Bluebirds cancel sunshine break

first_img As well as Spurs, 19th-placed Cardiff face the daunting challenges of Liverpool and Everton, as well as a basement scrap with Fulham, in their next four games. The former Manchester United forward believes “loads of improvement” is needed to get any points from that quartet, “especially inside the two boxes, because you need to score goals to win games in football and not concede soft, easy goals”. He added: “We have to say, first half, they had two attacks (and) scored two goals.” Despite the bitter disappointment of losing so heavily to another bottom-half club – a defeat that leaves the Bluebirds three points and at least nine goals from safety – Solskjaer is confident they can get the five wins in 11 he believes should be enough to survive in the Premier League. “I still think so,” added the former Molde boss. “We need five wins. We need to find that fifth win that we were hoping was going to be today. “That means we have to get a win from maybe an away game we didn’t expect to. How often have we seen that in the Premier League, that there’s a surprise result? “All you can say is these lads, knowing the character of them; they will roll their sleeves up and work as hard as they can to get the points we need. The Norwegian had been planning to take the relegation-threatened Bluebirds out to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to sharpen up ahead of their trip to fifth-placed Tottenham at White Hart Lane in a week’s time. But after watching his charges thrashed by the Tigers, suffering their biggest home defeat since losing 4-0 to Cambridge United in April 2000, Solskjaer confirmed he had changed his mind in favour of some intensive preparation in wintry Wales. “They’re never, ever going to lay down and give up. They have been knocked down, but luckily they’ve not landed face down. They’ve landed on their back and that way they can look up. “That’s the only way that we’re going to get out of this – work hard, work together, stick together and do the right things at the right time. At times, players wanted to do a little bit too much and that’s good. “You want that enthusiasm to want to make a difference and want to make an impression, but do your job. The enthusiasm was there, the effort was there, but the decision-making wasn’t the best.” Cardiff had plenty of chances against the Tigers, but for the third Premier League game in a row, they drew a blank. The visitors were happy to soak up the pressure and repeatedly hit them on the break. A brace from recent signing Nikica Jelavic and goals from Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore – on loan from Spurs – gave Steve Bruce’s men their biggest away win in the top flight. Bruce, who like Solskjaer was a hero at Old Trafford during his playing career, wished his counterpart all the best. He said: “I’m delighted that somebody like Ole, for a start, has gone into management and if we’re not careful – I keep saying this, week in week out – we’re going to discourage people like Ole Gunnar. “He’s had a wonderful playing career and wants to stay in the game. He’s an enthusiast of the game. You’ve got to give him time and let him manage. “That goes for everybody. When you see the ridiculous turnover of managers that we have repeatedly in this country, it’s ridiculous, and if we’re not careful we’re going to turn people away.” Press Association Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has cancelled his players’ warm-weather training trip to Abu Dhabi following the 4-0 defeat at home to Hull on Saturday.last_img read more

Clement rules out Baggies move

first_img Clement himself initially stated “the time for me to be a number one is soon”, thanking Ancelotti for providing him with the belief he can make the step up after working alongside the Italian at not just Real, but also Paris St Germain and Chelsea. But Clement, whose brother Neil played for Albion for 10 years from 2000 to 2010, has now suggested his time with Real is far from over. “Working for Real Madrid is a fantastic experience and I’m very happy here at the moment,” said Clement on talkSPORT. “My family are settled and we’d like to stay and enjoy this experience. “I do have ambitions to make that step up to management at some point in the near future, and if the right club comes along at the right time then I’d like to do it. “But at the moment I’m just going to enjoy my time here.” When it was suggested to Clement a potential move may come sooner rather than later, he replied: “Possibly, but we’ll just have to wait and see. “I’m working at a fantastic club every day, we’ve great players here and we’re competing for big trophies. “Next year we’ll play in the game against the Europa League winners (the UEFA Super Cup); we’ll be in the World Club Championship as well as competing for the La Liga title, Copa del Rey and Champions League. “It’s exciting times for Real Madrid.” Paul Clement has ruled himself out of the running for the vacant manager’s post at West Brom. As assistant to manager Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, and following the club’s 10th Champions League triumph on Saturday, Clement has shot to prominence and been linked with a number of roles. With Albion in search of a successor to the sacked Pepe Mel, the 42-year-old was being hotly tipped to move to The Hawthorns despite his lack of managerial experience. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Hammers ‘have stadium veto’

