first_img He added: “We won earlier in the season against Manchester United and we drew there at the end of last season, so we will go there probably in a better frame of mind and with a little bit more confidence than at any other time since I arrived here. “We will go there and try to get a positive result.” Moyes also hopes the fact United are playing Real Madrid away on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie might prove a factor on Sunday, adding: “It will be a hard job for us, but with a bit of luck, maybe they might have Madrid on their mind for Wednesday night and rest a few players.” United have certainly recovered from the defeat to Everton at the start of the season. Like the Toffees, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side go into the 26th game of their top-flight campaign having lost only three times – and yet they are 20 points better off than them, top of the table with a commanding lead over second-placed Manchester City. The size of that gap between his team and United is something Moyes concedes he finds hard to get his head around. “I have great respect for the manager and the way they run their club at Manchester United,” Moyes said. “I have to say, we think we are having a great season, and they are 20 points ahead of us right now. So it says a lot about Manchester United that they have 20 points more than us.” Moyes, appointed as Toffees boss in 2002, is yet to oversee a win at United with the Merseysiders’ most recent victory there coming in 1992, but they head into this Barclays Premier League contest having drawn 4-4 on their previous visit in April and then defeated the Red Devils 1-0 at Goodison Park in August. Everton, fifth in the table, have lost only three matches in the league all season and their manager is in optimistic mood, as he said: “Someone told me it was 1992 when we last won at Old Trafford, so that tells you how difficult the task is. But we have been quite good this year in that we have not lost many games and always been in there.” Everton manager David Moyes is feeling more confident about Sunday’s away clash with Manchester United than he has ahead of any previous trip his side has made to Old Trafford.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

first_img He has included six Dublin players, including semi-final hero Bernard Brogan, for the Croke Park decider. Ulster manager Joe Kernan has called up Crossmaglen pair Aaron Kernan and Jamie Clarke to his starting fifteen. Press Association Leinster manager Pat Gilroy has named his squad for Sunday’s Interprovincial Football final against Ulster.last_img

first_imgIrishman Daniel Martin recorded the biggest win of his career to date as a late attack carried him to victory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic. “I cannot believe it. I am really in shock,” said Martin on “The team rode like I’ve never seen them ride before. They protected me all day. We had Ryder (Hesjedal) and me, two guys in the last group. I am so happy. I just cannot believe it.” Martin’s team-mate Ryder Hesjedal – who helped Martin to fourth place in La Fleche Wallonne earlier in the week – played a major role in the victory, helping bring the race under control on the penultimate climb of the 261.5km route as several teams tried to line up attacks. Team Sky had led the peloton as they chased down a group of early escapees but a series of attacks followed and in the end they finished no better than Sergio Henao’s 16th place, David Lopez unable to make a late attack hold. Press Associationcenter_img The Garmin-Sharp rider pulled alongside Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez with a kilometre to go before kicking for victory, leaving the Spaniard to come home second, three seconds back, ahead of compatriot Alejandro Valverde of Movistar. The 26-year-old Martin, who demonstrated his form with victory in the Tour of Catalonia last month, becomes only the second Irishman to win this coveted title, one of cycling’s five ‘Monuments’, after Sean Kelly triumphed in 1984 and 1989. last_img read more

