Press Association “The club do the right things, there is no doubt about that. We’ll make sure we do the things we need to do.” Rooney is approaching the 10th anniversary of his move to United. He joined from Everton in August 2004 and is the fourth highest goalscorer in United’s history. A groin injury means he will be absent from the line-up for Sunday’s match at Stamford Bridge. Moyes, who succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson last summer, has revealed he received an apology from Chelsea over comments Mourinho made about the Red Devils. Stories appeared this week in which Mourinho indicated he had been made aware by someone within the United camp that all was not well at Old Trafford. Speaking in the Evening Standard, the Portuguese had said: “My feeling, which is based on years of communicating with Sir Alex and some inside information, is Man United are not happy.” But ahead of his side’s clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Moyes stated the Blues have apologised. “I’ve seen it and had an apology from him and his department,” Moyes said. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United could sell England striker Wayne Rooney this summer. United are keen to open negotiations with the 28-year-old, whose present deal expires in 2015. Yet Mourinho suspects Rooney could be heading abroad if United cannot persuade him to commit to new terms. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League match between his team and United, Mourinho said: “Man United made it clear in the summer they don’t swap or sell players to their direct rivals. “They were clear in the way they approached the Rooney situation. For them, it’s pretty clear. They don’t swap. They don’t sell. “I think maybe this summer they will try to sell to a non-direct rival. But they were very clear.” United manager David Moyes does not feel the Chelsea manager is correct in his assessment that Rooney could be on his way to an overseas club, but he refused to resort to similar tactics regarding Mourinho’s players, including the unsettled Juan Mata. “I don’t talk about players at other clubs. It’s not my style,” the Scot said. “Only time will tell and give you the answer (about Rooney). I completely disagree. I can only tell you I disagree. However Mourinho is ruling out the prospect of Rooney coming to Stamford Bridge after claiming United have vowed they will not do business with Premier League rivals. Mourinho attempted to lure Rooney to Stamford Bridge last summer and it has already been suggested he will return with another offer if United fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Asked if he had feared furious owner Mike Ashley might wield the axe, Pardew said: “You have to. “When you are in the public eye, like I am, and an incident like that (happens), you have to fear for your future. “Of course it’s a relief because when you have made a mistake – and men make mistakes – my mistake was in front of millions of people, but you have to pay a price and there was a hefty price to pay. “Mike acted swiftly and I accepted that, and we go forward. I have to say that in this interim period since the incident, the backing I have had from the club in particular has been a really big help to me because obviously, it’s been difficult.” In the longer term, Pardew has vowed to stay away from the touchline and has contacted the League Managers’ Association to ask what help they may be able to give him after a series of flash-points. But for now, he will hand the reins to Carver and ask him to implement his plans while he looks on from afar. The 52-year-old said: “John Carver knows that game plan inside-out and I have absolute 100 per cent trust in him to deliver that game-plan on to the pitch, alongside some of our senior players as well. “Colo (defender Fabricio Coloccini) is going to important. He will come back into the team and his captaincy needs to step up a level for the next three games. “I have spoken to the group about that this morning and I hope that the game plan will work and that John’s job is not as difficult as perhaps it could be.” A penitent Pardew faced the media on Thursday for the first time since his case was heard, and repeatedly reiterated his sorrow over his actions on Humberside, which detracted from a fine 4-1 victory. He said: “It’s been tough for my staff and players and everybody because I took away from what was a fantastic performance, which really hurts me because everyone will tell you that I am a team player and the team is everything. “That really, really did upset me as well.” Pardew will not be the only familiar face missing at Craven Cottage with striker Loic Remy and full-back Mathieu Debuchy both facing three games on the sidelines with calf and groin injuries respectively. Meanwhile, Hull boss Steve Bruce has accepted a written apology from Pardew over the head-butting incident. The Newcastle boss revealed on Thursday he had sent a letter to Bruce apologising for his actions, and Bruce says he is now keen to draw a line under the incident. Bruce said: “As far as we’re concerned we accept his apology – all of us in the heat of the moment could look back at times and think, ‘what the hell have I done that for?’ “I’m sure Alan will look at himself and think exactly the same thing. In the cold light of day he’s been punished heavily and I don’t think he’ll be going to the races this week. “I hope it’s over – it certainly is as far as we’re concerned and I’m sure Alan will make sure it doesn’t happen again.” Press Association Assistant manager John Carver will be in the dugout for the Barclays Premier League trip to Fulham as Pardew starts a three-game stadium ban, which will be followed by a further four up in the stands in the wake of his guilty plea to a Football Association misconduct charge. However, he will do so having revealed his misgivings over his future following the incident involving the Hull midfielder at the KC Stadium on March 1. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will hand over control of his team on Saturday after admitting he feared he could lose his job for head-butting David Meyler.