first_img The London Legacy Development Corporation took the decision to hand West Ham the long-term lease and its chair of the budget and performance committee John Biggs admitted a second deal with Spurs would be beneficial to the company. “The government has cut funding to the LLDC, so it’s pretty clear that it would welcome an approach from Tottenham, as the income generated would be a boost,” he said. “Retro-fitting a roof to the Olympic Stadium is an expensive exercise and Londoners will have to foot the cost of any overruns. The Olympic Stadium is a good option for Spurs fans and for taxpayers – although West Ham may have something to say about it – but I’m sure it would be possible to come to a ground-sharing agreement.” Press Association Sport understands that the Hammers would not just have a say on the matter, they would in fact need to approve any agreement that may be struck with London rivals Tottenham to utilise the Olympic Stadium – although it is believed the Hammers have yet to be approached with any such deal. The other serious options available to Tottenham appear to be stadium:mk, home of the MK Dons, and Wembley bu t even a move to the national stadium would be fraught with potential snags. With the venue restricted to 37 events per year due to their contract with Brent Council, the number of games Tottenham could host there would be lowered due to existing football commitments as well as concerts and other events. There have been over 30 events already at the stadium in 2014 so, if a similar scenario occurred in 2017, there would be severe limitations for Tottenham games. A possible scenario could see Spurs play the majority of their games at stadium:mk with their bigger, most appealing fixtures, played out at Wembley – similar to Saracens, who play their bigger European rugby ties at the stadium. Press Association West Ham have the power to prevent their Olympic Stadium home being shared with Tottenham for the 2017-18 season, Press Association Sport understands. center_img The Hammers have been awarded a 99-year lease to become anchor tenants of the landmark London 2012 venue and are set to leave Upton Park for the 54,000-seater stadium in August 2016. But, with news that Tottenham’s own new stadium will not be ready for the 2017-18 season, they are now looking for an alternative temporary home – and the Olympic site is believed to be on a shortlist of possible solutions. last_img read more

Irivine: Berahino won’t be cheap

first_img The red-hot striker is the top scoring Englishman in the Barclays Premier League with five goals and helped fire England Under-21s to Euro 2015 this month. Tottenham had been linked with a £15million move but Irvine dismissed the amount – insisting Berahino would cost much more in today’s market. “It doesn’t sound a lot. I would be absolutely astonished if anyone could sign Saido from us for £15million,” he said. “You look at some of the fees going around in the transfer market that’s just been, everybody seems to start at £7million. “Ross McCormack went for £11million Championship to Championship. What the right figure is I have absolutely no idea and I wouldn’t make the decision as far as that was concerned. “But £15million doesn’t sound like a lot of money for a talented, young, English player with great potential who is playing really, really well in the Premier League at the moment and who is scoring goals. It would have to be higher than that. “It was a seller’s market in this particular transfer window. We know as we kept going to try to buy people and we realised how difficult that was.” Irvine would not welcome any offers but believes Berahino can handle any speculation and it will not harm his performances. “I have had a few conversations with him where it’s been a case of ‘You keep doing what you are doing and everything will happen for you’,” he said, ahead of Monday’s visit of Manchester United. “But he is going to have to deal with that speculation. I don’t think there are any alarm bells ringing for me at this particular time and if I saw a change in behaviour or anything like that I would probably have a little word with him.” West Brom head coach Alan Irvine has warned potential suitors Saido Berahino is worth more than £15million. But Irvine admitted, should the 21-year-old continue his fine form, interest and bids are inevitable. “That’s something which could happen, there’s no question about that but I don’t want him to play poorly so that they don’t come,” he said. “I am desperate for him to play really well and if that means other clubs come and start knocking on the door then the club will make a decision on whether these clubs are making the right kind of offers or not. “If Gareth Bale can be prised away from Tottenham I think it means every player has got his price.” Meanwhile, Baggies skipper Chris Brunt is winning his fitness fight to face Manchester United. The midfielder suffered a groin injury on international duty with Northern Ireland and missed their wins over the Faroe Islands and Greece. Silvestre Varela (groin) and Claudio Yacob (personal reasons) will not feature against Louis Van Gaal’s side at The Hawthorns on Monday, but Irvine has been boosted by Brunt’s progress. He said: ”Chris Brunt was the only man who came back and he came back early. Fortunately for us that’s given us time to work with him and he hasn’t trained with us yet but he will join in on Saturday. ”I’m expecting everyone who came back to be in contention for the game on Monday.” Gareth McAuley and Chris Baird played for Northern Ireland while James Morrison helped Scotland beat Georgia and draw in Poland. Press Associationlast_img read more