first_img Press Association “Forget my situation, just in terms of the celebration of the manager and his achievements it is going to be an unbelievable day and one I can’t wait to be involved in. “I am actually a little bit glad (the attention will be on Moyes) in a way. I don’t want any fuss, I’ve not deserved the fuss, I’ve just been a player. Better players than me have left this club and have achieved more than me at this club.” After 303 appearances for the Toffees, the end is almost upon Neville. He wanted to extend his playing career elsewhere after not being offered a new contract by Everton but there may yet be a twist in the tale as Moyes’ move to Old Trafford throws up a number of possibilities. Neville, who will help with England Under-21 coaching duties at this summer’s European Championships, has not only been mentioned as a potential replacement for Moyes but as an assistant at United, where he started his career. But for the moment the midfielder is just thinking about showing his gratitude to the Everton faithful. “You never think it is going to get to this stage where you get to a point where you are leaving a club you have loved playing for, have captained and have a real special space in your heart,” he told evertontv. “We are at that time on Sunday. I just want the opportunity to say thank you. I also want to put my feet on that turf again, to wave and clap and do a lap of honour with the players and my family. “This has been an unbelievable period in my career. People say I’ve not won a trophy and, yes, that has been a big disappointment. But in terms of happiness, meeting friends, learning, growing up as a person this has been an incredible period.” Everton’s departing captain Phil Neville insists his final match at Goodison Park should be a celebration of manager David Moyes as he too is set to leave.center_img The Scot, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has agreed a six-year deal to become Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Manchester United. After 11 years at the club, where he has regularly had the Toffees punching above their weight, Neville believes Moyes deserves to take the plaudits. “With the events of this week for Everton, for me personally, the manager, players, supporters and chairman, it will be one of those special days we remember for the rest of our lives,” said the 36-year-old, whose eight-year association with the club will end next weekend. last_img read more

first_img Press Association A Celtic statement read: “The first leg of the tie was scheduled for Celtic Park on July 16/17, with the return match taking place a week later in Belfast on July 23/24. “However, at the request of Cliftonville, there is a possibility of the matchdays for the tie being swapped. “Both clubs are looking into this at the moment and are awaiting a decision from UEFA. “Celtic would reiterate that supporters make no travel arrangements until these details have been finalised.” Celtic have urged fans not to make any travel arrangements for their Champions League qualifier against Cliftonville until fixtures are finalised.center_img The Hoops were paired with the Northern Ireland champions in Monday’s draw for the second qualifying round and were set to play the first leg at Celtic Park. Both clubs are now awaiting a decision from UEFA after Cliftonville requested the opening fixture take place in Belfast. last_img read more

first_img England right-back Glen Johnson will miss the World Cup qualifying double-header against Montenegro and Poland as he has been sidelined by an ankle injury sustained a month ago against Manchester United. However, when the squad reassembles next Thursday Rodgers hopes to have him and others available for selection. Press Association Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hopes to come out the other side of the international break with his team’s injury problems almost cleared up. “It will give an opportunity for someone else to come in. Hopefully that will prove seamless and they can come in and continue with a good performance. “Whoever plays in there has to understand the dynamic of what is required and they may have to curtail their game a little bit. “If you move freely and empty that space it leaves it too open. “Our movement and fluidity in the other half of the field is getting better but you have to make sure you have that tactical discipline and whoever plays in there will have to have a similar function.” Aly Cissokho has been out with an ankle knock since the end of August, while Joe Allen has a hamstring problem, Philippe Coutinho a shoulder blow that has required surgery and Sebastian Coates a knee injury. “Glen’s out on the field and hopefully after the international break he’ll be ready to come back into the squad,” said the Reds boss. “Aly Cissokho trained over the course of the last week or so, so I think after the international break he’ll be fine and fit. Joe Allen likewise – he should be ready for the Newcastle game. Glen Johnson and Coutinho will not be long after. “Obviously Sebastian Coates will be that bit longer and has a bit more to do yet but apart from that we’re getting back to our numbers now.” Rodgers’ immediate concern is not injury but suspension with Lucas Leiva suspended having already accumulated five bookings, which means he sits out Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace. With the Brazil international Rodgers’ only genuine defensive midfielder, he will have to do some tinkering with Jordan Henderson the most likely option to fill the position. The Reds boss admits someone will have to adapt their game to fill the role occupied by Lucas, who is almost back to his best after a surgery on a cruciate knee ligament problem in 2011. “There’s no doubt Lucas has started the season well. He’s a very honest, committed player who understands what it is we’re trying to do,” Rodgers said. last_img read more

