QPR chairman Tony Fernandes slams Liverpool performance but still hopeful of staying up

It's not over yet! QPR chairman Fernandes slams woeful Liverpool performance but still hopeful of staying up

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UPDATED:

10:54 GMT, 31 December 2012

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes insists it is 'not over yet' for the bottom-placed side despite a 'woeful' performance' against Liverpool yesterday.

The Reds ran Rangers ragged at Loftus Road, with Luis Suarez's brace and a Daniel Agger header earning the visitors a deserved 3-0 win.

The defeat means QPR end 2012 bottom of the Premier League and eight points adrift of safety after a miserable first half of the season.

Few could have predicted such a dire season for the west Londoners after a summer of high-profile acquisitions and, while thoroughly disappointed, chairman Fernandes believes survival is still possible.

'No excuse,' he said via his Twitter account, @tonyfernandes. 'Lost for words. Back to the drawing board. Woeful performance.

'When we signed all those players. Everyone was full of praise. No one thought we would be in such a mess.not over yet though.'

fernandes tweets

Those comments echoed the sentiments of manager Harry Redknapp, who still believes QPR can stay up.

'I think we'll stay up still,' the Hoops boss said. 'You'll think we're mad, but I think we will stay up.

'I only want positive people around me, I said that in the dressing room.

'Those that are moping around, the subs that are not playing, are not playing because they're no good.

'If they had been any good, I'd be picking them. I don't need miserable faces, I don't need them around me.

'I need people who are upbeat. The next two games are unbelievable, Chelsea away and Tottenham at home – two of the best teams in the country.

'They are difficult games, but we've got to keep going and I still think we'll do it.'

Easy: Suarez put Liverpool ahead in the 10th minute

Easy: Suarez put Liverpool ahead in the 10th minute

As poor as QPR were yesterday, Liverpool deserve credit for a fine performance, particularly in the first half.

The comprehensive win was made all the more impressive by the fact that manager Brendan Rodgers missed the game through illness.

'They were fantastic, absolutely awesome today,' said assistant manager Colin Pascoe, who led the side with coach Mike Marsh in Rodgers' absence.

'The way they played, the way they conducted themselves, the way they controlled the game. It was brilliant.

'The back four were great and you could go through the whole team. It was just a fantastic performance today, with Luis creating chances and scoring.'

Stroll: Agger rose to head home Liverpool's third goal

Stroll: Agger rose to head home Liverpool's third goal

The only negative from the win in west London was an injury to Jose Enrique.

The left-back limped off in the second half, leaving the club to sweat on the severity of his hamstring injury.

'Unfortunately, it looks as if he's got a little tear in his hamstring,' Pascoe added.

'He was terrific today, absolutely superb, and he's been a joy to watch in the last few months, so hopefully he's not out for too long.'

Arsene Wenger praises Southampton"s youth set-up

Cheers for Theo and Ox! Wenger praises Saints youth set-up ahead of St Mary's trip

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 31 December 2012

Arsene Wenger has lavished praise on Southampton's youth policy as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain prepare to make their returns to St Mary's tomorrow.

The Arsenal manager has found the south-coast club a valuable market place in recent seasons, signing Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain from the Saints.

The duo both went on to earn England call-ups within months of their high-profile moves to north London and have since established themselves as important members of Wenger's plans.

Homecoming: Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain were both products of the Southampton youth system

Homecoming: Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain were both products of the Southampton youth system

But the Gunners pair are not the only top Premier League players to have come through the highly-respected Southampton academy.

Gareth Bale, Chris Baird and Wayne Bridge have all gone on to have well-established top-flight careers after being nurturing at Southampton.

And the club's consistency in nurturing young talent has not gone amiss by Wenger, whose side face Nigel Adkins' men tomorrow.

'The question of Southampton's academy set-up is a very good one because they have done a fabulous job,' said the Frenchman, whose side have won four successive Premier League matches.

'Why It is down to the quality of their scouting, the quality of their coaching and education. When you look at what Bale is doing, and Walcott.

'And now they have they players like Morgan Schneiderlin, they have brought some players of top, top quality and they work well. They have fantastic scouting.'

Striker: Walcott scored a hat-trick during Arsenal's 7-3 win over Newcastle

Striker: Walcott scored a hat-trick during Arsenal's 7-3 win over Newcastle

Arsenal will be expected to make it five league wins on the spin down on the south-coast, particularly after the 6-1 mauling of the newly-promoted side earlier in the season.

