No Rangers regrets for McCarthy

first_img “I don’t regret the decision I have made up to now,” said the 24-year-old, who worked under Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers when the pair were at Reading. “Harry was a big part of me coming here. The things he said to me swayed my decision. “I spoke to both managers and everything the gaffer here said to me I liked, and that’s why I’m here now. “Coming to a new club you want to get your first game under your belt and I’m over the moon to get that first game out of the way. “The main focus for me now is to keep training hard week in, week out and give the manager a decision to make.” Rob Green has recovered from illness and could displace McCarthy against Villa. McCarthy is happy with the competition provided by the former England goalkeeper as he bids to match his manager’s prediction of future international honours. “I don’t know whether I’m playing or not,” he said. Alex McCarthy has no regrets about choosing Barclays Premier League basement boy QPR over Champions League club Liverpool. The Reds last Sunday inflicted a last-gasp defeat on QPR as McCarthy made his debut and Rangers endured a challenging week as a result of manager Harry Redknapp’s public spat with Adel Taarabt over the playmaker’s weight. Despite the week’s events, McCarthy, who signed from Reading in August, insisted he is happy at Loftus Road as he prepared for Monday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa. “Me and Greeny have a really good relationship. We respect each other and we train hard and push each other as hard as possible. Whoever is playing, we support each other. “You want to play for your country, which would be an amazing feeling and achievement. “But my main goal is to keep playing week in, week out here and England call-ups will hopefully come along.” The QPR squad have been able to joke about Taarabt’s feud with Redknapp this week after the Moroccan dismissed his manager’s suggestion he was overweight. McCarthy added: “We’ve had a few laughs here and there about it, but Adel doesn’t take anything to heart. “It’s nothing to do with me – it’s to do with them. The whole team has been focused and it hasn’t affected anyone at all. “He has been out there but he’s had an illness the last couple of days so we haven’t seen much of him, but when he’s been out there he’s been good.” QPR have four points this term after beating Sunderland and losing to Stoke and are keen to extend Villa’s losing streak of four games to five. “It’s a good time (to play Villa), with the results, how they’ve been going,” McCarthy added. “We’ve been doing everything we can on the training pitch (and) there’s a lot of positives to take from last Sunday’s game that we can take into Monday’s game. “We’ve prepared right for Monday and we’re looking forward to the game.” Defender Nedum Onuoha (hamstring) and midfielder Sandro (groin) are doubts for Rangers. Midfielders Joey Barton and Jordon Mutch (both hamstring) remain out alongside long-term absentee Alejandro Faurlin (knee). Villa boss Paul Lambert is hopeful Philippe Senderos will be fit after the defender missed the 3-0 defeat at Everton with a thigh injury. England midfielder Fabian Delph is definitely out after he dislocated his shoulder last week having fallen awkwardly during training. Libor Kozak (broken leg) remains a long-term absentee but Christian Benteke is set to start again now he has fully recovered from a ruptured Achilles. Villa’s recent dip in form coincided with games against Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton. Lambert feels their run has been harsh, but believes they can recapture their early-season form. “The fixtures I think have been a bit unkind – eight fixtures and five against the top ones, one after the other,” said Lambert. “Normally you might get one or two and then have a bit of respite, but to have five of them on the spin has been really tough.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Martinez calm over Mirallas miss

