Month: September 2020

McGovern called up for qualifier

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first_imgNorthern Ireland have called up Falkirk goalkeeper Michael McGovern for their World Cup qualifier against Russia after Alan Mannus withdrew from the squad with a shoulder injury. Manager Michael O’Neill named only two keepers – St Johnstone’s Mannus and established number one Roy Carroll – for the match, which takes place at Windsor Park on Wednesday. Mannus played 90 minutes for St Johnstone in their 0-0 draw against Kilmarnock on Sunday, but is not fit to join the national side in Belfast. Press Associationcenter_img McGovern has one cap to his name, having come off the bench in a 2010 friendly against Chile. His call-up suggests there has been no change in Lee Camp’s position. Camp, released by Norwich at the end of last season, was first choice for a period under former boss Nigel Worthington but opted to make himself unavailable after O’Neill made Carroll his number one. last_img read more

Martino hits out over Bale fee

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first_imgBarcelona coach Gerardo Martino is critical of the record-breaking transfer fee Real Madrid are reportedly poised to spend on Gareth Bale. Madrid look set to smash the £80million they paid to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 to bring Bale to the Bernabeu, with reports suggesting the transfer could cost around £93million. Martino, who took charge of Primera Division champions Barcelona this summer, believes those figures for the 24-year-old Wales international show a “lack of respect” bearing in mind the global financial situation. “He’s a very good player, but the numbers seem to me almost a lack of respect for the world in general,” said the Argentinian when asked his thoughts on the subject at a pre-match press conference ahead of Barca’s trip to Malaga on Sunday. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Pardew enjoying fight for places

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first_img “I have empathy for them, but at the minute, they have got to wait for their chance. “I wouldn’t call them fringe players by any stretch of the imagination. I would class them as first-team players who are actually out of the team at the minute. “They have an opportunity and like Williamson has proved, if you get an opportunity, then I will show faith and keep picking the player. Everybody has got an opportunity, an equal opportunity. “It’s the same for Hatem as it is for Steven Taylor, frustrating. Steven came out of the side through injury and now he is finding himself blocked in. “Mapou has done unbelievably well, in my opinion, and was left out. I was so disappointed to leave him out, and yet in front of him is Williamson, who has been terrific, so it’s very, very difficult for players. “You have just got to hope that the chance comes and you take it, and that’s why you have to work hard on the training ground – like we have this morning – with those guys so they are ready and when their chance comes, I can show faith in them because the team keeps winning.” Pardew will celebrate three years at the St James’ Park helm next week, although he may have little time to reflect upon his eventful tenure to date as the busy winter programme slips into top gear. He said: “The three years seem to have flown by. Sometimes when I sit down, it feels like 30 years. “But I am sure there will be – hopefully, if we get a couple of good results this week – a glass of wine and a reflection in my own time.” Pardew returned to his desk at the club’s Darsley Park training headquarters on Monday morning to assess Saturday’s 2-1 home victory over West Brom and begin preparations for Wednesday’s trip to the Liberty Stadium, and found the path to his door a well-trodden one. He said: “I have had a few knocks on my door this morning from players who want to play. “Steven Taylor, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez are all not playing at the moment, and they are desperate to play. “We have got – which we didn’t have last year – real competition for places, and that does bode well.” Taylor is being kept out by the excellence of Mike Williamson, who was handed his chance by injuries to the former England Under-21 skipper and club captain Fabricio Coloccini and has not looked back, while Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has also provided sterling service. Fans’ favourite Ben Arfa too has been left kicking his heels despite his status as a potential match-winner, and that has given Pardew genuine options on the bench, something he did not have last season. However, he can understand the likes of Taylor, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Yanga-Mbiwa and Anita wanting to play, and has no problem with them heading for his office to stake their claims. He said: “Absolutely. I would be very disappointed if I didn’t have one or two this morning saying, ‘Any chance, Gaffer?’. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has revealed he has had players knocking on his door desperate for a chance to force their way into his in-form team. A run of four successive Barclays Premier League victories has left the Magpies sitting inside the top six heading into difficult trips to Swansea and Manchester United over the next few days. That deluge of points has coincided with a consistency of both performance and personnel which has left the likes of Steven Taylor, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez and Papiss Cisse, several of whom would have been regarded as certain starters just a few weeks ago, sitting on the bench. Press Associationlast_img read more