But after a disastrous start to the campaign, that very nearly cost Adkins his job, Southampton have improved significantly – though they still go into the clash against Arsenal in the bottom three.

And speaking after Saturday's 7-3 trouncing over Newcastle, Wenger has fired a warning to his players, saying: 'They are not comfortable [opponents], Southampton.

'I saw them against Fulham, I will watch them against Stoke (on video), but from what I've heard they played very well.'

The Ox: Oxlade-Chamberlain was also among the Arsenal scorers against the Geordies

The Ox: Oxlade-Chamberlain was also among the Arsenal scorers against the Geordies

He added: 'They are a team that has learned in the Premier League now. Usually you find in February or in January a different team to what you see in August or September.

'We will train on Sunday and Monday and go to Southampton on Monday night to prepare the game. It is another game that is very important over the Christmas period.'

Meanwhile, what is shaping up to be the busiest January transfer window in Wenger's managerial career also kicks off tomorrow.

Thierry Henry, who is currently training with the Gunners, is expected to sign a short-term loan deal – but Wenger insists the clash against Southampton will come too early for the Frenchman.

'He has just come back from holiday and is a bit short to play on Tuesday night,' added Wenger.

Seamus Coleman signs new Everton contract

Coleman seals new Everton deal which keeps him at Goodison until 2018

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UPDATED:

11:36 GMT, 31 December 2012

Everton defender Seamus Coleman has signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract with the club.

It means the 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international has extended his stay at Goodison Park until the summer of 2018.

'I'm over the moon. I'm glad to get it all done and to sign for so long at a club like Everton is a great achievement – I want to be here for as long as possible,' he told evertontv.

Long term: Seamus Coleman has committed his future to Everton

Long term: Seamus Coleman has committed his future to Everton

'Signing a contract here is fantastic and I'm really looking forward to the next couple of years.

'I'm going to keep working as hard as I have done since day one and keep improving every day in training to impress the manager.

'I'm really happy to have signed for the length of time that I have.'

Loyal: Coleman says he wants to stay with the club for as long as possible

Loyal: Coleman says he wants to stay with the club for as long as possible

Coleman has missed the last three games through injury but has proved to be an increasingly useful addition on the right-hand side.

Having joined from Sligo Rovers in January 2009 for just 60,000 he made his debut against Benfica in October that year and later went on loan to Blackpool in their promotion-winning year.

He was rewarded with a new three-year contract in May 2010 and signed an improved four-and-a-half-year deal in January 2011 in a season in which he made 24 Premier League starts, his best to date.

Manager David Moyes found a place for him on the right of midfield for many of those early first-team appearances but has since slotted him back into the side on the right of defence.

Frank Lampard: Manchester United should sign him – Ray Wilkins

Sign him up, Fergie! Wilkins urges United to swoop for Chelsea star Lampard

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UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 31 December 2012

Ray Wilkins has urged Manchester United to snap up Frank Lampard from Chelsea in the January transfer window.

The veteran midfielder looks set to leave Stamford Bridge despite a string of impressive recent performances, and Wilkins told talkSPORT that he feels the England man could boost United’s title bid.

Former Chelsea assistant manager Wilkins also criticised the club for deciding to let Lampard go.

Farewell Frank Lampard looks to be on his way out of Chelsea

Farewell Frank Lampard looks to be on his way out of Chelsea

‘He was fantastic [against Everton], wasn’t he’ said Wilkins. ‘In the 11 games he’s played, he’s got six goals already.

‘This is the club’s decision to let him go – it’s nothing to do with Rafa Benitez – and in my opinion it’s the wrong decision. You need these older players to show the youngsters what it means to play for Chelsea.’

Back of the net: Lampard scored twice against Everton on Sunday

Back of the net: Lampard scored twice against Everton on Sunday

He added: ‘He’ll cost nothing, he’s about four years younger than Giggs and Scholes and he scores goals from midfield. He’s scored more goals this year than Carrick, Cleverley and Scholes combined.

‘He’s comfortably got two or three more seasons in him. He won’t play 90 minutes every week but if he starts 20 games for Man United he’ll score them seven goals.’