first_imgEverton manager Roberto Martinez insists there is no issue with Kevin Mirallas missing a penalty which should have been taken by Leighton Baines. Baines has missed just one of his 16 spot-kicks for the Toffees but allowed Mirallas to have the honour against West Brom and watched as the Belgium international hit the outside of the post a minute before half-time. It was arguably Everton’s only chance in the goalless draw and a perfect opportunity to end a run of eight matches without a win but Martinez refused to apportion any blame. “He is the number one penalty-taker but if it has been the other way around and Leighton says no, the issue would be why Kevin was not allowed take the penalty. “We are a team that is very together. I expect a few players to be able to take penalties and convert them. “If you play this game 10 times it would be nine wins for us and one draw for West Brom. That is the moment we are in.” The situation was compounded by MIrallas’ withdrawal at half-time but Martinez dismissed any conspiracy theories. “When he gets into half-time and the body temperature changes he felt his hamstring was starting to give him a bit of a problem,” he said. “He has been carrying a problem in that area and that is why he didn’t start against Manchester City and West Ham. “He felt 100 per cent today but at half-time he felt that hamstring was starting to give him a bit of a problem and he wasn’t 100 per cent to start the second half.” West Brom manager Tony Pulis made it three matches unbeaten since taking over earlier this month and they have yet to concede a goal under him. “It was a resilient performance, the lads worked really hard,” said the Baggies boss, who revealed he will speak to chairman Jeremy Peace about whether to make an improved £4million bid for Wigan forward Callum McManaman. “We had good shape at times. We have to be better on the ball and it doesn’t come overnight. The midfielders gave the ball away too cheaply at times and they are good players. “We need to get good passes off to get us up the pitch. It was a fantastic effort, showing good resilience and I am really pleased.” “Kevin took the first penalty against West Ham in the (FA Cup) penalty shoot-out last Tuesday,” said the manager. “Normally Leighton takes the penalties but we have a few players in the squad capable of taking them. “Kevin has the quality and personality as an international footballer and is well capable of scoring penalties. “Leighton was quite happy to let him take it because he felt confident and right in that moment. “There is no big issue in that. It became an issue because he couldn’t find the back of the net.” Team-mates Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku appeared to try to tell Mirallas to hand the ball over to Baines but he refused, prompting England assistant manager Gary Neville, summarising for Sky, to label his actions “despicable” for going against team orders. But Martinez said that did not indicate disharmony within the squad. “Not really. If Leighton Baines is the one who wants to take the penalty he will take it,” he added. Press Associationlast_img read more

Ramsey reveals Zamora discomfort

first_img “The mood has been fantastic,” Ramsey said. “They were quite a bit deflated at the end of the week because they thought they had done enough to win the game at the weekend. “But we’ve got people like Joey Barton, Clint Hill, Richard Dunne – they go around jollying people up and the other players too are making sure the chins aren’t too low to the ground. “Everyone is of the same mindset, we do believe we can stay up, we know it’s going to be difficult but everybody is up for it.” Press Association “You wouldn’t know that by the grit and determination he’s showed and the way he’s worked hard towards keeping us up,” Ramsey said. “He’s had a long-term injury which he’s been playing with. I’m very pleased he’s got himself out there to try to help us.” Ramsey added: “Bobby has a bad hip but he’s got a bad few things. “He’s a man who has taken a lot of bumps and bruises because he’s the one who is always in the battle. “It can be anything from ankle to hip to shoulder but whatever happens, I’m sure he’ll be involved again before the end of the season.” A late decision will be made on Zamora but it is hoped the experienced forward will at least be able to play a role off the substitutes’ bench at Anfield. Rangers will be also be boosted by the return to the starting line-up of Leroy Fer, who came on in the second half of last weekend’s goalless draw against West Ham after recovering from a knee injury. Ramsey admits the stalemate at Loftus Road leaves his side with an uphill task to avoid the drop but insists his players are optimistic with four matches remaining. QPR manager Chris Ramsey has revealed striker Bobby Zamora has been playing through the pain barrier to help Rangers in their fight against relegation. Zamora has only scored three goals this season but his physical threat and work rate could prove valuable as Rangers look to close a four-point gap between themselves and safety. However, the 34-year-old is struggling to be fit for Saturday’s visit to Liverpool as he wrestles with a hip injury that Ramsey says has been a long-standing problem. last_img read more

