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Pogatetz wants Hammers to stay calm

first_img Press Association The Hammers’ 2-1 defeat at struggling Aston Villa was a fourth loss in six league games and left them in 11th place, with a seven-point cushion above the relegation zone heading into the final 12 matches of the season “We shouldn’t panic. We are in a good position,” Pogatetz said on West Ham TV. Emanuel Pogatetz says West Ham must not “panic” as they look to steer clear of a battle for Barclays Premier League survival.center_img West Ham host Tottenham on February 25 before taking on both Chelsea and Manchester United next month, and the Austrian defender added: “Obviously we know we have hard games coming up, but we are up to the task. “Our performance was all right at Villa and if we can push on from that, we can put many more points on the board and achieve everything we want by the end of the season.” Manager Sam Allardyce used the break in domestic action caused by this weekend’s FA Cup ties to take the squad away for some warm-weather training in Dubai. Last season, it helped rejuvenate the squad for their end-of-season run in, which culminated in a victory over Blackpool in the npower Championship final at Wembley that secured promotion. Pogatetz, 30, can only see positives from the change in routine. “When I played in Germany for the last two years, we got a winter break and I think this is a similar break now,” he said. “The lads will enjoy the break and the warm weather. They can recover the bruises and knocks or whatever they have got and then make a fresh start next Monday when we are back. I think the group will really benefit from it.” last_img read more

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Mourinho aware of FFP demands

first_img “Every wrong move you make has an influence on the future. You need to work more closely with the board in the financial area, you have to have a different perspective and a different look at the players on loan and youth football. “It’s more global. Instead of just focusing on your team, and your targets and ambitions, it’s an overall view. It’s a different profile of job and I’m happy with that, I’m enjoying that.” The changes are certain to affect Chelsea’s usual approach to the transfer market and cast doubt on the possibility Mourinho will this summer exceed the estimated £70million he spent on players when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004. The Blues have already signed Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee while Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk and Galatasaray playmaker Wesley Sneijder are all reported targets. Mourinho has identified regular qualification for the Champions League as one key to maintaining Chelsea’s economic stability. “We need to go back to this stability,” he added. “It’s important for the players, for the young players’ development, for the club, for the fan base and for the economic situation which is more important with Financial Fair Play. “This is what we want, me as a manager, the owner and the board. The owner and the board want stability and then after that if we are working well and working together, success comes naturally.” Jose Mourinho will embrace the new era of Financial Fair Play as a motivating factor during his second spell as Chelsea manager. Press Associationcenter_img Club accounts have been subjected to assessment for the last two years under the FFP regulations laid down by European football’s governing body UEFA, with outgoings being measured against revenues from football activities, and those wishing to participate in European competition are not permitted to make significant losses. “It’s very motivational and demands more from you. You have to think more about every decision and every move,” Mourinho told chelsea’s official website. last_img read more

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Camelot team mull retirement

first_img Press Association The son of Montjeu kicked off his Classic campaign with a last-gasp victory at Newmarket before running out a hugely impressive winner of the Epsom Derby, but after following up in the Irish Derby he could not quite claim the Triple Crown as he was denied by Encke in the St Leger at Doncaster. A disappointing run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe followed, after which he suffered a severe bout of colic, and although he was brought back for a much anticipated four-year-old campaign, he has looked a shadow of his former self. He turned in a workmanlike victory on his return, but was beaten by Al Kazeem in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and finished fourth behind the same opponent in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. While a tilt at the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 6 will be considered, O’Brien is unsure whether to persevere with a horse who remains of significant value to his connections as a potential stallion. The trainer said: “He’s a very important horse to us and he’s not one we want to take any risks with. “The last day at Royal Ascot, he obviously hadn’t come back to his best and while the Eclipse is still an option, retirement is something we might have to consider as well. “The spark was never there after his run in the Irish Derby last year. He had a tough race there on testing ground and then had that problem over the winter.” center_img Aidan O’Brien has revealed last year’s 2000 Guineas and dual Derby hero Camelot could be retired after failing to recapture his best form this season.last_img read more