Phil Taylor apologises after ugly confrontation with Raymond van Barneveld

I reacted disgracefully! Taylor apologises after ugly confrontation with Barney

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UPDATED:

11:42 GMT, 31 December 2012

Phil Taylor apologised for his ‘disgraceful’ behaviour after beating Raymond van Barneveld in the World Championship semi-final on Sunday.

‘The Power’, who will play Michael van Gerwen in the final, clashed with Barney after his 6-4 win at Alexandra Palace and the pair had to be separated by security guards.

‘I reacted disgracefully and I feel terrible,’ Taylor told Sky Sports.

‘I’m ashamed because I really like Raymond but he hurt me a little bit, that was all it was.

‘It was spur of the moment.’

Scroll down for a video of the incident

Head to head: Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash at the end of their titanic battle

Head to head: Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash at the end of their titanic battle

Head to head: Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash at the end of their titanic battle

Head to head: Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash at the end of their titanic battle

Head to head: Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash at the end of their titanic battle

Head to head: Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld clash at the end of their titanic battle

Clash: Taylor and Van Barneveld go head to head as they leave the stage

Clash: Taylor and Van Barneveld go head to head as they leave the stage

Taylor and Van Barneveld clash

London XI 2012: Chelsea dominate our team of the year but there"s ZERO Arsenal stars – Neil Ashton

London XI 2012: Chelsea dominate our team of the year with SEVEN players, but there's ZERO Arsenal stars… and can you guess which Championship tyro gets the nod

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UPDATED:

11:46 GMT, 31 December 2012

Sportsmail's dream teams

Click below to read:

Jamie Redknapp's team of the season so far

Martin Keown's Arsenal/Spurs XI

Dominic King's Mersey stars of 2012

It's been something of a mixed year for London clubs. The last 12 months have seen Chelsea crowned FA Cup and European champions, but manager Roberto Di Matteo was ditched after a Premier League slump despite that unforgettable May night in Munich.

But the Blues' triumph was bad news for Tottenham, whose Champions League spot was snatched away despite breaking into the Premier League's top four. Meanwhile, West Ham have built on their promotion from the Championship and Fulham continue to enjoy life in the top flight.

But over at the Emirates Stadium, the trophy cabinet remained bare for yet another season. While Arsenal again finished in the top four, Arsene Wenger has come under increasing pressure amid a dip in performances and the loss of another top star, Robin van Persie, to Manchester United.

But whatever the fortunes of their respective clubs, here Sportsmail selects the standout performers from London clubs in 2012. Do you agree Let us know who would be in and out of your team by posting in the comments section below…

Goalkeeper:

Petr Cech

No contest. Saved a penalty in extra-time from former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben in the Champions League final and was the hero with two more in the shoot-out. Best keeper in town.

Petr to the rescue: Cech saves Arjen Robben's penalty in the Champions League final in May

Petr to the rescue: Cech saves Arjen Robben's penalty during the Champions League final in May

Branislav Ivanovic

Ashley Cole (left)

Right-back: Branislav Ivanovic

Tempted to give this to Kyle Walker
as an orthodox right back, but Ivanovic, a natural central defender, is
so tenacious he deserves his place. Next year, Kyle.

Left-back: Ashley Cole

Despite the uncertainty about his
future, he is guaranteed to produce week in, week out. Chelsea will miss
him next season – he’s still the best left-back in the world.

Centre-backs:

Steven Caulker

Given the runaround by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when Sweden played England in November, but he has been outstanding for AVB at Spurs. Young players need encouragement and AVB has provided it.

David Luiz

Just love this guy. Has an outgoing personality on and off the pitch and he’s not afraid to show it. Will develop into one of the best ball playing central defenders in the world under his next manager.

Steven Caulker (left)

Not your average centre-halves: Spurs youngster Steven Caulker (top left) and the gifted David Luiz (below)

David Luiz

Defensive midfield:

What a goal: Ramires sparked Chelsea's incredible Champions League triumph over Barcelona with this chip

What a goal: Ramires sparked Chelsea's incredible Champions League triumph over Barcelona with this chip

Ramires

Has adapted to the physical demands of
the Premier League and has emerged as a key part of Chelsea’s plans for
the long-term future. Just edges in ahead of Sandro and Dembele.

Frank Lampard

Lifted the European Cup as captain for
the first time in Chelsea’s history and fully deserved it after an
outstanding career at Stamford Bridge. One of the game’s great
statesmen.