O’Neill not pressuring Grealish

first_img As long as Grealish remains uncapped by Ireland, there is the possibility that Hodgson could persuade him that his international future could lie with England, although O’Neill was not to be drawn on the subject. He said: “I’ve no idea. I think you’ll have to ask Roy. “Seriously, I don’t want to sound as if England are miles better than us, but I think it would be difficult to get into the England squad just at this moment.” If Grealish’s absence was the main topic for discussion from the squad announcement in Dublin, there were notable first inclusions for Brentford midfielder Alan Judge and Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney in a provisional 33-man party. There were places too for veterans John O’Shea and Robbie Keane, despite both currently being on the injured list at their respective clubs, with the Sunderland defender battling to shake off a rib problem and the LA Galaxy striker nursing a groin strain. However, O’Neill is confident both will be able to meet up on or around June 1, with his 65-goal striker having confirmed that he will be heading across the Atlantic once again. Asked about Keane’s fitness, the Derryman said: “He’s okay, he’s all right. He’s just texted a message through to say he’s okay.” Squad: David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph (Birmingham),; Richard Keogh (Derby), Marc Wilson (Stoke), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Paul McShane (Hull), Stephen Ward (Burnley); James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Aiden McGeady (Everton), James McClean (Wigan), Alan Judge (Brentford), Robbie Brady (Hull), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), Stephen Quinn, David Meyler (both Hull), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich); Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Jon Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), David McGoldrick (Ipswich), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Simon Cox (Reading). O’Neill initially accepted that stance, but decided to test the water with the youngster having forced his way into the first-team picture at Villa in recent weeks to rave reviews. He said: “I don’t think it’s an attempt to pre-empt anything. I think Jack had mentioned before, in fairness to him, that he didn’t want to make a decision at that time. Again, my point was that then, since he wasn’t a regular member of the side, it seemed less important at that stage. “I still think really, regardless of that, that bringing him into the squad for a week’s training and seeing how he gets on, obviously in an attempt to try to see that the FAI would actually look after him…I think they have done at every level, believe it or not. “There might have been something in that, but at the end of the day he has done well enough at Aston Villa to be thought of as a proper senior player. “I spoke to both Jack and his father and I think Jack just didn’t want to make his mind up at this stage. He wanted to complete the season at Aston Villa – there are some important games for them coming up – and he wants to make his decision at some time in the future.” O’Neill admitted his disappointment at Grealish’s decision, but did not consider it a snub. He said: “No. I don’t take it personally. I think Jack is pretty firm in what he wants to do and that’s fine. “He has been doing very well recently and it would have been nice, but that’s Jack’s decision. I spoke to the father and said I would like to have brought him into it, but of course you don’t want to force someone who might not want to make that decision just at this moment.” O’Neill revealed on Tuesday that the Birmingham-born 19-year-old, who is currently at the centre of a tug-of-war between Ireland and England, has rejected the chance to join up with the squad for next month’s friendly against Roy Hodgson’s side and the Euro 2016 qualifier clash with Scotland. However, despite months of patient pursuit, during which assistant manager Roy Keane also went to work on the teenager, Grealish is sticking to his guns after revealing earlier in the year that he would make his decision at the start of next season. Press Association Martin O’Neill has insisted he did not attempt to force Aston Villa starlet Jack Grealish’s hand by offering him the chance to commit to the Republic of Ireland once again. last_img read more

Ronald Koeman: Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez needs time to get back to his best

first_img A ruptured anterior cruciate ligament ruled the 26-year-old out for 16 months, meaning he missed the entire 2014/15 season after his World Cup hopes were cruelly extinguished. Rodriguez made his belated return in last month’s Europa League win at Vitesse Arnhem and took his goal tally for the season to three with a brace in Wednesday’s 6-0 mauling of MK Dons in the Capital One Cup. Press Association Koeman was cautious when asked if he would be fit enough to be considered by England – “that’s a difficult question”, he said – but was more forthcoming when asked about Jack Cork. The midfielder’s fine form since swapping Southampton for Swansea in January has put him in line for a maiden England call-up next, but Koeman has no regrets about allowing him to leave. “He had potential,” the Dutchman said. “He was not a young player, he was an important person and player in the group. “But always there is a moment for that kind of players, if they accept the role at that moment or they are looking for a new challenge. He took his new challenge.” It was an impressive display and potentially a timely one given Roy Hodgson will next week name the squad for England’s final Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania. Rodriguez recently spoke of his desire to add to his solitary cap from 2013 and, whether that comes around this time around or not, Koeman believes he is getting back to the form that earned him that recognition. “That’s not up to me,” he said of a potential international call-up. “To be a candidate you win with how you play for your club. That’s the most important. “Against MK Dons, in my opinion, when I was looking to Jay he was really fresh in the game. Sometimes you see that he is a little bit more struggling, a little bit more tired. “That’s normal – we are talking about 14 months out of real competition. You don’t recover that in two weeks, you need time for that. “But every week he is more close to being the Jay that he was.” Rodriguez is one of three Southampton players to have represented the England senior team along with Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand. The former is absent with a long-term knee injury but left-back Bertrand has a chance of being called upon if he impresses against Swansea – what would be his first start of the season after his own knee complaint. Jay Rodriguez is getting closer to his best every week, but Ronald Koeman is unsure whether the Southampton forward is ready for an England return. last_img read more

