Woods warns McIlroy to watch his words

first_imgTiger Woods has warned Rory McIlroy to think before he speaks after the Northern Irishman pulled out of the Honda Classic midway through his second round on Friday. Press Association He added: “I’ve been through it for a long time, but also this is a slightly different era as well. It’s even faster than what it was when I came out. “Things are instantaneous around the world. We were still in fax machines, things were a little bit slower.” Graeme McDowell said he had noticed a difference in his friend McIlroy, telling pgatour.com: “His demeanour looks a little different. I felt like he was a little off with his golf swing on the range. “There were a few moans and groans coming from the bay next to me. It’s normally a display. It’s normally a clinic. It’s superlatives coming from the coach and the caddie. That’s the sign of a guy who’s lacking a little technique in his swing and a little belief in his game.” After walking off the course, McIlroy initially told reporters he was “in a bad place mentally'”, according to ESPN. But he later released a statement saying: “I sincerely apologise to the Honda Classic and PGA Tour for my sudden withdrawal. I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future. It began bothering me again last night, so I relieved it with (painkiller) Advil. “It was very painful again this morning (Friday), and I was simply unable to concentrate. It was really bothering me and had begun to affect my playing partners.” center_img McIlroy claimed he was “in a bad place mentally” on a dramatic day in Palm Beach – then later released a statement to say a sore wisdom tooth was the reason for his early exit. It was McIlroy’s first ever withdrawal from a tournament as a professional. “He’s just got to be more – just got to think about it a little bit more before you say something or do something,” Woods told reporters. “It can get out of hand, especially when you get into social media and start tweeting and all those different things that can go wrong.” last_img read more

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Collison clinches Hammers victory

first_img Press Association The result – only the second home league loss for Stoke this season – saw West Ham move up to 12th, level on points with the Staffordshire side, who are now 11th. The Hammers made a less than ideal start to the match, having to make two substitutions within the opening 11 minutes. Matt Taylor took a boot in the face as Peter Crouch attempted an overhead kick and was down for some time before heading down the tunnel in the 10th minute, with Collison coming on in his place. Moments later Joe Cole was also departing the field having picked up an injury, the midfielder being replaced by Vaz Te. The contest was struggling to spark into life, with Andy Carroll seeing a shot deflected and the ball cleared away, and Crouch sending a tame effort bouncing through to Jussi Jaaskelainen at the other end. West Ham looked to be responding well following their early disruption and they went close in the 25th minute as Collins looped a flicked header on to the bar. Collison then unleashed a shot from outside the box straight at Asmir Begovic, before Carroll leapt in front of goal, only to direct his header well wide. With seconds of the first half remaining, West Ham managed to do break the deadlock. Having attempted to play a one-two with Carroll and had the ball come back to him as the England striker was tackled by Ryan Shawcross, Vaz Te slipped a pass in for Collison, who turned and drilled a shot beyond Begovic. Following the restart Matt Jarvis collected another Vaz Te through-ball and saw his shot saved by the legs of Begovic. Crouch then brought a stop out of Jaaskelainen with a low attempt. Vaz Te tried to carve out the space to shoot in the box but was unable to do so, and Stoke then almost snatched a dramatic equaliser as Adam rifled a volley against the goalframe in stoppage time. In a first half of few chances, Hammers defender James Collins’ header clipped the bar before Collison netted in stoppage time, finishing on the turn after collecting a through-ball from his fellow substitute Ricardo Vaz Te. It proved to be the winner, with Potters substitute Charlie Adam going close in added time at the end of the game by cracking a volley against the bar. The hosts’ protests that Guy Demel had handled in the area were then waved away by referee Jonathan Moss. center_img West Ham ended a run of five straight Barclays Premier League away defeats as Jack Collison’s strike secured them all three points in a 1-0 win at Stoke.last_img read more