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Fulham: No comment on Mourinho Jnr

first_img Press Association Fulham would not comment on the speculation when contacted by Press Association Sport. “Fulham Football Club does not comment on the identity of any of the young people participating in the numerous football programmes on offer at the club,” a statement read. Spanish newspaper Marca claim 14-year-old goalkeeper Jose Mario has signed on at Craven Cottage after a one-month trial. He played for Real Madrid’s Canillas side when his father was manager there, but it looks like he has not followed his father following his move back to Chelsea. center_img Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s teenage son has reportedly signed for west London rivals Fulham.last_img read more

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Pardew ban could have been longer

first_imgNewcastle boss Alan Pardew could have been handed a five-match stadium ban and a bigger fine for his head-butt on Hull midfielder David Meyler. But the commission said: “In considering the sanction to be imposed, the commission considered initially a five-match stadium ban and a higher fine. “But, based on the mitigation presented together with the action taken by both the club and Mr Pardew, the regulatory commission came to the conclusion that the appropriate sanction set out below was fair, reasonable and proportionate and thus ordered as follows: Mr Pardew be warned as to his future conduct; be suspended immediately until such time as Newcastle United FC has completed seven first team matches. The first three matches imposed are a stadium ban with the remaining four a touchline ban from first team fixtures; Mr Pardew is fined the sum of £60,000.” Pardew, who served the first game of his stadium ban at Fulham last Saturday, was accompanied by legal counsel, club secretary Lee Charnley and Richard Bevan, chief executive of the League Managers’ Association, at the hearing. He had admitted the charge and later revealed he was prepared to accept whatever penalty came his way. In mitigation, the Magpies manager, who had already been fined £100,000 by his club, argued that he did not instigate the altercation with Meyler and meant no physical harm to the player, and had expressed his remorse. He also signalled his intention to enrol on an executive leadership and management programme with the LMA in an effort to address his behaviour. The commission, who took into account previous offences, viewed video footage of the incident and considered written reports from match referee Kevin Friend, his assistant John Flynn and fourth official Howard Webb before reaching its conclusion. It said: “The commission also considered the impact of this type of incident in football in general and could not escape from the fact that a vast number of people would have seen the incident on national and international television. “Bluntly, Mr Pardew had little option but to admit the charge and to apologise accordingly. “Mr Pardew is a high-profile and very experienced manager at a high-profile and well-respected club in a high profile league and where matches are watched worldwide. “This is, on any view, a serious incident which has to be sanctioned accordingly, but at the same time proportionately.” Press Association The independent regulatory commission before which Pardew appeared on March 11 released the written reasons for its decision on Wednesday, and revealed that its punishment might have been more severe. Pardew was ultimately handed a three-match stadium ban and four more from the touchline, as well as a £60,000 fine. last_img read more

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Daehli snatches late Cardiff point