Howson progress earns new deal

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first_img Press Association Howson, 25, joined the Canaries from Leeds in January 2012 and has made 60 appearances, scoring five times including a fine individual effort on the final day of last season at Manchester City. Hughton – who brought in half-a-dozen new signings in the summer – has selected Howson in each of Norwich’s 16 Premier League matches so far this season, and is delighted with the midfielder’s development as the Canaries have slowly started to climb the table. Norwich manager Chris Hughton is confident there is more to come from Jonny Howson after the midfielder signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal at the Barclays Premier League club. “A new contract comes in line with Jonny’s form this season, which has seen him be a mainstay of the team and put in some impressive performances,” Hughton said on the club’s official website, www.canaries.co.uk. “In the period of time that Jonny’s been here, there’s been progression in his influence in the team and in the matches, and we’re delighted to be able to secure his services for the next four-and-a-half years.” Howson joins team-mates John Ruddy, the England goalkeeper, and club captain Sebastien Bassong in penning contract extensions to commit their long-term futures to the Norfolk club. The former Leeds trainee hopes to build on his promising start to the 2013/2014 campaign. He said: “As soon as I found out there was an offer there I was very interested in getting it signed. I am very settled here and happy to sign. “I have really enjoyed the season so far and have had a good run in the side. I just want that to continue, and obviously staying here longer gives me the chance to do that.” Norwich drew 1-1 with Swansea on Sunday to edge up into 14th place, five points clear of the relegation zone and head to bottom club Sunderland this weekend. Club-record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel could be involved at the Stadium of Light, having been sidelined since the end of October by a toe problem. Winger Robert Snodgrass continues his recovery from a knee injury sustained in the build-up to the Newcastle match last month, and the Scotland international may well come back into contention for the festive fixtures against Fulham on Boxing Day and Manchester United. “I am progressing nicely, but I don’t want to put a timescale on it. I will leave it to the head physio to tell me when I am ready,” Snodgrass said on the club’s official website. “We got it scanned and the outcome was four to six weeks, these things happen, but I am big enough to just work hard and look forward.” Snodgrass is confident he will rejoin a side now looking up the table after slowly building some positive results. “I know the players are ready for the challenge ahead. I am sure the supporters have not been happy with some of the performances like at Manchester City and Liverpool, but we have also picked up some decent results and I think you can see every point is vital in this league.” last_img read more

Wallace poised for return

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first_img Wallace admitted he cannot wait to add to his already record appearance tally of 188 for his home province. “My motivation is through the roof,” he told Ulster’s official website, as he prepares to start at inside centre. “I hope that I can bring a few players along with me because I am so pumped up to play again at Ravenhill. “So many people have supported me through a hard time such as the medical stuff and the strength and conditioning coaches and I want to do their support justice.” The 34-year-old playmaker tore knee ligaments against Glasgow in February, and returns to senior action after two British and Irish Cup outings for the second string Ulster Ravens. Head coach Mark Anscombe has made nine changes to the side that beat Treviso last weekend. Paddy Wallace will make his first Ulster appearance in nine months at Ravenhill against Zebre on Friday night in RaboDirect Pro12 action.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Coloccini sidelined for Magpies