Just a year ago the Uruguay international was starting a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic but fast-forward 12 months and the 27-year-old deservedly came out on top in a poll of his peers. Suarez travelled down to the ceremony at Grosvenor House in London after the Reds’ 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea earlier in the day, which dented their title hopes. Press Association Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was rewarded for a remarkable season by landing the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year award on Sunday night. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, absent for the game at Anfield due to injury, was named winner of the Young Player of the Year award. Suarez was the overwhelming favourite for the top award after enjoying arguably the best season of his career. He has scored 30 league goals in 31 appearances, including two trebles and four goals in a devastating performance against Norwich in December. What has made his feat more remarkable is the fact he was suspended for five matches at the start of the season as his ban for biting Ivanovic carried over into this campaign. Suarez said: “The Premier League is full of really great players and so it is a great honour when these players recognise your work on the pitch. I always try my best for the team and it is nice to get awards but really this is for my team-mates and the staff at Liverpool because without their help I wouldn’t have this prize.” The South American has put behind him a troublesome year which saw him agitating for a move in the summer, even at one stage claiming manager Brendan Rodgers had reneged on a deal to allow him to leave for a Champions League club. Rodgers’ handling of the situation has been impressive but the Reds boss insisted all of the credit should be with the player. “He is a brilliant talent. I think the supporters have seen him mature over the course of the last season,” Rodgers said of Suarez on Friday. “I think he was in a real low moment after that game (against Chelsea last year) but he has gone away and probably looked in the mirror and reflected on himself because he is not that type of guy and it probably just spilled over. “He is a really intelligent man who fits the values of this club, which is all about humility, class and he has all of that. “He is a sheer winner and that probably overspilled last year but his development over the last year has been remarkable both on and off the field and Liverpool have benefited from that. “For me he is the consistently outstanding player over the course of the last year.” Suarez was one of three Liverpool players named in the Premier League team of the year, along with Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge. Chelsea also had three players included, Petr Cech and Gary Cahill joining Hazard, while Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure were Manchester City’s two representatives. Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw and Everton’s Seamus Coleman made up the team. Hazard, 23, said of his individual prize: “It’s always good to win awards because it means you’ve had a good season, but I prefer to win things collectively and I must say thank you to all my Chelsea team-mates, the staff and the fans.”