first_img Control is a word that featured repeatedly. It was cited as the reason why both Keane and Beckham had to go after Ferguson felt his authority had been challenged. The same is also true of Wayne Rooney, although the England striker remains at Old Trafford purely as a result of Ferguson’s decision to retire this summer. “Leadership is a quality that can apply to all businesses,” said Ferguson. “Creating loyalty within your staff is so important, it is the philosophy of your thinking which you hope transmits itself to all around you in terms of whatever your workforce is like. “Your control and discipline are important. We see it time and time again. Your personality transmits itself to everyone.” Ferguson maintained that control throughout his 27 years. The only area he did not was over the racehorse, Rock of Gibraltar, which he ended up in a legal battle over the stud rights to with United’s major shareholders John Magnier and JP McManus. It was an embarrassing episode that threatened to destabilise the club and came at a time when Ferguson was struggling to recapture past glories. Disappointingly for some, it is a chapter in Ferguson’s career not covered extensively in his book. Speaking in London on Tuesday afternoon, the Scot explained why. “It was straightforward,” said Ferguson. “I had an agreement with John Magnier that once the settlement had been made nothing was to be said about it any more. “They have not said anything about it and neither have I. “That is exactly the position we have to be in and we won’t be going back to that again.” All the expected topics were raised. Indeed, chapters have been devoted to Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Liverpool, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, all of whom Ferguson fell out with at some stage of his magnificent career. It makes grim reading for some at times. And Ferguson was equally forthright under wider questioning afterwards. But he insisted it was only a summing up of events of significance he felt United fans deserved to read about. “You talk about the number of players I have had,” he said. “There are bound to be one or two issues and you have to deal with them. “It is not a matter of settling scores. It is a matter of explaining why I had to make certain decisions. “For all the Manchester United fans who wondered why we did certain things there had to be a reason. “The most important reason was that I couldn’t lose control over players if I wanted to remain at the club.” Sir Alex Ferguson’s has insisted the decision to write a second autobiography was not made as an excuse to settle some old scores. The eagerly-awaited update to “Managing My Life”, his first extensive view on the world, published in the wake of United’s historic 1999 Treble-winning campaign, landed on Tuesday morning. Ferguson then spoke for 45 minutes at a press conference in central London. Press Associationlast_img read more

first_img The Scot’s position at Cardiff City Stadium has been under scrutiny since his head of recruitment Iain Moody was removed from his role and replaced on an acting basis by Alisher Apsalyamov, a man with no known experience of top-level football. Apsalyamov is not currently operating for the Bluebirds in an official capacity while his visa documentation is assessed by the Home Office. Reports that Tan has attempted to interfere in on-field matters and bought striker Etien Velikonja without Mackay’s approval have just added to the spotlight on the club and their manager. But Mackay, having guided the Bluebirds to derby glory against Swansea last weekend, insists he is fully committed to the club. “We are all working to ensure Cardiff City is again playing top-level football next season,” he told a press conference. “I want to be talking to the media in a year’s time as Cardiff City manager in the Premier League. “We relish being in the Premier League in terms of players and fans. Our aim is to be the best we can be and finish as high as we can. “I am proud to be manager here. We have worked hard as a staff for two-and-a-half years to take our beliefs forward, mould our squad to the point we have reached now. “We will keep moving forward and make sure everything we do is for the best of Cardiff City. I will always do my best and that will never change.” Mackay will hope there is no hangover from the derby success when Cardiff travel to face Aston Villa on Saturday. The fixture takes midfielder Peter Whittingham back to the club he started his career with before leaving to join Cardiff in 2007. The 29-year-old has not played a league match at Villa Park since his move, and admits it will be special to return to face Paul Lambert’s side. “I came through the youth set-up at Villa,” said Whittingham. “They played a massive part in my career and made me the player I am today. It’s going to be a great occasion and a match from which we can earn three points. “Villa have a lot of young players and it will take time. They will make mistakes, but their manager knows what he is doing. He will nurture them and Villa will be okay in the long run. “It’s a massive club with a great history. But our job is to do all we can to win and that’s what I am focused on.” Malky Mackay may have endured a torrid few weeks but the Scot insists he wants to remain in charge of Cardiff for the long-term. Press Associationlast_img read more

