights the fight of their life and we have to show how important the next round is to us.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Carl Markham, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'fed87b36-2127-4d01-8133-ba06c98f1987'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Klopp: This is no time to party'});

January 24th 2020, 5:49 pm

Matty Kennedy joins Aberdeen for undisclosed fee

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St Johnstone have confirmed winger Matty Kennedy has joinedAberdeen for an undisclosed fee.The 25-year-old had alreadyagreed a pre-contract to move to Pittodrie in the summer but the Dons have now secured his services with immediate effect.Kennedy, who has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, could make his Dons debut against St Mirren on Sunday.Boss Derek McInnes told Aberdeens official website: Im pleased we managed to reach an agreement with St Johnstone to bring Matty to the club now.He is the type of player who can really help make the difference for us.The loss of Kennedy is a major blow to St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright after Murray Davidson was ruled out for at least six weeks after breaking his arm on Thursday.Saints earlier confirmed the pre-contract signing of Jamie McCart but Wright is no closer to strengthening his squad immediately.Centre-back McCart, 22, has made 62 appearances for Inverness since moving to the Highlands from Celtic in the summer of 2018.Wright hopes to sign him this month but may have to wait until the summer.Midfielder Ross Callachan was allowed to move to Dundee this month but Wright is yet to make a signing after pinpointing an experienced defender as a priority before the new year.Speaking to BBC Scotland on Friday morning, Wright said:Im not going to give false hope. I could say everything is going rosy, but we have lost out on loads of players over the last few weeks.We are not close to getting anyone. I am looking to bring in, but I have got nothing. Im sitting here with a week to go and I have got nothing lined up. It is still seen to be players out before we can get players in.If people dont like me saying it, that is tough, but that is where we are. It is a reality of the situation, but I am hardly over the moon with it.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '79c30a5d-4d0c-4881-b1e2-9d07fe2596ed'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Matty Kennedy joins Aberdeen for undisclosed fee'});

January 24th 2020, 5:06 pm

Derby and Northampton play out drab goalless draw in FA Cup fourth round

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Wayne Rooney could not inspire Derby to FA Cup victory against Sky Bet League Two Northampton as the pair face a fourth-round replay at Pride Park following a forgetful Friday night tie.The former England skipper was a surprise inclusion for the Rams but failed to captain his new club to a place in round five as Keith Curles Northampton created the better chances of a 0-0 draw.Charlie Goode should have been sent off early on at a sold-out PTS Academy Stadium but, after a poor decision from the referee, he was handed a reprieve and made the most of it by dominating the defence.Rooney, captaining a much-changed Derby side as one of only three players to retain their place from the Sky Bet Championship win over Hull, was always going to be the star attraction against the lowest-ranked team left in this years competition.Only Ian Rush and Frank Lampard have been more prolific in the post-war FA Cup era than Rooney, who has 22 goals, but these days he is deployed in a deep-seated midfield role.The 34-year-old left Manchester United in 2017 as the clubs all-time leading goalscorer and it was the Red Devils who stood in the way the last time Northampton got as far as the fifth round.That was 50 years ago and on that day it was another maverick, George Best, who would steal the show as he scored six times as United sealed a 8-2 win.But, looking to match their 1970 counterparts, it was the hosts who almost took the lead with less than five minutes on the clock, a deep corner leading to a goalmouth scramble which ultimately saw Vadaine Olivers strike bouncing behind off the crossbar.Referee Darren England had the Derby bench up in arms as Jack Marriott was hauled back by Charlie Goode as the last man, with the official not even awarding a free-kick for the misdemeanour.In terms of actual chances, it was still Northampton creating the vast majority, Andy Williams with a fine turn and shot which flashed just wide of Kelle Roos goal after 25 minutes.Most of Derbys early opportunities were blocked before getting anywhere near David Cornell in the hosts goal, with Chris Martin the next man to be denied by brave Northampton defending.The rest of the half passed with little incident, with Derby then making a stronger start after the interval as Rooneys corner was headed inches over the top by Curtis Davies.The former Hull defender, who scored for the Tigers in their 3-2 FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal in 2014, came close with another header soon after before Jason Knight forced a decent stop out of Cornell.Northampton were still causing trouble, Goode heading over a decent chance, Chris Lines sending a strike in the same direction soon after and Matt Warburton bending wide.Rooney, fresh from a lung-bursting defensive run, almost scored directly from a late corner but there was no late goal to settle the tie and the pair will both enter Mondays draw for the last 16.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '6b799306-f6a9-456f-a844-28a56b84c00c'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Derby and Northampton play out drab goalless draw in FA Cup fourth round'});

January 24th 2020, 5:06 pm

FPL managers go large on chips

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With an extra fixture for Liverpool and West Ham creating the first double gameweek of the Fantasy Premier League season, over one million bosses used one of their five chips this week.The use of 625,930 triple captain tokens easily surpassed the previous high for a single chip this season, set all the way back in gameweek 4, when 429,973 people tore up their teams with a wildcard and started again.TRIPLE CAPTAIN CHIPS #DGW24270,144 Mane220,121 Salah81,456 Alexander-Arnold26,636 Firmino12,717 Van Dijk#WOLLIV #FPL pic.twitter.com/sS8cczKCK5 Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) January 23, 2020For the 270,144 who went for Sadio Mane, the move did not go quite to plan as he limped off in the first half of Liverpools win over Wolves.But if you have so far kept your powder dry, when should you turn to your triple captain and the other tools at your disposal?Triple CaptainMo Salah was a popular triple captain choice for gameweek 24 (Nick Potts/PA)Whilst an outing against an injury-ravaged team at the foot of the table might seem like a tempting time to triple one of your players scores, you are probably better off waiting for another double gameweek.This seasons 10 highest scoring players average 7.0 points per appearance in the matches identified as the easiest by the Fixture Difficulty Ratings but they still score 5.9 in the toughest matches.This means that you could reasonably expect them to score five points higher in a pair of tricky ties than you would in a single straight forward match.Free HitTeams continued involvement in the FA Cup could create the perfect conditions to use your free hit later in the season (Steven Paston/PA)There are currently no teams who are due to play more than one match in a single gameweek but the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the FA Cup and the final of the EFL Cup all clash with Premier League fixtures.As a result, the teams still involved in those cups will need their league fixtures to be rescheduled, creating double gameweeks.This week sees extra fixtures for just two clubs but the pileup at the end of the season almost always leads to a bonanza round where more than half of the league get two bites at the apple.In such a week, the use of your free hit could allow you to field a full team of players who could get up to 180 minutes on the pitch.Bench BoostIts important to choose your substitutes wisely before using your bench boost (Joe Giddens/PA)The one chip which doesnt have quite the same benefits in a double gameweek is bench boost.It might be theoretically possible to cobble together a squad of 15 who are all playing twice but there will only be a finite number of double gameweeks and you can only deploy one of your weapons in any single week.The main thing to consider when playing your bench boost is to plan your transfers so that you have a full complement of regular starters.Picking a cheap benchwarmer like David Button in any other week saves you money that you can spend elsewhere but when your subs add to your overall total, you will need to downgrade one of your outfield players to free up the cash for a keeper who will actually get on the pitch.WildcardUsing your wildcard allows you to introduce a number of new signings who may or may not prove prolific scorers for your team (Owen Humphreys/PA)You get two wildcards per season but even if you have one of them left at your disposal, you are showing more restraint than most.Removing the penalties for any transfers over and above your free ones, your wildcard can be used to rejig your squad in the wake of injuries but it can also be used to pave the way for other chips.For example, you cant play two chips in the same week but you could play your wildcard in gameweek 32 with an eye on how you might bench boost in gameweek 33.It is even possible to craft a masterplan which involves a sequence of three or more chips in a row but you definitely dont want to find yourself playing one in the final week, just for the sake of it, because you spent too long overthinking your moves.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Pete Fabianski, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e6186972-feb8-4821-903e-6a72ccba21bf'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'FPL managers go large on chips'});

January 24th 2020, 4:36 pm

Hearts complete loan move for Barnsley defender Toby Sibbick

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Hearts have announced the signing of Barnsleydefender Toby Sibbick on loan until the end of the season, subject tointernational clearance.The move reunites the 20-year-old with Jambos bossDaniel Stendel, who signedSibbickfrom AFC Wimbledon when he was in charge at Oakwell last summer.Sibbick, who has made 18 Championship appearances for Barnsley, could make his Hearts debut in Sundays clash with Rangers.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '4afcf151-4acb-4a12-9814-b471e3131a63'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hearts complete loan move for Barnsley defender Toby Sibbick'});

January 24th 2020, 3:36 pm

Stendel hopes to have two new players in Hearts squad for clash with Rangers

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Hearts manager Daniel Stendel is hopeful of having two new players in his squad for Sundays clash with Rangers.The Ladbrokes Premierships bottom club are understood to have agreed a fee with Burton for striker Liam Boyce and are closing in on his signing.The 28-year-old former Ross County forward has netted 14 goals for Burton this season but his contract is due to expire in the summer.Hearts are also close to bringing in 20-year-old Barnsley defender Toby Sibbick, who Stendel signed for the Tykes from AFC Wimbledon last summer.When asked if he expected two new players, Stendel said: I hope so. We can talk about players when they sign a contract and I have no news at the moment. I expect that maybe one or two players sign a contract in the next time.You can see, especially in the last third, we need some different players.Meanwhile, former Hearts midfielder Glenn Whelan has signed for Joey Bartons Fleetwood after his Tynecastle contract was terminated during the winter break.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9e38d90c-7bf7-4abf-ae12-920a8294e97e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Stendel hopes to have two new players in Hearts squad for clash with Rangers'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

Michael Smith and Aaron Hickey expected for be absent for Hearts

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Hearts full-backs Michael Smith and Aaron Hickey have been given little chance of recovering from injury in time to face Rangers on Sunday.But Sean Clare returns from suspension for the Ladbrokes Premiership bottom club.Peter Haring remains sidelined with pelvic trouble and both Jamie Brandon and Callumn Morrison are still out.Alfredo Morelos serves the final game of his three-game ban for Rangers.Skipper James Tavernier is also unavailable to face Hearts after an appendix operation. Greg Stewart is ruled out with a calf strain but could be back to face Ross County next week.Filip Helander has been able to dispense with his crutches but Steven Gerrard is not expecting to see the Swede back from his foot injury any time soon.Hearts provisional squad: Pereira, White, Halkett, Dikamona, Souttar, Bozanic, MacLean, Meshino, Damour, Ikpeazu, Naismith, Walker, Henderson, Irving, Moore, Avdijaj, Garuccio, Zlamal.Rangers provisional squad: McGregor, Patterson, Flanagan, Halliday, Barisic, Edmundson, Goldson, Katic, Jack, Davis, Aribo, Kamara, Arfield, Barker, Jones, Kent, Ojo, Defoe, Kennedy, Foderingham.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7d70bc33-cff5-454c-aac6-6d717f599a8f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Michael Smith and Aaron Hickey expected for be absent for Hearts'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

St Johnstone confirm pre-contract signing of Jamie McCart

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St Johnstone have confirmed the pre-contract signing of Jamie McCart but Matty Kennedy appears to be on his way out and manager Tommy Wright is no closer to strengthening his squad immediately.Centre-back McCart, 22, has made 62 appearances for Inverness since moving to the Highlands from Celtic in the summer of 2018.Wright hopes to sign him this month but may have to wait until the summer, and reports claim Aberdeen are set to announce the immediate transfer of Kennedy having already confirmed a pre-contract deal for the winger.The loss of Kennedy would be a major blow to Wright after Murray Davidson was ruled out for at least six weeks after breaking his arm on Thursday.Another midfielder, Ross Callachan, was allowed to move to Dundee this month but Wright is yet to make a signing after pinpointing an experienced defender as a priority before the new year.Speaking to BBC Scotland on Friday morning, Wright said:Im not going to give false hope. I could say everything is going rosy, but we have lost out on loads of players over the last few weeks.We are not close to getting anyone. I am looking to bring in, but I have got nothing. Im sitting here with a week to go and I have got nothing lined up, it is still seen to be players out before we can get players in.If people dont like me saying it, that is tough, but that is where we are. It is a reality of the situation, but I am hardly over the moon with it.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '723ea650-c548-467d-a680-5ca67e150224'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'St Johnstone confirm pre-contract signing of Jamie McCart'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

England Women captain Steph Houghton extends Manchester City contract

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England Women captain Steph Houghton has signed a new contract with Super League leaders Manchester City.Houghton has extended her tenure at the club by two years, keeping her a part of the squad until the end of the 2021-22 campaign.The centre-back has captained the Blues to three Continental Cups, two FA Cups and a league title, plus consecutive Womens Champions League semi-finals.My only thought was to have my future here for the next few years and Im really happy. @stephhoughton2We are delighted to announce club captain Steph Houghton has penned a new deal until the 2021/22 season! #ManCity pic.twitter.com/fyFWaQRvqz Manchester City (@ManCity) January 24, 2020Im really delighted, she told the clubs official website. Ive been here for six years and Ive been made to feel at home this is my club and Ive enjoyed so many amazing memories here so far, winning trophies and with the players Ive played with and manager Ive worked under.Ive seen the club from the beginning back when we only had five professional players and Ive seen the club grow to be the best club in England and if not Europe.I came here with the intention of winning trophies, bettering myself as an individual and a player, playing for a team who plays good football and could be the best in England. I believe this club can go as far as it wants to go.England captain Houghton has been at the club since 2014 (Richard Sellers/PA)Houghton, 31, first joined City in 2014 and has since made 160 appearances in between leading the Lionesses to a World Cup bronze medal in 2015 and gaining an MBE for services to football in 2016.I really feel theres more to come from myself, she continued. This is the right club for me to continue to improve and I feel Im in the best physical shape Ive ever been in. Every time I go out onto the training pitch, I have more energy and enthusiasm, and I want to learn.Even though Im a little older and I was when I first came its important to have the drive to be the best. Ive certainly got that. pic.twitter.com/TGxNCYLcrV Manchester City (@ManCity) January 24, 2020Head of womens football Gavin Makel recognised Houghtons pivotal role in the success of the team, adding:We are thrilled that Steph has committed her future to Manchester City.She has been an integral member of not only the team, but the club as a whole since our reformation six years ago and her efforts go well beyond her performances on the pitch.Her leadership skills are second to none and she never fails to amaze everybody here at Manchester City with her passion, drive and hunger to improve.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3c0d2f65-39ea-4e45-bd8e-be3f4302fb87'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'England Women captain Steph Houghton extends Manchester City contract'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

Griffiths admits he likes nothing better than silencing his critics by scoring

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Leigh Griffiths admits he likes nothing better than shutting up his critics by scoring goals.But the Celtic striker is determined now to focus on himself and keep improving his fitness and form.The Scotland international reacted to comments from pundit and former Rangers striker Kris Boyd after netting in Celtics victory at Kilmarnock on Wednesday, putting his finger to his lips in response to comments claiming that his Parkhead career was on the line.The 29-year-old told Celtic TV: There is nothing better than critics watching the game and managing to shut them up with what I do best, which is scoring goals.Its always nice but I am trying to focus on myself and make sure I can stay in the starting XI and also get my fitness levels up.There has been a lot of talk of me going out on loan or getting sold but theres only one place I want to play and thats here. Thankfully I did myself justice out in Dubai and tried to carry that form on in training back here.Celtic complained about Boyds post-match comments and manager Neil Lennon pleaded for more compassion from people commenting on Griffiths, who missed the second half of last season with mental health problems.Griffiths said: Its not easy to come back from what Ive been through. To come back and to just manage to get back on a football pitch has been brilliant, but the support Ive had from the lads, the coaching staff and, most importantly, the fans has been brilliant.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7f1d10c0-00ba-412d-9476-bf7a4614248d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Griffiths admits he likes nothing better than silencing his critics by scoring'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

Leeds sign Ian Poveda from Manchester City

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Leeds have signed midfielder Ian Poveda from Manchester City on a permanent deal.The 19-year-old, who made one senior appearance for City in last seasons Carabao Cup win over Burton has signed a contract until 2024.Poveda becomes Leeds second signing of the January transfer window following the arrival of goalkeeper Elia Caprile from Chievo.Poveda told LUTV: I know Leeds won the league the year before it turned into the Premier League and I believe they should be back there.Im very excited to work under [Marcelo] Bielsa, I know he improves players and thats what Im looking to do under his guidance.Poveda could make his debut in Tuesday nights clash with Millwall as his new club bid to end a run of two consecutive Championship defeats.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ecdf975d-729f-4033-89aa-a38a589c24f3'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Leeds sign Ian Poveda from Manchester City'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

Eriksen ‘to travel to Southampton despite Inter Milan transfer reports’

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Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen is expected to travel to Southampton for Saturdays FA Cup match, despite reports suggesting he is about to sign for Inter Milan.Eriksen, whose contract expires in the summer, has been a target for the Serie A side this month, although they have struggled to agree a fee with Spurs.Reports in Italy on Friday suggested a deal has been struck and that the Denmark international will travel to the continent in the coming days.#mercato #Inter#Eriksen, ci siamo: luned si chiude https://t.co/AzujBI4VpY #serieA LaGazzettadelloSport (@Gazzetta_it) January 24, 2020However, the PA news agency understands unless there are significant developments in the next 24 hours, Eriksen is due to be part of Jose Mourinhos squad at St Marys.Despite constant speculation surrounding Eriksens future this month, which Mourinho described as a difficult situation, the Portuguese has still continued to involve the midfielder.He came on as a second-half substitute in Wednesdays 2-1 win over Norwich, but was booed by some fans who have been unhappy at the Danes supposed lack of commitment this season.Having said he wanted to leave in the summer for a fresh challenge, his performance levels have dropped, especially after he failed to secure a move in the summer transfer window.Mourinho sympathised with Eriksens situation recently, saying: If you ask me if I think this is the best Christian I have to be honest and say no.Wantaway Dane Eriksen was involved at Watford last weekend (Nigel French/PA)If you ask me if I know the reasons, I am not an idiot, I am in football for many years and know clearly a player in this situation is not a player that is even if he wants.I am not blaming or criticising the player, I am just saying it is normal a player in this situation doesnt perform at the highest level.But I can also say that he is helping us in matches that he is playing with us.Inter have already signed Ashley Young from Manchester United and Victor Moses from Chelsea this month.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e9b54ff3-a27a-4e8b-b770-213f95a668c8'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Eriksen \u2018to travel to Southampton despite Inter Milan transfer reports\u2019'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

Broken arm rules Murray Davidson out for St Johnstone

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Murray Davidson is out of St Johnstones home Ladbrokes Premiership game against Kilmarnock.The 31-year-old has sustained a fracture to his left arm in training which will rule him out for a minimum of six weeks.Matty Kennedy appears to have played his last game for Saints with Aberdeen poised to take him to Pittodrie immediately.Rory McKenzie returns to the Kilmarnock squad.The Rugby Park attacker has recovered from a hamstring strain and is back in training.Striker Innes Cameron remains out of contention with a knee problem.St Johnstone provisional squad: Clark, Duffy, Ralston, Booth, Tanser, Vihmann, Gordon, Kerr, Holt, Swanson, Craig, McCann, Wright, OHalloran, Kane, May, Wotherspoon, Hendry, Parish.Kilmarnock provisional squad: Branescu, ODonnell, Hamalainen, Johnson, Bruce, Del Fabro, Dicker, Frizzell, Wilson, El Makrini, Brophy, McKenzie, Bunn, Burke, St Clair, Kiltie, Kabamba, Hendrie, Koprivec.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '29d4e114-c09d-4677-82a6-dc8d50fbc545'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Broken arm rules Murray Davidson out for St Johnstone'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

George Oakley and Brian Easton sidelined for Hamilton

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George Oakley (hamstring) and Brian Easton (foot) have joined Hamiltons injury list ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with Livingston.But on-loan Crystal Palace defender Sam Woods could make his debut while goalkeeper Luke Southwood has returned to club for a second loan stint from Reading.David Moyo, Aaron McGowan, Jamie Hamilton, Ciaran McKenna and Ryan Fulton remain on the sidelines.Ryan Schofield is set to replace Ross Stewart on the bench for Livingston after the goalkeeper joined Queen of the South on loan.Cece Pepe and Nicky Devlin are back running after injury but not ready to feature for the visitors.Livingston midfielder Craig Sibbald signed a new two-year contract on the eve of the game.Hamilton provisional squad: Southwood, Fon Williams, Fjortoft, Woods, Hunt, McMann, Want, Gogic, Alston, Martin, Ogkmpoe, Miller, Dales, Davies, Collar, Smith, Winter, Cunnningham.Livingston provisional squad: McCrorie, McMillan, Lamie, Guthrie, Lithgow, Brown, Taylor-Sinclair, Odoffin, Bartley, Lawless, Crawford, Jacobs, Lawson, Sibbald, Pittman, Robinson, Dykes, Erskine, Souda, Tiffoney, Schofield.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '48c83769-e689-4f55-a688-965c4999e2c5'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'George Oakley and Brian Easton sidelined for Hamilton'});

