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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

    [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

    [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

    [ssn]Former England midfielder Ray Parlour has been speaking to Sky Sports News about the Three Lions' 1-1 draw in Montenegro last night. The ex-Arsenal man believes Roy Hodgson's side can still qualify despite the setback.
    I think it was a very good performance in the first half but in the second it seemed to change. In the end we were holding on. They probably deserved the equaliser and Joe Hart made some really good saves to keep England going away with a point. I still think they can do it. It’s going to be tough, they’ve still got some really big games coming up.
    Have your say on England's qualifying hopes using the #skysportstoday hashtag
    3/27/2013 2:06:09 PM

    Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has defended his form this season but admits he had hoped for a better debut campaign on Wearside. The Black Cats are in danger of slipping into relegation trouble, sitting just four points clear of the drop zone in 15th place.
    I know the fans aren't happy, but I have scored four goals this season. I've put in more crosses than anyone else and I've had assists for 11 goals too. Those are the stats I prefer to concentrate on, because they help give you confidence. I still look at things and know I could have done better myself. I could have set up more goals with better crosses or finished better and I do think I could improve my general play too.
    3/27/2013 2:11:11 PM

    Newcastle have published their financial figures for the year ending June 2012 today and they reveal a substantial drop in overall profits - from £32.6million to £1.4m - while turnover increased to £93.3m, 5.4% up on the previous year. Read the full story on their financial report.
    3/27/2013 3:05:48 PM

    Robin van Persie has admitted he could end his career at Manchester United. Speaking to Dutch magazine Voetbal International, the 29-year-old Holland striker says the fact United have a track record in valuing older players such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes may persuade him to see out his playing days at Old Trafford.
    For the next few years I will be at Manchester United - and maybe longer. United could be my last club.
    3/27/2013 3:13:20 PM

    It's Easter derby time in Super League - with the Leeds Rhinos taking on Bradford Bulls on Thursday night live on Sky Sports. We've got team news and comments in our big match preview
    3/27/2013 3:13:24 PM

    Our new Podcast is available for a listen, with Roy Hodgson's failure to react in England's draw in Montenegro at the centre of our panel's debate, while Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland are also up for discussion. Listen to the latest edition.
    3/27/2013 3:19:46 PM

    In the latest edition of the series, Chris Burton chats to Peterborough captain Tommy Rowe about finding form, managerial stability and personal achievements with the Posh. Darren Ferguson's side are currently third-bottom of the Championship as they battle relegation this season.
    As much as those in League One will be looking at who comes down, we are hoping that we will be the team that proves everyone wrong. Everyone has written us off from day one in this division and said we will be relegated. For us, it's about proving people wrong and, more importantly, proving ourselves right that we have the capability of staying in this division.
    3/27/2013 4:33:27 PM

    With the Major League season about to start again in America, we've got a full in-depth preview for the new campaign, with predictions, ones to watch and big story lines to follow throughout the summer.
    3/27/2013 4:35:58 PM

    [ssn]Dunfermline's interim administrator Bryan Jackson has been speaking to Sky Sports News and has revealed the club's staff are facing redundancies, with cuts expected as early as tomorrow. 
    The feeling that I have is that we will have to make some fairly quick and unfortunately brutal cuts. I’m going to be working on it as soon as I get started and work on it tonight. Tomorrow is my best estimate.
    3/27/2013 4:43:56 PM
  • [bn]Bernie Ecclestone tells Sky Sports News Sebastian Vettel was right to ignore team orders in Malaysia Grand Prix win
    3/27/2013 4:48:53 PM

    [jimwatt] Tony Bellew will earn a mandatory shot at champion Chad Dawson if he beats Isaac Chilemba in Saturday's WBC world title eliminator. Ahead of Saturday’s great match-up – a fight you can see on Sky Sports 1 HD from 9pm – Jim Watt assesses whether Bellew has what it takes to win…
    Bellew showed in his last fight, when he was badly cut early on against Roberto Bolonti and boxed superbly at range to win comfortably on points, how well he can keep his discipline and box to instruction - and he may need to do that again on Saturday. 

    3/27/2013 4:50:25 PM

    [twtr]You've been having your say on whether rock-bottom QPR can sidestep relegation from the Premier League this season:
    @SkyFootball #skysportstoday I doubt it much because one thing I realized in the EPL is the fact that Luck counts!when its against,its over! S. N. G via Twitter at 4:58 PM
    @SkyFootball #skysportstoday qpr lack the proper experience and commitment shown by clubs like Wigan to have a good chance of staying up Owen Herman via Twitter at 4:54 PM
    #SKYSPORTSTODAY i strongly believe QPR can make it out of that drop zone!! Alasei frank via Twitter at 4:46 PM
    Join the debate - use the #skysportstoday hashtag in your tweets
    3/27/2013 5:02:13 PM

    Quotes from Yaya Toure's agent last week raised question marks over the midfielder's future and Paris St Germain were subsequently linked with a summer bid. Toure, though, has no thoughts of leaving City for PSG and is focused on a positive end to the season for his club.
    No, I don't think of PSG. You know that with the approach of the transfer window, there are many things that are said in the newspapers.
    3/27/2013 9:32:29 PM

    Maria Sharapova booked her place in the last four of the Sony Open in Miami with a straight-sets win over Sara Errani.
    3/27/2013 9:35:15 PM
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