first_img Solskjaer’s men had to wait until the 15th minute for their first chance, when Andrew Taylor’s low cross from the left evaded Gareth McAuley and almost fell at the feet of Fraizer Campbell. But having looked completely shell-shocked for much of the first period, Cardiff gave themselves hope on the half-hour when Aron Gunnarsson found Mutch on the right and the midfielder matched Amalfitano’s effort by curling the ball over Foster from 35 yards. For the first time, the home side’s nerves were evident although the excellent Amalfitano continued to dictate matters from the right flank, his good work setting up a chance for 1 Youssouf Mulumbu whose low shot was gathered well by Marshall. Solskjaer introduced another striker in Daehli at the break but it was West Brom who once again made the best start to the second period, Dawson twisting a shot over the bar then getting in the way of an apparently goal-bound effort from Mulumbu. And Marshall had to get down bravely to deny Vydra at close-range in the 52nd minute before James Morrison blazed the rebound high. The tiring Amalfitano was replaced by Saido Berahino in the 72nd minute as Mel made plain his intention to try to make the game safe – but moments later a Medel free-kick spelled disaster for the Baggies. Caulker rose highest to reach the set-piece in a crowded box and while he may not have known too much about it, his back-header looped over the helpless Foster and into the corner of the net. It marked an astonishing change in fortunes for Solskjaer’s men after their nine-minute nightmare, and it was clear their massed ranks of fans behind Foster’s goal believed they could go on and claim all three points. Substitute Daehli wriggled in the left side of the Baggies box and hit a shot straight at Foster, before the late, late drama – celebrations for Thievy’s winner were stunningly cut short by Daehli at the other end. Daehli turned and fired an injury-time equaliser past Baggies keeper Ben Foster just moments after Thievy Bifouma looked certain to have grabbed a first home win for boss Pepe Mel at the other end. The late drama summed up a wildly open game in which the visitors were lucky to still be in with a shout after a torrid first 10 minutes. An outrageous second-minute opener from Morgan Amalfitano and a second from Graham Dorrans had threatened to put the home side out of sight as the day looked like it was turning into a nightmare for Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But a long-range effort from Jordan Mutch gave Cardiff a glimmer of hope and Steven Caulker’s 73rd minute back-header from Gary Medel’s free-kick looked like leaving Mel waiting longer for that first home win. Thievy had other ideas, turning in Stephane Sessegnon’s deflected shot in injury time to spark wild celebrations on the home bench. But with referee Michael Oliver looking at his watch, there was still time for Wilfried Zaha to make inroads down the right and send in a cross from which Daehli grabbed another barely believable equaliser. At the end of the day a point was what neither side wanted after 90 minutes of high-octane and often kamikaze action. But it was a particularly crushing setback for the Baggies who looked set for a productive afternoon when Amalfitano, back in the side after two games out with a knee injury, spotted Cardiff keeper David Marshall off his line and lobbed home the opener from a tight angle on the right. It could have got even worse for the visitors in a torrid opening period, Marshall going some way to redeeming himself with a vital touch three minutes later to deny an almost certain second for Matej Vydra. With less than 10 minutes on the clock, Cardiff’s nightmare start was complete as Amalfitano sent in another superb ball from the right to Vydra, whose simple pass across the box was gleefully turned in by Dorrans. Substitute Mats Daehli snatched a potentially priceless point for Cardiff in a crazy finish to their Barclays Premier League relegation clash against West Brom, which ended 3-3 at The Hawthorns. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Stockdale: We’ll pick ourselves up

first_imgDavid Stockdale believes both nerves and naivety cost Fulham dear in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Hull, which left Felix Magath’s side in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with just two games remaining. Goals from Ashkan Dejagah and Fernando Amorebieta had put the hosts in the driving seat at Craven Cottage, but the Tigers hit back through Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long. The point was not enough to move Fulham out of the bottom three and, with a trip to Stoke looming before the final-day visit of Crystal Palace, goalkeeper Stockdale has pinpointed where they went wrong last weekend. When asked if it was nerves or naivety that allowed Hull back into the game, Stockdale replied: “All of the above. “When you are anxious to get the 90 minutes over and take the three points, things can go astray. There was a lot of tension in the ground and we did things that we would not normally do at home. That was our downfall.” With Sunderland winning 4-0 at home to Cardiff on Sunday, Fulham now sit 19th in the table but just one point from safety. Stockdale, who was promoted to the Premier League while on loan at Hull last season, reckons Fulham can still survive if they do not let Saturday’s disappointment linger. “It is important we pick ourselves up now,” he added. “It is points we need at this stage of the season. We can’t change the Hull result now so we have to go and win our remaining two games. “Three points against Stoke on Saturday and we are right back in it. If we play anything like we did in the first 75 minutes, we will be okay. We need a few teams to help us out now as well.” Captain Brede Hangeland has helped stave off relegation in previous seasons at Craven Cottage and feels it is now time for the whole Fulham squad to show what they are made of. “This is where, as a player, you really show your character and be accountable,” the Norway defender said. “It’s easy enough to play well when you’re 5-0 up and cruising at the top of the league, but now it’s a bit different and you need strong characters. “We all know the stakes. It’s do or die for us at the moment, so I don’t think it will be a problem to motivate people this week.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Sterling praise for Peters