January 24th 2020, 3:06 pm

Hearts defender John Souttar hopeful injury problems are in the past

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John Souttar believes he is well equipped to hit the ground running after returning from injury to help Hearts relegation fight.The defender has helped Hearts keep clean sheets against Airdrie and Ross County after recovering from a five-month lay-off from an ankle problem.The centre-back knows he needs to get back to his best as quickly as possible with Hearts four points adrift at the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership following their draw in Dingwall.And he feels better able to do so after learning from previous lengthy lay-offs he had three months out last season and was missing for six months in 2017 after rupturing an Achilles.I know how to deal with it, the 23-year-old said. When I came back from my Achilles, it took me two or three months before I was back properly.But I have played two games in a week now and I have felt fine, not 100 per cent, it will take four or five games to be 100 per cent. But compared to the first comeback it was a lot better and thats credit to the sports scientists.Hearts are now unbeaten in three matches after Daniel Stendel lost his first four games in charge but face Rangers on Sunday.Souttar said: Obviously its not the ideal situation to come back into but I need to do everything I can to help the team.You can see signs the managers style of play is slowly coming. It wont happen overnight. There will probably be mistakes but we have to do it quickly.Weve not got loads of time, thats obvious to everyone, so we have got to hit the ground running.I thought we did well on Wednesday, there were signs of what he wants to do happening. There are still things we can improve on but we had chances. And maybe in previous games we werent really getting those chances.Souttar is also getting used to playing with a new central defensive partner in Craig Halkett after skipper Christophe Berra was sidelined by Stendel.Hes a good player, young like myself, and we are just trying to adapt to a different style and how the manager wants us to play, Souttar said.We have built ourselves on clean sheets and we have had two so far. Thats what we have got to do, build a solid base and make sure we dont concede a lot of goals.Just defend as well as we can for the team, and lets hope we can pick up a few wins doing that.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '55203c4d-ada4-41ce-9bcd-daa3d32f11a9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hearts defender John Souttar hopeful injury problems are in the past'});

January 24th 2020, 2:01 pm

Celtic recall midfielder Ewan Henderson from Ross County

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Ross County have been hit with a blow just 24 hours before facing Celtic after the Hoops opted to recall Ewan Henderson.The Parkhead youngster would not have been eligible to face his parent club in Glasgow on Saturday.But the decision to cancel his Staggies loan switch six months early will disappoint County bosses Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell.Celtic manager Neil Lennon was hoping the 19-year-old would pick up some valuable first-team experience in Dingwall.But after seeing him make just nine appearance and only six starts he called the arrangement off. Lennon said: Ewan has already played with us in a European qualifier so he will be around the first-team training for the rest of the season as I dont think we can loan him out to another club.Its great to see him back. He enjoyed the experience (at County). He played maybe not as much as wed have liked him to and thats something well look at in the future.Im not saying it was a bad loan. He got some decent experience but we would have liked him to have played more games.Meanwhile, Ferguson says his side have taken encouragement from Wednesdays goalless draw with Hearts. County were dumped out of the Scottish Cup by Ayr last weekend but dusted themselves down to claim a point off the Jambos.But Ferguson admits they will need to raise their levels again if they are to take anything away from Parkhead.He said: We feel better going into a game against the champions after Wednesday night than we did on Saturday, so thats a positive.The clean sheet was huge. The back four and goalkeeper will take a lot of credit for that but collectively we felt we defended really well as an XI and limited Hearts to very few chances.Well need to do that again at Celtic Park. Well need to do it more. Were under no illusions. Weve not done well against Celtic this season.But we feel we can definitely do better and thats what we aim to do.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '78d3bbc2-27d5-4c58-aa9f-a6134aeb4219'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Celtic recall midfielder Ewan Henderson from Ross County'});

January 24th 2020, 2:01 pm

Callum Whelan: Watford youngsters can learn form FA Cup defeat

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Watford midfielder Callum Whelan feels the clubs young players will have learnt a valuable lesson from the shock FA Cup defeat at Tranmere.A much-changed, and young, Hornets side were beaten 2-1 after extra-time by the Sky Bet League One side at Prenton Park on Thursday night.Whelan, though, insists the Under-23s players, who included goalscorer Kaylen Hinds, can only grow stronger from the experience.After making his first senior start for the club, Whelen, 21, said on the Watford offical website: Ive been working hard in training and waiting patiently for my chance.Im obviously gutted about the result, Im disappointed because we want to win every game that we play, but its nice to play 120 minutes and I think its a valuable lesson as well.The pitch, the crowd, its something I havent really experienced before, so despite the result I do think its a very good lesson that Ill learn from going forwards.Watford, who are battling to stay in the Premier League, confirmed on Friday evening left-back Marvin Zeegelaar had secured a permanent transfer to Udinese.The 29-year-old Dutchman featured 13 times after joining the Hornets in 2017, and returns to Italy having spent the second half of last season on loan with the Serie A side.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '219aa433-ebaf-468d-8127-a32420b66497'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Callum Whelan: Watford youngsters can learn form FA Cup defeat'});

January 24th 2020, 2:01 pm

Jeremie Frimpong misses out for Celtic against Ross County

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Jeremie Frimpong will be absent for Celtic when they host Ross County on Saturday as he continues to recover from Alan Powers tackle against Kilmarnock in midweek.The youngster has been sent for a scan after being stretchered off at Rugby Park but boss Neil Lennon is hopeful he will be back in action soon.Ryan Christie serves the third leg of his three-game ban against the Staggies while, Mohamed Elyounoussi (foot), Hatem Abd Elhamed (groin) and Nir Bitton (knock) are also out. James Forrest is back training after sitting out Wednesdays win at Killie.Ross County will have defender Liam Fontaine available again following suspension.But Ewan Henderson has played his last game on loan for the Staggies after being recalled by the Hoops.Oli Shaw has arrived from Hibernian to replace Brian Graham who has joined Partick Thistle while Ross Draper (knee), Ross Stewart (hamstring) and Tom Grivosti (foot) are still on the casualty list.Celtic provisional squad: Forster, Bauer, Hayes, Ajer, Bolingoli, Taylor, Ajer, Jullien, Brown, McGregor, Arzani, Rogic, Ntcham, Johnston, Forrest, Edouard, Bayo, Klimala, Griffiths, Gordon.Ross County provisional squad: Baxter, Foster, Fraser, Fontaine, Kelly, Donaldson, Morris, Watson, Cowie, Spittal, Paton, Chalmers, Mullin, Tillson, Reid, McKay, Erwin, Vigurs, Gardyne, Shaw, Laidlaw.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '2afb7481-c7da-4811-a1b4-f14ec20f5f46'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Jeremie Frimpong misses out for Celtic against Ross County'});

January 24th 2020, 2:01 pm

Griffiths thinks partnership with Edouard will blossom if Lennon sticks with it

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Celtics Leigh Griffiths believes his partnership with Odsonne Edouard will get stronger if boss Neil Lennon sticks with it.The Hoops boss has for the most part favoured the lone striker since he took over almost a year ago from Brendan Rodgers, who also preferred the spearhead, but since returning from the warm weather training camp in DubaiLennon has gone with a two-pronged approach.Griffiths scored in the 2-1 William Hill Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle last Saturday and both strikers notched in the 3-1 Ladbrokes Premiership victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Wednesday night.Ahead of the visit of Ross County on Saturday, Griffiths told Celtic TV: A couple of weeks ago we tried it out in training and it has kind of just blossomed from there really.The more chances we get to play as a duo the more it is going to work.We cant rest on that, we need to keep moving forward and keep winning games.As a striker you are going to be judged on goals and it is just about getting that opportunity to try and show that I can still do it at this level.People were thinking I was past it and it was time to move on but the more minutes I get under my belt, the sharper I feel and that can only benefit me and the rest of the squad.I had to put in that extra bit to try and catch the managers eye and show him that you still want to be part of the squad.There was a lot of talk of me going out on loan or maybe being sold.There is only one place I want to play and thats here and thankfully I have done myself justice in Dubai and tried to carry that form in training back here.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '886ca628-6d8a-4798-8f3e-9dbbd73199fb'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Griffiths thinks partnership with Edouard will blossom if Lennon sticks with it'});

January 24th 2020, 2:01 pm

Christopher Long and Jermaine Hylton doubts for Motherwell’s clash with Hibs

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Attackers Christopher Long (ankle) and Jermaine Hylton (illness) are doubts for Motherwells Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with Hibernian.Barry Maguire and Jamie Semple remain on the sidelines with knocks.Long-term absentees Charles Dunne (groin) and David Turnbull (knee) are also out.Hibernian have offloaded striker Olly Shaw to Ross County.The Scotland Under-21 ace had fallen out of favour with new boss Jack Ross and has been allowed to make his move to Dingwall.Defenders Jason Naismith and Ryan Porteous and midfielder Stevie Mallan (all knee) remain out.Motherwell provisional squad: Gillespie, Tait, Carroll, Grimshaw, Mugabi, Hartley, Gallagher, Donnelly, OHara, Polworth, Campbell, Seedorf, Ndjoli, Scott, Manzinga, Ilic, Long, Carson.Hibernian provisional squad: Marciano, Stevenson, James, Gray, Whittaker, McGregor, Jackson, Hanlon, Hallberg, Horgan, Allan, Doidge, Slivka, Boyle, Newell, Porteous, Kamberi, Omeonga, Bogdan.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9d241e7c-5e5d-4c12-926a-746cc2883853'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Christopher Long and Jermaine Hylton doubts for Motherwell\u2019s clash with Hibs'});

January 24th 2020, 2:01 pm

‘What’s the big boat that catches fish?’ – Watkins recalls famous Cantona speech

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Maurice Watkins can still remember the conversation with Eric Cantona which spawned the famous seagulls and trawlers speech that became one of the defining moments of the Frenchmans career.It was March 31, 1995, and Cantona had just had a 14-day custodial sentence reduced on appeal to community service following a kung-fu attack on Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons, which happened 25 years ago on Saturday.Both Cantona and Watkins, from 1984 to 2012 a Manchester United director and the clubs legal advisor, felt there was a need to say something to bring closure to the matter.Cantona is escorted off the pitch after lunging at a fan in the crowd at Selhurst Park (PA Archive)We sat down and drafted it out, Watkins told the PA news agency.Eric wrote it out and he checked the meaning of certain words, whats the big boat that catches fish? Whats the big bird that flies over the sea?The completed address, as most football followers will know, was: When seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.With that, Cantona strode out of the packed press conference, leaving Watkins facing row upon row of confused reporters.He had a drink of water, said his piece and then left me to explain it, Watkins says. But he didnt want me to explain it, and I didnt explain it, I felt it was quite clear. I said something to the effect of, I think that says it all. After the conference was over everyone was asking questions about it.It was interpreted as a dig at the press, with Cantona the trawler and the press pack the hungry seagulls.On January 25, 1995, Cantona had been sent off early in the second half of a Premier League match away to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. He kicked out at Palace defender Richard Shaw, seemingly unhappy with what he saw as a repeated fouls on him by the same opponent.As he left the pitch, Simmons ran down from the stands to abuse Cantona, who leapt right leg first over the advertising boards before following up with some punches.No one could quite believe what had happened, least of all Watkins.Palace supporter Matthew Simmons was the target of Cantonas kick (David Giles/PA)After the game I was asked to go down to the dressing room because there was some concern from the playing staff that there might be some action from the police, he said.We were keen to make sure we didnt miss our charter flight. We got on the flight and from what I can remember it was a subdued gathering.The United board suspended Cantona for the remainder of the 1994-95 season, before the Football Association extended the ban until September 1995.An ashen-faced Des Lynam opened that nights Sportsnight by saying: Two big Premiership games on Sportsnight tonight, and at one of them, some of the most extraordinary scenes witnessed at a football ground in this country.The moment was also immortalised on the cover of the Kung Fu single by indie band Ash later that year. So how does Watkins remember it?I think one legal periodical called it the most famous common assault in the history of the English legal system, he said.For me it was one of those unique experiences youd never have or be involved in again.Asked what would happen if a similar incident were to occur now, he replied: I suppose it would depend who does it, but theres only one Eric Cantona.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '9e4c0c33-aace-4ce5-969e-4a69d89c7fe9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': '\u2018What\u2019s the big boat that catches fish?\u2019 \u2013 Watkins recalls famous Cantona speech'});

January 24th 2020, 1:32 pm

Frank Lampard provides Tammy Abraham injury update and confirms striker interest

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Frank Lampard has admitted that he is keen to sign a new striker before the January transfer window closes next week.Chelsea's finishing let them down against 10-man Arsenal on Tuesday, with the Blues only able to draw 2-2 with their London rivals.Tammy Abraham hobbled off at the end of that match after injuring his ankle following a collision with an advertising hoarding.Lampard provided an update on the England international's fitness ahead of Saturday's clash with Hull in the fourth round of the FA Cup.And he also acknowledged the need to bring in another option up front before the end of the month, particularly if Olivier Giroud departs."The good news is he hasn’t fractured anything," Lampard said of Abraham."The other news is we still have to see how he develops. It's not a clear-cut one."He's not fit for the weekend, but whether he'll be fit for Leicester after that I'm still not sure. It's still not clear at the moment.“I think the impetus to bring in a striker or a player to get on the end of chances is there. The recent games have shown that. When you are creating 20 chances a game it is clear.“With Olivier it is the same situation. There has been contact from other clubs. He’s still our player.“There is choice. It’s not the ideal window, history has proven that. It is about getting the choice right. The club know my thoughts on it."It’s tough because you want to bring in players. There was demand to bring in players in January at Derby [Lampard's former club] as well. You are striving to bring in the best."Despite his desire to add a new forward to the ranks, Lampard insists he is not on the lookout for a new goalkeeper.Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a disappointing season and was arguably at fault for Hector Bellerin's equaliser on Tuesday."He will have to deal with that," Lampard said of the goalkeeper.That’s what being a footballer is about. There is spotlight on them."The important thing is not to get embroiled in what people are saying, not just Kepa but any player. I am not looking at strengthening that position now. Kepa knows and is honest that there have been some mistakes."READ MOREIt was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could considerThe paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 1:32 pm

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Takumi Minamino had a "super start" to his Premier League career

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Jurgen Klopp has praised TakumiMinamino for his performance in Thursday's 2-1 victory over Wolves.Goals from Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino re-established Liverpool's 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.Minamino entered the fray as a first-half substitute after Sadio Mane was taken off with a muscular injury.And Klopp says he was impressed by how the Japan international, who joined the club from Red Bull Salzburg earlier this month, handled the occasion on what was his first appearance in England's top tier."With Taki we have to think about what we do exactly now because yesterday he played much longer than we thought," he said when asked if Minamino might start against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup this weekend."But yesterday night was a big step for him. For nobody yesterday on the pitch was it a game like where you have to shine and make your best game ever and stuff like this."When you come in as a new player in this kind of a battle and then showing up like he did, not with his skills – what he obviously has in different departments of the game – [but] with his mentality and character."He was fighting like crazy and closed gaps, was involved in a lot of situations. That was just a super start, to be honest."Is it his 100% position? Yes, he can play that. How I said, he's pretty versatile so he can play different positions. For yesterday night, it was exactly what he had to do and he did it. That was much more important than the next game."I have to see how he reacted now on the intensity of that game – I don't know him long enough in this part, so we have to see. But each game helps for sure."He's exactly the player we expected to get – super, super boy, super player."You saw so many things of his ability last night. This game last night was a proper fight and he was completely ready for that."For him, [it's] still kind of a new environment with a new team and then really adapting. From a tactical point of view, it was an outstanding game. That's what we see in training."In training then we see, of course, more of all the finishing stuff, the creating stuff. It's just the player we wanted and now he's ours."READ MOREIt was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could considerThe paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 1:32 pm

Paul Ince says Manchester United got "sucked in" to appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent man

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Paul Ince believes Manchester United should never have appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a permanent basis.United handed Solskjaer a full-time contract last March after he achieved some impressive results as interim boss.However, the Red Devils have largely struggled since then, and currently sit six points adrift of the top four.United suffered their eighth defeat of the Premier League season against Burnley on Wednesday.And Ince believes executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward acted too hastily in giving Solskjaer the permanent job."I don’t think the ownership is going to change, the Glazers, I think they’re here for quite a while," the former United midfielder toldBT Sport.“I think Ed Woodward needs to change, he’s done ever so well for United from a commercial point of view, bringing money into the club, merchandise, that kind of stuff.“But when you talk about bringing in quality players, players that are going to take this club forward, we’ve seen the players he’s brought in.“[Marcos] Rojo, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, [Morgan] Schneiderlin, people like that. These aren’t players [that make a difference].“He needs to take a back seat. We talk about Michael Edwards at Liverpool who is their football director. Most of the clubs in the league have one. It’s the way European clubs have always been.“For some reason at Man United we’ve decided we don’t need one. I said at the start and I’ll say it again, too many people got sucked into the fact he [Solskjaer] had such a good start when they won 14 out of 19 games that he was the man for the job.“He was an interim manager. They had plenty of time to wait until the end of the season, do their research, see who was out there, but they all got sucked into it.“The crowd got sucked into it and so did the owners. You’re talking about a manager who took Cardiff down, went to Molde.“The CV’s not great from that point of view. I want Ole to do well, if he does well Man United do well.“But they haven’t done their homework properly and that comes from Woodward so maybe he’s the one who should step back and bring in someone else who knows about the football game.”United face Tranmere in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.READ MOREIt was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could considerThe paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 1:32 pm

Dimitar Berbatov urges Manchester United to complete loan signing of Carlos Tevez

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Dimitar Berbatov has called on Manchester United to re-sign Carlos Tevez on loan this month.Tevez was linked with a sensational return to Old Trafford earlier this week after Marcus Rashford was ruled out for three months with a double stress fracture in his back.And Berbatov believes his former United team-mate, who currently plies his trade with Boca Juniors, could help United get back on track."There have been reports linking Carlos Tevez back to United on loan, I say why not?! When you have these loan deals it's good to get someone who knows the place, knows the situation of the club and the fans," he toldBetfair."Of course, he went to Man City but I'm sure the fans would welcome him back. If there is some truth in the story then it's something that needs to be carefully thought about, the pros and cons need to be weighed up. But, if there's no other option, this could be the right one."In the dressing room, he was quiet, a bit like me, but that's not always important. We all saw what he was like on the pitch, he would run like crazy, fight for his team, score goals and he would never give up until the final whistle and you could say that is what United need now."There's no one in the team that can bully someone from the opposition like Tevez, or Roy Keane, who would also rip your throat out if you didn't work hard for the team. Maybe they do need Carlos Tevez for that reason, he always had that quality of shouting and fighting for the team."When he made the switch to City I didn't pay much attention to it and I don't think many others did. It was a professional business way of doing things, yes he went to our rivals but it was his decision and we all said good luck to him."As a professional, I respected all my team-mates and players that I played against, so whatever they did was their own business. You need to respect and admire someone that plays for their club and gives everything for them. Many players have switched allegiances throughout their careers and I don't think it's a big deal in modern football anymore."United face Tranmere in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.READ MOREIt was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could considerThe paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 1:32 pm

Robby McCrorie refusing to get carried away at Livingston

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Robby McCrorie is focusing on improving game by game for Livingston rather than having one eye on challenging for the Rangers goalkeeping jersey.The 21-year-old kept a clean sheet on his Ladbrokes Premiership debut in Wednesdays victory over St Johnstone after swapping a loan spell at Queen of the South for Livi.The Scotland Under-21 international had previous loan spells with Berwick and Morton and saw the latest move as an ideal opportunity to progress his career.With Allan McGregor signed up at Ibrox until the end of next season, McCrorie is not getting ahead of himself.Obviously its the same league but to be honest you cant look too far ahead in football, he said. I just need to concentrate on Livingston and go game by game and try to be consistent.Hopefully come the end of the season I can be in a good place.I must admit Im very thankful to Queens, they gave me a chance of playing games every week. I loved it there but this was an opportunity for me, playing in the Premiership, that I couldnt turn down.Its a chance for me to learn even more. I want to test myself and Rangers were happy with it as long as I was happy with it. Its hard for Queens but it was done respectfully.Im happy with the start but theres still stuff I can tidy up on during the game, small details. I will look to do that game by game and try to get better.McCrorie is following in the footsteps of former goalkeeping colleague Liam Kelly, who had a positive loan spell at Livingston before leaving Rangers to sign for the West Lothian club. QPR bought him halfway through his two-year contract.After everything was done, I gave him a wee phone call, McCrorie said. Liam obviously done great here.He told me what its about here. I got an inkling on Tuesday anyway, its a real tight-knit group, from the coaching staff too, everyone is in it together, and I think you can see that on the pitch.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '788f48c5-f685-4dcf-a6bb-f17244d7e840'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Robby McCrorie refusing to get carried away at Livingston'});

January 24th 2020, 12:17 pm

Derek McInnes insists character not a problem in his Aberdeen squad

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Derek McInnes backed his players character as he looked for Aberdeen to bounce back against St Mirren on Sunday.Dons fans were far from happy with the 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership defeat to Motherwell at Pittodrie on Wednesday night.The Steelmen took a grip on third place as they moved four points clear of the Granite City club with a Liam Donnelly goal.McInnes watched the game back and saw positives and ahead of the trip to Paisley, he told REDTV:We need players who have to deal with that side of things and take responsibility.I have always tried to bring players into the club who can deal with that expectation and demand that when you are losing at home, that you still have the confidence andresponsibility to get on the ball and I thought we had that.Our passing stats, our control of the game in the second half reinforces exactly what I thought.I dont think the performance was as poor as people were saying.It counts for nothing because the most important stat is the goals so I am not entirely happy but I am happy with the responsibility of my players.No one could question my players effort, they gave absolutely everything to try and get a result.If you lose a home game, you get the fall-out but we have another game on Sunday and hopefully we can go and win that one.McInnes, who is confident of adding to his squad before Sunday, remains positive about the second half of the season.He said: We dont like where we are in the league, we want to be higher.Obviously, you look at the Old Firm and third is where we would want to try and be.But there are no guarantees, you see other clubs, Hibs and Hearts, with similar resources, there are no guarantees you should be up there but Motherwell and ourselves have been consistent enough, despite our injuries and our difficulties, have been consistent enough to get ourselves up there.But we want to try to push for more in the second-half of the season and hopefully any additions we can make can help us achieve third place and hopefully do well in the Scottish Cup.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c3dd9036-5fa7-42ae-99bb-f8d2a563e6d8'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Derek McInnes insists character not a problem in his Aberdeen squad'});

