Adkins keeps cards close to chest

first_imgManager Nigel Adkins will happily use every trick he can to help keep Reading in the Barclays Premier League. Press Association “I will use an example I had at Scunthorpe. We had (striker) Gary Hooper and we went to a team, who I won’t mention, but there was no way Gary would be fit and we didn’t let anyone know. “All week that team had worked on stopping Gary Hooper and doing certain things. “We then went and played a totally different way with different personnel, and they were absolutely gutted as they had spent all week working on it. “If they knew Gary wasn’t playing, then they might not have been worried about it so much. “We are going to the Emirates and it will be a great challenge, but for now, I will keep my cards close to my chest and that might just give us something, or it might not.” Adkins suffered a 6-1 thrashing at the Emirates Stadium with Southampton in September. While his return to tackle the Gunners may have come sooner than expected in the wake of his controversial sacking in January, the 48-year-old intends to make the most of the opportunity. “It is all about experiences,” he said. “The experiences at Bangor, Scunthorpe and Southampton have helped me be the Reading manager. You can be placed in a situation once – make new mistakes, do not make the same mistake twice. If you are in that situation again, you know how you reacted last time and what the outcome was.” center_img Adkins gave little away on his likely tactics or indeed team news at his pre-match media conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal, refusing to even confirm whether goalkeeper Adam Federici had shrugged off his ankle injury. “Normally, if someone is injured and it is obvious that they are out, then it is no good turning around and saying they will be fit, but just at this moment in time we need to somehow come up with that element of surprise and that is what I have to utilise,” said Adkins. last_img read more

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Alan Pardew: Crystal Palace are closing the gap behind Manchester City

first_img City have splashed more than £150million on the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne since they were stunned 2-1 by the Eagles at Selhurst Park last April. The results have been impressive so far with City boasting four wins out of four, without conceding a goal, to sit top of the table ahead of Saturday’s rematch. Press Association Manchester City may have been the Premier League’s top spenders this summer but Alan Pardew insists Crystal Palace are closing the gap. But Palace moved up to second on the back of their win at champions Chelsea a fortnight ago and Pardew, whose biggest summer outlay was £10million midfielder Yohan Cabaye, feels they have an even better chance of beating City’s all stars this time around. “Only a handful of Premier League clubs can spend that money, but we are in that next batch and we are all fighting to catch up,” said the Eagles boss. “You can only play 11 players. That’s one good thing about this game. If we were coming up against City and it was 20 players each then they’d definitely win. But they can only play 11 and our 11 is getting closer to Man City’s, as is Stoke’s and West Ham’s. “Beating Chelsea must enhance our confidence. Our technical ability is now matching our work rate and that makes us a good team. Manchester City will be approaching this game knowing they are up against a good side. “They will be favourites to win and you would expect them to win, but I think they will know we are a bit closer to them than last year. “We won last year, but by the seat of our pants a little bit. At Chelsea we were much more in control and that’s why I think we are in a better place to get a result against City, even though we won against them last year.” Injuries to Connor Wickham and Marouane Chamakh, and Glenn Murray’s move to Bournemouth, are likely to mean an opportunity in attack for either Patrick Bamford or Dwight Gayle. Gayle appeared to be on the verge of leaving Selhurst Park last month b ut Murray’s departure has given him a second chance, and Pardew urged the 24-year-old striker to grab it with both hands. “Glenn leaving gives Dwight an opportunity and he is now in the process of trying to take that,” added Pardew. “He’s trained very well. Dwight’s very much a part of our family and hopefully we can give him more game time b ecause that’s been part of the frustration. It’s not like we wanted to move him on, the frustration came from the player himself. “But with Glenn going, the opportunity has come for him to make a statement.” The Eagles will also be without right-back Joel Ward, who faces a month on the sidelines with a knee injury. last_img read more

