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Sky Sports Today - Wednesday March 27

Sky Sports Today - Wednesday March 27


    Welcome to Sky Sports Today as we pick over the bones of a disappointing night of World Cup qualifiers for the Home Nations. Can England still make it out of their group after the 1-1 draw in Montenegro.
    3/27/2013 8:06:27 AM

    [pt]The back pages are dominated by England's failure to beat Montenegro but here are some other key lines from the morning papers
    THE SUN: Brian McDermott is in the frame to be Leeds' next boss while Norwich have seen off Liverpool to land Lazio's Modibo Diakate.
    DAILY MIRROR: Liverpool are trying to sign Barcelona's teenage prospect Sergi Canos.
    DAILY MAIL: Swindon want QPR striker Andrew Johnson on loan after his recovery from a knee injury.
    DAILY EXPRESS: Jose Mourinho has reiterated his desire to return to Chelsea by saying: "One day, I have to be back".
    3/27/2013 8:11:08 AM
  • 3/27/2013 8:13:26 AM

    England players have been sharing their frustration following the 1-1 draw in Montenegro last night. Joe Hart, Chris Smalling and Michael Carrick all gave their views to Sky Sports News with the Three Lions goalkeeper also expressing a determination to still win the group.
    If we beat Montenegro and win the other three it will be good enough, simple as that.
    3/27/2013 8:13:26 AM

    With much of the focus on the struggles of the home nations in UEFA qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, you may have missed the news from around the world. You can check out our CONMEBOL qualifying round-up from South America with news of more trouble for Luis Suarez, as well as the latest from CONCACAF qualifying where Panama moved to the top of the group.
    3/27/2013 8:22:49 AM

    Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall claims averting a winless World Cup campaign is not important after a 2-0 defeat in Serbia officially ended their hopes of going to Brazil.
    Asked whether Scotland could contemplate going through the whole campaign without a victory - the Scots are now bottom of Group A - Marshall said:
    I don't think it matters, you either want to qualify or you don't qualify. It doesn't matter if you are getting beaten every game or if you finish third, you are still not qualifying. I think the main thing for us, it's a new manager so things are going to take time to gel. I think in the next few games when the gaffer gets a settled side, it will definitely pick up.
    Read more on Scotland's defeat to Serbia
    3/27/2013 8:26:49 AM

    Back on the subject of England and Roy Hodgson has been busy defending his use of substitutions in Montenegro. The Three Lions boss appeared to have seen his options bolstered after a confidence-boosting 8-0 win over San Marino on Friday but felt unable to make any changes until after Montenegro's late equaliser.
    At 1-0 we weren't 100 per cent convinced there was a change we could make to make a vast difference to what was going on. 
    3/27/2013 8:31:46 AM

    Two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Tommy Haas to leave Andy Murray in the box seat at the Sony Open in Miami. Haas completely outplayed the world number one for a 6-2 6-4 victory meaning Murray, who earlier beat Andreas Seppi by the same scoreline, is the highest seed left in the tournament going into the quarter-finals. From 2-1 down in the first set, Haas won seven straight games to got 6-2 2-0 up and, though Djokovic eventually broke back to level, the 34-year-old held on for his first victory against a world number one since 1999.
    3/27/2013 8:34:03 AM

    Around Europe, managers have been giving their views on the latest round of qualifying. Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli hopes Mario Balotelli is finally taking control of his temper and starting to realise his potential after watching his brace decide a 2-0 victory in Malta. Meanwhile, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque was in a relieved mood after seeing his side beat France 1-0 in Paris to return to the top of World Cup qualifying Group I.
    3/27/2013 8:36:54 AM

    [ssn]Sky Sports News' Nick Collins is in Montenegro and is reflecting on England's 1-1 draw in Podgorica last night and believes Roy Hodgson's side can afford very few slip ups in their remaining four qualifying games. 
    Four wins out of four would guarantee England top spot but they have not found it easy so far. They badly need Montenegro to drop some points and could do with them drawing with Ukraine when the two meet in June. There is an element of disappointment after England started so well with Wayne Rooney's goal. They lost their momentum.
    3/27/2013 8:39:33 AM

    In the Premier League, West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has told Sky Sports News he is close to agreeing a new contract at the club.
    You always have to do some negotiations when you are moving into the next contract, just as there were plenty of negotiations over the first contract. So we will hopefully come to a conclusion very shortly.
    3/27/2013 8:40:15 AM

    Sam Allardyce has also expressed some sympathy for West Ham fans struggling to get used to the idea of leaving Upton Park but insists it is a necessary move.
    I can understand why they don't want to leave Upton Park because they probably came here in their infancy and their dad, uncle or grandad brought them so they've grown to love this stadium. But at the end of the day, football has to progress.
    3/27/2013 8:47:22 AM