FA charges Premier League pair

first_img There was a melee after Everton’s James McCarthy tackled Morgan Amalfitano, with a large number of West Ham players confronting the Republic of Ireland international. Both McCarthy and Winston Reid were booked by referee Mark Clattenburg. A statement on the FA website read: “Everton and West Ham United have been charged by The FA following their game on 22 November 2014. “It is alleged that in or around the 40th minute of the fixture, both clubs failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion. “The clubs have until 6pm on 1 December 2014 to respond to the charge.” The Football Association has announced that Everton and West Ham have been charged for “failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion” following their game on Saturday.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Arnold defends Glazers’ tenure

first_img MUST’s press release said not investing may be considered an “ownership crime” by fans, but “far worse than that they have actually extracted colossal sums from Manchester United”. However Arnold defended the owners when those comments were put to him on Wednesday. “The various mechanisms we use to listen (to supporters’ groups) are wide and broad,” he said. “They would have their view, I wouldn’t agree with it. I think a very long-term view has been taken. “We work very hard to do our best at being a very well-run club and a lot of work has gone into engagement and other activities. It stands on its own. “We listen to fans, be it on Facebook, Twitter, conducting surveys – we survey 80,000 fans in 60 countries around the world once a quarter to make sure we keep up to date on the opinions and how they’re done. “It’s very important that there are fans’ groups. Some have a high profile, some are unknown, but we’re listening to those. “The ultimate challenge for football club directors is balancing up those views.” Arnold believes United have an “excellent track record” of balancing positive and negative opinions for the betterment of the club. They have indeed enjoyed success on the pitch during the Glazers’ stewardship, winning five Barclays Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League – success Arnold told The Telegraph’s Business of Sport conference is no fluke. “In any organisation, if you have poor decision-making, a lack of vision and a short-termist approach – whether that is butchers, bakers, candlestick makers or a football club – it is not going to do very well,” he said. “Yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of our current owners and that long-term approach they’ve taken, the vision they’ve shown and the decisions they’ve made have borne out on and off the pitch and they’ve been strong.” In the short-term, things have not been so comfortable in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure and the subsequent struggles of successor David Moyes. It meant this season was United’s first without European football since 1990, although a Champions League return looks all but assured after making progress under Louis van Gaal. “If you ask anybody at the club how important is it, whatever you call the competition, not being at the top table you can be in is a matter of pride,” Arnold added. “It’s where the players want to play, it’s where the fans want to see us. Not being there hurts, right? We all aspire and see it as a key achievement milestone for us. “Economically it is a different question. Again going back to taking a long-term vision and structuring your business to be profitable and the diversified income stream we have. “I think it has been a much smaller number than many people expected in terms of how it has affected our profitability and our ability to compete economically for the best players and that sort of thing on the pitch. “The fact we manage our finances to make sure that we have a long-term view, we are sustainable and solid, doesn’t take away from the fact not being in it was really painful. “Tuesday and Wednesday watching other teams compete broke my heart all this year. Touch wood, next year that will be different. You want to be in that top competition.” Tuesday marked the 10-year anniversary of the Americans’ takeover at Old Trafford, with their £790million leveraged buyout in 2005 causing uproar among the club’s fans. It sparked the creation of breakaway club FC United and the Manchester United Supporters Trust used the anniversary to launch a fresh attack on the family, accusing them of draining £1billion and wrecking the club’s chances of European domination. Manchester United group managing director Richard Arnold has rejected accusations that the Glazer family’s ownership has harmed the club. Press Associationlast_img read more