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NBBF Petitions FIBA over Visa Denial by Spanish Embassy

first_img“While the Customs and Immigration acknowledged the NBBF letter and pledged their support in seeing the smooth passage of the team to the championship, NAPTIP never replied,” observed the NBBF spokesman.He insisted that “every document for the visa application requested from the NBBF concerning the team, including affidavits of consent sworn to by the players’ parents for them to represent the country were all endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and presented to the Spanish Embassy in Lagos and despite all these, the applications were turned down without any reason till now.”The NBBF, apart from requesting FIBA to investigate this matter to unravel the reason for the visa denial, is also seeking legal advice on possibly filing for compensation against the Spanish Consul for causing Nigeria local and international embarrassment as well as causing the NBBF, players and the team officials emotional and financial losses.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has formally written basketball’s world governing body, FIBA, asking it to investigate the sad and embarrassing denial of visas to the national Under-17 Women’s Basketball team for the FIBA U-17 Championship in Spain.The federation had to take this step because the Spanish Consul in Lagos did not only deny Nigeria its hard earned opportunity to play in the FIBA Women’s Under-17 Championship and caused the country a huge embarrassment, but also caused the players and staff of the NBBF serious emotional stress.According to NBBF Board Member and Head of Media Unit, Patrick Omorodion, “the federation is pained because it took serious steps in filing the visa application which included writing all Nigerian authorities like the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Customs Service and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons(NAPTIP).last_img read more

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Invite only

first_imgCarlo Acenas | Daily TrojanDonors attended a reception to kick off the Campaign for the University of Southern California in the International Plaza of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday. President C. L. Max Nikias and other noted faculty and staff will speak in Bovard Auditorium from 10:30 a.m. to noon today.last_img

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Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan expects more physical play after line change

first_imgSyracuse head coach Paul Flanagan knew he had to make adjustments to his offense after his team was shut out on Friday to No. 9 North Dakota. The Orange failed to score more than two goals in five of the team’s prior six games. SU was on the verge of a three-game losing streak.“Things weren’t really going that well from our game against Colgate and that first North Dakota game,” Flanagan said. “We were looking to shake things up a bit.”Flanagan replaced his team’s leader in points, Stephanie Grossi, on the first line with “power forward” Jessica Sibley before his team’s second matchup against the Fighting Hawks on Saturday. While Grossi’s quickness mirrored first-liners Melissa Piacentini and Nicole Ferrara’s style of play, Flanagan reasoned that Sibley’s aggressiveness could open up stronger shot opportunities.As the second period began on Saturday afternoon, Sibley found an opening and got the puck just outside the crease. She pushed for stronger positioning to the right of the net, fighting against multiple defenders until she forced the puck past North Dakota goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie for the Orange’s first goal.Sibley finished with three points on Saturday, leading Syracuse (7-9-1, 4-1-1 College Hockey America) to its first victory against a ranked opponent this season. Flanagan plans on sticking with his line change as SU prepares to host conference opponent Penn State (4-9-3, 1-2-3) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFlanagan encourages his players to bully their way to the goal. Defender Heather Schwarz has worked on using her body to create openings near the net throughout the year, and Flanagan’s adjustments are feeding into Schwarz’s ability to overpower her defenders.Schwarz scored in a similar fashion to Sibley on Saturday, as she crashed the net for a rebound and forced the puck inside the net for Syracuse’s third goal of the day. She believes the Orange’s new assertiveness on offense plays into the entire team’s physical nature.“We don’t have really tall players, but we have a lot of people who are willing to sacrifice their bodies,” Schwarz said. “It’s definitely paid off for us against larger teams.”But Sibley, the newest member of the first line, is the main beneficiary of Flanagan’s revised offensive approach. Sibley currently ranks third on the team with 15 points, but she tied her career high on Saturday with three points.Sibley’s size lets her protect the puck while getting to “dirty” areas around the net, Flanagan said, while her teammates have to rely more on agility and intelligence with the puck.“With me being strong, it’s nice to get into the corners and battle (defenders),” Sibley said.Flanagan debated if he should break up Ferrara, Piacentini and Grossi on the first line, but he felt the rest of the team could benefit from changing styles. The three were able to navigate quickly through defenses, but no other line could match the trio’s speed on offense.Instead, Flanagan is encouraging a physical style of offense that feeds into the entire team’s strengths. It worked on Saturday against the No. 9 team in the country.“Typically, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” Flanagan said. “But we needed to do something.” Comments Published on December 3, 2015 at 1:15 am Contact Chris: cfthomse@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Badgers seek ninth straight win as Huskers come to town in anticipated sellout