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Sessegnon set to learn fate

first_img The player was astonished to be dismissed and manager Paolo Di Canio signalled the club’s intention to appeal within minutes of the final whistle. Sunderland formally lodged their claim on Tuesday and can expect a decision on Wednesday. Should they fail to have Mr Probert’s ruling overturned, Sessegnon will miss the remaining three games of the season, home clashes with Stoke and Southampton and a final day trip to Tottenham. That would prove a massive blow to the Black Cats, who have been plunged right back into the relegation mire as a result of their black night in the Midlands. Sessegnon has been in sparkling form under new boss Di Canio, scoring the first goal in their 3-0 derby win at Newcastle and then firing his side to victory over Everton six days later to send them clear of the relegation zone. Despite their humiliation at Villa, Sunderland, like Paul Lambert’s men and the Magpies, remain five points better off than 18th-placed Wigan, although the Latics have a game in hand. A three-game ban would deprive Di Canio of one of the men most likely to drag the club out of trouble with leading scorer Steven Fletcher already ruled out of the remainder of the campaign after undergoing ankle surgery. That would heap even more pressure on £5million January signing Danny Graham, who is yet to open his account in a red and white shirt after 10 appearances. Sessegnon’s red card was the second of his career on Wearside, the first coming in a 1-1 league draw at Newcastle in March last year. On that occasion, he was sent of for raising his hands to Magpies midfielder Cheick Tiote, whose theatrical collapse did him no favours, although the African left referee Mike Dean with little option but to dispatch him. The 28-year-old Benin international’s claim for unfair dismissal over his sending-off at Aston Villa on Monday evening is scheduled to be heard this afternoon by an independent regulatory commission. Referee Lee Probert issued a straight red card for Sessegnon’s second-half challenge on Yacouba Sylla as the Black Cats slipped to a disastrous 6-1 Barclays Premier League defeat. Sunderland striker Stephane Sessegnon will discover whether or not his season is over on Wednesday. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Pardew ready to talk to Ashley

first_imgAlan Pardew knows he has an awkward conversation with owner Mike Ashley to come, but hopes he will remain in the Newcastle manager’s job after it. Press Association “We know we’ve got an uncomfortable conversation regarding the form this year, the under-achievement and everything else. “We need to find out what the reasons were and then it’s for Mike, and hopefully with me, to decide how to go forward. “It’s a privilege and honour to be manager of this club. “But Mike could decide he needs a new manager. “I like to think that he won’t, that next year he’ll stay with myself.” Pardew’s men are one place outside the drop zone with two games left. center_img The Magpies have failed to back-up last season’s top-five finish and are in the midst of a relegation battle heading into Sunday’s game at QPR. With an eight-year contract to his name Pardew would not be expected to be made to pay for results, but the former West Ham manager knows that could end up being the case. “Mike and I will sit down as soon as we know what division we’re in,” he told a number of national newspapers. last_img read more

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Sugar sold ahead of Derby date

first_imgLeading Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby contender Sugar Boy has been sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. Press Association Prendergast said: “He has been sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, but we will continue to train him for the Irish Derby. “That is what we’re focussing on and it would be absolutely great if he can go and win it. He’s in great form. “He’s been a great servant to us, we’ll be sorry to see him leave, but there will be no long faces as we do sell horses on.” The deal has been brokered by Blandford Bloodstock agent Stuart Boman, who did not want to disclose who the colt would be trained by after his Classic attempt on Saturday. Boman said: “I can confirm the horse has been sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. He will stay with Patrick Prendergast, who has done such a fantastic job with the horse, until after he runs in the Irish Derby. After that he will be transferred.” Asked which trainer he will be sent to, Boman said: “I would prefer not to say at this stage.” Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa has a long-standing association with leading South African trainer Mike de Kock and has also had horses in training in Britain with a number of handlers in recent years, including Mick Channon, Richard Fahey and Marco Botti. center_img The Authorized colt secured a determined victory in the Sandown Classic Trial on his most recent appearance for trainer Patrick Prendergast, notably having subsequent Epsom Derby second and third Libertarian and Galileo Rock among those behind. He will run for Prendergast in this weekend’s Classic, but will be switched to an unspecified trainer afterwards. last_img read more

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Lambert ‘can restore Villa magic’

first_img Evans watched on from the opposite dugout as the Barclays Premier League side cruised into the third round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night with a 3-0 win, courtesy of goals from Andreas Weimann, Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph. It was a far cry from last season’s harrowing semi-final defeat to Bradford, and the way Villa have acquitted themselves over the first few games of the campaign – where they have played Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League – has given fans cause for optimism. Villa’s win over Rotherham has set up a third-round tie with Tottenham and Lambert has already set his sights on going one better than last season’s place in the last four. “To get to a cup final would be great because you saw the semi-final last year and what it meant to people,” he said. “I know how passionate the crowd is. The club has a huge following, it really has. The club has won the European Cup and there’s pressure because it’s won major titles and won the league. “It’s won everything. The fans are used to winning.” Last week’s Premier League game at Chelsea, played early owing to the west London club’s participation in Friday’s Super Cup against Bayern Munich, means that Lambert’s men have a free weekend and after a testing start to the season he will give his players a few days at home ahead of the international break. “I might organise another game,” Lambert joked. “No, they have done well over the last 10 days so we will give them a few days off.” Rotherham boss Steve Evans has backed Aston Villa counterpart Paul Lambert to create “something special” at Villa Park. Despite being embroiled in a relegation battle last season, Lambert always said he was building for the future and fellow Glaswegian Evans expects that to bear fruit sooner rather than later. “They have fantastic supporters and I think they are watching something very special getting built here by Paul,” the Millers boss said. “I know him from when he was growing up with holes in his shoes in Glasgow. I think he was a fantastic player, I watched him many times when he played for Celtic and you only need to look at the job he did at Norwich to see how good he is. “He got a bit of stick when he first came here, but I think you can see what he is about, he has built a young team and he is not afraid to make brave decisions. “I think he will end up managing one of the top four or five clubs, whether that is in England or Germany where he is highly regarded. “But he has a lot to achieve here before that because he has found some very talented players. “When he signed Benteke everyone was saying ‘Benteke who?’ – now everyone in football knows who he is. “This is a real big football club that has been struggling for a couple of years but I think everyone in football recognises Paul is making an impact here and he could bring the magical days back.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Spurs spending thrills Vertonghen