first_img “Maybe on the outside people had the impression I’ve always been really confident,” Sterling said. “But after a good start (to last season) I started looking for easy options rather than taking a chance myself, beating a man, taking a shot on myself. “I’d stopped being natural, (and doing) all the things that I’d done which got me into the first team in the first place. “You could look at the City goal as an example. I’m not trying to sound cheeky or over confident but three or four months ago I would have squared rather than take the responsibility all for myself. “My goal was always to play for Liverpool when I first came here and maybe for a while I thought that goal was achieved because I was one of the lucky ones to do it. “But you realise that is not enough. There always has to be the next challenge, to achieve things and win things – making your mark. “From December time I realised I had to start stamping my personality, running with the ball, running into the box, making goals, scoring goals. Not playing with that barrier, not to be worried about making mistakes.” “The way he (Peters) works is brilliant,” Sterling told the latest edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine. “At first I thought it wasn’t for me. On the outside you might think it’s complicated, but all the messages are very straightforward. “He understands the players and the emotional side of the game. What he says really helps you. “We use a motto ‘focus on the ball, focus on the team’. I had a meeting with him before the Manchester City game (on April 13, which Liverpool won 3-2 with Sterling scoring the opening goal). “I thought it was going to last 20-25 minutes. So I walked in, sat down and he just said: ‘focus on the ball, focus on the team’. “‘Is that it?’ I asked him. But it was really important.” Sterling has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season and the one he netted against City was particularly memorable, with the composure he showed to take his time before rifling past England colleague Joe Hart. The teenager says a “barrier” has been lifted in terms of him worrying about making mistakes. Press Association Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has revealed advice from sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters has helped boost his performance this season. Sterling has been one of several key men in the Reds’ impressive campaign, delivering displays worthy of the sort of hype that surrounded him when he made his breakthrough into the first team in 2012. And the 19-year-old says meeting at Melwood with Peters – who he will be able to speak to this summer in the England camp at the World Cup if he makes Roy Hodgson’s squad as expected – has played an important part in that. last_img read more

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Mourinho will rest World Cup stars

first_imgWorld Cup fatigue will stop Chelsea fielding their strongest line-up for the first three matches of the new season, according to Jose Mourinho. Press Association The Chelsea boss will not rush his six World Cup stars, who have had precious little club preparation, back into Barclays Premier League action. Germany’s Andre Schurrle, Brazil trio Oscar, Willian and Ramires and Belgian pair Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have missed most of Chelsea’s pre-season after their World Cup exploits. Mourinho admitted being forced to wait patiently while a host of senior stars shake off their summer exertions is simply a fact of football life. “This is modern football,” Mourinho said ahead of Monday night’s trip to Burnley. “It’s going in this tendency – more matches, more competitions, less time to work, even not enough time to have a real holiday for bodies and brains that top football players need. “There’s not enough time. “In our case we had a group that had a good holiday and a good pre-season, then we had another group because Spain was out in the group phase, and that allowed us to get five players before we expected. “So that was good and created a medium group – but the final group is very late. “Are they ready individually? No. “But we have to be ready as a team for Monday. “Can it be a team of six guys not ready? No. “It must be a team with the majority of the players that had a proper pre-season and they are in a better condition. “So we have to make options, and probably the team to play the first two or three matches is more about the team that is ready.” Mourinho has admitted he will have his work cut out to appease rival goalkeepers Courtois and Petr Cech, but vowed to foster competition between the duo. The Stamford Bridge boss said he would underline his unstinting faith in both stoppers by handing both stars opportunities in high-stakes matches. “I cannot kill competition, I cannot close the door for someone to get into the team,” he said. “And I cannot give a player, even a goalkeeper, guarantees that he is my first choice forever, if he doesn’t perform. “Obviously you cannot change a goalkeeper if he makes a mistake, but you can change a goalkeeper if he makes five mistakes. “And so what is my first choice today cannot be my first choice tomorrow, it depends on performance. “But if the goalkeeper gives stability to the team then I don’t see a reason to change. “I don’t do, ‘You are the keeper in this competition, you are the keeper in that competition’. “I must support the keeper who is not first choice, and to support him is not to give him a Capital One Cup game. “Supporting him is showing him my trust: when nobody is expecting. “I remember I did that with Petr and (ex-Chelsea keeper Carlo) Cudicini, I played Cudicini against (Real) Betis in the Champions League in the first game of the group, not in the sixth where we were qualified, in the first. “So the best way to show a player you trust him is to play him when nobody expects and in games of responsibilities. “And with these two goalkeepers I can do that when I want.” last_img read more