    Wales fly-half Dan Biggar has agreed a new three-year deal with RaboDirect PRO12 outfit the Ospreys which will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until 2016. Biggar is the region's record points-scorer, averaging almost 10 points a game in his 121 first-team appearances since his debut in 2008.
    3/27/2013 8:54:45 AM

    [mikeatherton]England may have disappointed in the New Zealand Test series but it's not all doom and gloom says former skipper Michael Atherton who insists there are plenty of positives to take from the winter tours.
    England's epic escape in Auckland wrapped up a tumultuous winter in which they lost their ICC World Twenty20 crown, won a Test series in India for the first time in 28 years and were held 0-0 by New Zealand - the eighth-best Test team in the world. But that's only part of the story as England start to look towards an Ashes summer.
    There are one or two question marks hanging over this England side. The batting line-up looks less strong than it did without Pietersen, so will he be back for the Ashes? It might be touch-and-go. Will Swann be back for the Ashes? You can never be quite sure how you will go after an operation. Plus, what are England's bowling reserves like? Will Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett be fit? Can Graham Onions rediscover his form? I think England really fancy Tremlett and if he's back and fit, I wouldn't be surprised to see him back. England are doing ok. They are still a reasonably settled and confident side and they are obviously in a better shape than Australia, who look in disarray.
    Read the views of Michael Atherton and the other Sky Cricket pundits on England's successes and failures this winter.
    3/27/2013 9:01:08 AM

    [ssn] It was a night of disappointment for the Home Nations as draws for England and Republic of Ireland put their World Cup hopes in danger, while defeats for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland effectively ended theirs. Find out what the Soccer Special experts made of it all... starting with Robbie Fowler’s view on England…
    Given the way England started the game, I was a little bit disappointed they didn't go on to win it, but the tactical battle was certainly won by the Montenegro manager who made a few changes and they looked such a different team after half time.
    3/27/2013 9:01:57 AM

    [ssn]England coach Andy Flower has been speaking on Sky Sports News. While he fully expects Kevin Pietersen to play a full summer of cricket despite his current knee injury, Flower admits that his bowlers’ inability to swing the ball in the recent Test series against New Zealand is a cause for concern.
    We expected, in these conditions, to play better. One of the factors is that the New Zealand swing bowlers did swing the ball, and we didn't consistently. That is an area of skill that we have to address.
    3/27/2013 9:03:15 AM

    Earlier this month, former
    Arsenal and
    England captain
    Faye White called time on her remarkable career.
    Sky Sports caught up with White to discuss the highlights of her career, how she has seen the women's game change and her hopes for the future. 
    When I first started, even though I was at Arsenal I used to train once a week with the club purely due to the travelling distance and the fact that I had to work full-time as well. By the time I finished, the girls were training every day and also doing extra gym sessions as well.
    3/27/2013 9:17:30 AM

    Away from the recriminations over the senior side, Jon Holmes argues that the presence of Raheem Sterling, Tom Ince and Wilfried Zaha should ensure England Under-21s have a more exciting Euros this June. Click here to read.
    They offer a significant combined threat that can pull the opposition in unwanted directions and unlock defences.
    3/27/2013 9:27:57 AM

    But England Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce has attempted to play down expectations.
    We hope they can take this country as far as they can - all the way to the final. But we will only be favourites in England. It is going to be a tough group for us.

    3/27/2013 9:29:49 AM

    [skybet]Following Novak Djokovic's shock defeat to Tommy Haas, Andy Murray is the 4/5 favourite to win the Miami Masters, with David Ferrer (100/30) and Tomas Berdych (5/1) deemed his main opposition for the title.
    3/27/2013 9:40:18 AM

    Claire Williams, the daughter of Williams owner Sir Frank, has been appointed as a deputy team principal of her father's outfit. Sir Frank stated:
    Over the past decade Claire has worked tirelessly for Williams. Her knowledge of the sport and passion for the team is unquestionable and I'm proud to say that during her time here she has proven herself to be one of our most valuable assets. With Claire being appointed Deputy Team Principal, I know the future of Williams is in extremely safe hands.
    3/27/2013 9:47:28 AM

    Sticking with the England Under-21 side,
    Blackpool forward
    Tom Ince says he will only make a Premier League move when he feels ready, amid reports Liverpool will renew their interest.
    I've just turned 21. I need to make mistakes and learn from them. I need to make sure that if I go to the Premier League, I am ready to go.
    3/27/2013 9:51:28 AM

    Alex Hammond's Tip of the Day for Wednesday is Suffice in the 7.50 at Wolverhampton. Yesterday's Tip of the Day, Thorpe Bay, came home fourth in the 3.30 at Southwell while Monday's Pick, Mubtadi, was a winner in the 5.10 at Lingfield.
    3/27/2013 9:55:17 AM