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first_img Press Association Newcastle boss Alan Pardew fears defender Fabricio Coloccini could be out for up to six weeks with a knee injury. Coloccini took a knock during his side’s 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at West Brom and limped off after 65 minutes. The injury compounded a miserable day for the Magpies, who had Mathieu Debuchy sent off and were beaten after conceding a late penalty. center_img Pardew said: “It has been a bad afternoon. Not only do we lose Debuchy but Colo also looks to have done something to his knee. “It is early days but we could be looking at four to six weeks out.” Debuchy’s dismissal for a two-footed challenge on Claudio Yacob came just three minutes before Argentinian centre-back Coloccini was forced off and changed the complexion of the game. West Brom stepped up the pace and won with a Saido Berahino spot-kick after Tim Krul tripped Matej Vydra with four minutes remaining. last_img read more

New leader Gallacher lost for words

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first_img Press Association In the 25th edition of the event, Gallacher is in pole position to become the first man to successfully defend the title following a brilliant round of 63 on Saturday. The 39-year-old Scot looked out of contention when he played his first eight holes at Emirates Golf Club in one over par to lie seven shots off the lead. But the two-time European Tour winner then played the remaining 10 holes in 10 under, following a birdie on the ninth with seven more and an eagle in a brilliant back nine of 28. Asked to explain the change in fortunes, Gallacher told Sky Sports: “I don’t really know to be honest. It was quite a struggle to start with, especially the first three holes. “I was not quite right but if you stay patient and keep focused it’s amazing what this game throws up. “I hit it stiff on nine and from then on just kept hitting it close, and if I hit it to 30ft I holed it. I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could and get a lead because I found the last time it’s easier when you are leading than chasing. “There’s a lot of golf left to go but I will certainly be giving it my best shot.” Gallacher, who was denied a second win of 2013 in a three-man play-off for the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, won by three shots here 12 months ago thanks to more amazing scoring. A first round of 63 was followed by rounds of 70, 62 and 71, during which he made a total of five eagles, the last coming when he holed a wedge from 110 yards on the 16th in the final round. He was also 10th in 2011 and second in 2012 and will not be overawed by playing in the final group with McIlroy either, having partnered the two-time major winner and Tiger Woods in the first two rounds. Defending champion Stephen Gallacher was at a loss to explain the sensational scoring burst which gave him a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy heading into the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. McIlroy admitted he expected to win the title for a second time after holding a one-shot lead at halfway, but despite carding a 69, the 24-year-old was far from the brilliant form which saw him shoot an opening 63. “It was okay,” said McIlroy, who said he was not quite 100 per cent after a bout of food poisoning caused by takeaway food on Thursday night. “I bogeyed the first again but birdied two and eagled three which was great. “I didn’t drive the ball particularly well, I’m probably going to work on a few things on the range and I felt like I hit a lot of good putts that just didn’t go in. “I felt like I left a few out there but it was a tricky day and shooting anything under 70 wasn’t a bad score. Obviously Stephen had a phenomenal round, 63 today is a really impressive effort.” Told Gallacher was 10 under for the last 10 holes, McIlroy added: “I didn’t know that. That’s a great stretch of holes and hopefully he doesn’t continue it tomorrow! “I played with him the first two days and he played very well. “Obviously he was on fire today, I just need to go out there and try to hit a few more fairways, focus on a few things in my game, not really focus on what he’s doing and make a few putts and see where it puts me. “It’s the second week in a row for me going into the last day with a chance to win, it’s a great position to be in.” McIlroy finished one shot behind Pablo Larrazabal in Abu Dhabi, having been penalised two shots for an incorrect drop in the third round. American Brooks Koepka held the lead midway through the back nine until Gallacher’s charge, the 23-year-old dropping shots at the 14th and 15th to card a 70 and finish 12 under alongside Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen. Olesen fired a flawless 65 but that was not the lowest round of the day, England’s Steve Webster returning a rollercoaster 64 with nine birdies, an eagle and three bogeys to lie a shot behind on 11 under. World number one Tiger Woods shot 70 to occupy a share of 37th place on five under. last_img read more