Pardew: Next season a big one

first_img Press Association Alan Pardew insists Crystal Palace must embrace the belief they are now an established fixture in the Barclays Premier League. “It’s reassuring that we should think we’re an established Premier League club, I don’t feel that belief is a dangerous thing,” Pardew said. “The second year is the trickier one because we won’t have the adrenaline that accompanied the momentum we generated after that difficult start. “There will be some pitfalls and dark days, I’m sure, but the most important thing is that our squad should know the players we sign in the summer are not taking their place, they are coming to fight for their place.” Pardew believes the pressure on managers to avoid relegation next season will be greater than ever due to the Premier League’s £5.136billion broadcasting rights deal coming into effect for 2016-17. “It’s going to be a big year for the Premier League, the chairman know that. The TV deal is such that the pressure on us guys, who are always the focal point, will be huge,” he said. “It will be a really topsy-turvy season next year with managers coming and going. “This summer in the transfer window is important for all managers, including myself. “We’ve had some conversations, trying to get a feel for the market. It’s a difficult market. We need to find a little more quality in that final third.” Swansea were also able to celebrate their highest finish in the Premier League, starting the final day of the campaign assured of eighth regardless of the outcome at Selhurst Park. Manager Garry Monk has surpassed all expectations and hopes to agree new contract terms in the coming days, before embarking on what he believes will be a hectic summer. “You don’t get a holiday in this job, it’s all about preparation for next season – recruitment, pre-season, training and preparing the staff for the improvements we need to make,” Monk said. “It will be quite a short summer period, just five weeks. The league has lasted two weeks longer and starts a week earlier, so there are three weeks gone. “It’s a short turn around, but the players will be ready for next season.” Pardew inherited an Eagles team that was stranded in the relegation zone when he took over in January, yet masterminded their highest finish in the Premier League when Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Swansea lifted them to 10th. It has been a fairytale return to Selhurst Park for former midfielder Pardew, but the Palace boss knows that tougher times await in the club’s third successive season in the top flight. last_img read more

Sole Power in July Cup mix

first_img Press Association Eddie Lynam won last year’s Darley July Cup with Slade Power and the County Meath trainer could fire a formidable twin assault in a bid to take the prize back to Ireland once more, with multiple Group One winner Sole Power joined by younger stable companion Anthem Alexander. “We know we’ve got the horse good enough he just needs a good draw and luck in running. If he gets that, I’m sure he will be there at the finish.” Doyle will be teaming up with Brazen Beau for the first time in the July Cup as the colt now runs in the blue of Godolphin. The rider partnered Waller’s runner in a spin at the track last week and while he has plenty of faith in his mount, he is aware of the threat posed by Commonwealth Cup hero Muhaarar. He said: “We did a little bit more than last week and he was great. “Obviously we respect Muhaarar as that was a freakish run at Ascot. “Brazen Beau should be fine on the track as he had a feel of it last week and has now had a second spin on it so that should be no problem to him.” In all, 17 sprinters have been confirmed for Saturday’s feature event with Muhaarar’s owner Hamdan Al Maktoum also represented by Muthmir who has been left in by trainer William Haggas following his narrow defeat in the King’s Stand Stakes. Sprint Cup hero G Force needs to bounce back from a disappointing run in the King’s Stand for David O’Meara. “G Force looks well. He’s been to Ascot twice now and run the worst two races of his career, so we’re putting it down to that,” said the trainer. “Mustajeeb isn’t running, obviously Brazen Beau looked good at Ascot but after that you’ve got the likes of Tropics, who we’ve beaten a few times.” Tropics was runner-up 12 months ago and is back for more for Dean Ivory, as is his stable companion Lancelot Du Lac. Other horses in the mix include Astaire, Danzeno and Mattmu. Sole Power wasn’t quite at his sparkling best when fifth in the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting last month but was a brilliant winner at the Dubai Carnival as recently as March and ran well in this race in 2013. The three-year-old Anthem Alexander could take on older horses for the first time having finished third in the Commonwealth Cup last month following an impressive reappearance success in Group Three company at Naas. The other two possible challengers from Ireland are Aidan O’Brien’s Due Diligence and Evanna McCutcheon’s stable star Maarek. Chris Waller has his eyes set on July Cup glory after watching Brazen Beau go through his paces in Newmarket on Monday morning. The Australian trainer was on hand as his Diamond Jubilee Stakes runner-up worked under big-race jockey James Doyle on the July Course ahead of Saturday’s feature event. The three-year-old, who is a dual Group One winner in Australia, was beaten just half a length by Undrafted at Royal Ascot and Waller believes that with a fair draw and some racing luck, Brazen Beau is more than capable of landing the weekend’s six-furlong prize. He said: “I was happy with that. It was pretty standard work for him, we just let him quicken up over the last 400 metres. “It was really just maintenance work. We don’t need to improve him, we have just got to keep him happy and keep the speed in him. James seemed happy with him. “He seems very well and his run at Ascot was very good and what I saw this morning, I was happy with what he achieved. The track here has more undulations than at Ascot so it is good for him to have a go on it. “It’s a privilege being in here in England and we have been well looked after. It was great to get a taste of the action at Ascot but a success would be so much sweeter. last_img read more