January 24th 2020, 12:17 pm

Lazaro prevented from making immediate Newcastle debut due to delayed paperwork

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Inter Milan winger Valentino Lazaro will have to wait for his Newcastle debut after finally completing his loan move on Friday afternoon.Head coach Steve Bruce had hoped to include the 23-year-old in his team along with fellow new arrival Nabil Bentaleb for Saturdays FA Cup fourth-round clash with League One Oxford at St James Park.However, the PA news agency understands there was a delay in processing the paperwork at the Italian end and he will not be available until next weekends Premier League fixture against Norwich.The Austria international was nevertheless delighted to have got his move until the end of the season.He told the clubs official website: Im very happy to be here and cant wait to meet all my team-mates, get out on the training pitch and hopefully get a lot of victories in the future.Ive only heard great things about the club. Ive had good talks with the coach, so I feel very happy to be here now. Those conversations convinced me that this is the right place for me to come.Bruce too was thrilled to have added the former Hertha Berlin player to his squad three days after landing Tottenham old boy Bentaleb on a similar basis.He said: Valentino is a quality player wholl add to us in attacking areas of the field, where we need to improve. He can play in a few positions, but he is a natural winger with an excellent delivery.We have worked hard to get him ahead of other clubs, so Im delighted with what weve done. Along with Nabil Bentaleb, hell give us strong options.The reinforcements have arrived in the nick of time with Bruces casualty list having lengthened once again in the wake of Tuesday nights remarkable 2-2 Premier League draw at Everton.Wing-back Emil Krafth is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage, while central defender Florian Lejeune, whose added-time double secured a point, suffered a groin injury.Bruce said: Emil, unfortunately, is going to miss the next six weeks. He battled on valiantly the other night, but it was a bad challenge he came under and hes done his ankle ligaments.Flo picked up a groin injury scoring either the first one or the second one the other night.Newcastle will be roared on by a capacity crowd of 52,000 as they attempted to dispatch third-tier opposition for the second successive round, all the while conscious that Oxford dumped them out of the competition at the same stage three seasons ago.Alluding to Tranmeres third-round replay victory over top-flight Watford on Thursday night, Bruce said: Weve got to respect Oxford for what they are and they turned us over a couple of years ago, handsomely, and as we saw last night in the FA Cup so we must guard against that.But its a wonderful opportunity to get through.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Damian Spellman, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'eeed20f0-4d64-488a-b566-4aed0302baeb'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Lazaro prevented from making immediate Newcastle debut due to delayed paperwork'});

January 24th 2020, 11:47 am

Barcelona boss Quique Setien up for the challenge of Valencia

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Quique Setien insists he is ready to pass his latest test as Barcelona manager ahead of his sides trip to Valencia.The 61-year-old is poised for his third match in charge of the Spanish giants after overseeing a 1-0 LaLiga win against Granada last weekend, before Antoine Griezmann spared Barcas blushes with a late strike in a narrow 2-1 Copa Del Rey victory over minnows UD Ibiza.Setienwill now take his team to the Mestalla on Saturday, level on points with rivals Real Madrid at the summit of LaLiga.Barcelona have struggled away from the Nou Camp this season, dropping points at Athletic Bilbao, Osasuna, Granada, Levante, Real Sociedad and Espanyol. @QSetien on whether his first big test is Saturday against @valenciacf_en pic.twitter.com/w9ctsuENsf FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 24, 2020Meanwhile, Valencia are unbeaten at home in LaLiga this term, conceding just nine times in 10 appearances.But when asked if Saturdays match marked his first big test since taking over from the sacked Ernesto Valverde, Setien said on the clubs Twitter: My first big test was the game against Granada, and the second huge test was against Ibiza.I am not expecting any less from this game or the remaining matches.The opposition may be one of the top sides that you can face, but you have to pass tests every day. It is going to be a very high-level game, I am sure.Time to get d up for #ValenciaBara! FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 24, 2020Valencia are seventh in LaLiga, and will be looking to bounce back from their 4-1 away drubbing at Mallorca last time out.Setien added: It is true that when a side like Valencia loses their previous game then their desire to change that is an incentive.I am always expecting the best side, and Valencia are definitely a great side with very good players. They will make things very difficult for us.Maybe we have the possibility of doing them more damage, but they are also a team that can attack you and I am sure they will do that. Intenso entrenamiento a un da del #ValenciaBara en #Mestalla #AmuntValencia pic.twitter.com/u376NUUiVc Valencia CF (@valenciacf) January 24, 2020Valencia boss Albert Celades is set to welcome his former club back to the Mestalla.The 44-year-old was born in Barcelona before coming through the ranks of the academy and winning two LaLiga titles during his stay at the Nou Camp.Celades will be without key player Daniel Parejo who is suspended following his sending-off in Mallorca.It will be the first game that we cannot count on him, and we must adapt to the alternatives we have, said Celades.Everyone is aware that it is a very important casualty for us. He is a unique player, very good, we are lucky to have him, and everyone knows his importance. We will try to adapt to this new situation.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3e45fc54-12ac-407c-bff7-de0d9b24f5c9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Barcelona boss Quique Setien up for the challenge of Valencia'});

January 24th 2020, 11:17 am

Mellon plays down Prenton Park pitch concerns ahead of Man Utd clash

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Tranmere manager Micky Mellon played down concerns about the state of the Prenton Park pitch ahead of their FA Cup date against Manchester United, claiming: Good players can adapt and adjust to anything.Rovers booked a dream meeting against Ole Gunnar Solskjaers side on Sunday afternoon by overcoming Uniteds Premier League rivals Watford in their rescheduled third-round replay.A waterlogged pitch last week meant the Hornets clash had to be rearranged for Thursday night, where Tranmere progressed courtesy of a 2-1 win after extra-time on a playing surface where there were a number of bald patches, with both wings heavily sanded.Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon points out it will be the same pitch for both his side and Manchester United (Richard Sellers/PA)Matters are hardly likely to improve because of the short turnaround between the fixtures, but Mellon argued the condition of the pitch will benefit no one.People get confused and think theyve got to play on a different pitch, well play on the same pitch, Mellon said.What if its windy? What if its hailstones? Good players can adapt and adjust to anything, thats what you expect of them.They know what the outcome has got to be and thats got to be trying to win a game of football and good players will find a way of doing that on any surface. Manchester United players will probably be as well-equipped as anybody of finding ways of winning games of football in all situations.Mellon, who oversaw Shrewsburys loss to United in the fifth round of the same competition in 2016, recognises the significance of the Premier League giants making the visit to Merseyside.The clubs have faced each other only once before, when United prevailed 5-0 in the League Cup in 1977, and while Mellon recognises his side will be underdogs once more, he insists they are not there to make up the numbers.Its probably as big as it gets for Tranmere, Mellon said. In any season, to be able to welcome a club of that size and history to Prenton Park is fantastic for the whole area.From 3-0 down in the original #EmiratesFACup third round fixture To hosting @ManUtd in the fourth round!@TranmereRovers pic.twitter.com/2jQhsYGfX9 The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 24, 2020Theres always chance in a game of football. Theres certain things youve got to do in order to increase chance. You can win any game.Anybody who knows anything about football knows the size of Manchester United. But were not playing against the size of Manchester United, were playing against their team. Well concentrate on that.We are realistic that were going to have to get a hell of a lot right but why not give it the best go that you can?Uniteds recent struggles under Solskjaer have been well-documented but with Tranmere sitting third bottom in Sky Bet League One and three points adrift of safety, Mellons sympathy was in short supply..@ManUtd will not relish playing @TranmereRovers or this Prenton Park pitch on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/5ezTxXz3LR Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) January 23, 2020Football management is tough, unless youre a football manager you dont understand how tough it is and all consuming it is its a 24/7 job, Mellon added.For every football manager, I know how tough it is, regardless of where they are and what their situation is. We have different challenges and its tough for everybody.Mellon, whose teenage son Michael last year swapped the United academy for Burnley, admitted he has been hit by the demand for tickets.Fans queued well into the night immediately after the win over Watford as Tranmere made it into the fourth round for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals in 2003-04.Mellon added: All of a sudden you gain more friends and family! Its great that everybody wants to come to the game.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By David Charlesworth, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '3addc430-74d3-4050-b744-547a99cf6a26'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Mellon plays down Prenton Park pitch concerns ahead of Man Utd clash'});

January 24th 2020, 11:17 am

Manchester City close to full squad for FA Cup tie with Fulham

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Manchester City have close to a full-strength squad available for their FA Cup clash with Fulham at the Etihad Stadium.Winger Leroy Sane is now their only major absentee with the knee injury that has kept him out for most of the season.Defender Aymeric Laporte returned to action after almost five months out with a 78-minute run-out at Sheffield United in midweek.Claudio Bravo, who has started all domestic cup matches so far this season, is likely to play in goal.Fulham will still be withoutAleksandar Mitrovic,Aboubakar Kamara, Neeskens Kebano and Anthony Knockaert for the fourth-round tie.But head coach Scott Parker said after the goalless midweek draw at Charlton that there is a slim chance all four could be fit for next weeks home game against Huddersfield.Mitrovic (ankle) has missed the last two matches, fellow striker Kamara has played no part since New Years Day and wingerKabano last featured on Boxing Day.Winger Knockaert missed out against Charlton due to a knock, while Harrison Reed is still working his way back from a calf injury.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'eec6a9f4-573e-4242-8477-e9b4ccdcab58'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Manchester City close to full squad for FA Cup tie with Fulham'});

January 24th 2020, 10:47 am

Said Benrahma misses out for Brentford

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Brentford will be without forward Said Benrahma for Saturdays FA Cup match at home to Leicester after his father died earlier in the week.The Algerian is currently out of the country and will take no part while Bees boss Thomas Frank will also be missing several other players.Pontus Jansson (hip) and Mathias Jensen (hamstring) were absent for the goalless draw away to Huddersfield and remain sidelined alongside Sergio Canos and Nikos Karelis (both knee).Luke Daniels has played in all of Brentfords cup games this season and is expected to replace David Raya in goal, with the Bees set to make other changes too, although not as many as in the previous round against Stoke.Leicester will be without Jamie Vardy for the fourth-round tie.The striker, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season, suffered a glute problem in the Premier League win against West Ham and will not be involved. Nampalys Mendy was also forced off against the Hammers on Wednesday night with a knee injury and he is looking at an absence of between four and six weeks.With the Foxes set to play Aston Villa in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday, boss Brendan Rodgers is set to make some changes at Griffin Park.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c031c3a0-bc76-4d04-8fd6-96cd440a0b11'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Said Benrahma misses out for Brentford'});

January 24th 2020, 10:47 am

Scott Parker insists he will not suffer sleepless night before Fulham face City

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Fulham boss Scott Parker says he will not endure a sleepless night on Saturday even though Manchester City are now prioritising the cup competitions this season.Parker takes the Cottagers to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday for their FA Cup fourth-round game against the current holders.With Liverpool holding a seemingly unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola has said this week that he will be targeting a clean sweep in the three remaining cup competitions his side are in.That spells bad news for Fulham, who look set to come up against the strongest City side available.Parker, whose primary target this season is to get his side back into the Premier League, is ready to take the challenge head on.I will sleep, I will be fine with that, no worries, he said.When you play against City, as they did to Manchester United after 30 minutes or at Aston Villa recently, against any team they have the capability of putting you to the sword when they want to.A difficult task but one we are all relishing.It is always daunting, they are a world-class team, there is no doubt about that.There have been teams that have gone there and have come away with something, so there is always that little bit of hope that you can look to.They have got a lot of games and they are in a lot of competitions.Whoever Pep decides to use, you will normally see an international player and a strong team. Nothing changes too much for them.With Fulham third in the Championship and hoping to win promotion, Parker reckons this will be a good yardstick as to where his side are and how he is doing as a young manager.Its a big challenge, arguably the greatest manager of our generation, the former England midfielder added. For me that is a big challenge, but I put the whole football club in that sense.We all have aspirations of being in the Premier League, if it is me coaching or the players coming up against the best, then there is no bigger test for any of us than on Sunday.I want us to go there and put on a good account.The main message for me to my players is go there with big courage and big heart and determination really.You go to places like the Etihad and play teams like Man City and you go there without any real conviction and nine times out of 10 you roll out of there with a loss.My main message is to go there with courage, lets have a belief about it and try and put our stamp on it.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '117dbca3-458f-46f6-aa93-0fa597066455'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Scott Parker insists he will not suffer sleepless night before Fulham face City'});

January 24th 2020, 10:47 am

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola would like to see FA Cup replays scrapped

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Pep Guardiola insists he enjoys the FA Cup and its traditions but would like to see replays scrapped.The Manchester City manager said earlier this week that ditching the Carabao Cup would be a good way to ease fixture congestion.But he accepts that is not going to happen and instead would like to find ways to make the competitions better.Speaking at a press conference to preview Sundays FA Cup fourth-round tie with Fulham, Guardiola said: Im not saying what the FA has to do. When I said my comment I never expected the Carabao Cup or FA Cup was going to go.Manchester City won the FA Cup last season (Nick Potts/PA)What is nice about this country is how you maintain the traditions. In traditions you can involve some new things to make the competitions nicer, but all the traditions are there, not just in sport but in culture and society and that is top. I admire that. The Carabao Cup and FA Cup will be played.But maybe we could cancel the replays, have less teams in the Championship or Premier League.I tried to be honest and answer the question but I dont think about what they have to do, its not my business. My business is to prepare my team better every day.When they decide to play these games, and the other games, we do it. City won both domestic cups last season and they will target them again with the Premier League title now out of reach.City are second in the table but trail runaway leaders Liverpool by 16 points.The Merseysiders are on target to break Citys record 100-point tally of two years ago.Guardiola said: It can happen. The records are always there to be broken. We broke it when someone thought it couldnt be broken. Sooner or later it is going to happen this season or in the future. History speaks clearly about that.City defender Aymeric Laporte returned to action in Tuesdays victory at Sheffield United after almost five months out with a knee injury.The Frenchman was badly missed during his absence as City lost touch with Liverpool, but Guardiola has warned against expecting too much of him too soon.He said: He played a little bit more than 70 minutes for the first game. He played well but, as I said, hes not going to solve all the problems we have.Aymeric Laporte returned for City in midweek (Mike Egerton/PA)Hes not going to give us extra on what we have but hes one more player that we have and if we believe we can use him we are going to use him.The Premier League has incorporated a winter break into its schedule for the first time this season. City will have almost two weeks between games against West Ham on February 9 and Leicester on February 22.Guardiola has no intention of taking the squad abroad for warm-weather training.He said: We will have three or four days off and after that well train again here and prepare for Leicester, Madrid and Arsenal.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Hampson, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8c0e83f2-3bd4-47bd-a379-87171396df60'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola would like to see FA Cup replays scrapped'});

January 24th 2020, 10:47 am

Sean Dyche urges Burnley to build on Manchester United victory

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Burnley boss Sean Dyche has challenged his side to use the momentum of their win at Manchester United to see off Premier League strugglers Norwich and book a place in the FA Cup fifth round.The Clarets followed up a home victory over high-flying Leicester with a first win at Old Trafford since 1962 on Wednesday night.Having given themselves a bit of breathing space in the continued battle for Premier League stability, Dyche hopes the squad can focus again on another positive display.They were certainly very important results and important performances, particularly that one at Manchester United, Dyche said.They are in a different period at the moment, but it is still winning at Old Trafford.Now we want to take on the cup game as well. It is a nice feeling in the camp when you are winning, it always enhances the confidence, but we have got to be right and deliver another performance.Defender Phil Bardsley missed the United game because of a back problem, while winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson will also be monitored following a return from his hamstring injury.While Dyche will utilise his squad, he feels whatever team is sent out should be capable of producing the right mindset.I believe in all the players here and we put teams out that we think can win games. You have got to deliver, Dyche said at a press conference reported by the club.We want to put a performance out there we have done that in the league and now we have to in the cup to make sure we get what we want.Dyche maintains Burnley are still trying to bring in fresh additions if the right deal comes along.Striker Nahki Wells is on loan at QPR, but has seen interest in a permanent deal from rival Sky Bet Championship clubs as well as the possibility of a recall.Nahki is doing very well. We have the ability to get him back here, Dyche said.Ive spoken to (QPR boss) Mark Warburton and let him know the different options.Over the last few days there has been a lot of interest in him and rightly so because he is scoring goals in the Championship.Defender Ben Gibson is troubled by a groin problem, but Dyche indicated there was also perhaps an opportunity of a move away.It is the level of interest which is key there is all kinds of rumours out there, the only level that you need to be (at) is when I know, then usually you know it is real, the Burnley boss said.Chelsea, meanwhile, have also been linked with a potential summer move for goalkeeper Nick Pope.Playing down the speculation, Dyche said: There is a number of players here who I could see why there would be interest.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5a0a9011-63a4-4816-9d41-75a2af11f484'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Sean Dyche urges Burnley to build on Manchester United victory'});

January 24th 2020, 10:47 am

Lampard: Keeper Kepa needs to deal with criticism

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Frank Lampard has warned Kepa Arrizabalaga he has to improve his patchy form at Chelsea.The Chelsea boss insisted the Spain goalkeeper has admitted his individual mistakes have directly cost the Blues, and challenged the 25-year-old to sharpen up.Kepa should have saved Isaac Haydens header that stole Newcastle a 1-0 victory in injury time on January 18, while he could not even lay a glove on Hector Bellerins late equaliser in Tuesdays 2-2 draw with Arsenal.The former Athletic Bilboa star currently boasts the unwanted tag of the lowest save percentage in the Premier League, and Lampard has told him to go back to basics to return to top form.Well he will have to deal with outside criticism; that is what football is, said Lampard.Every player, no matter great you are in your career, the best, the absolute best of all time will get criticised and you have to deal with it.I think with Kepa he knows, hell be honest that there have been some mistakes that have cost us goals.It is the nature of it, so that needs to improve. Goalkeepers may have slightly more spotlight on them, but it is a similar thing, really. I think the important thing for that is not to get too embroiled in what is said on the outside and look at your own game.It is always the basics, how hard can I work. Thats not just for Kepa, but for any player.If you feel in a lack of form, fight to get it back. Go back to basics.Chelsea have been linked with a move for Burnleys Nick Pope in the January window, but Lampard insisted he is not seeking to add another body between the sticks this month.Asked if he wanted to recruit another goalkeeper, Lampard added: I am not looking at it now. I am not affected by criticism from the outside as much. I am aware of it, not affected by it.Lampard also said he is not interested in a move for Lilles France Under-21 midfielder Boubakary Soumare.Im aware of him as a player, but he is not on our radar for this window, said Lampard.We played against him, but he is not one on the immediate radar. He is a good player, but he is another clubs player.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Purewal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '090b7fda-4722-457c-a224-509da371c3e6'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Lampard: Keeper Kepa needs to deal with criticism'});

January 24th 2020, 10:17 am

Neil Lennon tells critics to give Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths a break

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Neil Lennon has urged Leigh Griffiths critics to start showing the Celtic striker some compassion. The Hoops boss confirmed his club have lodged a complaint over comments made by television pundit Kris Boyd following Wednesdays win at Kilmarnock. Griffiths hit the net and aimed his celebration at the former Rangers forward, who claimed last month the 29-year-old had just four weeks left to save his Celtic career.But Boyd went on the attack after the final whistle, claiming Griffiths who has returned to scoring form with two goals in as many games following a battle with off-field problems had struggled to meet the professional standards introduced during Brendan Rodgers Celtic reign. That upset the Parkhead hierarchy and now Lennon has had his say.I support the club and I think a little more discretion or tact could be used at times, said the Northern Irishman. We want Leigh to flourish now and to be happy. Hes got plenty of mental strength otherwise he wouldnt have been here at the club for so long. I dont think people these days give (what they are saying) much thought. We live in an age now where theres no accountability or responsibility at times, whether its a mental health issue or another issue. It would be nice if they showed him a wee bit more compassion at times. At the end of the day hes a human being. Leighs in a good place at the minute, hes enjoying his football and long may that continue. Ive never been a critic of him. Hes a natural goalscorer and thats the hardest thing in the game to do. If he has his critics and we all have our critics then the best thing to do is to go out, play well, score goals. You dont need to bite back. Just keep it in-house and be proud of yourself. I dont think hes done anything wrong to warrant controversy at the minute or back-page headlines other than his goals. Yeah he has a bit of fun with his celebrations at times here and there. Id be the first one to get on top of him if there was an act of ill-discipline or something beyond the pale that was doing damage to the reputation to the club. But I dont see that at the minute and I think its unfair. Lennon confirmed Jeremie Frimpong will sit out Saturdays visit of Ross County as he continues to recover from Alan Powers tackle in midweek. The Dutch right-back was taken off on a stretcher after being sent flying by Powers lunge and Lennon insists the Killie midfielder was lucky to escape punishment. Jeremie wont be fit for tomorrow, he said. Hes had a scan and were just waiting on the results. We dont think its as bad as we anticipated. Hes up walking about on it but theres a bit of soreness. We just dont know the complete diagnosis yet. Jeremie is desperate to get back as quickly as possible. He felt very aggrieved after the game. Hes that type of personality that means well see him sooner rather than later. I thought the tackle was overly aggressive and it could easily have been a red card. Weve seen reds given for that. At the time I thought it was a red. Alex Dyer would beg to differ, he thought it was a good challenge and sometimes its borderline.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '21769f5c-463f-4921-871e-6ec6d054bd9f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Neil Lennon tells critics to give Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths a break'});