Crowning glory: Frank Lampard capped his magnificent Chelsea career by lifting the European Cup

Crowning glory: Frank Lampard capped his magnificent Chelsea career by lifting the European Cup

Attacking midfield:

Wilfried Zaha

Any player who can make people wake up on a Saturday morning with childlike excitement at the thought of watching him play merits a place in any team. Have witnessed this kid’s development week in week out and he is some player.

Come and get him: Wilfried Zaha is ready to make the step up from Crystal Palace to a top club

Come and get him: Wilfried Zaha is ready to make the step up from Crystal Palace to a top club

Juan Mata

Will have to play on the right of the front three to accommodate Gareth Bale, but he is comfortable in any position. Chelsea’s player of the year last season, could easily win it this time too.

Gareth Bale

His thrilling runs down the left are becoming part of Tottenham folklore. Unfair reputation for being a diver – most of the time he’s protecting himself from the risk of serious injury. Sensible lad.

Juan Mata

Gareth Bale

Just you try and stop them: The outstanding Juan Mata (left) and Gareth Bale (right)

Striker: Jermain Defoe

His game has matured and is now
equally comfortable isolated up front on his own, or playing alongside
Emmanuel Adebayor. Has scored 10 in the Premier League for AVB and
there is plenty more to come.


Coming of age: Jermain Defoe has matured into a fine goalscorer no matter who he plays with up front

Coming of age: Jermain Defoe has matured into a fine goalscorer no matter who he plays with up front

Jamie Redknapp"s team of season so far… more Stoke players than Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs or Arsenal!

My team of the season so far… and why I've picked more Stoke players than from City, Chelsea, Spurs or Arsenal!

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UPDATED:

11:47 GMT, 31 December 2012

Sportsmail's dream teams

Click below to read:

Neil Ashton's London 2012 team

Martin Keown's Arsenal/Spurs XI

Dominic King's Mersey stars of 2012

It's never easy picking these teams – and I'm sure you'll tell me where I'm going wrong!

How can I possibly leave out the exciting and entertaining Santi Cazorla or the powerful and productive Marouane Fellaini Both would get into most teams, but I would argue I have better players and I need to have some balance too.

Joe Hart is, in my opinion, the best goalkeeper in the world, but he has not been in the best form – and nor has Manchester United's David De Gea. Stoke have been defensively excellent and their goalkeeper, who may well move to a bigger club soon, has been very good. And so has their captain, Ryan Shawcross.

Santi Cazorla

Marouane Fellaini

You're out: Sorry Santi, sorry Marouane… there's just no room in my team for you two!

And here's how it breaks down, team-by-team…

Stoke – 2 players
Manchester United – 2 players
Swansea – 2 players
Manchester City – 1 player
Everton – 1 player
Chelsea – 1 player
Liverpool – 1 player
Spurs – 1 player

If you had told me at the start of
the season, I would be picking a half-term team with more Stoke players
than Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs or Arsenal, I would have asked for
the smelling salts.
Swansea too have two players, as do Manchester United.

There are no Arsenal players in my XI. No Wayne Rooney. No Sergio Aguero, or David Silva.
But my team has goals: Michu in midfield, Bale, Suarez and Robin van Persie in attacking positions and Michael Carrick to supply the passes.

I have two attacking full-backs, including the excellent Leighton Baines. Imagine Baines, Bale and Mata lining up for a free-kick.

So here's my line-up (4-3-3) …

Goalkeeper:
Asmir Begovic (Stoke)

Asmir Begovic

Defenders (right-left):
Pablo Zabaleta (Man
City)
Ashley Williams (Swansea)
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke)
Leighton Baines (Everton)

Pablo Zabaleta

Ashley Williams

Just try and get past this fab four: (clockwise from top left) Zabaleta, Williams, Baines, Shawcross

Ryan Shawcross

Leighton Baines

Midfielders:
Michael Carrick
(Man United)
Michu (Swansea)
Juan Mata (Chelsea)

Passed it: Michael Carrick

Passed it: Michael Carrick

Michu

Goal threat: Michu

Juan Mata

Spain in the neck: Juan Mata

Attackers:
Gareth Bale (Spurs)
Luis Suarez
(Liverpool)
Robin van Persie (Man United)

Gareth Bale

Luis Suarez

Fearsome: Bale, Suarez and Van Persie would form a mouthwatering forward line in my dream team

Robin van Persie

Roberto Mancini admits loss of Kolo and Yaya Toure to African Cup of Nations will affect title challenge

Out in Africa! Mancini admits loss of Toure brothers to Cup of Nations will affect trophy hunt

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UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 31 December 2012

Roberto Mancini has warned that his team may have a difficult January after losing Toure brothers Kolo and Yaya to the African Nations Cup.