first_img Andre Villas-Boas’ side have beaten Crystal Palace, Swansea and Dinamo Tbilisi (twice) without conceding a goal. But the real acid test for Spurs will come on Sunday when they travel to the Emirates Stadium for the first north London derby of the season. Spurs held a seven-point lead over Arsenal, but just like the year before, they lost their nerve in the final stretch and ended up back in the Europa League. Vertonghen, who snubbed interest from Arsenal to join Spurs, admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow. “That was painful, yes,” the Belgium defender said. “We thought we were a better team than Arsenal at the end. “I don’t know why we (slipped up). Maybe they had the experience of playing in the Champions League before. But we were all very disappointed, especially because we thought we were supposed to be comfortable. “That is why we have to finish in the top four.” Vertonghen has noted an improved strength in the depth of the Tottenham squad following their summer splurge and a surge in confidence among the players. The Belgian also thinks that with the arrival of powerhouses such as Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue, Arsenal will find themselves up against a much more physically imposing Spurs team. When asked whether it would be a bruising experience playing against Tottenham, Vertonghen said: “I think so, yes. If you see guys like Chadli, Paulinho and Capoue, they are all tall guys who have pace but physical power as well. “Maybe we lacked that last year. They make us stronger in both ways, in a skilful way too.” Jan Vertonghen is convinced that Tottenham have a much better chance of beating Arsenal to a top-four place in the Barclays Premier League this season despite the impending departure of Gareth Bale. A quick look at the new arrivals board at White Hart Lane shows why the club are so confident of success in the post-Bale era. Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue and Paulinho are all regular faces in their respective national squads while in Erik Lamela, Spurs have signed one of the brightest prospects in world football. Vertonghen, who moved to Spurs from Ajax last summer, has no doubt that other clubs will have taken note of Tottenham’s ambition following their spending spree. “I think it sends a message to everybody, to all the top four, that we want to be up there and they have to look at us as well and where we are going to be,” Vertonghen said. “Other teams are looking at us. There is a lot of interest in us. “There’s a lot of competition and the quality of the players is very high here. They have just so much power. I think we have a strong team anyway, whatever happens (with Bale). “We have bought some very good players and it is always good to have different players who can score.” Early-season results suggest Tottenham fans have every reason to share Vertonghen’s confidence. After over two months of negotiation, speculation and controversy, Bale is closing on his world-record move to Real Madrid. Tottenham fans reacted with fear when it emerged that Real’s interest in the player was serious earlier this summer, but a recruitment drive has been so successful this summer that they are no longer perturbed about losing the man who scored 26 times for the club last term. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Bruce ready for ‘must win’ tie

first_img The last time the sides met at the KC Stadium was the final day of Championship season – a dramatic 2-2 draw capped by a tense period of injury-time that saw Hull miss a penalty and Cardiff score one. That result was still enough to send the Tigers up in second behind their title-winning opponents, though, and both sides now share the goal of preserving their top-flight status. Hull manager Steve Bruce believes Saturday’s match with Cardiff is one both clubs will have highlighted as a must win at the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign. Cardiff have already beaten Manchester City, while Hull impressed in patches against the same opponents just before the international break, but Bruce insists it is fixtures such as this that will define each side’s season. “It’s a big game for us, but I’m sure they’ll say the same. Cardiff came up with us and they’ll have put it down as one of their fixtures to get something from,” said Bruce. “Cardiff are a good side and they proved to be the best side in the Championship last year. Since then they’ve added to their squad well, spent a lot of money to improve and they’re going to make a big fist of it. “Talk about must-win games…it’s against opposition who you think will be around you at the end of the season. If you can turn those teams over it’s a big feather in your cap and can help you enormously. “We identified the first four or five home games. For any side in the bottom half it’s about ‘can you pick up the points at home?’ “But Cardiff won the Championship at a canter in the finish and they’ve added well. They’ll be difficult to beat but the way we have played so far has encouraged us.” Bruce is without summer signing Yannick Sagbo, who serves the last of a three-game suspension following his sending off against Norwich, meaning Danny Graham should get another chance to impress up front. As a centre-forward with Premier League experience Graham will be an important player in the coming weeks, with Hull having failed to secure a deadline-day deal for West Brom’s Shane Long. The club did manage to bring last year’s loan signing Gedo back on a season-long deal from Egyptian outfit Al Ahly, but he is still battling visa issues. Civil unrest in his home country means that process is far from straightforward. “The British Embassy is shut apparently, it is in a place where a lot of the trouble is so they have to send passports to Dubai then get them sent back somewhere,” said Bruce. “He’s trying desperately bless him, he’s trying to get his visa and you’re not allowed in without it. “The last I heard he was trying to get to Dubai himself to rush things up.” Asked if he had a clear idea of when to expect the striker, a rueful Bruce joked: “If we’ll see him by Christmas, I’m not so sure.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Ex-players join Anfield staff