January 24th 2020, 10:17 am

Jamie Vardy feeling ‘much better’ after glute injury, says Brendan Rodgers

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Jamie Vardys injury is not as bad as Leicester initially feared and the striker could be fit for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Aston Villa next week.Vardy was withdrawn during the first half of the Premier League win against West Ham on Wednesday after he pulled up after making a clearance inside his own box.The worry was the 33-year-old had suffered a hamstring problem and could be set for weeks on the sidelines, but it appears nothing more than just a twinge in his glute.Leicesters leading scorer this season will not be involved in the FA Cup at Brentford on Saturday but Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of having his talisman back against Villa on Tuesday.Hes not available for the weekend and there will be a question mark for Tuesday, although its certainly not as serious as we first thought, said Rodgers.Its not his hamstring, its a twinge in his glute, so were hopeful for Tuesday, but theres a little bit of work to do. Hell get some work in with the medical team. Hell stay with them for the weekend.Hes much better than directly after the game, when he was tight and sore and struggling to move, but today he was much better.The news was not so good for Leicester regarding midfielder Nampalys Mendy, who was also forced off in the first half against the Hammers with a knee injury.Rodgers thinks he is looking at an absence of between four and six weeks.With injuries mounting and Leicester still competing on three fronts, Rodgers faces a delicate balancing act when it comes to team selection.The Foxes are battling with Manchester City for second place in the Premier League and face Villa three days after their fourth-round FA Cup tie against Brentford.Asked about his team selection at Griffin Park, he said: The key coming into the game is picking a team that allows for intensity and energy, but also bearing in mind the important game on Tuesday.Well have a strong, energetic team that can hopefully get us into the next round.Brentford are a good side and it is going to be a really tough game for us and that is what we are anticipating and what we are ready for.Ive enjoyed analysing Brentford. Ive seen them before but not in such great detail. They have the courage to play football in the Championship, which is deemed a league where you cant play it which is totally untrue. You can, you can play football and be aggressive.Their positioning game is very good, their movement is good and they have the courage to play the game from the back. Im looking forward to going to Griffin Park as I used to go there with Chelsea reserves, we used to play our games there. I used to love it there, the pitch was fantastic and its a good club. This will be my first time back for a number of years so all-in-all I am looking forward to the game.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Sean Taylor, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '253db009-d9a6-480c-8b77-db3c06665528'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Jamie Vardy feeling \u2018much better\u2019 after glute injury, says Brendan Rodgers'});

January 24th 2020, 10:17 am

Farke not looking to add to Norwich squad in January

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Norwich boss Daniel Farke insisted the club have no plans to add to their squad before the end of the January transfer window.The Canaries who lost at Tottenham in midweek are currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, despite picking up a first home win since September against Bournemouth last Saturday.Farke has already made two additions in the window, having signed Lukas Rupp from Hoffenheim and Ondrej Duda on loan from Hertha Berlin, but ruled out any more this month.I dont expect any business between now and the end of the window, Farke said.Norwich are set to face Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup and, when asked about the upcoming trip to Turf Moor, the German said he could make changes.We want to be as successful as we can in the cup, Farke said. Its the third game in seven days with a quick turnaround. There was no proper sleep for the players after investing a lot at Spurs.I expect more changes tomorrow to bring fresh energy onto the pitch because we want to go into the next round.We have to deliver a top-class performance. Burnley are on fire and are an established Premier League side.Afterwards, it will be a normal week with time to recover. Were tempted not to risk injuries but we want to win.Its important to have the whole group in their rhythm but we want to go to the next round regardless of who plays.If we make changes its because theres lots of competition and they have more energy.Farke hinted he could rest goalkeeper Tim Krul against the Clarets, with Ralf Fahrmann having returned to full fitness from a knee problem, but the Canaries injury troubles have not abated significantly.They will be without Emi Buendia, but Farke said the midfielder could return in time for the Newcastle match on February 1.Todd Cantwell is unavailable with a hamstring injury, Kenny McLean has a knock to his hip and Ibrahim Amadou has a slight knee problem.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Sonia Twigg, PA Sport'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '17b0dd54-2e2c-4942-adad-e97f40b43065'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Farke not looking to add to Norwich squad in January'});

January 24th 2020, 10:17 am

Shrewsbury boss Ricketts could hand new duo debuts against Liverpool

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Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts has a full squad to pick from for Sundays FA Cup glamour tie against world and European champions Liverpool.Ricketts must decide whether to give either of his January signings a debut in the televised fixture.Blackburn defender Sam Hart, who has joined on loan for the rest of the season, was an unused substitute for Saturdays 2-2 draw at Fleetwood.On Monday Ricketts brought in ex-Bolton midfielder Josh Vela on a two-and-a-half year deal after he was released by Hibernian.Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will rest most of his first-team players for the trip to Shropshire.He is likely, however, to play centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip recently returned from injury Adam Lallana, if he recovers from illness, Fabinho and Divock Origi.Naby Keita could also be in line for a comeback after almost a month out with a groin problem after he returned to training.However, fellow midfielders James Milner (hamstring) and Xherdan Shaqiri (knock) are unavailable.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5bd2c76b-3d64-4361-99fb-8583b37ab489'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Shrewsbury boss Ricketts could hand new duo debuts against Liverpool'});

January 24th 2020, 10:17 am

Liverpool title ‘inevitable’? Klopp doesn’t know the meaning of the word

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Liverpools bid to end their 30-year wait for the title this season may now seem inevitable to many, butmanager Jurgen Klopp insists he had never heard of the word let alone understood its meaning.Another late victory, this time 2-1 over Wolves on Thursday, restored the Reds 16-point advantage at the top of the Premier League, making it 22 wins from 23 matches and meaning just nine more are needed to guarantee a long-awaited championship trophy.From being the Unbearables last season after winning the Champions League for a sixth time, Klopps side are now being referred to as the Inevitables in some quarters.However, the German easily sidestepped the discussion on Friday as he continued to play down any title talk.Jrgen Klopp has confirmed #LFC are set to bring in fresh legs for Sundays #EmiratesFACup fourth-round tie.https://t.co/d6acKnkZ3O Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 24, 2020I have been four and a half years in this country and I never heard that word before, I have no clue what they talk about. What is inevitable? Klopp said.When the meaning was explained to him, he added: Ah, its going to happen? We couldnt care less.As far as Im concerned we are not even mathematically qualified for the Champions League yet. The only thing we can do is focus on the next game. That is Shrewsbury, then West Ham, then Southampton, then we have a week off and we start again.Thats the plan. I dont know another plan. Whatever you say about us, if its positive then thank you very much, and if its negative, I dont care.I cannot change the situation; I never heard that anything is decided before its decided so why should we think about these things? on the #PL table pic.twitter.com/EECyDva9dR Premier League (@premierleague) January 24, 2020The game last night was a very good example for our situation. It was never easy and it never will be easy.Sundays trip to mid-tabled League One side Shrewsbury in the FA Cup fourth round is also likely to provide a test.Klopp will rest the majority of his first-team regulars, as he did in the last round against Everton. Sadio Mane would not have played in the match any way but the extent of a hamstring injury he suffered at Wolves is still being assessed.Klopp, however, could welcome back one of his three injured midfielders, Naby Keita, for the first time in a month for the trip to Shropshire.I think in this moment he is having a scan. They didnt call me out of the scan, said Klopp on Mane.Naby Keita could be available for Sunday's #EmiratesFACup clash with @shrewsweb. https://t.co/RHm6Vku5gO Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 24, 2020For Shaq (Xherdan Shaqiri) and Milly (James Milner) its too early. Naby we will have to see.My information is that he will be part of training today. Then we have to see how he looks.The boys who didnt play yesterday will be training intensely today, a very important session.We will see if he can be part of that completely, if so then he will be an option.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Carl Markham, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '152fa330-edad-4c71-8e75-d3ee299a714e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Liverpool title \u2018inevitable\u2019? Klopp doesn\u2019t know the meaning of the word'});

January 24th 2020, 10:17 am

Moyes expects Bilic to be welcomed back by West Ham fans

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David Moyes expects Slaven Bilic to get a good reception from the West Ham fans when he returns to the London Stadium.Bilic will be back in east London for the first time since he was sacked in November 2017 when his West Brom side visit in the FA Cup.The Croatian was replaced by Moyes after West Ham slipped into relegation trouble, but he remains a popular figure at the club where he also played as a defender.Moyes, now in his second spell in charge of West Ham, said: I think Slaven will get a good reception. He certainly should do.Ive always had a good relationship with Slaven. I think hes doing a really good job at West Brom and has proven hes a good manager over his career.I look forward to seeing him I hope its not too good but Ill certainly welcome him and hopefully see him after the game.Bilic managed West Ham during their memorable final season at Upton Park, before they made the controversial move to the Olympic Stadium.The 51-year-old this week said the Hammers lost some of their fear factor when they switched from their spiritual home to Stratford.Moyes added: I didnt see those comments, but Slaven has experience in discussing West Ham.I think support has been great, we get 60,000 people at the stadium and its affordable for lots of young people to see football.Moyes, drafted in last month with West Ham once again battling relegation, knows survival is the priority but he insists he will not be sacrificing the FA Cup.Id really like a good run in the cup, he said. I think everyones well aware we have to play Liverpool on Wednesday, and Brighton the Saturday after, so it begins to make you question if you can afford any more injuries.But ideally, for the supporters, well get through in the cup and do the best we can.Moyes will be without up to eight players through injury after Robert Snodgrass, Arthur Masukau and Angelo Ogbonna picked up knocks at Leicester in midweek.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Sims, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a0377cfe-10e6-468a-9fa5-057b3c5cc219'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Moyes expects Bilic to be welcomed back by West Ham fans'});

January 24th 2020, 9:47 am

Loan duo Bentaleb and Lazaro could make debuts for injury-hit Newcastle

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Newcastle could hand debuts to loan signings Nabil Bentaleb and Valentino Lazaro in Saturdays FA Cup fourth-round tie against Oxford.Schalke midfielder Bentaleb, who completed his move to St James Park earlier this week, and Inter Milan winger Lazaro, who was undergoing a medical on Tyneside on Friday morning, are both expected to be involved.However, defenders Emil Krafth (ankle ligaments) and Florian Lejeune (groin) are out after being injured in Tuesdays 2-2 draw at Everton. Paul Dummett has undergone surgery on his hamstring and will not play again this season.Striker Allan Saint-Maximin is available after being rested for the trip to Goodison Park, but defenders Javier Manquillo (hamstring), DeAndre Yedlin (knee) and Jetro Willems (knee ligaments), midfielder Ki Sung-yueng (knock) and frontmen Andy Carroll (hip) Dwight Gayle (hamstring) and Yoshinori Muto are all missing.Oxford are set to be without a number of players for their trip to St James Park.Midfielder Cameron Brannagan (knee) continues to be sidelined while the cup tie will come too soon forwingerAnthony Forde(ribs).On-loan Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn misses out with a foot injury. Forward James Henry (thigh) is expected to be absent until February.Matty Taylor and Malachi Napa are also unavailable for the League One sidebecause of injury but George Thorne is fit and could be involved after joining on a permanent deal from Derby this week.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '56f97b24-6aee-4fb3-bbe2-1c4b1082fdba'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Loan duo Bentaleb and Lazaro could make debuts for injury-hit Newcastle'});

January 24th 2020, 9:47 am

Wycombe’s Scott Kashket banned over betting breaches

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Wycombe striker Scott Kashket has been banned from all football-related activity for six months, with four months suspended, for betting breaches, the Football Association has announced.Kashket admitted placing 183 bets on football matches, between the period of September 2014 and August 2016, when he played for Leyton Orient.The FAs written reasons to the sanctions detailed the player had placed a total of 14,086.85 on the bets, with a total return of 13,639.10 which resulted in an overall loss of 1,167.75.Scott Kashket has been suspended from all football and football-related activity, fined and warned as to his future conduct following a breach of The FA's Betting Rules. Full statement and written reasons: https://t.co/1AWDKP1Sfs. pic.twitter.com/he8HpPfhkf FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) January 24, 2020Two months of the suspension are effective immediately and the additional four months will come into effect if he commits a further breach of the FAs Betting Rules before July 21, 2021.Wycombe confirmed the club and player have decided not to appeal the decision.Kashket said in a statement on the Wycombe website: I regret my actions and will learn from the experience to improve myself both as a person and a player.I am thankful to Wycombe Wanderers for their ongoing support and am determined to come back stronger in two months time.Wanderers continue to offer their full support to @scottkashket as he begins a ban from all football activity following a breach of the FA's betting rules prior to joining the club. https://t.co/81PUUoHunV Wycombe Wanderers (@wwfcofficial) January 24, 2020A statement from the Sky Bet League One club read: Wycombe Wanderers continues to offer its full support to Scott, and while the club does not condone rule breaches of this nature, it recognises that the charge relates entirely to a difficult period in Scotts career at his previous club Leyton Orient.Wycombes prospective majority shareholder Rob Couhig said: I have found Scott to be a first-rate person and, while this is not an excuse for his actions, the treatment he sustained at Leyton Orient under their previous ownership structure was unconscionable.I am glad he has taken personal responsibility for his actions and that Leyton Orient are under new progressive ownership and leadership.We now look forward to drawing a line under the situation and having Scott fully fit and refreshed for the final few weeks of the season.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jim van Wijk, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '90f31090-513c-40c0-b760-3096d1fd4073'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Wycombe\u2019s Scott Kashket banned over betting breaches'});

January 24th 2020, 9:47 am

Christian Ilic loving life at Motherwell

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Moving to Motherwell has restored Christian Ilics faith in people but he admits to being slightly daunted when he initially walked into the Fir Park dressing room.Now the wide player is determined to play his part in the clubs quest for success after settling into life in Scotland and overcoming a hamstring injury.The Austrian moved fromTSV Hartberg to Romanian club Sepsi last summer and signed a contract only for his new club to tell him and others that they could not pay his wages.Motherwell stepped in and the 23-year-old is loving life in Lanarkshire after making his first appearance for 16 weeks during Wednesdays 1-0 win at Aberdeen.It was a crazy story, Ilic said. I signed a contract and they just said they dont have plans for me and another six players.Last summer was something that showed me what football is, but it also showed me that everything goes quick in football. But I am so happy that I am here.It was hard to trust people again after this situation. I trained two weeks with the Romanian club and they said they didnt want me. To trust people again and come alone to a new country was hard for me.But I took the risk and I signed for this great club and I am happy.The players helped me to settle so much. When I saw the boys tattoos, strong I thought the boys are hard. But they are very good to me, they helped me to settle and they make it so easy for me.You dont miss your friends too much when you can hang out with these guys.Ilic initially found Scottish football difficult to adjust to.It was not so easy, he said ahead of Saturdays Ladbrokes Premiership visit of Hibernian. Its a new country, new people, everything is new, different football. The tempo is faster, there are more crosses, everything is forward. In Austria it was more side to side but here its faster and quicker.Now I understand players when they say it takes so long when they go to another country or a new club. Its not so easy but now I feel 100 per cent settled.Ilic played nine games before injury struck.It was hard but I am a team player, so when I have bad times I dont show people, he said. I am always positive and I celebrate goals and the wins. I am happy for the boys, we are one team.I want to play now Im fit again. I feel ready, I feel good and I want to stay on the pitch.With Christopher Long and Jermaine Hylton struggling to make Saturdays Fir Park clash, Ilic is likely to be involved again.Manager Stephen Robinson said: I think hes completely different to what we have got.He is a very intelligent footballer. The other boys playing in wide berths go one on one and take players on. He comes into little pockets, his movement with and without the ball is very good. He creates different problems, he is left-footed, gives us an option to cut in from the right.I think he can get better and better and I am looking for him to really burst on to the scene.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f606bbe1-2e81-4e0e-a8b8-4b83cde854f5'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Christian Ilic loving life at Motherwell'});

January 24th 2020, 9:47 am

Goodwin to give stricken St Mirren midfielder Magennis ‘best rehab possible’

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Jim Goodwin will make sure Kyle Magennis gets the best treatment after the St Mirren midfielder was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.The 21-year-oldwas stretchered off after just seven minutes of the 1-0 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox on Wednesday night with a scan confirming a cruciate ligament problem which will require surgery.Ahead of St Mirrens Ladbrokes Premiership clash against Aberdeen in Paisley on Sunday, Buddies boss Goodwin said: Kyle went for a scan yesterday and it was as feared.He has done his cruciate ligament so we are looking at a lengthy lay-off. His season will certainly be over and we will work hard during the rehab to make sure he is back for pre-season.It is a huge blow. I am obviously disappointed because I lose a good player from the team but I am more disappointed for him.I have been there myself as a player and it is the worst thing that can happen. It is important that we as a club support him as best we can.He will get the best rehab possible and we will make sure we get the best surgeon possibleto do the operation and he is from a good family so he will get good support.He has been captain in a number of games this season in Stephen McGinns absence and I think that gives you the idea of the character of the boy that I am willing to make him captain at such a young age.He leads by example, a great attitude and technically a fantastic player. We have had interest in him prior to this so it is a blow to the boy more than anything else.Goodwin will look for a replacement before the transfer window closes at the end of January.He said: We will have to look to bring someone in. We have a week to do that. It wasnt an area that we were looking at strengthening but with Kyle out of the equation we need to strengthen in that area and we will.Sundays approach will be completely different to the approach on Wednesday.Obviously we give Aberdeen a great amount of respect because they are a very good team.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ronnie Esplin, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'dda1f25b-c591-47da-a884-093e0effe780'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Goodwin to give stricken St Mirren midfielder Magennis \u2018best rehab possible\u2019'});

January 24th 2020, 9:47 am

Woods hoping Hamilton loan move will help push career forward

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Sam Woods feels testing himself in Scotlands top flight is the next step he needs in his career after learning from experienced internationals at Crystal Palace.The 21-year-old joined Hamilton on loan this week and could make his debut against Livingston in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday.The centre-back thought carefully about his next step and some advice from Palace team-mate and former Hamilton favourite James McArthur consolidated his instincts.I could have stayed down south and played League One or League Two but I feel if I come up here I will really test myself, playing against Celtic, Rangers, Hibs, Motherwell, good clubs, Woods said.Macca said that it would be a good start for me so that made my mind up.Woods, who has made three first-team appearances for Palace in cup competitions, added: I have been training with top, top professionals for two years now. What I need now is to play games and experience first-team football because you cant really get that in reserve games.I can see how people get comfortable being in and around a Premier League club, good facilities, good food, everything is done for you. But what I really wanted was to push myself and to do that I have got to play games. I couldnt really see that at Palace with the experience and quality theyve got in defence.When youre at a Premier League club, if you check the stats, its very rare that you can break straight through. You cant just go from 23s to first team, its very hard. Hopefully I can start here, find my level and make my career.Woods has recently been a regular on the bench for Roy Hodgsons team and believes the environment has helped his progression so far.When you are training against guys like (Christian) Benteke, Wilf (Zaha), Jordan Ayew, you are testing yourself every day in training, and that can only make me a better player over the last year or so, but I feel the next step now is to play games.Even the defenders as well. Gary Cahill came in the summer, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, James Tomkins, great pros with great experience and they are always giving me little hints in training like body shape, stuff that you cant really get unless you are with these guys. Invaluable experience and hopefully I can take that into the games.Woods also got a recommendation from another former Accies player, James McCarthy, who was recently reunited with McArthur in south London.They say its a great club and Macca (McArthur) said hes a legend round here, Woods said. Everyone has been very welcoming as they said it would be. There is a real family feel to the club and its been a great first couple of days.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Gavin McCafferty, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd0e02395-3914-41d7-838a-ef86a058ce5f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Woods hoping Hamilton loan move will help push career forward'});

January 24th 2020, 9:47 am

Chelsea still waiting to learn severity of Abraham injury

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Chelsea are still sweating on the severity of Tammy Abrahams ankle injury.Boss Frank Lampard confirmed the England hitman will miss Saturdays FA Cup trip to Hull, but conceded the Blues are still waiting to find out how long he will be sidelined.Abraham limped off the field at full-time after Chelseas 2-2 Premier League draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.The good news is he hasnt fractured anything, but the other news is we still have to see how he develops, said Lampard.Hes not fit for the weekend, but whether hell be fit for Leicester Im still not sure. Its still not clear at the moment.Chelsea face a challenging Premier League trip to Leicester on Saturday, February 1. The Blues also face Manchester United and Tottenham in a pivotal schedule in February, with Lampard keen to see his 13-goal Premier League striker back to fitness as quickly as possible.Lampard last week refused to dampen down links to wantaway Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani, and continues to admit the Blues are keen to recruit a forward this month.And the Chelsea boss said Abrahams injury is very relevant to the clubs striker search.I think the impetus to bring in a striker or players potentially that can get on the end of these chances were creating is there, we have to be honest, said Lampard.When youre creating 20 chances a game and not scoring enough goals that can be crucial. I dont think it absolutely changes it but Tammy has been our main source of goals, so yes, its very relevant.I think theres choice (in the transfer market), but its not the ideal window, historys proven that.I think its about trying to get the choice right of the player we can bring in considering whats available.The club know, and the games are showing that, my thoughts on that. So well have to see how that goes between now and the end of the window.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Purewal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '93f9cb06-5631-4d43-869b-0cbf88d25d6f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Chelsea still waiting to learn severity of Abraham injury'});