first_imgEight wins are great, but nine would be sublime.The Badgers face the No. 14 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-6, 6-3 Big Ten) yet again this Sunday at 4 p.m. under the lights of the UW Field House, as No. 5 Wisconsin (16-2, 8-1 Big Ten) strives to clench its ninth match-win in a row.On Wednesday night, Wisconsin continued its hot streak by sweeping the Iowa Hawkeyes (25-15, 25-22, 25-19), successfully winning their 16th set and eighth match in a row.Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Wednesday match against Minnesota was the true showdown match-up of the evening, as the Cornhuskers came back from a 2-0 set deficit to conquer the Golden Gophers in a 3-2 victory.Sophomore outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen contributed 17 kills and 14 digs towards her teams’ success. The 6-foot-3 sophomore from Papillion, Nebraska averages 3.48 kills per set and has 223 kills so far this season.Huskers junior outside hitter Kelsey Fien’s performance of 14 kills and two block assists helped push the Gophers in a hole. Fien hits at a rate of 2.88 percent and averages about 2.78 kills per match.The Cornhuskers’ senior setter Mary Pollmiller also put up big numbers against the Gophers, tallying 54 assists from 64 attempts, leaving her with an impressive assist percentage of .844. She leads her team with 676 total assists this season.However, Wisconsin’s dominant front row may put Nebraska’s hitting to the test.The last nine set victories for the Badgers have consisted of 33.5 total team blocks and 122 kills.“When we were toward the bottom of the league, I would have considered us one of the worst blocking teams,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said in Monday’s press conference. “Now that we’re up there in the top three, I want to consider us one of the best blocking teams now because the numbers say it. It’s an area we’re spending a lot of time on, and we’re getting better.”Sophomore middle blocker Haleigh Nelson specifically has been an explosive hitter and blocker for the Badgers. Her blocking numbers have drastically increased over the past week during the back-to-back Minnesota matches coupled with Wednesday evening’s win against Iowa. Nelson had 22 kills, 18 block assists and one solo block over the past three matches.Opposite of Nelson in the Badgers’ rotation stands redshirt junior middle blocker Dominique Thompson at 5-foot-11. Not towering as high as the typical middle, Thompson makes up for her size with her precision, speed and vertical jump. The last three matches, Thompson has totaled 11 block assists and two solo blocks.Wisconsin has catered three sold out crowds this season against Penn State, Maryland and Minnesota.“We’re real excited about that. What I was real excited about this past weekend not only selling out, but the student support there,” Sheffield said. “I mean, they were packed. They were loud and energetic. I think they were starting to come along as well, and man, that makes all of us really excited.”last_img read more

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“No financial statement, no congress”- Osei Palmer to GFA

first_imgPresident of Tema Youth Football Club, Wilfred Osei Kwaku Palmer, has accused the Ghana Football Association of serious breaches of the company’s code and its own statutes by not including the association’s audited financial statements in the notice of congress.The GFA’s ordinary congress is scheduled to come off at Prampram next Tuesday but according to Palmer, the official notice of congress sent to clubs did not include the GFA’s audited financial statements, a clear violation of article 32 of the GFA Statutes.“There have been so many breaches and violations of the company code and the GFA statutes.“Whatever we are doing for the ordinary congress, there are mandatory provisions that must be respected, he said in an interview with Citi Sports.“It is mandatory, you cannot keep one out, 32 J and K, is very clear.“The agenda for a meeting of congress, shall include the following mandatory items, they have used shall and even gone on further to state that, the following items in chronological order and then specified A to K.“32 A to I, is not my issue, J and K is my issue, he further explained.“It says presentation of the consolidated and revised balanced sheet in profit and loss account statement by the auditors.“This is not part of the agenda to this congress.“They have not asked for excuses, because you are mandated to provide it.The Ghana FA has set Congress for September 1 at the Ghanaman Soccer Center of Excellence, Prampram.The date coincidentally clashes with the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) ruling on the Ghana FA versus Wilfred Osei Kwaku Palmer.last_img read more