The 38-year-old Aston Villa coach, who announced his retirement from international football after the Euro 2012 finals, is a surprise inclusion in Martin O’Neill’s final 27-man party for next Wednesday’s friendly against Oman in Dublin and the opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Tbilisi four days later. Skipper Robbie Keane is being monitored as he attempts to shake off a minor problem, although O’Neill is hopeful he will be fit for the Georgia game. However, Reading defender Stephen Kelly and Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick have withdrawn because of injury, as has Nottingham Forest midfielder Andy Reid, who is undergoing treatment. Darren Randolph, Ciaran Clark, Paul McShane, Shane Duffy, Damien Delaney, Simon Cox and Conor Sammon remain on stand-by. Squad: Forde (Millwall), Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Given (Aston Villa), Elliot (Newcastle); Keogh (Derby), Wilson (Stoke), Coleman (Everton), O’Shea (Sunderland), Pearce (Reading), O’Brien (West Ham); McCarthy (Everton), Ward (Burnley), Whelan (Stoke), Gibson, McGeady (both Everton), Pilkington (Cardiff), McClean (Wigan), Brady, Quinn, Meyler (all Hull), Hoolahan (Norwich); Keane (LA Galaxy), Long (Southampton), Murphy (Ipswich), Walters (Stoke), Doyle (Wolves), Stokes (Celtic), Shay Given has been recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of next week’s double-header against Oman and Georgia. Press Association
The standings show Magilton’s side rock bottom in Group 9, with only three points from seven matches, but the boss is using different criteria to determine success and failure. While admitting his side had struggled to cope with the quality of Italy, Belgium and Serbia – while winning one and losing one against Cyprus – he believes there are several positives to take. “The whole point of these championships for Associations is to provide invaluable international experience for our young players,” he said. “Experience and exposure to different teams, countries and football formations and tactics which will equip them, not only to forge full-time careers in the game, but to provide the senior international team with more possible players to select from; players who are battle hardened and ready to make the step up to the full international stage,” “It was pleasing to see some of the Under 21s such as Luke McCullough, Liam Donnelly and Ryan McLaughlin making the step up over the summer during the matches in South America.” Serbia have plenty riding on the game as they remain locked in a three-way battle with Belgium and Italy at the top of the group, but Magilton will once again look to the future with a number of younger players coming into the side to gain their first experience at the U21 level. Magilton said: “Tomorrow we will be attempting to sign off our campaign with a flourish, in the knowledge that success can breed success and at all levels momentum is vital.” Jim Magilton sees cause for optimism as the Northern Ireland Under-21s prepare to wrap up their European Championship qualifying campaign against Serbia on Tuesday night, even if a ticket to the Czech Republic proved well beyond them. Press Association
Last season’s Villa player of the year has less than a year to run on his current contract but while Lambert is understandably keen to sort his future out, the Scot seems relaxed about the issue. “I didn’t see his first appearance against Norway because I was away watching a game myself,” said the Villa manager. “But I saw his full debut against Switzerland and I thought he grew into the game and was excellent. As the game went on he was great. “If you perform like that, then hopefully when the next squad is announced he’ll be back in it again. “He’s been playing well for me for the last few years, so it’s not something that has surprised me. I’ve always said that he wouldn’t let anybody down and I’m delighted for him for the way he played.” Lambert added: “There a few players who are going to be out of contract, to be honest, and we’ll try to get around to talking to them. I spoke to Fabian early doors and we’ll see how it goes. “We’ve just got a new chief executive in (Tom Fox) which I’m certain will help. “I’m pretty sure we’ll sit down with Fabian. I’m not worried. When players get into the last year of their contract, it is what it is. “It’s not any great issue. Conversations will go on. Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is eager to tie down Fabian Delph on a new long-term deal after the midfielder’s impressive England debut. The Yorkshireman made his Three Lions bow as a substitute in last week’s friendly win over Norway at Wembley. England boss Roy Hodgson then threw him into the starting XI for Monday’s Euro 2016 qualifying win in Switzerland, where Delph excelled in a holding midfield role. Press Association “I met Tom the other day, he’s a really good guy and I’m pretty sure things will start to happen pretty soon.” Villa sit third in the fledgling Barclays Premier League table after an unbeaten start and Lambert takes his side to face Liverpool on Saturday night full of confidence. “This is a really healthy place at the moment,” he said. “The season’s started well and we’ll go to Anfield with confidence. “Liverpool lost Luis Suarez, yes, but they strengthened over the summer and brought in a lot of good players to be prepared for competing in various competitions, including the Champions League. “So we know it won’t be easy.”