January 24th 2020, 9:47 am

Toby Alderweireld accuses Tottenham team-mate of spreading negativity about Jose Mourinho

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Toby Alderweireld has hinted that an unhappy team-mate could be behind dressing-room leaks at Tottenham.Reports earlier this week suggested that the Spurs squad was already losing faith in Jose Mourinho.Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino as the club's manager in November, but recent results have been largely disappointing.Tottenham beat Norwich on Wednesday following a run of four Premier League games without a win.But Alderweireld has dismissed the stories and suggested that one of his colleagues could have been responsible for them appearing in the press."For me, it's nothing like that," he said of reports that the Tottenham squad were unhappy with Mourinho's training methods. "If it was like this, I wouldn't sign a new deal. Now, for me, it's all positive."I think we've been so consistent for the last four or five years, so it's a little bit human to drop a little bit.Not that you want to drop. But sometimes it doesn't go your way and we have to find a way to get back to our level."On the other hand, I think we are [joint] fifth now so we're not doing so bad. It's the next step that this club has taken whereby if you are fifth everyone is not happy, so that's positive as well."Let me say so again: no negativity. I don't know where that’s come from. Maybe there's a player that’s not happy and maybe he wants to say something?"It's all possible, but from 99% I'm telling you we're happy with the group."I can say with my hand on my heart there's no negativity. We have an unbelievable group. I think we have such nice guys. Maybe we are too nice! You know? That's maybe the problem. Everyone is very happy with the manager, the way we train."It's a very busy period, everyone is an international as well. From from the beginning of July and until now it's like game, game, game, game."We can't complain about training because there's no time to train! You're only playing games. I don't know where this has come from. I know everybody's happy with where we're going."Of course, we're not happy with all the performances, but it's not easy. I think [Norwich] is a massive win. Not maybe a beautiful performance, but three points. And that was the most important thing."Spurs return to action with an FA Cup fourth-round clash with Southampton on Saturday.READ MOREIt was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could considerThe paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 8:57 am

Antoine Griezmann vows to make history alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona

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Antoine Griezmann has admitted that he will need to work hard to "write history" at Barcelona.The Frenchman has had a mixed start to his career at the Camp Nou, although he has now scored seven goals in his last 11 appearances in all competitions.The former Atletico Madrid man has been deployed in a central role with Luis Suarez currently sidelined with injury.And Griezmann says he wants to continue improving as Barcelona target success in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey."It's a pride thing, I'm very happy to be at Barcelona. My father is very happy to see his son playing at Barcelona," he toldDAZN.“I want to write the history of this club. I have to work to do it, I have to work to be important for this club."I hope to improve both in goals and assists. I'm adapting, trying to learn as much about the tactics aspossible.“I feel very good, physically and mentally. I really want to work. I really want to improve.”Griezmann added that he is relishing the opportunity to play alongside Lionel Messi, who won his sixth Ballon d'Or last year.And while describing his time at Atletico as a "beautiful experience", the France international says he is now playing for the world's leading club.“Leo is the strongest player in theworld and it's nice to share the pitchwith him," he added.“I try to understand his movements and move well when he has the ball to have a better connection."The fans, Cholo Simeone, team-mates, it was a beautiful experience, at the moment the best of my career.Now I'm at Barcelona, the best club in the world. It's a new challenge, game and a new style, that's why I'm settling in little by little.“I think we have to compete in all competitions, try to win everything.”READ MOREIt was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could considerThe paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 8:57 am

Mikel Arteta lays down the law to Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos

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Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has told Dani Ceballos to fight for his place at the club amid reports he could return to Spain early.The Real Madrid midfielder moved to the Emirates in August on a season-long loan and initially impressed under Unai Emery, but has scored just once in 17 appearances for the Gunners.A hamstring injury in November sidelined him for the best part of two months and he is yet to feature under the new boss ahead of Mondays FA Cup fixture at Bournemouth.Ceballos has played in Spains most recent internationals and is said to be concerned about his chances of making the national-team squad for Euro 2020. View this post on Instagram Ready and prepared for the FA Cup! Let's go Gunners! Listo y preparado para la FA Cup! Vamos Gunners! @Arsenal #FACup #Ready #GunnersA post shared by Daniel Ceballos Fernandez (@danifuli10) on Jan 5, 2020 at 9:25am PSTBut Arteta said: I had a conversation with Dani. When I joined the club he wasnt here. He was in Madrid because he was doing his rehab for over a month with the team that owns him.When I came here he was doing his rehab in the first two or three weeks, getting back to fitness and I havent seen much of him because he only trained with us for a week or 10 days.Its very early to assess what I can or cannot do with him. I heard about all those things but I have nothing to comment.He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place like any other player. After that we will make a selection that is fair with what I see on the pitch.Dani Ceballos impressed at the beginning of the season (John Walton/PA)Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was also this week linked with a move to Barcelona, but Arteta rejected those rumours and pointed out the programme notes of the forward earlier this month which stated his happiness at the club.He added: A week ago after a game at home we were discussing that he said he was so happy, that he didnt agree with the things being written in the media and has his future here. Im so happy with that. Thats where I stand at the moment.The Spaniards first match in charge of Arsenal was away to Bournemouth on Boxing Day and Mondays FA Cup fourth-round tie will mark a month and one day in charge for the 37-year-old.In seven matches, the Gunners have only lost once under Arteta, although secured just two wins as well during that period. Bournemouth 1-1 ArsenalArsenal 1-2 ChelseaArsenal 2-0 Manchester UnitedArsenal 1-0 LeedsCrystal Palace 1-1 ArsenalArsenal 1-1 Sheffield UnitedChelsea 2-2 Arsenal He said: A lot of things that I wanted to implement, not just with the players but around the club in terms of the culture, Im seeing very good signs in progress.A lot of things about our way of playing and style, even if the circumstances in some of the games have made it a little more difficult than expected. In general I can see the direction towards what I wanted a month ago.Bournemouths priority this season is survival in the Premier League, but after beating Brighton on Tuesday, Arteta does not anticipate rival boss Eddie Howe making a plethora of changes for the last-32 tie.After winning a game the manager for sure wants some continuity, to build on that, build some momentum to give confidence to the team. Im not expecting any relaxation, he said.We need to get back winning and get back there, everybody talking about us. This is a great competition to try to do that.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By George Sessions, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '30a0a961-7c0e-4265-89b4-c27a405968ff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Mikel Arteta lays down the law to Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos'});

January 24th 2020, 8:41 am

Ruben Neves takes heart from Wolves’ defeat to Liverpool

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Ruben Neves insists Wolves must take confidence from their narrow defeat to Liverpool.Nuno Espirito Santos side went down 2-1 at home on Thursday night after Roberto Firminos late winner.Jordan Henderson opened the scoring but Raul Jimenezs leveller could not stop the Reds moving 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League.Wolves remain seventh but have won just once in their last seven outings in all competitions.They travel to Manchester United on February 1 yet Neves remains upbeat.The midfielder told the clubs official site: We will take confidence because we played really well.But we have to keep on going, we have to play like this because if we keep playing like we played, we are closer to winning than losing.Thats it we must keep working and try to do our best every single game.It was a great performance for us. We played really well from the beginning, but maybe in the second half we showed we were a side who wanted to win the game.Unfortunately, we conceded the two goals, I think from the only two chances they had, because I cant remember another chance for Liverpool, to be honest.But this is football. When you play against these kinds of teams with that quality, you know you cant give them space, and they had space twice and scored both times.Alisson denied Adama Traore and Jimenez after being beaten by the latters second-half equaliser.Wolves dominated long spells of the second half only for Firmino to strike six minutes from time.Neves added: The fans saw that we gave everything to win this game. Against a team like Liverpool, its not easy to play, but we played really well.But against these teams, the smallest details make the difference.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Mashiter, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8277a9eb-f7f9-4bfd-b906-150590ad276f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Ruben Neves takes heart from Wolves\u2019 defeat to Liverpool'});

January 24th 2020, 8:27 am

FA Cup talking points: Tough trip for Ole and Pep looks for Fulham boost

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The FA Cup takes centre stage again this weekend as the road to Wembley continues.Tranmere and Shrewsbury will both be hoping to pull off an upset, while Premier League managers are again expected to make full use of their squads.Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points ahead of the fourth round.Which United will pitch up at Prenton Park? Goodnight, #SWA!Shall we do it all again on Sunday?#TRFC #SWA pic.twitter.com/Dz0JXfyxgF Tranmere Rovers FC (@TranmereRovers) January 24, 2020When you are feeling the heat and being jeered of by your own fans or those left in Old Trafford after the midweek defeat by Burnley anyway a testing trip to Tranmere and a bobbly pitch is probably not just what the doctor ordered. Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though, remains convinced he will be given the time to turn the stumbling giants around. Even with a much-changed side, United should still have more than enough to get past the League One outfit, who came through their rearranged third-round replay against Watford on Thursday night. If Rovers, though, dish out another upset, those calls for change on and off the pitch at United will get even louder.Can the Shrews tame the rampant Reds? View this post on Instagram 40 @premierleague games unbeaten #LFCA post shared by Liverpool Football Club (@liverpoolfc) on Jan 23, 2020 at 2:03pm PSTWhile United are a shadow of their former selves, Liverpool appear destined to finally land that illusive Premier League crown after battling to yet another victory at Wolves on Thursday. Manager Jurgen Klopp will no doubt use the cup tie to give some of his top stars a well-earned breather, with the focus on bigger prizes. New Meadow will certainly be an eye opener for those who do play on Sunday with the Shrews ready to make the most of their own moment in the spotlight.Holders City hoping for cup of cheerWill Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola be all smiles again in the FA Cup this weekend? (Mike Egerton/PA)Given Liverpools dominance in the Premier League, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be able to take a break from worrying about how far they are behind when the FA Cup holders host Fulham on Sunday. While City also have European ambitions, staying on course to retain the famous old trophy can only help build momentum and will also give some fringe players a chance to lay down a marker for the challenges ahead.VAR gets a mini-breakVAR will not be used in all of the FA Cup fourth-round ties (Martin Rickett/PA)With VAR not set to be deployed in every FA Cup fourth-round tie, there will be several top-flight managers left with something else to focus their post-match tirades on. Only Premier League grounds will have back-up from Stockley Park which leaves Anthony Taylor and his assistants having to bear the brunt of any decisions which might fall against Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder down at Millwall.Will a change be as good as a rest?It was all change for Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round (PA graphic)Following the hectic Christmas and New Year schedule, the FA Cup third-round saw sweeping changes to personnel. Premier League teams made on average over seven changes to their sides. Sheffield United altered all 11 players, while Leicester and Southampton each made 10 as teams averaged some 7.2 changes. It is likely to be a similar trend across the fourth-round ties which will also provide others a chance to shine, with Norwich teenage forward Adam Idah having come in to score a hat-trick in the 4-2 win at Preston.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jim van Wijk, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1337628b-62e0-4f66-ac1f-b46d8737bd9f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'FA Cup talking points: Tough trip for Ole and Pep looks for Fulham boost'});

January 24th 2020, 8:27 am

Newcastle signings hoping for FA Cup run-out against Oxford

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Steve Bruce is hoping to throw two Newcastle new boys into FA Cup battle in Saturdays fourth round clash with League One Oxford.Schalke midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, who completed his loan move on Tuesday, is expected to be involved, and Inter Milan winger Valentino Lazaro could join him if the paperwork for his temporary switch is processed in time.The Austria international was on Tyneside on Friday morning to undergo a medical, with head coach Bruce attempting to further boost his injury-depleted squad.He said: I think its fair to say that weve managed to hold off a couple of clubs, because once he became available then somebody of his pedigree was always going to have a few options, and thankfully hes chosen us.Hes here, were hoping that we can get the paperwork and everything done so he can play tomorrow.Hell give us an extra something going forward. He can play in a few positions but ultimately he is an out-and-out wide player who can give us another something else down the right-hand side.The reinforcements have arrived in the nick of time, with Bruces casualty list having lengthened once again in the wake of Tuesday nights remarkable 2-2 Premier League draw at Everton.Wing-back Emil Krafth is facing up to six weeks on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage, while central defender Florian Lejeune, whose stoppage-time double secured a point, suffered a groin injury.Bruce said: Emil, unfortunately, is going to miss the next six weeks. He battled on valiantly the other night but it was a bad challenge he came under and hes done his ankle ligaments.Flo picked up a groin injury scoring either the first one or the second one the other night.Newcastle will be roared on by a capacity crowd of 52,000 as they attempt to dispatch third tier opposition for the second successive round, all the while conscious that Oxford dumped them out of the competition at the same stage three seasons ago.Bruce, who alluded to Tranmeres third round replay victory over top flight Watford on Thursday night, said: Weve got to respect Oxford for what they are, and they turned us over a couple of years ago handsomely, and as we saw last night in the FA Cup so we must guard against that.But its a wonderful opportunity to get through.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Damian Spellman, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b4407dc1-1f00-474d-b8b8-91cb0010d7b6'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Newcastle signings hoping for FA Cup run-out against Oxford'});

January 24th 2020, 8:27 am

Steve Cook back from ban for Bournemouth

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Bournemouth will welcome back defender Steve Cook from suspension for Monday nights FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Arsenal.Centre-back Cook missed the midweek Premier League win over Brighton due to a one-match ban following his dismissal at Norwich.Cherries boss Eddie Howe confirmed a couple of unnamed members of his squad were struggling with injuries and would be assessed ahead of the game.The south-coast club remain without a host of long-term absentees including left-back Charlie Daniels, defender Chris Mepham and midfielder David Brooks, while forward Joshua King is not expected to return.Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos should return after missing the last two games with illness.The centre-back is back in training again and will help fill the void left by David Luiz, who was sent off during the 2-2 Premier League draw at Chelsea on Tuesday and will now serve a one-match suspension.Forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also not available as he serves out a three-match ban following his red card at Crystal Palace.Defenders Calum Chambers (knee), Kieran Tierney (shoulder) and Sead Kolasinac (thigh) plus forward Reiss Nelson (hamstring) remain unavailable.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'cd3bb53e-e854-4b39-b68e-afcfa4869c4a'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Steve Cook back from ban for Bournemouth'});

January 24th 2020, 8:27 am

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho hoping Saints do not benefit from extra recovery time

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Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho hopes that Southampton do not gain an advantage from 24 hours extra rest ahead of their FA Cup fourth-round tie.Spurs are gunning for revenge as they head back to St Marys three-and-a-half weeks after a 1-0 Premier League defeat there on New Years Day.They will have had less rest than their opponents, though, with Saints in action on Tuesday before Spurs played and beat Norwich a day later. The best cure for #BlueMonday?Knowing that the #EmiratesFACup is back this week pic.twitter.com/0LB12g2uwg The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 20, 2020Given their recent defeat on the south coast, Mourinho was expecting a tough game anyway, but hopes Southamptons extra recovery time is not a factor.What do I expect? I expect a team that is 24 hours fresher than another because they have 24 hours advantage in relation to that, he said.A team with big self-esteem and confidence. Again, a very difficult team to play against, we learned there that it is hard and it is going to be hard.They are strong, they found a pattern of play, they play with two strikers and they have four or five.Tottenham were in action on Wednesday, 24 hours after Southampton played (Adam Davy/PA)They are strong and apart from the game they lost against Wolves they win, win, win, win. Wolves is one of the teams where you can lose because they are also a very, very good team.That defeat on New Years Day was costly for Spurs as they lost ground in the race for the top four, but much more damaging was the potentially season-ending injury to Harry Kane, who ruptured his hamstring tendon when scoring a goal that was ruled offside.Tanguy Ndombele and Moussa Sissoko also picked up injuries and Mourinho is hoping for a better time of it on Saturday.There we were a bit unlucky, Southampton were lucky, he said. The Harry Kane goal, decisions, injury to Harry, injury to Ndombele at the beginning of the game.Harry Kane suffered his potentially season-ending injury at Southampton on New Years Day (Mark Kerton/PA)We had to fight against so many things that we cannot control, the only thing that we can control is the spirit that the players showed against Norwich and the desire to do things well so OK.The FA Cup, a competition Mourinho shows full respect to, is realistically Tottenhams best chance of a trophy this season, unless they pull off a miracle in the Champions League.The Portuguese will not be treating the match any differently, though.It is just a game, I dont even want to think about the competition, he said.If it was Southampton away in the Premier League it would be exactly the same for me. Nothing would change. In the league it could be top four, top six, it can be out of the top six. In the league it could be anything for us.In the FA Cup, lets see. In this moment 32 teams, lets try and be in the 16. Again, full respect to what Southampton is doing, we know it is going to be a very difficult match.Spurs will be without Harry Winks following his ankle injury in midweek, while Kane, Sissoko and Ben Davies are also still missing.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'f319743a-010b-4c3c-8c72-03caec35cd27'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Spurs boss Jose Mourinho hoping Saints do not benefit from extra recovery time'});

January 24th 2020, 8:27 am

Gerrard did not realise how big a job Rangers was until moving to Glasgow

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Jurgen Klopp warned Steven Gerrard managing Rangers would be an all-consuming task but the Ibrox boss admits it was only once he made the move to Glasgow that he discovered the full extent of the role.The former Liverpool and England captain will rack up his 100th game as Rangers boss on Sunday when he takes his team to Edinburgh to face Hearts.There have been the highs of twice qualifying for the Europa League group stages and lows like seeing Celtic claim all four of the domestic trophies his side have competed for so far.But those were the kind of things the 39-year-old was prepared for having spent almost two decades experiencing everything the game has to offer as one of the worlds best players.However, Gerrard admits the thing that has taken him aback despite being fore cautioned by Reds boss Klopp is just how much of the task of rebuilding Rangers has taken over his life.Its been a journey that I thoroughly enjoyed, said the 2005 Champions League winner. This is a massive job, a massive club and Ive enjoyed the ride so far.Theres been a lot of ups, theres been some downs. Exactly what I expected but Im sitting here just as hungry and ambitious as I was when I arrived.Hopefully Im still around for the next 100 games.Id like to think Ive grown and learned from the mistakes Ive made. Id like to think Ive done some things OK along the way as well.I believe there is more still to come from these players. Weve got a real ambitious group, weve been through a lot in a short space of time. One hundred percent weve improved, weve added some fantastic talent to the group that have helped us and that will continue.Im still young and inexperienced. People who said I lacked experience at the start were right. But theres only one way to get it and thats to get in there and face the challenges.Thats what myself and my staff have tried to do. Were a new group but were all ambitious and hungry. Weve done ever so well to get to where we are but theres still a lot of work to be done and were all aware of that.Weve come very close to getting that first bit of success. Weve had European qualification and progression (to the last 32) which is a massive achievement from where the club was. But I know you get judged at this club on trophies. That wont change going into my next 100 games.Theres been a few surprises I suppose. But its everything I expected. A lot of pressure, big responsibility. A job that goes round the clock. If anyone has plans on going into coaching and thinks they can put a time on it then forget about it as its a job when your phone and the job goes on round the clock early morning, late at night.Maybe thats one part that has shocked me. You dont get away from it and switch off, even on an international or winter break. You are constantly on the phone or checking up on your players, how they are or where they are.A certain Jurgen Klopp warned me about that and he was right.Gerrard is expecting to announce good news on Jermain Defoes contract talks imminently.The 37-year-old former England striker is out of contract with parent club Bournemouth in the summer and Gerrard is desperate to make his Ibrox loan a permanent arrangement.But he insists Sevilla target Alfredo Morelos is going nowhere this month.He said: Jermains been massive for us. Hes so important to the team because of the way he behaves on and off the pitch.Im so happy that in a couple of days well get some good news on that.I know theres been some rumours about some of our players at the moment but weve had no bids. Alfredo is not for sale. Nothing has changed on that.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Andy Newport, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '16e9a696-09e2-4202-97ae-2fdd82b0b214'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Gerrard did not realise how big a job Rangers was until moving to Glasgow'});

January 24th 2020, 7:41 am

Wes Brown insists Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the right man for Manchester United

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Wes Brown believes Manchester United must keep faith with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite a poor run of form.Burnley ran out 2-0 winners at Old Trafford on Wednesday to condemn United to their eighth defeat of the Premier League season.The Red Devils have now lost four of their last seven encounters in all competitions, and sit six points behind Chelsea in the race for fourth place.Solskjaer has come in for criticism following the loss to Burnley, although United supporters have reserved most of their ire for the Glazers and Ed Woodward.And Brown insists Solskjaer is the man to turn the situation around at Old Trafford.“Listen, Ole understands the club as much as I do, if not more," the former United defender told theIndependent."He understands what the club needs and where it needs to be again. That will take time but at the same time, he understands what the players need to understand about it.“Everyone needs to perform every game. We can't have mixed games with three or four players slacking off, that's not how the game works."Everybody has to play at 100%and be committed, and first of all, that's what we need from the lads.”Solskjaer has been praised for giving opportunities to several young players this season, with academy products Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwoodand Brandon Williams all thriving under his management.And Brown is pleased to see his former club stick to their principleof promoting from the youth ranks."You ask about players to watch, you ask the coaches,” he added. “If anything these are the guys who understand more than anyone. You could buy people from all over the world but these guys understand what the club is about.“The main thing is consistency. You can have a good season, a good year, but you've always got to keep training and learning from the older lads."In football, you can always learn. Keep your feet on the ground. That's basically it. It's your dream to play for Manchester United but also to win trophies and that's what we've got to get back to.”United face Tranmere in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.READ MOREIt was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?Should Manchester United hire a director of football? 10 candidates they could considerThe paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 7:41 am