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Ashley adamant he won’t sell

first_img Press Association Rumours have been rife that the sportswear magnate was preparing to offload the club he bought in 2007 and snap up cash-strapped Rangers instead. However, the Magpies moved on Friday to dismiss the claims, in the process banning the Daily Telegraph for its coverage of the story. If Friday’s statement suggested stability in the boardroom, Pardew’s position remains less assured despite sources on Tyneside denying claims he has just two games in which to save his job. Saturday’s trip to Southampton and Hull’s visit to Tyneside the weekend after are undoubtedly key games for the 53-year-old, who is still awaiting a first Barclays Premier League win of the campaign, although he has asked for patience as he attempts to bed in his summer signings. The Magpies recruited nine new faces during the close season, seven of whom are fighting for first-team places with Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere having been thrown in at the deep end during the opening weeks of the campaign. However, only former Sunderland midfielder Colback arrived with any experience of the Premier League, and some of his new team-mates have endured a rude awakening to life in English football. Pardew said: “I think it’s a little bit tougher when players are coming from abroad and have to adjust to the Premier League. “I’d give Manu (Riviere) as an example. I spoke to him today and there are certain things that happen in this league which he’s been surprised by. It shakes players up and knocks them off balance a bit. “Remy’s treatment has been similar. People have said to me that he needs to be stronger, and I’d agree with that. But I also think he’s come in for some treatment that he would never have got in France, so he’s having to adjust his game as well. “Making those adjustments are very important, but they need time.” Cabella in particular will head for the south coast with an extra burden on his shoulders in the wake of De Jong’s absence for up to three months with a thigh injury which could yet require surgery. The two men were recruited in a bid to replace the creativity and firepower lost in the departures of Cabaye and Loic Remy, but De Jong’s misfortune has increased the onus on the Frenchman. Pardew said: “There’s more focus on him now, and I think he’s started okay. He can be better, but we’ve got to give him a platform to do that. “We also have other offensive players who will have to step up to the plate. Papiss (Cisse) is due back soon and he needs to score goals again. We need to find a way for him to score goals. “Will he play with Manu? Maybe there’s an opportunity for those two to form a relationship.” Mike Ashley has ended speculation that he is ready to sell Newcastle by insisting the club is not for sale at any price for the immediate future. A statement said: “The truth is, Mike Ashley remains committed to Newcastle United. “For the avoidance of doubt, this means that for the remainder of this season and at least until the end of next season, Mike Ashley will not, under any circumstances, sell Newcastle United at any price. “The club cannot be stronger in stating its position on this matter.” The news may come as a blow to Ashley’s most vociferous critics, who still rail against his treatment of Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer, his decision to twice appoint Joe Kinnear to positions of power at St James’ Park, his renaming of the stadium and the sponsorship deal struck with payday lender Wonga. But above all, supporters remain furious at a perceived lack of ambition, with comfortable Barclays Premier League survival the major focus. Ashley has rationalised the club’s operations to the point where they are self-sufficient, a far cry from the position in which he found Newcastle when he snapped them up for £134.4million and then had to make interest-free loans totalling around £129million. However, his financial realism means there is no wild spending on transfers, and while manager Alan Pardew has been able to invest heavily this summer, that spending spree has been funded largely by the proceeds from the sales of Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy. Ashley, of course, has twice tried to sell the club during his reign to date and in effect, it has been available for much of the last six years, although no credible buyers have emerged and there is no potential deal currently in the pipeline. last_img read more

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