The two City players will be missing for a month as City face an important run of games in the Barclays Premier League and FA Cup.

This morning Mancini said: 'Yes, we could have a problem.

Problem: Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini admits the loss of Yaya and Kolo Toure to the Africa Cup of Nations could affect their title challenge in January

Problem: Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini admits the loss of Yaya and Kolo Toure to the Africa Cup of Nations could affect their title challenge in January

'Micah Richards wont be ready to play until February while Jack Rodwell is out indefinitely and Kolarov is out for two weeks.

'Certainly we cant sell any players as we don't have any players to fill in.'

City face Stoke at home tomorrow after bringing the curtain down on a year that saw them win the Premier League.

Mancini added: 'This was a fantastic year for us, a fantastic season.

'I hope next year will be the same. I always hope the next year will be better but to be the same would be great.

Missing: Yaya Toure will be playing for the Ivory Coast in the tournament, which kicks off in South Africa on January 19

Missing: Yaya Toure will be playing for the Ivory Coast in the tournament, which kicks off in South Africa on January 19

Africa bound: Yaya's brother, Kolo, will also be playing in the three-week tournament

Africa bound: Yaya's brother, Kolo, will also be playing in the three-week tournament

'We have a chance to have a fantastic 2013.'

Mancini has a selection dilemma tomorrow after striker Edin Dzeko scored a hat-trick in the 4-3 win at Norwich on Saturday.

Asked if the Bosnian will definitely play tomorrow, he said: 'if he scored three goals every time he will stay in every week.

'he played very well at Norwich but there are 23 players who want to play every week and that's impossible.'

CITY MATCHES THE TOURE BROTHERS COULD MISS

January 13 – Arsenal (A)
January 19 – Fulham (H)
January 26 – Possible FA Cup fourth round
January 29 – Queens Park Rangers (A)
February 3 – Liverpool (H)
February 9 – Southampton (A)

Steven Nzonzi free to face City on New Year"s Day after appealing Southampton red card

Nzonzi free to face City on New Year's Day after appealing Saints red card

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UPDATED:

11:56 GMT, 31 December 2012

Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi will be free to face Manchester City on New Year's Day after appealing against his sending-off on Saturday.

Nzonzi was shown the red card for an alleged stamp on Southampton's Jack Cork during a thrilling 3-3 Barclays Premier League draw at the Britannia Stadium.

Potters manager Tony Pulis was angered by the decision, arguing Nzonzi did not make contact with Cork, and the Football Association have confirmed an appeal has now been lodged.

Seeing red: Nzonzi was sent-off after fouling Jack Cork

Seeing red: Nzonzi was sent-off after fouling Jack Cork

Bangladesh cancel Pakistan tour due to security concerns

Bangladesh cancel Pakistan tour due to security concerns

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UPDATED:

12:20 GMT, 31 December 2012

Bangladesh have called off their upcoming tour of Pakistan because of security concerns.

No international cricket has been played in Pakistan since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore in 2009.

Six Sri Lankan players were wounded when
gunmen opened fire on their coach as they were being driven to the Gaddafi Stadium for a Test match.

The news will be a bitter pill to swallow for Pakistan having recently resolved another major dispute to resume bilateral ties with India after five years.

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

'Bangladesh will not visit Pakistan for now,' said Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan.

'We have noticed that the security situation in Pakistan has not improved significantly, (it has) rather deteriorated.

'In this circumstance, we think it will not be very wise to tour. We
have conveyed our decision to Pakistan already. We are observing the
situation. If the situation improves we will keep our commitment.

'We have made a commitment to travel to Pakistan but we believe that the security of players and officials are the most important thing.'

Pakistan have been playing 'home' series in the United Arab Emirates as well as hosting Australia in England in 2010 for two Tests and two Twenty20s.

They recently hosted two Twenty20s against a World XI featuring Sanath Jayasuriya and Andre Nel.