9 things that were happening the last time Leicester topped the Premier League

first_img 1. WESTLIFE AT NUMBER ONE Mariah Carey and Westlife topped the charts with their cover of Phil Collins’ Against All Odds before being knocked off by All Saints’ Black Coffee on October 14. Madonna’s Music was number one in the album charts for two weeks, being replaced by Radiohead’s Kid A. 2. SYDNEY SIGNS OFF The Sydney Olympic Games closed on October 1 after Great Britain had won 28 medals – 11 of them gold. 3. KRAY BROTHER DIES Gangster Reggie Kray died on October 1 aged 66 in Norwich after a battle with cancer. Reggie and his twin brother Ronnie were notorious figures in the London criminal underworld in the 1960s. Ronnie had died in March 1995. 4. TINKERMAN TAKES IT TO THE BRIDGE Claudio Ranieri – now Leicester manager – took charge of his first Chelsea home game on October 1, 2000 as strikes from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen, plus a Sander Westerveld own goal, gave the Blues a 3-0 win over Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. Leicester last held the outright lead of the Premier League on October 1, 2000 following a 0-0 draw at Sunderland. Press Association The Foxes, managed by Peter Taylor, stayed at the summit for two weeks before a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United. Having topped the league on goal difference and goals scored earlier this season, here, Press Association Sport looks at what else was going on the last time Leicester were the sole top-flight leaders. 5. US ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN FULL SWING George W Bush and Al Gore held their first presidential debate ahead of the US election in November. The election was won – after much controversy over ballot papers in Florida – by Republican candidate Bush. 6. MINI DRAMA On October 4, Mini ended work at its Longbridge plant after 41 years with production starting on the new model in Oxford early in 2001. 7. PETROL PRICES CUT Supermarket chain Safeway started a price war by cutting the cost of unleaded to 77.9p a litre on October 5. 8. FAREWELL TO WEMBLEY – AND KEEGAN The old Wembley Stadium hosted its final game as England lost 1-0 to Germany in a World Cup qualifier and Kevin Keegan resigned immediately afterwards. The new Wembley opened in 2007. 9. ATTACK ON USS COLE Less than a year before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC, American navy destroyer USS Cole was heavily damaged when a small boat loaded with explosives blew up alongside it. Seventeen sailors were killed in an apparent Al Qaeda attack on October 12, 2000. last_img read more

Tony Pulis backs Jurgen Klopp to create Liverpool legacy

first_img Liverpool are six points off the Champions League places ahead of the weekend’s fixtures and Pulis has seen enough to suggest Klopp can make a lasting mark. He said: “He looks bright and breezy and his command of the English language is excellent. He looks as though he’ll be here to stay. “He is a fantastic manager, his record shows he has been a top manager in Germany. He did an exceptional job there. He has got one of the best clubs in England with some top players. “He’ll have the opportunity and chance to push them on and progress. “Being in the different cup competitions they have done very well. That’s difficult to manage, he has managed it well. His whole demeanour in managing the club has been first class since he’s come in.” Pulis is without Stephane Sessegnon (hamstring) but Claudio Yacob is available again after suspension. Saido Berahino could be on the bench again after being among the substitutes for the last four games with the Baggies the second lowest scorers in the league with 14 goals. And Pulis admitted Berahino’s loss of form has hit the team. “We’re creating the chances but just not putting them away. Not having that extra goalscorer has affected the team there’s no doubt about it,” he added. West Brom chief Tony Pulis reckons Jurgen Klopp can create a Liverpool legacy. The Baggies go to Anfield on Sunday aiming to inflict successive league defeats on Klopp after their loss at Newcastle. Klopp has won seven of his 13 games since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

A Closer Look Into the Life of the Suspect Who Killed Mackenzie Lueck

first_imgAfter Mackenzie Lueck’s body was missing for several days, her remains were found burned in a yard and police found the man suspected of her murder. Ayoola A. Ajayi is facing several charges including aggravated murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body regarding Lueck’s death.  A SWAT team arrested Ajayi on Friday morning.Lueck, 23, was last seen on June 17. Lueck landed at the Salt Lake City International Airport close to 2 a.m., then at 2:40 a.m. she took a Lyft from the airport to Hatch Park, located in north Salt Lake City. Ajayi told police his last communication was with Mackenzie via text around 6 p.m. on June 16th. Ajayi denied having seen a photo or online profile of Mackenzie, despite having several photos of her and a profile photo. According to reports, Lueck and Ajayi met online. Lueck used online dating to find sugar daddies in their thirties.Police say Ajayi’s neighbors told officials they saw him using gasoline to burn something in his backyard on June 17 and 18. In his backyard, police said they found a “fresh dig area,” and charred items that belonged to Lueck. A house cleaner who recently cleaned Ajayi’s residence said she found it odd that he had so many surveillance cameras in his home, particularly in his bedroom.Ajayi has worked in information technology for several companies including Dell and Goldman Sachs. In 2018, Ajayi self-published a fictional book on Amazon titled, Forge Identity. North Park Police said back in 2014, Ajayi was investigated as the suspect in a rape complaint. The woman did not want to press charges.last_img read more