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Michel Platini: Fifa committee was ‘asleep for four years’

first_imgBanned Uefa president Michel Platini has accused world football’s ethics committee of “sleeping” for four years before barring him from football.Platini and Fifa president Sepp Blatter were ruled to have abused their positions over a £1.3m ($2m) “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011.Both men are appealing against eight-year bans issued on Monday.”What was the Fifa ethics committee doing between 2011 when I was paid and 2015?” said Platini. “Was it sleeping?”In an interview with French media agency AFP, the 60-year-old former France captain added: “Suddenly it wakes up. Ah yes, it wakes up in a Fifa election year when I’m a candidate. It’s amazing.”Swiss Blatter, 79 – Fifa boss since 1998 – had already announced he was quitting with a presidential election in February – with Platini, also a vice-president, tipped to succeed him. Platini has been in charge of Uefa – European football’s governing body – since 2007 and was backed in a statement on Monday, with the organisation saying it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.He has submitted his candidacy but cannot stand while banned from all footballing activities. Both men are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.Platini said: “I will fight. But then I’ll take my responsibilities according to what happens.”Whatever happens, my reputation has been sullied, I’ve been kicked in the teeth: I’ve been put in the same bag as Blatter.”– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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Bob Costas confirms NBC fired him from Super Bowl for talking concussions

first_img“I recall the phrase, ‘It’s a six-hour, daylong celebration of football, and you’re not the right person to celebrate football,'” Costas says. “To which my response was not, ‘Oh please, please, change your mind.’ My response was, ‘Yeah, I guess you’re right.'”ESPN published an in-depth story detailing the circumstances surrounding his departure from the network after some 40 years.You can read it here. Veteran sports commentator Bob Costas confirmed that he was removed from NBC’s 2018 Super Bowl coverage for bringing attention to the concussion crisis faced by NFL players.Costas, who began his tenure with NBC in 1979, told ESPN’s Outside the Lines that he lost the hosting gig following his comments about CTE at a journalism symposium at the University of Maryland in November of 2017. “I remember being told that now I can no longer host the Super Bowl,” Costas said to ESPN. “I think the words were, ‘You crossed the line.’ And my thought was, ‘What line have I crossed?’”For the first time, Bob Costas tells @OTLonESPN the story of how he went from broadcasting icon to being dropped from covering his final Super Bowl. https://t.co/Zb9RkWG0pM pic.twitter.com/JxgyC6Asdo— ESPN (@espn) February 10, 2019’NFL 100’ COMMERCIAL: Breaking down everything you saw in epic adlast_img read more

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Women’s World Cup 2019: USA’s Megan Rapinoe scores twice to advance to France quarterfinal

first_imgUSA had not conceded a goal heading into Monday’s last-16 tie in Reims, but Spain star Jennifer Hermoso had found a way through to restore parity shortly after Rapinoe’s opener.Virginia Torrecilla’s slight touch on Rose Lavelle handed USA a reprieve, though, and captain Rapinoe made no mistake to send Jill Ellis’ side into a quarterfinal match with France on Friday. Related News Women’s World Cup 2019: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels, results for every match Megan Rapinoe scored two penalties as the United States edged past Spain 2-1 to set up a Women’s World Cup quarterfinal against host France.Having put the defending champions ahead early on, Rapinoe kept her cool after a lengthy VAR delay to restore USA’s lead from the spot with 14 minutes remaining. USA were ahead after seven minutes – Rapinoe tucking her first spot-kick into the bottom-left corner following Maria Leon’s clumsy foul on Tobin Heath.10 – Only Germany (13) have scored more penalties (excl. shootouts) in Women’s World Cup history than USA (10). Spot. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/M5oSwlr5ux— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2019But USA conceded for the first time in the tournament two minutes later when Hermoso curled home following Becky Sauerbrunn’s error.Rapinoe looked set to restore USA’s lead soon after, but Irene Paredes made a superb block before an injury to Vicky Losada dealt Spain a blow.Despite a sluggish second-half display, USA was handed a chance to retake the advantage in the 71st minute, with Torrecilla bringing down Lavelle.A check with VAR confirmed the referee’s decision and Rapinoe – who had taken the ball off Alex Morgan during the five-minute stoppage – arrowed in a low finish.Rapinoe went close to completing her hat-trick with an audacious effort moments later, but the miss mattered little as USA held firm to book its last-eight berth.  Key Opta Facts:- USA has reached the quarterfinal stage in every edition of the Women’s World Cup between 1991 and 2019; the second nation to achieve this feat alongside Germany (8). – Spain has won just one of its seven matches at the Women’s World Cup (W1 D3 L3), with this being its first defeat and match in the knockout stage.- Only Germany (13) has scored more penalties (excluding shoot-outs) than USA (11). – Megan Rapinoe is just the second player to score two penalties in a single Women’s World Cup match after Spain’s Jenni Hermoso against South Africa (also at the 2019 edition).last_img read more

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