    [twtr]You have been getting in touch with your thoughts on England's performance in Montenegro - and it's fair to say most of you are not happy with what you saw from Roy Hodgson's men. Here's what you have been saying on Twitter.
    Tom Finney would travel on a 2nd class train to play for England - that's what wearing the shirt meant. Now it is about money - Ian Morrison
    Not good enough they think if you can pass the ball 5 yards the player is world class - Laurence Winston
    Problem with England is that half the team don't even play regularly for their clubJason Cader 
    Players can't pass the technique is worse than all other nations, except the San Marino types.They are all overrated #fact - John Meehan
    3/27/2013 9:58:54 AM

    David Haye will be eyeing another shot at glory when he announces his return to boxing at a press conference tomorrow - but who will he look to take on in his comeback fight?
    The former undisputed cruiserweight and WBA heavyweight champion has not fought since stopping domestic rival Dereck Chisora inside five rounds in their grudge match last July.
    Haye has stated on several occasions since then that only a fight with either of the Klitschko brother would tempt him back into the ring but both seem some way off.
    There would be no shortage of options for Haye, with fellow Britons Tyson Fury and David Price making a name for themselves in the division.
    Is David Haye right to make a return to the ring? Get in touch via @skysports and include #skysportstoday in your messages
    3/27/2013 10:10:56 AM

    This week's edition of Midweek Report is now online. Journalist and author Maurice Hamilton and Mark Gillan, former former chief operations engineer at Williams, join Sky Sports' Anna Woolhouse to discuss the many talking points arising from the Malaysia Grand Prix, which was won in controversial style by Sebastian Vettel.

    Click here to watch all the latest Formula 1 debate in this week's episode of Midweek Report
    3/27/2013 10:18:43 AM

    More feedback from national team managers as they react to last night's results and there are conflicting emotions for the coaches of Holland and France. Louis van Gaal described Holland's 4-0 win over Romania as their best performance since he was appointed manager in July last year. But Didier Deschamps rued France's inability to take their chances as they went down to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Spain in their World Cup qualifier in Paris.
    3/27/2013 10:24:31 AM

    Carlton Cole
    is not panicking over his
    West Ham future despite his contract being set to expire at the end of the season.
    I've seen a lot of strikers come and go at this club. I've been here seven years. You've got to understand it's not a joke. If another striker comes in, I'll welcome him with open arms but I'm always there to push you.
    3/27/2013 10:39:15 AM

    [ssn]Williams co-founder Patrick Head has been speaking to Sky Sports News about the team orders controversy which has arisen following Sebastian Vettel's win in the Malaysia Grand Prix. Vettel took the victory after ignoring a request to hold station behind Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber in the closing stages.
    The last thing Christian Horner needs is yet one more opinion of what they should do, but I think it has shown that trying to impose team orders in that way is not going to be successful. I don’t think it will be successful in future, whatever agreement is made. I think they should let the cars race, that’s what the public want to see. (The public) don’t want to see cars in conserve mode, running to the end. 
    3/27/2013 10:55:38 AM

    [ssn] Former
    England defender
    Danny Mills is on
    Sky Sports News giving his verdict on the team's draw in Montenegro last night.
    They had much the better of the first half and should have been 2-0 up at half time. But after the break, Damjanovic came on to play down the right and stopped Ashley Cole getting forward, Vucinic moved to the left and stopped Glen Johnson getting forward, and Jovetic played in a deeper role in the middle. It caused England all sorts of problems.
    3/27/2013 11:09:52 AM

    [ssn]More from Patrick Head on the Red Bull situation and Sebastian Vettel's attitude towards it:
    I've worked with some outstanding drivers over the past 30-35 years and they've all, without exception, been pretty selfish, at least during their careers - some of them become nice guys after they retire. But during the racing they're usually pretty selfish, pretty self interested and, most of them put the interest of themselves before the interest of the team.
    3/27/2013 11:10:33 AM
  • For me, I want to continue playing as long as possible, so I'm not embarrassed to go down the leagues. I think you can still have as much fun playing in the lower leagues as you can in the Premier League.
    3/27/2013 11:23:41 AM
  • Catch up with all the latest NBA action and the Miami Heat's attempts to break the record for the longest winning run in league history.

    3/27/2013 11:32:00 AM

    Reading owner Anton Zingarevich claims a reluctance to spend led to the departure of Brian McDermott from the club.
    I want us to be an established Premier League club. There is always a budget and I felt the manager should have done more in January. We tried to sign some very big players and we were not successful. It was a really tough decision to part company with Brian because he was a great person but Nigel Adkins is here now and will get our full backing.
    3/27/2013 11:54:39 AM
  • GOLF

    [roblee] The countdown is on to the 2013 Masters and our expert Rob Lee has been looking at the form of some former champions including Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel - but one former winner stands out above the rest... 