Patriots fall to Eagles 41-33 in Super Bowl LII

first_imgELLSWORTH — The New England Patriots were denied a sixth NFL championship last Sunday with a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.Philadelphia took a 3-0 on a field goal on the opening drive and opened up a 15-3 lead early in the second quarter. Although New England (15-4) was able to whittle that advantage down to 15-12 with a field and James White touchdown run, the Eagles made it 22-12 on the ensuing drive after Trey Burton threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles on a trick play.The Patriots took their first lead of the game after three straight touchdowns gave them a 33-32 advantage with 9 minutes, 22 seconds left to play, but Philadelphia (16-3) responded with a seven-minute drive to go on top 38-33. The Eagles went ahead 41-33 after a strip-sack of Tom Brady with 2:16 to play led to a field goal, and Brady’s desperation pass as time expired fell short.Brady passed for 505 yards and three touchdowns in the game, but the Super Bowl MVP instead went to Foles, who also had three touchdown passes in addition to his reception at the end of the first half. The Super Bowl win was Philadelphia’s first.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Current Indian pacers lack skill and discipline: Jeff Thomson

first_imgMumbai, Sep 14: Legendary fast bowler Jeff Thomson believes that the current group of Indian pacers lack skill and discipline, which was mainly exposed during India’s tour of Australia in the 2014-2015 season.Thomson is in the city as the Mumbai Cricketa Association (MCA) has roped him in for a month-long stint at its bowling academy where young pacers from around the city will be trained by the Australian legend.He will put in another month-long stint at the academy in May next year.“Indian bowlers lack the skill and discipline, where they pitch the ball all the time. That was the biggest thing I saw when the Indian team toured Australia last time. The bowlers did not ball in the right areas. They lost, then their concentration dropped, number of overs dropped and eventually made it very hard,” Thomson told reporters here on Monday.“With just good batsman one cannot win matches. You have to have that strength in the bowling also to pick 20 wickets of the opposition,” he added.The former pacer was specially known for his unusual slinging action and an aggressive approach which instilled fear in the hearts of several batsmen in the 1970s.Speaking about the aggressive ture of current pace bowlers, the 65-year-old, said, “A fast bowler has to be aggressive, you can’t be a nice guy and say that was good shot and applause the batsman. You have to come harder and harder at the batsman and try to get him out. You have to be aggressive; you want to be World’s No. 1 bowler.”“To be at the top spot, you have to be aggressive and bowl at your strengths. You have to better than his teammate. Someone you may fall short of that but you will learn from that,” said the former pacer who played 51 Tests and 50 One-Day Intertiols to claim a total of 255 wickets for his country.When asked about his thoughts on Ishant Sharma who recently had a successful Test series in Sri Lanka, Thomson remarked that the pacer is talented, but lacks discipline, just like most of the players in the Indian team.The Australian also felt that Ishant is not in the place where he should have been at this point in his career.“Ishant lacks a bit of discipline. Like I said the whole lot lacks a bit of discipline. He is playing for India for a long time. In between he lost the plot a bit. He also lost a lot of pace. He looked injured to me last summer in Australia. He is not where he should have been. He should have got more bounce and bowled well with the height he has. He has good skill but he has to be reminded what he has to do,” Thomson said.MCA have selected a maximum of 30 pacers in the 19 and above age group to be part of the foundation.The training for the young Mumbai bowlers will be held throughout the year at the Sharad Pawar Indoor Stadium, formerly known as the MCA Club at the Bandra-Kurla Complex.Speaking on his role as a coach, Thomson said, “I just want to pass on my knowledge to the young Mumbai bowlers and show them where they are lacking and where they need to improve.”“I see a lot of false coaching happening these days. I don’t want to me anyone, but lots of bad and false coaching is happening. The biggest thing in a fast bowler is skill and control, and that’s why I am here for,” Thomson said. IANSlast_img read more