United drew 2-2 at West Brom on Monday to drop more points as they try to catch Jose Mourinho’s leaders, who they host on Sunday. Daley Blind scored an 87th minute equaliser after Saido Berahino’s sixth league goal of the season almost wrapped up victory for Albion. Louis van Gaal insists Manchester United can still close the gap to Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League. Press Association Marouane Fellaini scored his first United goal to make it 1-1 but the draw left United 10 points behind Chelsea yet Van Gaal believes they can catch them. He said: “That’s possible but difficult to say because then I am arrogant. But I have done it a lot of times. “It is two points lost. I think we were the better team and I am very disappointed by the result. We were two times behind but I don’t think West Bromwich Albion created too many chances. “We gave the two goals away and we created four chances in the first half and seven in the second. We dominated the game. “That’s what I want as a coach and as a manager but the manager doesn’t want a result like 2-2. “I have said to my players I cannot be happy. I am happy about our play style but not the result.” Fellaini could have left Albion red faced after a tweet from their official Twitter account which appeared to take a dig at the Belgium international. “Fellaini has now taken his tracksuit off, fortunately he has a Man Utd strip on underneath,” they tweeted as he prepared to come on as a half-time substitute. Albion insist it was taken out of context as it was meant to show relief he was not naked but it was still retweeted 16,000 times. The Baggies were good value for the point though and had taken the lead through Stephane Sessegnon’s fine eighth-minute effort. The result lifted them to 14th in the table but head coach Alan Irvine revealed his frustration. “We’re all bitterly disappointed. We were so close to getting a great result against a top team and for us not to get three points feels really tough in this moment,” he said. “The players were terrific all the way through, they worked really hard when we didn’t have the ball and passed the ball really well. We got two great goals and we’ve led twice and I felt quite comfortable on both occasions we had the lead.” Berahino impressed again and Irvine believes he added weight to calls for senior international selection. “He is in great form. He deserves what he is getting, his application as been really top class. He’s behaving like a top professional day after day,” he said. “If he scores goals every week then he has a great chance (of a senior call) but Roy will decide when is the right time for him.” Albion later wrote a further tweet to say they had meant no offence by their earlier reference to Fellaini. “Sorry if a joke about a footballer not having a shirt on under his tracksuit top has caused such outrage. It was not intended as a slur” the tweet read.
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is confident England goalkeeper Joe Hart will sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium. Pellegrini said: “I think it’s an issue that we’re talking about. Joe knows what I think about that. I think in the right moment, (we will) have the right solution. I think Joe wants to stay here and we want him to stay.” If he re-signs, Hart would follow team-mates Samir Nasri, Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, who all agreed fresh terms in the summer. Pellegrini dropped Hart for a spell last autumn after a series of high-profile errors. He responded well and finished the season strongly, helping City win the Barclays Premier League and Capital One Cup after regaining his place. This season some of his performances have been top-drawer. He was outstanding in a Champions League loss at Bayern Munich last month and was similarly impressive in last Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham. Extra motivation might have come from the summer signing of Willy Caballero from Pellegrini’s former club Malaga, but the manager puts the improvement down to Hart himself. Pellegrini said: “He is not responding to the challenge of Willy. He is responding as number one goalkeeper as England. Except for the first three months of last year, Joe Hart always puts in a very good performance.” Despite Hart’s brilliance, City’s defence has not been impregnable this season and they have kept just two clean sheets out of eight in the Premier League. Hart has been back to his best this season and the club have been in negotiations over a new deal. The 27-year-old’s current contract expires in the summer of 2016. Press Association Pellegrini acknowledges that but does not see it is an area needing specific attention and instead wants general improvement across the pitch. The Chilean said: “We are always trying to improve in all senses, in attack and in defence. “This season we are not so strong in attacking. Last season in the first eight games I think we had scored more goals than now. “But also we had conceded more goals than now. This season our defence is (joint) second behind Southampton as the best in the league. “By our defence I’m not talking about only the back line, I’m talking the whole team, and I think we’re defending well. But of course we must improve. There’s a lot of goals that we can avoid and it will be better for us.”