Football chiefs urged to reconsider fixture calendar to help protect players

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An expert in injury prevention has called on football administrators to look again at the fixture calendar, saying players at all levels need to be treated as people before athletes, and athletes before commercial enterprises.Jamie Salter, a lecturer in coaching sciences at York St John University who advises athletes on reducing injury risk, believes something has to give, and has called for the sports bosses to consider alternatives to FA Cup replays, two-leg Carabao Cup semi-finals and the new-look Club World Cup.Liverpool forward Sadio Mane became the latest high-profile Premier League player to succumb to injury within the last month, after suffering a hamstring problem in the Reds win over Wolves on Thursday night.We must wait to discover the extent of the injury sustained by Sadio Mane. Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 23, 2020Mane has played almost non-stop football since the summer of 2017. He featured in the 2018 World Cup for Senegal before starting 35 of Liverpools 38 Premier League games in 2018-19, plus all 13 matches in their victorious Champions League campaign. He then played six matches for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations in their run to the final, finishing on July 19 last year.He was back in action for Liverpool by August 9, and has started 21 of Liverpools 23 Premier League matches this season and all six of their Champions League group games.Salter told the PA news agency: Anything that protects the players is a good thing they are people before athletes, and athletes before commercial enterprises and sometimes we get it wrong.Harry Kane may not play again this season due to injury (Mark Kerton/PA)We want to put these guys on TV at every hour of the day and market them worldwide, but actually they are people and they are suffering as a result of this.Strength, speed or power is often inhibited for up to three days after a match, so if youre consistently playing within three or four days then of course youre going to place your body under increased stress or risk.The long-term future of FA Cup fourth-round replays is sure to be in the spotlight next week, as they could cost some Premier League teams their scheduled mid-season player break in February.Salter also suggested that the extra game created by a replay is a difficult one for smaller clubs to handle in terms of player recovery, despite the financial benefits. Maybe theres something that goes back to the organisers of the tournaments to go back to how the initial rounds are done, and what can be done about the distribution of finances, so that (scrapping replays) doesnt negatively impact smaller clubs, he said.The lower-ranked clubs, they have to play a huge amount of games and they have less staff to deal with the players and provide the quality of recovery that the elite players are getting, they have a smaller playing budget to deal with injuries.For the smaller teams cup replays are a double-edged sword because they have to then sacrifice something in the league, because they cant do both.The Carabao Cup semi-final becoming a one-off match, possibly at a neutral venue, was a perfect example of a change which could be made that would lessen the workload on players and on the Club World Cup, due to be played in the summer of 2021, Salter said: Thats just going to further reduce their recovery time.Confirmation of the Semi-Final fixtures:#EFL | #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/sGExeMMkPl Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) December 18, 2019Clubs in rugby do tend to have two or three months off season, so those players go into the season fully prepared for whats coming.If youre a footballer you only maybe get a month or six weeks off at the most, and if you start eating into it by a couple of weeks with these types of tournaments it is going to further complicate what happens.England forwards Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford have also suffered injuries which have effectively wiped out their club seasons, and Salter believes an over-reliance on these star players could be behind it.They will fully know the status of their players their physiological data, the distances covered, their recovery from the previous game but they may not be able to do much about it, he said.The boss has provided an update on @MarcusRashford's injury.#MUFC Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 19, 2020If you dont play Harry Kane and you need to win that game, who do you put in place of him? Tottenham at the minute dont have someone to step into that role and do as effective a job, and probably Manchester United the same with Rashford.The manager is probably fully aware that the player is on the limit, but where do they go?(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '5e890887-3cf0-40cc-ae9b-2b6158c12fa4'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Football chiefs urged to reconsider fixture calendar to help protect players'});

January 24th 2020, 7:10 am

Howe believes Wilson is still a contender for England’s Euro 2020 squad

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Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has backed Callum Wilson to help ease Englands injury crisis after ending a 15-game Premier League goal drought.Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has seen his first-choice attacking options severely depleted by problems suffered by Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham.Cherries striker Wilson, who has won four caps for his country, has been a regular in recent England squads but his international chances have been harmed by a prolonged spell without finding the net.The 27-year-old snapped his barren run during struggling Bournemouths much-needed midweek win over Brighton.With Euro 2020 on the horizon, Howe feels Wilson can play his way into Southgates plans by repeating his standout performance in the 3-1 success against Albion.Its all going to depend on how Callum plays between now and the summer, Howe said of Wilsons England prospects.My message to him would be just to concentrate on playing well for us, scoring goals for us, doing what he does very well, as he did against Brighton.The standout thing was his all-round game, he held the ball up, he worked incredibly hard and ran in behind, he was a real threat, a real menace the whole game and got his reward.And I think if he continues along that line he will go very close.Southgate is not due to name his next squad until March ahead of friendlies against Italy and Denmark.Tottenham striker Kane, who has a torn hamstring, will certainly miss those matches, while Manchester United forward Rashford, who has a stress fracture in his back, is unlikely to be available.Meanwhile, the extent of the ankle injury sustained by Chelsea top scorer Abraham remains unclear.Howe insists Wilson has remained positive during his difficult run in front of goal but expects the overdue strike to be a weight off the players shoulders.Callums always upbeat and Im not just saying that, said Howe.Hes that type of character, hes always smiling, hes always bouncing into training, so Ive had no problem with Callum in terms of his mood and how hes felt.Im sure he will be delighted to score because he lives for scoring goals.Im sure that will have made him feel better internally but he never lets that show externally.Bournemouth remain in the relegation zone on goal difference following only their second win from 13 top-flight fixtures.The victory alleviated mounting pressure on manager Howe and, ahead of Monday evenings FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Arsenal, he believes it was a big moment in his sides disappointing season.Its been nice to see players with that feeling of winning and enjoying life, said Howe.Everything looks different when you win. The players gave everything to the match and got rewarded with a massive win.It was a big moment in our season in lots of different ways.Everything was transformed, now we have to use that in the games coming, starting here against Arsenal.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ed Elliot, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '897aa430-a21e-43cb-8cf1-cfe0eb41bc2d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Howe believes Wilson is still a contender for England\u2019s Euro 2020 squad'});

January 24th 2020, 7:10 am

Manchester United fined for failing to control players against Liverpool

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Manchester United have been fined 20,000 for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the Premier League game against Liverpool on January 19 at Anfield, the Football Association has announced.Several United players surrounded referee Craig Pawson after Roberto Firminos goal was initially allowed to stand in the 26th minute of the match.The video assistant referee subsequently ruled the goal out for a foul on goalkeeper David De Gea, but United have been sanctioned for their reaction to the initial on-pitch decision.[1/2] Manchester United FC has been fined 20,000 after admitting a breach of FA Rule E20 and accepting the standard penalty. pic.twitter.com/5NXxnyzmwv FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) January 24, 2020United accepted the charge.An FA statement read: Manchester United FC has been fined 20,000 after admitting a breach of FA Rule E20 and accepting the standard penalty.The club failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 26th minute of a Premier League fixture against Liverpool FC on 19 January 2020.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '27198a02-9d46-4a92-9b0c-05fa1e79c5d5'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Manchester United fined for failing to control players against Liverpool'});

January 24th 2020, 6:40 am

Solskjaer convinced Manchester United will give him more time

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is convinced Manchester United will give him the time and backing to turn the stumbling giants around.Back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Burnley have been compounded by a toxic atmosphere around the club, with fans making their anger at the Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward loud and clear.Pressure and scrutiny is also ratcheting up on manager Solskjaer, yet the 1999 treble hero is understood to retain the belief and confidence of the Old Trafford hierarchy.It's not been nice losing two games but we go again. You've got to go on to the next one with the right mentality and look forward.#MUFC pic.twitter.com/kJN3HWjs2G Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 24, 2020United head to Tranmere in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday in desperate need of a victory, but the Norwegian remains confident they are on the right track.When you start on something, you stick to that plan, Solskjaer said.For me, anyway. Im not going to change six or eight or nine or 10 months after I got the job and start believing in a different way of doing things.Im going to stick to what Ive been trusted to do by the club and hopefully thatll be good enough, and they can see what were doing is right.Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks he will be given time to turn the sides fortunes around (Martin Rickett/PA)Its one of these jobs we know how football is nowadays but all my conversations with the club have been positive.Asked if it is about collectively holding their nerve, Solskjaer said: Of course, we cant react to all the noise outside.Of course theres always going to be criticism, youve got to take the criticism at this club. Youve got to be stronger mentally, probably, than anywhere else in the world.I feel I am, the club is strong. The staff Ive got with me, theyre very strong mentally so were sticking to what we believe in and Ive got full faith in what were doing.Solskjaer on turning things around: "Of course you can see other teams have done well. Jurgen spent four years building his team and they're doing well now, so of course I've said so many times it's not gonna be a quick fix" #MUFC Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) January 24, 2020Solskjaer has been charged with rebuilding the culture of the squad after the troublesome post-Sir Alex Ferguson period, with the former striker saying you have to lay the foundations before you can put the roof on.The United boss says weve had a couple of rainy days and we wish that roof was on, with injuries to key players and a lack of transfer activity playing a big part in those issues.United are looking to make at least one signing before the transfer window shuts next month, but Solskjaer knows it will take much longer to turn things around.Solskjaer knows building a team takes time (Martin Rickett/PA)For me, we do have a way of doing things, he said.Of course you can see other teams have done well. Jurgen (Klopp) spent four years building his team and theyre doing well now, so of course Ive said so many times its not going to be a quick fix.And its not going to be like eight players in or 10 players in one transfer window.Weve had one proper transfer window in the summer because the Januarys are difficult, but we are trying to do something now.While transfer work goes on in the background, Solskjaers immediate focus is on beating Tranmere after they shocked Watford in Thursdays FA Cup third-round replay.Manchester Uniteds Victor Lindelof is back in contention after an illness (Mike Egerton/PA)Victor Lindelof is available after illness but Axel Tuanzebe remains out, while fellow defender Eric Bailly could make his first appearance of the season following a serious knee injury despite the problematic and patchy Prenton Park pitch.Eric has had a couple of games behind closed doors here, Solskjaer said.The pitch is not great but thats the same for both of us and the players just have to be focused, ready. Theres divots everywhere.This generation coming through with astroturf and nice pitches, they get lazier in their heads.Eric is probably one of them who is more prepared and ready for a game with that pitch.Everyones just got to be focused both for injuries but also of course the bounce of the ball.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1441ab1f-90b1-4e6b-bbf1-25a91e5749d9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Solskjaer convinced Manchester United will give him more time'});

January 24th 2020, 6:40 am

We know how important FA Cup is, says Southampton boss Hasenhuttl

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Ralph Hasenhuttl believes the FA Cup represents a big chance to clinch silverware and insists his attitude towards the competition has not been altered by Southampton significantly easing their relegation concerns.Saints remarkable resurgence has alleviated mounting pressure on Hasenhuttl and his team ahead of Saturdays fourth-round tie with Jose Mourinhos Tottenham.The in-form south coast club have surged up the Premier League table on the back of seven wins from 11 games, with only leaders Liverpool and champions Manchester City accumulating more points during that time.Southampton manager Hasenhuttl, who made 10 changes for the third-round win over Huddersfield, is adamant league position has no bearing on his approach to the cup.Even if we would be lower in the table, we know about the importance of this competition, said the Austrian.When you see the trophy, I think everybody wants to get their hands on it.Its a short way to go there, a few games, and its a big chance to get a trophy and this is everything thats interesting for the weekend.We will go with the best possible squad to get into the next round against a strong side.Southamptons superb form has moved them eight points clear of the drop zone and just three shy of fifth-placed Manchester United and weekend opponents Spurs.European qualification is currently a realistic objective but Hasenhuttl is eager to avoid complacency and risk the rainy days returning.This is exactly the problem in modern football you book a few wins and suddenly everybody is dreaming, he said.They can do it. For us, its important that we still see how good we are.We took a few fantastic results but we know that if we stop doing what made us strong then we will immediately be a team that is not really competitive.All the rainy days we had before the sun came out helped us to enjoy the moment but to remember how quick it can change, this is a good message.Tottenham travel to the south coast with a solitary win from their previous five Premier League matches, a disappointing run which included a 1-0 loss at St Marys on New Years Day.Hasenhuttl dismissed suggestions it is a good time to face the eight-time FA Cup winners.I dont think the confidence is low because they won (against Norwich on Wednesday) and every game you win gives you confidence, he said.Theyre a strong side with fantastic players, fantastic manager.Although we won the last game, we know how tough it was. It was a tight game and it will be a tough fight, I think.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ed Elliot, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'caf6b62f-92c1-4ec1-b2d0-aa187b5ccabd'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'We know how important FA Cup is, says Southampton boss Hasenhuttl'});

January 24th 2020, 6:10 am

Southampton lose trio for Spurs cup clash

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Cedric Soares, Jannik Vestergaard and Shane Long will all miss Southamptons FA Cup fourth-round tie against Tottenham.Full-back Soares is expected to be out for around three weeks with knee ligament damage suffered in the midweek win at Crystal Palace, while centre-back Vestergaard (concussion) and forward Long (knee) also picked up problems at Selhurst Park.The enforced absence of Portugal international Soares could see midfielder James Ward-Prowse deployed at right-back, with Kevin Danso another option.Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl plans to make some changes for the all-Premier League tie. Jan Bednarek is expected to be available after missing out against Palace with an Achilles issue, but fellow defender Yan Valery remains sidelined due to a viral infection.Tottenham will be without Harry Winks for the trip to the south coast.The midfielder picked up an ankle injury in the midweek win over Norwich and is set for several weeks on the sidelines.Gedson Fernandes and Tanguy Ndombele will be hoping for starts at St Marys Stadium, while Christian Eriksens future is in the air as he closes in on a move to Inter Milan.Harry Kane (hamstring), Moussa Sissoko (knee) and Ben Davies (ankle) continue their recovery.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '40150b13-5391-4983-bce8-ef9ae27661e1'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Southampton lose trio for Spurs cup clash'});

January 24th 2020, 6:10 am

Blades boss Wilder looking to improve disappointing FA Cup record

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Chris Wilder thinks the time might be right for Sheffield United to have a run in the FA Cup, with the club closing in on securing their Premier League status.Wilder has been disappointed by his record in the cup since becoming Blades boss in the summer of 2016 none more so than last year when his side were knocked out at the first hurdle by non-league Barnet at Bramall Lane.Four-time winners United reached the fifth round in 2018, losing to Leicester, but during Wilders spell in charge promotion first from League One and then the Championship has been the priority.This year, the FA Cup might have taken a back seat to Premier League survival. But there are no such worries on that front. The Blades have been the surprise package of the season. Many tipped them for an immediate return to the Championship but the clubs first top-flight campaign for 12 years has been a resounding success to date, with the side currently sitting eighth in the table, one point behind fifth-placed Manchester United.Survival was the aim following promotion but one more victory would move Wilders men on to 36 points one more than the tally required to stay up last season.In the Premier League we are coming to a period now statistically where we are two or three wins off retaining our status, said Wilder, whose side face Millwall in the cup on Saturday.That wont be enough for us, and as players and staff we will keep on going right to the end of the season. But it means we want to go as far as possible in the FA Cup.It (losing to Barnet) was so disappointing last year. It was a real low point in what was an otherwise fantastic season for the club.Our record hasnt been great. The priorities were to get out of League One and then get out of the Championship. Clubs are always prioritising things, you have to. Liverpool played the kids in the League Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa to prioritise the Club World Cup, which they won.There will always be prioritisation but this is still a competition we have huge history in and would like to go well in so lets see where it takes us. If we can keep winning then who knows?But we have to get through an extremely tough tie on Saturday. Millwall is a tough place to go.Wilder made 11 changes in the third round against AFC Fylde but insists that will not be the case at The Den.The Blades boss needs to assess some tight bodies and knocks in his squad following the Premier League defeat to Manchester City in midweek. One of the players being monitored is striker David McGoldrick, who has missed the last two matches with a foot problem.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Sean Taylor, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a35b770e-564f-4cef-acd3-c70694d999eb'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Blades boss Wilder looking to improve disappointing FA Cup record'});

January 24th 2020, 5:40 am

Alex Dyer hoping competition for places can get Eamonn Brophy back to his best

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Kilmarnock boss Alex Dyer wants new boy Nicke Kabamba to help Eamonn Brophy get back to his best.Killie signed the 26-year-old striker fromHartlepool on an 18-month contract for an undisclosed fee and he scored off the bench on his debut in the 6-0 home William Hill Scottish Cup win against Queens Park last week.His cameo earned him a start in the Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Celtic at Rugby Park on Wednesday night and he netted again in the 3-1 defeat in which Brophy, whose form last season saw him win a Scotland cap against Cyprus, came off the bench.Ahead of the trip to St Johnstone on Saturday, Dyer spoke about added competition bringing the former Hamilton attacker, who has scored only four times this season, back to top form.I think Kabamba and Harry Bunn (new winger) have taken us to another level, it was something that we needed, some fresh blood around the place and may it continue, said Dyer, who hopes to have one or two more in before the window shuts.It is brilliant. Its what you want from your new signing, you want them to come in to the building and hit the floor running.It makes the other forwards look now and hopefully they have got to step themselves up, i.e. Brophy if he can get himselfback in the side.It might make him perk up a little bit and hopefully get him back to what he was.He is very important for the club,I want Brophy back firing.When Brophy is at the top of his game there is not many players better than him. We need to get him back to what he was.Hopefully with another person in the building it will give him that little bit of lift to say, I need to work a little bit harder and up my game a little bit.Whether it is Kabamba and Brophy together, or one of them up front, I hope they both do their job.Killie have not won a league game since beating Hearts on November 23 but Dyer is looking at the second half of the season with optimism.He said:The togetherness is back. Since we have come back after the break, everyone is at it, everyone is working hard and pointing in the right direction.So I am looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the season and hopefully we can go up there and get a point at least. Thats our aim.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '203a96da-b360-49af-a4c4-3e838470aed9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Alex Dyer hoping competition for places can get Eamonn Brophy back to his best'});

January 24th 2020, 5:40 am

Joel Valencia out to impress when Brentford face Leicester

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Brentford forward Joel Valencia is ready to take his chance if selected for Saturdays FA Cup fourth-round tie against Leicester.The Ecuadorian has struggled for game time since his switch to Griffin Park from Piast Gliwice in August and has largely been in the shadows of the Bees BMW front line.Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins have scored a combined 34 goals this season, but the former will definitely not feature against the Foxes following the death of his father earlier this week.Head coach Thomas Frank also rotated his team for the third-round win over Stoke and is set to make some changes again with a Championship fixture, at home to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday coming up.You need to find your place, Valencia said. I found it in Poland where it was my best football and now I am here and Brentford give me this opportunity and I need to show what I can do.Of course everybody needs to adapt, now the front three Ollie, Bryan and Said are playing brilliant so it is not that easy to get space in the team, but I need to wait my chance and I hope it will come.Valencia started the 1-0 win over Stoke on January 4 and has remarkably played in the Champions League, Europa League, Championship, Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season.He featured for Polish club Piast Gliwice in the qualification rounds of Europe in July before Bees secured his services.A dislocated shoulder stunted his adaptation period in the capital, but the 25-year-old insists he is really happy at Brentford and cannot wait for the cup encounter with Leicester.It is a really special game and important for us, Valencia added. It is a Premier League team and they have important and good players. It will be nice and Griffin Park will be full, so it will be really special.Brendan Rodgers has helped the Foxes break the top-four monopoly this term, with a 14-point advantage over Manchester United and Tottenham, who are fifth and sixth respectively.Frank said: Leicester have done fantastic this season and they are building a team and club which is progressing and trying to get into the top six or top four in the table.So far they have been the second or third best team in the Premier League and in the modern era where there are potentially six teams that are really good, that is impressive and impressive for Brendan and his staff.The BBC cameras will be at Griffin Park for Saturdays lunchtime kick-off, but Frank does not expect it to increase the expectation on his squad, who are fifth in the Championship.He said: Of course it means something when we are live on TV, to show what we are all about, but the most important thing is we try to do it every day on the training pitch and then we try to take it into every single game.Our approach to this game will not be different to any other. We will prepare, we know everything about our opponents, we have a plan for the game and we will give our maximum to try and win.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By George Sessions, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'ca7580ad-901c-440a-a991-b16c213dcdbe'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Joel Valencia out to impress when Brentford face Leicester'});

January 24th 2020, 5:40 am

Jesus Vallejo ends Wolves loan to join Granada

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Defender Jesus Vallejo has brought an early end to his loan spell at Wolves and will see out the rest of the campaign with Granada.The 23-year-old centre-half moved to Molineux from Real Madrid last July on a season-long loan but managed just two Premier League appearances and a handful of cup matches.A statement on Wolves website read: Jesus Vallejo has joined La Liga side Granada CF on a sub-loan until the end of the season.The Spaniard spent the first half of the campaign at Molineux, on loan from Real Madrid, making seven appearances in all competitions.However, after just two Premier League run-outs, most recently against Southampton in October, Vallejo returns to Spain, where hell see out the remainder of his season-long loan.Everyone at Wolves would like to wish Jesus the best of luck in the future.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '8d2c71f7-c6ff-41ec-8c1e-9d27b26d7325'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Jesus Vallejo ends Wolves loan to join Granada'});

January 24th 2020, 5:27 am

Midfielder Mooy signs permanent deal with Brighton

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Brighton have secured the permanent signing of midfielder Aaron Mooy from Huddersfield on undisclosed terms.The Australian international has signed a three-and-a-half year contract, after impressing during an initial loan spell during the first half of the season.Brighton head coach Graham Potter said: We are delighted to have agreed a permanent deal with Aaron and Huddersfield.Hes been an important player for us and will have a key part to play going forward.We knew what Aaron would bring, and hes proved to be an excellent addition to our squad and a great professional both on and off the pitch.Mooy, 29, spent time at St Mirren and Manchester City before joining Huddersfield in 2016.He has made 18 appearances for Brighton, 15 of them being Premier League starts, and scored two goals.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '689bb87c-e93b-48b6-acd7-ca8c55cae85d'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Midfielder Mooy signs permanent deal with Brighton'});

January 24th 2020, 5:27 am

Arsenal are set to treble Gabriel Martinelli's wages amid Real Madrid interest

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Martinelli was signed by Arsenallast summer for £6.3m from Brazilian club Ituano.Little was known about Martinelli bar the facta host of European clubs were chasing him.He previously had trials at Manchester United and Barcelona who both rejected the youngster.Now the Brazilian is emerging as a top talent, exemplified most recently by his breakaway equaliser against Chelsea on Tuesday night.Martinelli's 10 goals across all competitions make him the first teenager to reach double figures in a season for Arsenal since Nicholas Anelka.According to the Daily Mail, The 18-year-old's rise has caught the eye of Real Madrid and Arsenal are keen to renew his contract.It's reported that Arsenal will look to raise Martinelli's wages from £10,000 per-week to around £30,000 per-week.Martinelli, who has featured for Brazil's U23 side, holds an Italian passport which means he could elect to play for them in the future.However, it seems unlikely given Brazil's number nine role could be very much up for grabs in the coming years.Arsenal are already expanding and intensifying their Brazilian scouting network to find the next Martinelli."The way the market is going, the European clubs are looking not so much for established stars, they're looking for the likes of Martinelli," South American football expert Vickery toldSky Sports News."The Arsenal scouting unit are looking for players in Brazil who are by no means household names in their own home at the moment."READ MORE...It was only a draw – but was the comeback against Chelsea the sign of a new Arsenal?The paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?