West Ham edge through on penalties

first_img Press Association West Ham were made to sweat on their Europa League future as they were taken to penalties in the second qualifying round against Maltese minnows Birkirkara. The Caley Jags held their own and were certainly not overawed by the task at hand, but Astra took advantage of their profligacy to eek out a 1-0 aggregate victory, thanks to Constantin Budescu’s first-leg strike. Northern Irish side Linfield looked as though they might cause an upset after taking the lead against Spartak Trnava, before eventually succumbing to a 3-1 loss on the night. Stephen Lowry’s first-half goal drew the sides level at 2-2 on aggregate, but Erik Sabo’s brace made sure the visitors eventually ran out victors, despite being reduced to 10 men. Newtown, who went down 2-0 in the first leg to FC Copenhagen, suffered a spirited 3-1 loss at home after two goals from Marvin Pourie sent the Danish side though to the next round. Tom Goodwin pulled one back for the Welsh club, but the damage was already done and Copenhagen cruised to a comfortable victory. Shamrock Rovers and UCD also bowed out of the tournament after going down to Odd and Slovan Bratislava respectively. Slovakian side Bratislava had Robert Vittek to thank after his hat-trick secured a comfortable 5-1 victory over the Irish side, although Ryan Swan had given the hosts some hope after pulling a goal back. Odd recorded a 4-1 aggregate win after triumphing 2-1 over Shamrock, Gavin Brennan’s late goal giving the travelling Hoops fans something to celebrate. The Hammers eventually prevailed 5-3 after the shootout, having had their 1-0 lead from the first leg at Upton Park wiped out in the regular 90 minutes. Both sides were reduced to 10 men by the time they had played 120 minutes on the night. Slaven Bilic named a strong side, but they were soon behind as Fabrizio Miccoli gave the hosts a deserved lead after 15 minutes, while West Ham failed to create any clear-cut opportunities in a hostile atmosphere. Their task was made all the more difficult when James Tomkins was shown a red card moments before the half-time whistle and they were forced to cling on to the draw as the game eventually went to penalties, with the hosts having Mauricio Mazzetti dismissed in extra-time. Nikola Vukanac was the man to blink first from the spot, blazing over, and Diego Poyet held his nerve to send West Ham into the hat for the next round despite an unconvincing performance. A second-half fightback saved Aberdeen’s blushes after they conceded an early two-goal lead at home to Rijeka, before rescuing a 2-2 draw to advance 5-2 on aggregate. Taking a 3-0 lead into the second leg, the Scottish Premier League runners-up suffered a scare after goals from Marin Tomasov and Zoran Kvrzic saw them flirt with an early exit, but they showed resolve to draw level. Niall McGinn provided an immediate response with a shot that went in off the post, and the Dons were level less than 10 minutes later as Jonny Hayes finished from David Goodwillie’s impressive run down the left. Inverness’ European adventure came to an end after a frustrating 0-0 draw against FC Astra. Opportunities on goal were rare for the Highlanders with Constantin Budescu’s first-leg goal proving decisive for Astra. last_img read more

Gabriel tests mettle in Platinum

first_imgTalented filly Avenue Gabriel looks to get her season back on track in the Platinum Stakes at Cork on Tuesday. Paul Deegan’s four-year-old has won twice at Listed level and been placed a couple of times in Pattern company in the past two seasons, but her recent form has been uninspiring. She finished tailed off in the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas in May and was never a factor when returning from a two-month break in last month’s Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh. Deegan feels she is ready to show her true worth back in Listed company, however. He said: “It’s a slightly easier race for her and she’s in very good form. “Her last run was her first run after having a wind operation and her first run after a break, so we were fairly happy. “She should improve a good bit for that and we’ll see how she goes. “There are no easy options in races like this and, as always, if she can run well and run into the money we’ll be happy.” Avenue Gabriel is set to face eight rivals in the one-mile contest, including a couple of unexposed three-year-olds in John Oxx’s Navan winner In My Pocket and the Dermot Weld-trained runaway Curragh scorer Eshera. The evening fixtures gets under way with the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden, in which John Murphy’s Only Mine sets a good standard. The daughter of Pour Moi was fourth in a red-hot maiden behind Rockaway Valley on her racecourse debut and was only narrowly beaten in the Group Three Grangecon Stud Stakes next time. Back in maiden company, she is certainly the one to beat. David Wachman has his string firing on all cylinders and the application of blinkers could help Booker open her account for the campaign in the ITBA Working For Southern Regional Breeders European Breeders Fund Fillies Handicap. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more