Press Association Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out of Spain’s upcoming matches against Belarus and Germany with a hamstring injury. However, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he had taken a “gamble” with Fabregas’ fitness by playing him, and the tests in Spain have revealed the full extent of the injury. A statement from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said: “The Chelsea midfielder has been ruled out for the games against Belarus and Germany following tests and an evaluation of his condition that was carried out this morning by the medical staff of the Spanish national team. “The MRI done this morning in the Sanitas Clinic in La Moraleja (Madrid) showed a clear improvement with respect to the one done by his club on Sunday. “Although the MRI discards a hamstring tear, the player continues to have discomfort and the medical team considers that his involvement in the next games would not be advisable for his complete recovery.” The news will no doubt please Mourinho, who had asked for the 27-year-old to remain in London this weekend in order to recover. Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has called up Villarreal midfielder Bruno Soriano as Fabregas’ replacement. Fabregas has joined Manchester City’s David Silva and Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta on the sidelines. Del Bosque left out Chelsea striker Diego Costa for the upcoming games, with the former Atletico star needing to rest after recent injury troubles of his own. Spain host Belarus on Saturday before facing world champions Germany in Vigo on November 18. The Chelsea midfielder will return to London on Tuesday afternoon after undergoing tests in Madrid. Fabregas played the whole of Chelsea’s 2-1 Premier League win over Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday and was included in Spain’s squad for this weekend’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus and the friendly against Germany next week.
Harry Redknapp saluted hat-trick hero Charlie Austin but also saved praise for the character his side showed to come from two-down and beat West Brom. Press Association West Brom boss Alan Irvine would not have been too surprised that it was Austin who was the man to prevent his side picking up a second win inside a week. “When I was manager of Sheffield Wednesday I wanted to sign him,” the Scotsman revealed. “I recognised the ability he had at that time, I didn’t know how far he would be able to go but as a League One player he was certainly capable of playing in the Championship and beyond that. He is a player I have been aware of for a long time.” Irvine felt the penalty decision, awarded by referee Chris Pawson after he deemed that James Morrison had pulled back Leroy Fer inside the box, could easily have gone unpunished. “It was soft,” he said. “The referee had a decision to make, I’m not sure they are given every week but it has been given this week. Even if it had been for my side I would have thought it was a bit soft but you are delighted to take it and I’m sure Harry is. “We didn’t surrender the lead, we lost it. It was bitterly disappointing because I felt for the majority of the game we were the better team. We created a lot of chances and controlled the game. It is a lot harder to lift them up if you play badly and we didn’t play badly.” The 3-2 victory at Loftus Road moved the R’s out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three as Austin returned from suspension to score three goals to complete a remarkable comeback after Redknapp’s side started the game slowly. The visitors were two ahead inside the opening 20 minutes as both Joleon Lescott and Silvestre Varela hit their first goals for the Baggies but Austin scored from the spot to half the arrears before the break. And the 25-year-old moved onto 11 goals for the campaign, and nine from his last eight appearances, as he struck twice in the second half to lift QPR up to 15th in the table. “Charlie scored the goals and has been excellent for us but we showed a lot of character to come back from two down,” Redknapp said of his striker, who became the first QPR player in 21 years to score a Premier League hat-trick. “We were being outplayed, they started fantastically with their movement and passing and it was difficult to live with them in the early stages but to come back from that and win 3-2 is a fantastic result. “Everyone talks about his three goals but his defending at the end of the game, he makes a challenge in the corner that was unbelievable, you would’ve thought it was a right-back. “If that ball had come into the box we could have been in trouble but that summed up his work-rate up today, he worked his socks off for the team.” Reports earlier in the week suggested former bricklayer Austin had turned down a new contract but Redknapp insisted he knew nothing of a potential deal. “I don’t get involved with the contracts,” he said. “Certainly Charlie is a player you want to keep at your football club. He has scored goals at every level and now he is scoring goals in the Premier League, he deserves it because he is a great lad.”