Kaymer closing in on title

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first_img Press Association Martin Kaymer had his overnight lead intact as he closed in on a second major title at the end of a historic week in the US Open at Pinehurst. Successive rounds of 65 – the lowest in a US Open at Pinehurst – meant Kaymer had equalled the lowest halfway total in major championship history (130), as well as eclipsing the US Open record of 131 set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional in 2011. The 29-year-old’s six-shot halfway lead also matched the championship record shared by Tiger Woods (2000) and McIlroy (2011), while he joined McIlroy in becoming the only players to reach double digits under par in the first two rounds. A third round of 72 after the USGA set testing pin positions on 17 of the 18 holes succeeded in only reducing his lead by a single shot, and Kaymer was quickly among the birdies in the final round. The tee on the par-four third had been brought forward to tempt players into driving the green and Kaymer did precisely that, two-putting from long range for birdie to move to nine under par. A bogey on the seventh saw Kaymer’s lead reduced to four shots after American Erik Compton picked up his second birdie of the day on the eighth, but the 34-year-old promptly bogeyed the ninth after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker. Kaymer made no such mistake with a superb tee shot setting up a birdie from five feet, but after Compton reduced the gap once more on the par-five 10th and Kaymer took six on the same hole after thinning his third over the green, Compton released the pressure with a bogey on the 11th. Another bogey on the 12th saw Compton fall further off the pace and, when Kaymer holed from 20 feet for birdie on the 13th, he had a seven-shot lead with five holes to play. center_img Looking to become the first German player to win the title but the fourth European in the last five years after Ryder Cup team-mates Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, Kaymer took a five-shot lead into the final round. And although an easier course set-up meant eight players had already broken 70 compared with just two all day on Saturday, none of those scores had come from Kaymer’s nearest challengers. last_img read more

Caulker calls for passion

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first_img The 22-year-old England international and his Rangers colleagues were outclassed as they slipped to a 4-0 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday and now sit at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League table. A Nacer Chadli brace and a second goal in as many games for Eric Dier had Spurs in control of the game before half-time, with Emmanuel Adebayor adding a fourth in the second half. Former Tottenham defender Caulker, playing in a back three alongside Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne, admitted the display was not good enough and believes things can only get better for Harry Redknapp’s side. “It was a bitterly disappointing performance and the result proved that,” he said. “We were second to everything all over the pitch and we paid the price. We got off to a sloppy start and they got the goal and a bit of momentum. “We know we have got to be better than that this year. We hope that will be the lowest point of the season. It was a poor, poor showing and there are no excuses. “There is no hiding and we definitely have to go and be better against Sunderland at home. We have personal pride and it was not evident, we were weak all over the pitch. “If we are going to stay in this league we are going to have to be a little bit stronger and more passionate at times.” Redknapp, returning to White Hart Lane for the first time since he was sacked as Spurs boss in 2012, handed debuts to both Mauricio Isla and Leroy Fer – with the latter conceding his new side did not deserve anything from the game. “We didn’t play to our abilities,” the former Norwich midfielder said. Press Association Steven Caulker has called on his QPR team-mates to show more passion after what he hopes will be the lowest day in the club’s season. “We have a strong team and what we showed was not the best. The goals in the first half were too easy. We had to fight and we didn’t – it was a shock. “We have to look forward to Wednesday (the Capital One Cup tie against Burton) and stick together. We have a great squad. Today wasn’t a good game for me but I want to show more on Wednesday.” For all of QPR’s problems, Tottenham looked like they were adapting to the philosophy of new head coach Mauricio Pochettino with ease. Having laboured to a 1-0 win at West Ham on the opening day, Spurs played some fluid, attacking football in the Argentinian’s first competitive home game in charge. Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen shone alongside goalscorers Adebayor and Chadli, with the Belgium international pleased to entertain the fans. “That’s what everyone wants to see when they watch Tottenham,” Chadli said of Sunday’s performance. “We did very well and I’m very happy to score two goals. It is good when we create a lot of chances and it was a good spectacle for the fans. “We started with high pressure, had a lot of the ball and created lots of chances. At half-time we had a conversation, we wanted to score more goals and we started the second half strong as well.” last_img read more