first_imgFormer Liverpool players Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Rob Jones have been drafted in by manager Brendan Rodgers to help coach the club’s youngsters. The trio are to assist the Under-21 and Under-18 squads at the Kirkby Academy. “It’s great to have Robbie, Steve and Rob on board,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “I wanted to get more former players involved and over the off-season I spoke to a number of them about a possible role here. “For me it’s so important to have players like that around. These are players who the young guys look up to. “The three of them have come in recently and I know they have thoroughly enjoyed having that involvement of working with the kids. “We’re starting with the older academy players as they are ones they can really affect at this moment. “It’s both coaching and mentoring.” Rodgers has spoken previously about wanting to utilise the experience of the recently-retired Jamie Carragher, who has opted for a career in television. The Northern Irishman has immersed himself in the club’s history since arriving in the summer of 2012 and will continue to do so. “Sometimes managers feel the need to distance themselves from players like that but I love what this institution is all about at Liverpool,” he added. “It’s important to retain that connection with the history of the club. “I want to protect that great history to ensure these players get the opportunity to be involved at a club they love.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Rodriquez: More to come from Southampton

first_img Those three points made this Southampton’s best-ever start to a top-flight season and forward Rodriguez believes they have yet to reach their peak. “It was really good,” he said of the performance at St Mary’s on Saturday. “We were very controlling of the game and we created so many chances and the reward is all down to how hard we’ve worked and to the belief which we’ve had from day one. “It is no shock really. We know the performances that we’re capable of and to improve upon for the next game. “It’s a great place to be at the moment, and everyone in the camp is enjoying it and loving it. “It’s great competition throughout the team from the back and up front it’s all a challenge, but it’s a good one and a healthy one because everyone wants each other to do well. “It’s the same throughout the team, and there’s a really good atmosphere for us to be involved in.” Rodriguez played a key role in the defeat of Fulham, first flicking a James Ward-Prowse corner onto Rickie Lambert to open the scoring after 20 minutes. Press Association Despite splashing the cash during the summer, few took seriously talk around the south coast of a push for a European finish. Mauricio Pochettino’s side, though, are doing their best to prove the doubters wrong and moved up to third with Saturday’s impressive 2-0 win against Fulham. Southampton’s rise has surprised many this season and Jay Rodriguez suggests the best is still to come. The England international returned the favour late in the first half, heading across a fine ball from Adam Lallana for Rodriguez to nod home at the far post. That proved the end of the scoring but, in truth, Fulham were fortunate to have left St Mary’s on the back of just a 2-0 defeat. Martin Jol’s men were left chasing shadows from the outset and were unable to cope with Saints’ pressing game as the hosts picked up a sixth clean sheet of the term. “It’s always pleasing to score a goal and to play like we did I think was unbelievable, so we’re all very chuffed with it,” Rodriguez said. “We pressed really high and it came off for us. “We worked really hard by winning the ball in good places and creating a lot of chances as you can see from the stats so it was a really enjoyable game. “It’s enjoyable because the hunger is there which comes from the pressing and working hard. “We all enjoy the pressing when we’re creating chances, but the main thing for us is keeping clean sheets.” Fulham failed to test Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc once at St Mary’s and boss Jol admitted the only positive for his side was that they avoided a “hammering”. The half-time introduction of Aaron Hughes in place of Sascha Riether helped frustrate Saints, but the Whites never looked like clawing their way back into the match. “They put us under a lot of pressure, pressed us very high up the pitch,” Hughes said. “Sometimes it was hard to get out and when you come up against a side like that you just have to take a chance now and again and try. “Unfortunately, it just wasn’t happening for us at all and when you’re 2-0 down and chasing the game, you’re leaving gaps here and there, pushing forward and leaving yourself a little exposed so it is always an uphill task after that.” last_img read more

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