    The most likely former Masters winner to lift the title again is, of course, Tiger Woods and while he has said publicly that he doesn't need a Major trophy to officially complete his comeback, I think that deep down he sees things differently. The ominous sign for the other players is that every part of his game is functioning and if he continues in the same vein he will make it very hard for anyone else to have a squeak; his driving has improved; he is controlling his distances with his irons much better, and his putting has returned with a vengeance.

    3/27/2013 12:01:39 PM

    [ssn] Ian Bolton
    is reporting for
    Sky Sports News from the Ricoh Arena on the future of Coventry City as they continue to face the prospect of a 10-point deduction over administration issues.
    It would effectively end their playoff hopes but not plunge them into a relegation battle. But a bigger concern for Coventry fans is where they will be playing their football for the remainder of the season as they are tenants here.
    3/27/2013 12:17:32 PM

    John Collins and Gordon Smith call on youth to end malaise in Scottish football

    We have to look further down the ladder at the younger players. That's where the real work's got to get done in the coming years.
    3/27/2013 12:28:42 PM

    [philclarke] Our rugby league guru Phil Clarke wants some of the game's rules updated - and fast...
    The rules committee have decided that when a player does not hear the referee when he calls 'held' in an upright tackle and either offloads the ball or tries to carry on running, then penalising him is too harsh. I do not agree and worry that we might get laughed at by other sports. We are making our game look like an Under-7s match when you allow people a second chance when they get something wrong.
    Check our Phil's blog in its entirety here.
    3/27/2013 12:32:44 PM

    Injured Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara is yet to set a date for his comeback but hopes it will be 'sooner rather than later'. Haidara is currently sidelined with severe bruising to his thigh, sustained from Callum McManaman's horror tackle in Newcastle's 2-1 defeat at Wigan earlier this month.
    They say what doesn't destroy you can make you stronger. That's true. It is going to be difficult for me to start with when I return. But I have learned a lot from this. I am learning more about the English game and it is a great education for me.
    3/27/2013 12:37:30 PM
  • [bn]Dunfermline placed into interim administration
    3/27/2013 1:00:54 PM

    Bolton chairman Phil Gartside says Kevin Davies will be granted a testimonial at the club - if he requests it. Davies, 36, who was told yesterday that his current contract would not be renewed at the end of the season, falls five days short of qualifying for a testimonial match. The announcement was greeted by uproar from fans in support of a striker who has scored 84 goals in more than 400 appearances for the club.
    If Kevin asks, we'll give him a testimonial. We look after players.
    3/27/2013 1:06:44 PM

    Here's more on the breaking news that Dunfermline have been placed into interim administration. Lord Hodge granted the order at the Court of Session in Edinburgh today, setting a date of 11 April to decide on whether to grant full administration. The Division One club failed to meet a Tuesday deadline to settle a £134,000 debt to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
    3/27/2013 1:09:46 PM
  • FOOTBALL has teamed up with the PFA to celebrate 40 years of the PFA Player of the Year Awards - and we want you to vote for your favourite players to have won the prestigious prize.
    The second round of voting is now open, featuring players who have won the award between 1983 and 1992. One of those - Ian Rush - reflects on his 1984 PFA Player of the Year Award and his 'telepathic' play with Kenny Dalglish.
    Kenny was the best player I played with. He'd put the ball in a space when you'd think he couldn't do it, he had the art of turning people with his back to goal and then he'd put you through. He'd never put the ball to my feet but put it into space so I could use my pace. It didn't matter whether it came to his right foot or left foot, he'd always produce something special.
    3/27/2013 1:16:32 PM


    Danny Mills told Sky Sports News that England sorely missed John Terry's experience in Montenegro.
    "I think England lack strength in depth and they lack a degree of experience - and certainly they lack leadership on the field. Love him or hate him, whatever you think of him, last night it was screaming out for John Terry to be in that centre-half role to organise the team.
    Read more of Danny's views on England here 
    3/27/2013 1:18:58 PM

    Liverpool's veteran defender Jamie Carragher feels his recent form has helped to silence those critics who had written him off. The 35-year-old has already announced that he will retire at the end of the season, and he is hoping he can maintain his standards and bow out on a high.
    At the start of the season I was aware that some people were saying I wouldn't suit Rodgers' style of football. But I think I have put that to bed in the last few games I have played. I think I've played well this season, without blowing my own trumpet.
    3/27/2013 1:23:05 PM
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