Gutierrez given messages of support

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first_img “Heard the terrible news about Jonas. Wish him a speedy recovery. Great guy with a great family. My thoughts are with them all,” Barton posted on the social media site. Denmark forward Peter Lovenkrands, who played at Newcastle from 2009 to 2012, also spoke of his concern for Gutierrez. He said on Twitter: “Can’t believe the news about my good friend Jonas. Testicle cancer. I wish you a speedy recovery my friend. #SpiderMan #Nufc” Former Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper added: “Buena suerte a mi amigo Jonas with his battle with testicular cancer. Great lad and teammate who always gave 100% for the Toon shirt.” Gutierrez joined Newcastle from Mallorca in July 2008 and became a fans’ favourite when he played a starring role in helping the club win the Championship in his second season in the north-east. However, he was largely unused by manager Alan Pardew last season and was allowed to join Norwich on loan for the second half of the campaign, where he made his last league appearance in the Canaries’ 1-0 defeat to West Brom in April. Newcastle supporters have suggested a minute’s applause could be held during the 18th minute – representing the players’ shirt number – against Hull. The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which was set up in a bid to help the on-going fight against cancer, offered their support. “NUFC’s Jonas Gutierrez has announced he’s receiving treatment for testicular cancer. Our very best wishes are with you Jonas.” Sunderland s upporters’ group TFS Sunderland also offered support. “Thoughts go out to Jonas Gutierrez after hearing the news he’s battling testicular cancer. there’s more to life…. Cancer is a horrible thing to happen to anyone, no matter who you support.” Newcastle are expected to make an official club comment later on Wednesday. Gutierrez revealed his battles in an emotional interview with Argentinian TV show Indirecto on TyC Sports. “When I was told I had cancer, I went home in tears,” he said. “In May 2013, I felt very tough pains on my testicle. After some wrong diagnosis, an ultrasound detected the tumour. “I came here and I assumed the costs despite having a contract with Newcastle. Money is not important. What is important is my health. I had to start chemotherapy.” Gutierrez, who has made 22 appearances for his country, h as admitted several national colleagues, including close friend and Newcastle team-mate Fabricio Coloccini, have been a great help. He added: “This is the most difficult match I’ve every played. You start thinking about important things when you have problems like this one. “Some guys like (Gabriel) Heinze gave me strength. “After surgery, I told (Ezequiel) Lavezzi, (Martin) Demichelis and Coloccini, who is very close to me. We’ve played together at Newcastle for six years and he calls me. He is almost a member of my family. “I decided to reveal all this because I think this is a difficult moment, but there is nothing wrong with this. These things may help other people.” In an official club statement on Wednesday night Newcastle also offered support for the midfielder, revealing they had known about his illness for a while. “Newcastle United can confirm that winger Jonas Gutierrez is continuing to receive treatment in Argentina after being diagnosed with testicular cancer,” the statement read. “The club has been aware of Jonas’ condition for some time but has respected his wish for privacy as he undergoes treatment with his friends and family around him.” Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley added: “We have and will continue to offer Jonas our full support. “We thank our fans for their kind messages of support for Jonas and the thoughts and best wishes of everyone connected to Newcastle United are with him at this time.” The 31-year-old midfielder told an Argentinian TV show how he has undergone chemotherapy after having surgery following the discovery of a tumour, which was first noticed last year, and expressed his gratitude to well-wishers late on Tuesday night, saying: “Thanks for all the messages. Always looking forward.” Former Newcastle team-mate Joey Barton, now at QPR, took to Twitter to post his support to Gutierrez. Press Association Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez has been offered messages of support from former team-mates and supporters groups after revealing he is having treatment following diagnosis of testicular cancer in his native Argentina. last_img read more