January 24th 2020, 4:38 am

Barcelona and Chelsea chase Allan Arigoni, the 'fastest defender in Switzerland' - report

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Chelsea have registered an interest in Arigoni but face serious competition from Barcelona, according to Blick.The 21-year-old has made 15 leagueappearances this season and his blistering pace has helped himprovide five assists for teammates.It's reported that Chelsea and Barcelona lead a host of clubs after Arigoni's signature.But it appears that Barcelona are the furthest along in their approach for the Swiss right-back.It's understood that Barcelona legend Jose Mari Bakero has travelled to Switzerland to watch Arigoni in the flesh.Arigoni came through the ranks at Ticino Under-18s, where he was already regarded as one of the fastest players of his age group.The Swiss national has notched35.1kmph on the clock this season, which allegedly makes him the fastest defender in the country.The speed is similar to that of Achraf Hakimi, Real Madrid's loanee at Borussia Dortmund, who is said to be the fastest in the Bundesliga.Barcelona already have Nelson Semedo on the right side of the defence, but appear very convinced by Arigoni's potential.Meanwhile, Chelsea's young right-back Reece James has just signed a contract extension keeping him at the club till 2025.NOW TRY...Quiz! Can you name the Chelsea vs Liverpool line-ups from 2008?Quiz! Can you name every club to win Serie A?

January 24th 2020, 4:38 am

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sees Real Madrid's Isco as key to midfield dominance - report

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Liverpool sit atop the Premier League table, 16points ahead of second place with a gamein hand.Jurgen Klopp's side are unbeaten thus far and are setting pace for one of the most prolific title-winning seasons ever.But it's understood that theGerman maestro wants even more from his side and may dip into the market to feed his desire.According to El Desmarque, Klopp is keen on signingReal Madrid playmaker Isco to bolster his creative options.It's reported that Klopp believes his Liverpool side require a higher level of penetration in possession for certain games.Specifically, when the opposition are happy to let Liverpool have the ball and shut up shop - making themselves hard to break down.Recently, Zinedine Zidane has managed to get the best out of Isco of late, with the former Malaga man putting in some impressive performances.It's reported that Real Madrid have already rejected an unnamed offer for Isco and won't let him go easily.Club president Florentino Perez is said to value Isco at €70m (£59m) and Liverpool will have to pay in full if they want their man.If not, Liverpool are believed to be keen on Napoli's 23-year-old midfielderFabian Ruiz.However, Ruiz is expected to cost even more than Isco as the Serie A club see him as one of their biggest assets.READ MORE...The paradox of success: why do we think quick success is only delivered by short-term managers?Fed up of VAR? Have hope: here's 7 football rules changes that didn’t last

January 24th 2020, 4:23 am

Lukaku says split from Manchester United was ‘the right decision’

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Romelu Lukaku believes he made the right decision to leave Manchester United and insists the move was best for both parties.The Belgium striker joined United from Chelsea for 75million in July 2017, scoring 42 goals over his two seasons at the club before moving to Inter Milan last summer.Lukaku has been in superb form for Antonio Contes side, scoring 18 goals to help the club launch a challenge for the Serie A title.Those performances, and Uniteds reported interest in signing a striker this month after Marcus Rashfords back injury, have raised questions as to the wisdom of allowing Lukaku to leave Old Trafford.Lukaku admits his second season did not go well at Old Trafford (John Walton/PA)But, in an interview with Sky Sports News, the 26-year-old says the decision was his and is convinced it was best for everyone.I made my decision around March, and I went to the managers office and told him it was time for me to find something else, Lukaku said.I wasnt performing and I wasnt playing. I think it was better for both sides to go separate ways. I think I made the right decision.Manchester United has made space for the younger players to come through so I think it was a win-win situation for both of us.I think I had to rediscover myself. Last year was difficult for me on the professional side, because stuff was not going how I wanted and I was not performing as well. So I had to find it within myself what was lacking and came to the conclusion that it was time for me to change environment.Lukaku was signed for United by Jose Mourinho and had an excellent first season, scoring 27 goals as United finished second in the Premier League.But Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 after a disappointing start to the season, with Lukaku also unable to discover his best form.Lukaku added: I think Jose Mourinho if he would have had the players that he wanted, he would have done better than what we did.Lukaku is relishing playing under Conte (left) but believes Mourinho (right) could have achieved more at United with the right players (Nick Potts/PA)Former Chelsea manager Conte has certainly managed to bring the best out of Lukaku this season, in particular forging a lethal partnership with Argentinian forward Lautaro Martinez.Lukaku admits the Italian knows how to extract the most from his whole squad but revealed he is not afraid to dish out some stern words.The manager, he tells it straight to your face if youre doing well or wrong, he said.I remember one of my first Champions League games against Slavia Prague when I played really bad like I was trash that day and I really got it from him in front of the whole team.On to the next challenge @Inter pic.twitter.com/Bp6h4Jwoaa R.Lukaku Bolingoli9 (@RomeluLukaku9) January 12, 2020It had never really happened to me [in my career]. It had never happened.He just gave me that he stepped on my confidence but it woke me up at the same time. He does it to everybody, it doesnt matter who you are. Everybody is equal.You work hard, you train hard and you play. If you dont do what he says, you dont play. You know where you stand and thats what I respect about him.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '91fc662c-7d45-4237-852c-a762fb52b97e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Lukaku says split from Manchester United was \u2018the right decision\u2019'});

January 24th 2020, 2:08 am

Football’s most shocking moments – 25 years after Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick

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Saturday marks 25 years since Eric Cantonas astonishing kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace supporter at Selhurst Park.Here, the PA news agency takes a look at seven other shocking incidents to have taken place on a football pitch in the past 30 years.Luis Suarez bites Giorgio Chiellini (World Cup, June 2014)Luis Suarez sunk his teeth into Giorgio Chiellinis shoulder (Mike Egerton/PA)Perhaps we should not have been surprised. Uruguay striker Suarez had form, having already served lengthy bans for biting PSV Eindhovens Otman Bakkal while at Ajax and Chelseas Branislav Ivanovic while playing for Liverpool. But even so, the sight of him plunging his teeth into the shoulder of Italys Chiellini while playing for his country on the worlds biggest stage was one of those moments that nobody watching will ever forget. The footballing world was outraged, and Suarezs claim that it was accidental hardly helped. He eventually apologised, but only after being hit with a four-month ban from all football, and at the behest of Barcelona, who were in the process of signing him from Liverpool.Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi (World Cup, July 2006)Italys Marco Materazzi lies on the ground after being headbutted by Zinedine Zidane (Martin Rickett/PA)The 2006 World Cup final gave one of the games greatest players, Zidane, the opportunity to write a storybook ending to his career by guiding France to glory against Italy. Instead, he ended the evening in disgrace after launching a stunning headbutt into the chest of Materazzi, which lifted the Italy defender off his feet. It was later claimed that Materazzi had insulted Zidanes sister to provoke the attack, but whatever the explanation, the final image of Zidane was of him trudging off the pitch and into retirement so much so that the headbutt was commemorated in a statue by Algerian-born French artist Adel Abdessemed.Paolo Di Canio pushes referee Paul Alcock (Premier League, September 1998)Paolo Di Canio reacted to a red card by pushing referee Paul Alcock (Paul Barker/PA)Long before his apparently short-lived managerial career and controversy over his reported political views, Di Canio had a habit of attracting the spotlight on the pitch. Sometimes it was for moments of stunning skill (see his volley against Wimbledon for West Ham in 2000), or amazing gestures (like the time he passed up a clear scoring opportunity because he saw Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard was injured), but the most famous will always be his shove on referee Alcock during Sheffield Wednesdays match against Arsenal. Alcock had just dismissed the Italian for his role in a mass brawl, and Di Canio reacted by shoving the official. Perhaps if Alcocks stumble and fall had not been so comical, seemingly occurring in slow motion, the incident would not be so well remembered, but either way Di Canio was banned for 11 matches.Lee Bowyer fights Kieron Dyer (Premier League, April 2005)Newcastle pair Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer kissed and made up after being sent off for fighting each other (Alex Alevroyiannis/PA)The sight of team-mates fighting is hardly unprecedented, and we had even see two England internationals go at it before when Graeme Le Saux and David Batty fought while playing for Blackburn against Spartak Moscow in 1995. But the fight between Bowyer and Dyer during Newcastles 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa is the most memorable. The midfielders squared up off the ball and it took several moments for the other players and officials to realise what was going on. By the time they were separated, Bowyer had landed a punch or two and was hauled away by another England colleague, Gareth Barry, still raging and with his shirt split down the front. He and Dyer were sent off, leaving Newcastle with only eight men after the earlier dismissal of Stephen Taylor.Frank Rijkaard spits at Rudi Voller (World Cup, June 1990) ON THIS DAY | 1990 vs A particularly bad-tempered clash between West Germany Netherlands sees both Frank Rijkaard Rudi Voller sent off, the former for spitting at the German #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/L5zAfMlgyE FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) June 24, 2018Anything that happens at the World Cup comes with an extra shock factor with the eyes of the world watching. But the squabble between Rijkaard and Voller when Holland faced West Germany in 1990 was just bizarre. It started when Rijkaard fouled Voller and, having been booked, spat in the Germans hair as he waited for the free-kick unseen by the officials. When the ball was played in, Voller tumbled to the floor again, sparking outrage amongst the Dutch who thought he was trying to win a penalty. Rijkaard confronted him, grabbing his ear and stomping on his foot. Both men were sent off, and Rijkaard spat in Vollers hair once again as they walked off the pitch.Ben Thatcher elbows Pedro Mendes (Premier League, August 2006)Ben Thatcher received an eight-game ban for his assault on Pedro Mendes (PA)Thatchers challenge on Mendes was technically an elbow, but that does not really do it justice. As the pair were racing after a loose ball, Manchester City defender Thatcher slammed his arm into the back of Mendes head, sending the Portsmouth midfielder sprawling towards the advertising hoarding. Mendes was knocked unconscious and needed oxygen at the side of the pitch. Thatcher was only booked for the incident, but the Football Association ignored its own rules regarding incidents already dealt with by the referee and claimed an exceptional case as Thatcher was banned for eight matches, with a further 15 suspended.Roy Keane exacts revenge on Alf-Inge Haaland (Premier League, April 2001)Roy Keane admitted his horror tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland was deliberate (Phil Noble/PA)Keane and Haaland had been on bad terms since 1997, when Keane injured his anterior cruciate ligament trying to challenge the Norwegian in a match between Manchester United and Leeds. Four years later, in the heat of a Manchester derby, Keane launched a horror tackle on Citys midfielder, after which he was never the same player again. Keane was initially red-carded and banned for three matches, but the following year he was given an additional five-match ban and 150,000 fine after saying the tackle was deliberate in his autobiography.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a9136ee8-544b-4351-9cd4-30eeba439581'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Football\u2019s most shocking moments \u2013 25 years after Eric Cantona\u2019s kung-fu kick'});

January 24th 2020, 1:53 am

Ticket rush for Tranmere’s fourth-round FA Cup clash against Manchester United

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Tranmere fans were queuing well into the night for tickets after the club sealed a place in the fourth-round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Watford.The ticket office at Prenton Park stayed open until midnight on Thursday to accommodate the rush for Sundays tie against Manchester United.It will be the clubs first fourth-round appearance since they made it to the quarter-finals in 2003-04..@TranmereRovers fans queuing for @ManUtd tickets. Ticket office open till midnight pic.twitter.com/ocR8JcC8Ap Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) January 23, 2020But Tranmere manager Micky Mellon, who guided Shrewsbury to a fifth-round loss against United in 2016, said he was under no illusions as to the challenge awaiting the Rovers on Sunday.I dont think its an opportunity because of the form United are in, he said.They are a fantastic football club and will come here very professional..@ManUtd will not relish playing @TranmereRovers or this Prenton Park pitch on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/5ezTxXz3LR Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) January 23, 2020Ive seen the other side of that when I was at Shrewsbury and they came like robots, did the job and got out of town. I know that is the threat they possess.We have to go out there and understand that is what will come here. They are an unbelievable football club and we are a League One club, at the bottom end of League One, but we are going to give it everything weve got.We will try to represent the club again and the players will run their socks off again and who knows? What we do know is that we will be up against a formidable outfit.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a9df70a5-f2d2-482e-917e-7d935fa54f6e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Ticket rush for Tranmere\u2019s fourth-round FA Cup clash against Manchester United'});

January 24th 2020, 12:18 am

Klopp praises Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson following 2-1 win at Wolves

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Boss Jurgen Klopp hailed captain fantastic Jordan Henderson after he helped Liverpool inch closer to the Premier League title.The skipper scored the opener before setting up Roberto Firminos winner in Thursdays 2-1 victory at Wolves.It moved the Reds 16 points clear of Manchester City and extended their unbeaten league run to 40 games. They have not lost in the top flight for 12 months.And after the victory at Molineux, Klopp praised Hendersons impact.SKIPPER A brilliant display from your @carlsberg Man of the Match, @JHenderson pic.twitter.com/pTMtsi4q98 Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 23, 2020He said: His goal was incredible and that is just another side of his outstanding shape at the moment. He played an unbelievable game again.He was really shouting at everyone, keeping them on their toes, but its not about the shouting its about what you say.He only asks for things he expects from himself as well. We couldnt be in the situation we are without these kinds of characters.Liverpool will move 19 points clear of Manchester City if they win their game in hand at West Ham next week.They could lose six of their final 15 games and still be crowned champions but Klopp said thinking about any defeats makes him sick.He told BT Sport: I understand 100 per cent what youre talking about but its over when its over, not before, so why should we really think about it?Only the question the message you can lose six games, I could vomit when I hear that to be honest.So just lets carry on. Its difficult enough: Sunday Shrewsbury, Wednesday West Ham, Saturday Southampton. Thats tough. So we have to find solutions for all the different games.THESE REDS!! pic.twitter.com/rCbi5aRk9a Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 23, 2020Liverpool lost Sadio Mane to a hamstring injury in the first half and rode their luck after Raul Jimenez made it 1-1 after the break.Alisson saved well from Jimenez and Adama Traore as Wolves pushed the leaders close.Boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: It was a good performance and a very good game. We were organised, we created a lot of situations and we kept going.The result is a consequence of all these things. Defensively we were organised and we played well.It says a lot of what were trying to do for the future. Were going the right way.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Mashiter, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '70e9e9ef-ac95-468f-909b-8c026ec50020'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Klopp praises Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson following 2-1 win at Wolves'});

January 24th 2020, 12:18 am

Dennis Wise’s son makes FA Cup appearance 20 years after celebrating with father

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The son of former Chelsea and Wimbledon midfielder Dennis Wise featured as a substitute for Watford in the FA Cup on Thursday, almost two decades after celebrating alongside his father at Wembley.Henry Wise, 20, came on in extra time as the Hornets suffered a 2-1 defeat to Sky Bet League One side Tranmere.The midfielder, who joined Watford in 2019 having previously been at Derby, was introduced in place of Domingos Quina with 106 minutes of the tie gone.Dennis Wise won two FA Cups with Chelsea and one with Wimbledon (Rebecca Naden/PA)Wises father won the FA Cup three times, including in 2000 just months after Henry was born.Chelsea triumphed 1-0 over Aston Villa on that day the last FA Cup final to be held at the old Wembley Stadium.Dennis saw a goal disallowed with the scores level, before team-mate Roberto Di Matteo netted the winner.Henry Wise accompanied his father during the trophy presentation (Rebecca Naden/PA)Henry joined in the celebrations, with his father holding the trophy in one hand and his son almost five months old at the time in the other.The younger Wise will have to wait a little longer to get his hands on the trophy, however, following Thursdays upset at Prenton Park.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Max McLean, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '108de90c-45e9-48f1-a150-3e33e8d0435f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Dennis Wise\u2019s son makes FA Cup appearance 20 years after celebrating with father'});

January 23rd 2020, 7:18 pm

Mellon relishes taking on Man Utd after knocking Watford out of FA Cup

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Tranmere manager Micky Mellon is relishing an FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Manchester United having dumped Premier League Watford out in a replay at Prenton Park.Substitute Paul Mullin headed home in extra time after Hornets debutant Kaylen Hinds had cancelled out centre-back Manny Monthes first-half strike.It means Ole Gunnar Solksjaers struggling side have to make the short trip to the Wirral on Sunday, and it is not a journey they will be relishing on the evidence of the performance against Watford.I dont think its an opportunity because of the form United are in, said Mellon.I know they have a threat. We have to make sure we are ready.We will give it everything we have got. There is no doubt we will be up against a good side.Two days is enough for us to be ready..we will be fine.Asked if he thought United were vulnerable, considering the pressure which Solksjaer is coming under Mellon added: No. They are a fantastic football club and will come here very professional.Ive seen the other side of that when I was at Shrewsbury and they came like robots, did the job and got out of town. I know that is the threat they possess.We have to go out there and understand that is what will come here. They are an unbelievable football club and we are a League One club, at the bottom end of League One, but we are going to give it everything weve got.We will try to represent the club again and the players will run their socks off again and who knows? What we do know is that we will be up against a formidable outfit.Much has been made of the state of the Prenton Park pitch, it has suffered because of the weather and heavy rain forced the postponement of this replay last week.Both wings were heavily sanded and the are a number of bald patches on the playing surface.A lot of hard work has gone into the pitch, added Mellon.Everyone complains about it and we say We have to play on it as well, more than you.We got it on and it was a good game on there. Nigel Pearson wouldnt moan about it because hes a good guy.To his credit Pearson, who made 11 changes from Tuesday nights defeat at Aston Villa and selected seven under-23 players, made no excuses about the surface.It was a tough game. We learned a lot about our young players tonight and I thought the senior players were excellent, he said.Congratulations to Tranmere. For people who possibly thought we werent too interested in it, we were but we couldnt risk too many first-team players.It (the pitch) is the same for everyone. They showed a lot of energy and desire. In the first half we were second-best in terms of desire.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Carl Markham, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '723e8327-0073-4591-a069-b215842fce71'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Mellon relishes taking on Man Utd after knocking Watford out of FA Cup'});