first_imgLiverpool defender Kolo Toure believes their Barclays Premier League title hopes are not over, despite losing ground on the leading sides, but admits some perspective needs to be applied in regards to their position. In the build up to Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers said they should be mentioned as genuine rivals to Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea. They began the weekend six points behind leaders Arsenal but dropped points at home mean the gap is now eight. Toure accepts the Merseysiders under-performed against Villa but stressed prior to the start of the season that no-one expected them to be as close to the top as they are. “We are still in that (title race) because every team can lose points,” he told Press Association Sport. “For us we just need to think about the next game 100 per cent, try to win and be positive. “What we have done so far no-one was expecting at the start of the season. “We need to take that on board and just keep going. When you have hard times you see a strong team and we are a strong team. “The first half was very hard but the reaction from the team was great after going 2-0 down to a good Villa side – last year they won (3-1) here and it wasn’t easy for us. “We got a point and that showed the character of the team. We don’t want to lose and that is very important, especially at home. “Other teams will make errors. We just need to maintain our focus and believe in ourselves. In 16 games a lot can happen.” Rodgers said he was willing to take the blame after his decision to pick an attacking line-up backfired in the first half. He dropped defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva in order to accommodate Daniel Sturridge, making his first start since November 7 after injury, and although the striker repaid him with a goal Liverpool were already 2-0 down at that point. The benefits brought by Sturridge’s inclusion were offset by the absence of Lucas as Steven Gerrard struggled in the holding role despite Rodgers’ lavish praise for his performance in that position at Stoke. Lucas was introduced at half-time, allowing Gerrard the freedom to move further forward and supply the pass which resulted in Luis Suarez being brought down by goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Gerrard converted from the penalty spot but Liverpool could not force a winner. “Every time we play at home we want to win and we didn’t cope very well with that as a team from the start,” said Toure of the offence-minded line-up. “When you want to win games you have to put attacking players in and that is what we tried to do. “Every season you have games like that and our reaction showed we don’t want to lose at home. “We didn’t have a solution but the manager adjusted the team and then everything changed from there. “The manager is very clever and our team can adapt to any system. We have the flexibility to do that and if one thing is not working, we change.” Liverpool saved their worst 45 minutes under Rodgers for the visit of principal owner John W Henry, over from America with chairman Tom Werner. The Reds boss had already spoken to the pair the night before the match and received assurances there was money available in January to strengthen the squad. “We had a good chat Friday night. I am very happy with everything they said,” said Rodgers. “If there are players available that we can get here then we will be able to do that business but I’ve known that for a number of months.” Villa boss Paul Lambert felt his side would have repeated last year’s surprise win had they been more clinical in a dominant first half. “We should have been out of sight and I thought we played better than we did last year when we won,” he said. “I thought we were outstanding, the whole game we were fantastic, and there were some massive performances. I thought we should have won.” Press Associationlast_img read more

first_img “As far as I am concerned the game will go ahead,” said Meulensteen. “It has not been too much of a concern to us, it’s not something we could allow to affect us.” Fulham had planned to delay a decision on staging their Liverpool clash until later on Tuesday afternoon. Members of the RMT and TSSA unions were due to walk out at 9pm on Tuesday night following a two-day stoppage last week which caused travel chaos in the capital. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said unions had received proposals that halted implementation of job cuts, so that discussions can be held “away from the pressure cooker”. The unions are campaigning against controversial plans to close all 260 Tube ticket offices with the loss of 950 jobs. Liverpool owner John W Henry waded into the row over Fulham delaying their decision on whether to postpone the match due to transport concerns with a tweet on Tuesday morning. Henry tweeted: “Arsenal, West Ham and Leyton Orient all ready for the strike but not Fulham?” Fulham put their waiting game purely down to prudence to ascertain whether all support staff could travel to the match to ensure supporter safety. Press Association Fulham’s Barclays Premier League home clash with Liverpool will go ahead as planned on Wednesday night after unions suspended a strike on the London Underground.center_img Just minutes prior to the announcement by the RMT union that it was joining the TSSA in suspending a planned 48-hour strike, Cottagers boss Rene Meulensteen expressed his confidence that the game would go ahead regardless. The Fulham boss said the potential tube cessation had not affected his side’s preparation for their league showdown with Brendan Rodgers’ Anfield outfit. last_img read more