January 23rd 2020, 6:48 pm

Tranmere upset Watford to earn Manchester United tie

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Tranmere striker Paul Mullin booked a dream home fourth-round tie against Manchester United with an extra-time goal that earned his side a 2-1 FA Cup upset against an understrength Watford.The 25-year-old, who also scored the equaliser at Vicarage Road on January 4 which earned this replay, nodded in at the far post having missed a chance in regulation time to put the tie beyond their Premier League opponents.It was no more than the Sky Bet League One side deserved, having taken the lead through centre-back Manny Monthe only for substitute Kaylen Hinds to equalise on his debut.MULLINNNNNNNNN #EmiratesFACup @TranmereRovers pic.twitter.com/fyJQ0wpMQL The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 23, 2020A tie against dogged opponents on a dodgy pitch in front of a packed Prenton Park is the last thing Ole Gunnar Solskjaers struggling United side will have wanted considering their recent troubles.Watfords excuse for losing to a team 46 places below them is that manager Nigel Pearson had no intention of taking this tie seriously as he is prioritising Premier League survival.He made 11 changes for a second match in 48 hours, with none of those who started Tuesdays 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa even in the squad.He named just three first-team regulars Jose Holebas, Christian Kabasele and Andre Gray with a combined age of 91.The seven other outfield players combined age was just 137 and that lack of experience was evident as they showed little appetite for the challenge presented by a League One side on a sub-standard pitch marked with bald patches and heavily sanded down both wings.Nigel Pearson made wholesale changes for the trip to Tranmere (Richard Sellers/PA)Heavy rain had forced postponement of this fixture last week and, while the pitch remained an issue, the hosts used their familiarity with the circumstances to their advantage.Corey Blackett-Taylor had a good first half and should have scored when a sweeping crossfield move from right to left reached him, but he was wide with his angled shot.When Kieron Morris shot was parried by Daniel Bachmann, Blackett-Taylor, under pressure, ballooned the rebound over.Watford did not seem to have much of an idea how to handle opponents snapping at their ankles and who were first to the 50-50s, while still being able to knock it around at times.If Rovers were guilty of one thing it was not getting their crosses in often enough, but when Blackett-Taylor swung over a corner, Monthe volleyed home left-footed from the edge of the area off the inside of the post.Manny Month does it home and away against @WatfordFC #EmiratesFACup @TranmereRovers pic.twitter.com/3q45TYWSBJ The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 23, 2020Having scored five in the previous five seasons, the big centre-back now has three in four appearances, including one at Vicarage Road.The visitors did not test Scott Davies until four minutes after half-time, when Brazilian teenager Joao Pedro, in only his second appearance after work permit clearance in October allowed him to be registered in January, forced a good low save having broken through.As the hosts began to tire and drop deeper, Watford sensed their chance and Holebas powerful strike against the angle of post and crossbar was a warning shot.It was one they did not heed as the 21-year-old Hinds, a half-time substitute and Arsenal academy graduate, drilled the equaliser through a crowd of players from a corner.They all count! #EmiratesFACup @WatfordFC pic.twitter.com/F2ycM0apO1 The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 23, 2020Mullin rounded the keeper and should have scored but hit the outside of the post from a narrow angle, while Neil Danns drove wide with virtually the last kick of the 90 minutes.Watfords Callum Whelan, a former Manchester United trainee who would have had one eye on a fourth-round meeting with his former club, forced the first save of extra time.But Tranmere struck the decisive blow just before the interval, with Mullin converting Blackett-Taylors flick-on.Watford introduced Henry Wise son of three-time FA Cup winner Dennis Wise from the bench for the closing minutes, but he was unable to make a telling impact.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Carl Markham, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'cacc5994-7c5f-407f-81f5-0bc89b9c95d1'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Tranmere upset Watford to earn Manchester United tie'});

January 23rd 2020, 6:18 pm

Klopp dismisses talk of pressure as Liverpool secure narrow win over Wolves

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Boss Jurgen Klopp dismissed any pressure as runaway leaders Liverpool moved another step closer to the Premier League title.Roberto Firminos late strike moved the champions-elect 16 points clear at the top after a 2-1 win at Wolves.It came after Alisson ensured they extended their unbeaten league run to 40 games with vital saves from Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez.Jimenez had earlier hauled Wolves level in the second half after Jordan Hendersons opener.Liverpool are closing in on a first title in 30 years but Klopp insisted he is not fixated on their position.Klopp said: I dont think about it, I had to ask about exactly the amount of points, thats the truth, I really forgot in the week.I didnt think about it, Iknow we play Sunday at Shrewsbury (in the FA Cup), I know we play Wednesday at West Ham and I know we play Saturday.Thats three games in seven days which is a lot. We lost Saido Mane (to a hamstring injury) and thats the pressure I think about. All the rest is no pressure.We said it before it would be a really tough game, Wolves are doing so unbelievably well, they are so different to everything else you face.Liverpool travel to West Ham next week for their game in hand and victory would move them 19 points clear of Manchester City after they snatched the points at Molineux.They scored a super goal and had a big chance from Ali saves, Klopp added.We scored our wonderful goal after a set-piece but not a second or third means everything is open and then it gets intense.We had chances, Mo (Salah) and Bobby in front of the goalkeeper and thena worldie from Bobby, it was a super goal.This ball can go wide and we know the sound of that. That we have different options to score gives us the opportunity to stay in the game.Wolves knocked Klopps men out of the FA Cup at Molineux 12 months ago and pushed their visitors hard.But slapdash defending allowed Henderson to open the scoring when he headed in Trent Alexander-Arnolds corner after eight minutes.Clear chances were at a premium until Jimenez headed in his 20th goal of the season from Traores excellent delivery early in the second half.Wolves then pushed for a winner with fine Alisson saves thwarting Traore and Jimenez before Firmino fired in when he collected Hendersons pass.Diogo Jota could have levelled at the death though but scooped Jimenezs cross over.Boss Nuno Espirito Santo said: It was a good performance and a very good game. We were organised, we created a lot of situations and we kept going.The result is a consequence of all these things. Defensively we were organised and we played well.We created chances and the momentum was there but we faced a very good team. I am very happy with the boys. Its small margins.It says a lot of what were trying to do for the future. Were going the right way.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Mashiter, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'b1bc6442-a95f-47cb-a0bf-eca41e5ae3af'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Klopp dismisses talk of pressure as Liverpool secure narrow win over Wolves'});

January 23rd 2020, 6:18 pm

Eric Dier dismisses rumours of dressing room unrest under Jose Mourinho

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Eric Dier scoffed at rumours that Tottenhams players are already growing tired of life under Jose Mourinho.Reports have emerged that the Spurs players believe they are regressing under the head coachs outdated training methods while defender Danny Rose is said to have clashed with the Portuguese after being left out of the matchday squad.But England midfielder Dier has refuted those claims and insists any unhappiness only stems from frustrating results on the pitch.Any club, when results arent going well, is not a happy atmosphere, he said. But it definitely isnt a negative atmosphere.A battling display and big three points! Highlights from tonight's win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. #THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/mDRNi6q37E Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 22, 2020I dont feel anything along those lines personally and I think everybody has been training very well, training hard, enjoying themselves in the same way as always.Like I say, when the results arent good, nobody is happy. Only in that sense, though nothing negative.The spirit has always been one of this teams greatest strengths and I still think it is. I dont think anything has changed in that sense.I dont know what these stories are about.Danny Rose has not featured in any of the last three Tottenham squads (John Walton/PA)When asked about the training methods, which were described in Wednesdays newspaper article as like lower-league sessions, Dier was quick to defend Mourinho and his staff.Who is saying that? Maybe you lads know I dont, he said. But personally I have enjoyed it. I enjoy doing new things.It is always enjoyable to do different things and learn new things in football, so personally, I cannot say anything along those lines.Club captain Hugo Lloris also rubbished such claims, insisting that everything is positive. View this post on Instagram An important three points at @tottenhamhotspurstadium! #COYS #THFCA post shared by Tottenham Hotspur (@spursofficial) on Jan 22, 2020 at 1:23pm PSTThe Frenchman, who made his first appearance under Mourinho in the 2-1 win over Norwich following a three-month injury lay-off, said: I can tell you that its completely wrong.The atmosphere is great, we can feel all the players involved and ready to fight for the club, the new manager and his staff.We cannot control everything you say outside but I can confirm the atmosphere is very positive. Were focused on our days and every competition were involved in.After a bumpy spell, Spurs got back on track against Norwich on Wednesday in what could be Christian Eriksens final appearance in front of Tottenhams home fans. Eriksen is widely expected to leave before the January transfer window closes, with Inter Milan keen on taking him to Italy.The Danes situation has turned into a saga, ever since he declared he wanted to leave in the summer, and some fans have booed him recently, feeling he is not fully committed to the cause.But Dier has praised Eriksens professionalism over the last few months.There is nothing negative you could say about Christian, he said. I have been here almost as long as he has and he has always handled himself in the best way.Christian Eriksen is expected to leave Spurs in the current transfer window (Tim Goode/PA)He has always been one of the most professional players I have known and one of the best players at Tottenham on the most consistent basis.When you look, he has probably played the most games in that period. There is nothing negative to say about Christian.Whatever he has done, he has done with the best intentions. So he does not deserve that from anyone.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Jonathan Veal, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'c3f093de-467c-4dbd-9425-c5d0f45b63b4'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Eric Dier dismisses rumours of dressing room unrest under Jose Mourinho'});

January 23rd 2020, 5:48 pm

Midfielder Josh Laurent warns Liverpool to expect a physical game at Shrewsbury

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Shrewsbury midfielder Josh Laurent has warned that Liverpool can expect a physical encounter when they travel to Montgomery Waters Meadow in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.Shrewsburys reward for a 1-0 win over Bristol City in a third-round replay is a meeting with Jurgen Klopps world and European champions on home turf.Having fielded a young side for their third-round victory over rivals Everton, Liverpool are expected to make several changes once more, but regardless of who is on the team sheet, Laurent warned they will not get special treatment from their hosts.Well try and play a bit of football, but well try to make it a physical game, he said. Were hard to beat. Were not going out to hurt anyone, but to stamp our authority.We want to make sure they know theyre in a game early, tell them were not here for a day out. Were here to win the game.Few would back the Shrews against the runaway Premier League leaders, but Laurent insists his confidence going into the game is genuine.Well all be trying our hardest to beat them, and Im pretty confident we will, Laurent said. I just think at our place, the pitch will be different, and on our day were hard to beat, defensively strong.As long as we can keep the back door shut, well always win games. Nick a goal, as we did at Bristol, Im sure we can do that again.We took Wolves to a replay last season and did well against them at their place, nearly going in at half-time 2-1 up. Who knows? If we had done that we might have seen the game out.Laurent admitted that facing Wolves twice last season had shown him up close the quality of a Premier League side.In the first game, 10 minutes in we pressed them really high, we pushed them back almost to their goal line, he said. Somehow, I dont know how, they played their way round it. Thats the level they are on.Good players who know what to do with themselves in every situation. That was a great game to learn from. And Liverpool are supposed to be the best team in the world so Im sure theyll be on a different level again.If Shrewsbury were to have a hero on Sunday, Laurent might be a good bet.The 24-year-old bagged the winner when the Shrews beat Championship Stoke in the third round last year having already won a penalty in the match and was also on the scoresheet at Molineux as they lost the replay 3-2 having led 2-1.When it is FA Cup weekend I am looking forward to it, because it usually means goals for me, Laurent said. I am hoping another one comes again this Sunday.I think I dreamt about it a few times. But no-one cares who becomes the hero at the club. We are just looking to win the game.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ian Parker, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '41a971b8-36ae-4860-ba79-be2f00a558cf'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Midfielder Josh Laurent warns Liverpool to expect a physical game at Shrewsbury'});

January 23rd 2020, 5:48 pm

Mourinho ‘idiot’ joke about Saints coach Sparke-d running joke at Southampton

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Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that Jose Mourinho branding Southampton goalkeeping coach Andrew Sparkes an idiot became a running joke among his staff.Tottenham manager Mourinho grabbed headlines with his barbed comments about Sparkes following a surprise 1-0 Premier League loss to Saints on New Years Day.The Portuguese could face a frosty reception from home fans on Saturday when he returns to St Marys for an FA Cup fourth-round tie.Saints boss Hasenhuttl, who has repeatedly spoken of his admiration for Mourinho, feels no animosity towards his fellow coach and revealed the controversial incident has provided a source of humour.I dont think so, its emotion, they are part of the game, replied the Austrian when asked if he expected the argument to resume.Jose is a fantastic guy and Andrew is also a fantastic guy.It was a running gag after the game, also in our office, but he is a good guy and I think this is normal sometimes in a game, that emotions are coming up.But dont hang it too high, I think.Mourinho received a yellow card from referee Mike Dean after a touchline altercation with Sparkes.His frustration boiled over due to perceived time-wasting from Southampton as he watched Tottenham labour in defeat and lose star striker Harry Kane to a long-term injury.Speaking immediately after the game, the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss said: I think the yellow card is fair because I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot.That impressive win for resurgent Saints, secured by an early Danny Ings strike, is part of a run of seven victories from 11 top-flight games which have propelled the south coast club away from relegation danger.Hasenhuttl hopes to see a handshake between Mourinho and Sparkes ahead of the rematch.Yeah, maybe, yes, he said.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Ed Elliot, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'e9dc97de-14f4-496a-a2fe-2bb51db44576'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Mourinho \u2018idiot\u2019 joke about Saints coach Sparke-d running joke at Southampton'});

January 23rd 2020, 5:48 pm

Firmino fires Liverpool to win at Wolves

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Roberto Firminos late strike at Wolves continued Liverpools fairytale season to move them 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League.The forward snatched a 2-1 victory with six minutes left to maintain the Reds unbeaten Premier League run, although they were given a major scare at Molineux.Raul Jimenezs 20th goal of the season had cancelled out Jordan Hendersons early opener.40 @premierleague matches unbeaten pic.twitter.com/CZEXxzd147 Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 23, 2020But Liverpool were indebted to Alisson after vital saves from Jimenez and Adama Traore when they were under serious second-half pressure.Victory allowed Jurgen Klopps relentless side to stretch their unbeaten league run to 40 and they still have a game in hand in next weeks trip to West Ham.Wolves, who remain seventh, dominated much of the play after the break but became another victim of the Liverpool juggernaut.40 @premierleague matches unbeaten pic.twitter.com/CZEXxzd147 Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 23, 2020The hosts knocked the Reds out of the FA Cup at Molineux last season and looked for a repeat result early on.Pedro Netos low free-kick caused panic in the visitors backline during a bright start.But Liverpool underlined their status as runaway leaders when they went ahead after eight minutes.Trent Alexander-Arnolds free-kick was deflected behind and from the resulting corner his delivery found Henderson to nod in his second goal of the season from six yards.Jordan Henderson (centre, obscured) opened the scoring at Molineux (Nick Potts/PA)Wolves remained undaunted, despite going behind, and could have levelled two minutes later when Matt Doherty headed Ruben Neves cross wide.They refused to let Klopps side rest on the ball or dictate the early tempo although failed to click in the final third.Liverpool also struggled to create clear chances, with Mohamed Salah denied by a combination ofJonny and Romain Saiss when he found a rare opening.They would have been encouraged having ridden out Wolves pressure but suffered a first-half setback when Sadio Mane was forced off after 33 minutes. Takumi Minamino replaced him for a Premier League debut.Sadio Mane is an injury concern for Liverpool (Richard Sellers/PA)Jimenez dragged a shot wide eight minutes before the break but Wolves survived a fright late in the half.Salah raced onto Firminos header to dart into the area but his shot hit Doherty and looped into Rui Patricios arms.The goalkeeper had to be more alert a minute after the break, though, when Salah robbed Traore only to see Patricio turn his sharp drive away.It proved vital as Wolves, whohad threatened to produce a moment of quality, found the equaliser six minutes into the second half.Raul Jimenez (left) equalised for Wolves (Mark Kerton/PA)Jimenez fed Traore and continued his run into the box where he arrived unchecked to power in a header from the wingers pinpoint cross.Wolves immediately chased a second and Alisson turned away Traores fizzing low drive.The Wolves winger was causing countless problems for Liverpool and slipped Jimenez in with 22 minutes to go, with Alisson making a vital block.Salah fired wide in a brief opening for the visitors but Wolves continued to be a menace with Traore the ringleader.Firmino (left) won the game with this shot (Nick Potts/PA)Yet Firmino nearly restored the Reds lead with eight minutes left when he bundled his way through, only to be denied by Patricos legs.It was only a warning though as, two minutes later, the Brazilian snatched the winner.Salah was crowded out on the edge of the area but Henderson managed to slip in Firmino and he smash an angled drive across Patricio into the corner.Substitute Diogo Jota could have still levelled for the hosts but hooked over from close range as Liverpool survived.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Nick Mashiter, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '4be54b53-242d-49cf-b31d-8e37d01f830f'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Firmino fires Liverpool to win at Wolves'});

January 23rd 2020, 5:48 pm

Leicester interested in signing Southampton defender Vestergaard

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Leicester are looking at signing Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard, the PA news agency understands.The giant defender joined Saints in July 2018 from Borussia Monchengladbach in an 18million deal, becoming the clubs first defensive reinforcement since Virgil Van Dijk left for Liverpool.Vestergaard has struggled to nail down a starting spot under Ralph Hasenhuttl but Leicester are understood to be keen on the Denmark international as they look to bolster their squad.The Foxes are reported to have put in a 15m bid for the 27-year-old, but Saints would want to recoup their outlay.Vestergaard played the first half as Leicester romped to a 9-0 victory at St Marys in October. The defender has only appeared four times in all competitions during the clubs resurgence since then.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '7bcea4ec-47ab-475c-8ee2-82629895fd91'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Leicester interested in signing Southampton defender Vestergaard'});

January 23rd 2020, 4:18 pm

FPL bosses flock to Perez after Vardy’s fitness woes

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With Jamie Vardy suffering an injury scare, Fantasy Premier League managers have quickly turned to the man who filled the Englishmans boots Ayoze Perez.The Leicester man is just one of many players managers are transferring in ahead of gameweek 25, with the end of the season coming into view.Whether its a cheap midfielder or a premium forward your team is in need of, there is something for everyone belowPoints for PerezWhen Vardy hit the deck with glute trouble, scores of FPL managers cursed their luck but it was not long before plenty were turning their attentions to his team-mate Perez.The 26-year-old filled his own boots as well as those of Vardy by bagging a brace late on against the Hammers, returning 15 FPL points as a result.A net total of 34,017 bosses have since brought the Spaniard into their squad, and at quite the saving too. Perez costs just 6.1million, a whopping 3.9m less than his colleague.(Tim Goode/PA)Furthermore, Perezs goals earn more points due to his midfielder classification, while he has a total of seven goals and five assists this season so far.Clearly the short-term appeal of Perez has been strong enough for some, but beware the return of Vardy the FPL believe he is 75 per cent likely to play in the Foxes next league fixture.Forward favouritesDominic Calvert-Lewin, Raul Jimenez and Sergio Aguero make a perfect FPL front three currently, and managers are recognising that by bringing in at least one of the trio in their thousands.Between them theyve scored 36 league goals and registered 10 FPL assists this season, costing just 25.5m as a group.Furthermore, all three are in some kind of form currently, and therefore could be worth bringing in if you have the free transfers or wildcard to do so.(Mark Kerton/PA)Aguero has six goals in his last three games, while Jimenez has four in six and DCL boasts five in six.In conclusion, any one of these players would be worth drafting into your side, so why not have all three?!Keen on DeanLast but not least, goalkeepers often fall to the bottom of the priority list for FPL bosses, but not Dean Henderson.The Sheffield United stopper managed to earn 11 points against Manchester City despite conceding, with a penalty save and four blocks earning him three bonus points.Throughout the season Henderson has been consistent enough to warrant selection for a player costing just 5m, with eight clean sheets and more than 60 saves to his name.(Mike Egerton/PA)In fact, the 22-year-old has more points than any goalkeeper in the FPL this season (101), becoming the first stopper to cross the 100-point threshold.Hendersons next five games have all been given a Fixture Difficulty Ranking of two, meanwhile, the lowest ranking in the FDR system.With all that in mind, its no wonder a net total of more than 60,000 have brought him into their squad ahead of GW25.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Max McLean, PA'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '1f00b82c-bdd3-413b-9ee1-eedaa8eb954e'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'FPL bosses flock to Perez after Vardy\u2019s fitness woes'});

January 23rd 2020, 4:18 pm

Aston Villa believe Louie Barry signing shows ambition of the club

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Aston Villa have hailed a powerful message of ambition in signing former West Brom youth striker Louie Barry from Barcelona.Academy manager Mark Harrison insists Villas capture of the highly-rated teenager shows the Birmingham clubs bold plans for the future.The 16-year-old Barry rejected a senior contract at boyhood club West Brom and joined Barcelona in July 2019, but has now returned to England to sign for one the Baggies fiercest rivals.This sends a powerful message about the ambition of this football club, said Harrison.Were delighted, Louie is a local person and his family are all Villa fans, as is Louie.Barry made 10 appearances for Barcelonas youth teams, scoring two goals.He is still a very young man but as hes developed hes always been one player that you always recognise as having outstanding attributes, Harrison told Villas official club website.Hes got a fantastic mentality, hes desperate to do well for this football club.Hes really driven, hes got great family support, but in terms of what he can achieve, we firmly believe that he can be an outstanding number nine for this football club.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a53a622d-c870-4c4e-a44b-e0e5c2d0a261'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Aston Villa believe Louie Barry signing shows ambition of the club'});

January 23rd 2020, 1:11 pm

Hibs boss Ross pleased with valuable Omeonga minutes

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Hibernian head coach Jack Ross was delighted to get new signing Stephane Omeonga back into the fray.The midfielder came on at half-time as Hibs turned around a deficit to beat Hamilton 2-1 on Wednesday night.Omeonga had ended an unhappy loan spell at Cercle Brugge to return to Hibs on a temporary deal from Genoa.Its the challenging part of the January window because quite often you are recruiting players that are available because they havent played a lot and arent featuring at their club, Ross told Hibs TV.He has not played a huge amount of football, only a couple of first-team games and even beyond that not a lot of reserve football as well. And at the moment we are not doing a huge amount of training because of the number of games we have got.So trying to get him a little bit of second string and getting him up to speed is challenging, but that will have done him the world of good.He has got a naturally good fitness level anyway, but getting back out on the pitch and experiencing that for 45 minutes will be really beneficial.(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Sport Staff'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a4ae640f-61a4-465a-a8af-5909de8453e9'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football'); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hibs boss Ross pleased with valuable Omeonga minutes'});

January 23rd 2020, 1:11 pm
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