Tag Archives: baker

Torquay appoint Alan Knill as interim manager

Torquay task Knill with stopping the rot after appointing ex-Bury boss until end of season

By
Pete Evans, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

12:08 GMT, 20 February 2013

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UPDATED:

12:08 GMT, 20 February 2013

Torquay have appointed Alan Knill as their interim manager until the end of the season.

The former Rotherham, Bury and Scunthorpe boss will work with assistant Shaun Taylor, who has been managing the Gulls for the last six games while manager Martin Ling has been absent on sick leave.

Knill faces a tough task at Plainmoor as he inherits a side who have lost their last five matches, the most recent a defeat at Aldershot last night.

New man: Alan Knill (right) watched Torquay lose to Aldershot

New man: Alan Knill (right) watched Torquay lose to Aldershot

Torquay stand just five points clear of the npower League Two relegation zone ahead of the visit of Port Vale on Saturday.

'Alan was suggested to us by some people in the football industry,' chairman Simon Baker told the club's official website.

'We had drawn up a shortlist and we checked up on Alan with people he had worked with, and they all gave him a glowing reference.

'We met him at Aldershot yesterday and we are delighted he has decided to come in and help us. He comes across as a very agreeable man but there is an edge of steel in him, which is what we need.'

On the slide: Torquay have struggled for form in recent months

On the slide: Torquay have struggled for form in recent months

Ling has been away from the club since the day his side recorded their last victory, a 1-0 win at Exeter on January 28, and Baker revealed the latest update on the former Leyton Orient manager's condition.

'The last I heard from Mrs Ling was that Martin is making progress and we will see how it all pans out,' Baker added.

'We will cross that bridge when it comes but our focus at the moment is between now and April 27, when the season comes to an end.'

FA Cup fourth round: The ultimate guide to all of this weekend"s fixtures

FA Cup fourth round: The ultimate guide to all of this weekend's fixtures

PUBLISHED:

10:32 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 25 January 2013

With a huge 758 clubs entering the FA Cup this season, there are just 32 left as we head into the fourth round of the competition.

Here Sportsmail has teamed up with statistic giants Opta to bring you all the latest facts and team news ahead of ALL this weekend's fixtures.

Destination Wembley: Sixteen teams will make it through to round five

Destination Wembley: Sixteen teams will make it through to round five

Millwall v Aston Villa

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood and striker Jordan Bowery will return to the squad for Friday evening's FA Cup fourth round clash at Millwall.

Westwood and Bowery were cup-tied for the midweek Capital One Cup semi-final setback against Bradford at Villa Park after playing in the competition for Crewe and Chesterfield respectively.

But defender Nathan Baker is again ruled out with a hamstring injury and it is too soon for centre-back Richard Dunne to be considered after recovering from his groin injury.

Millwall are short of options in attack with on-loan Derby forward Nathan Tyson injured, while Darius Henderson joined Nottingham Forest on Thursday.

Martyn Woolford is cup-tied, Shane Lowry is suspended and Scott Malone is still sidelined with a back injury but Liam Feeney is fit again.

Available: Ashley Westwood (right) was cup tied midweek for the aggregate defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi-final

Available: Ashley Westwood (right) was cup tied midweek for the aggregate defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi-final

Millwall and Aston Villa have met five
times previously in the FA Cup, with Millwall progressing twice (both
after replays) and Villa going through on three occasions.

They were last drawn together in the fourth round in 1986, with Millwall progressing after a replay following a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

The Lions have only lost two of their last 17 FA Cup games on home soil (W10 D5).

Villa were eliminated in the fourth round last year, when they faced Arsenal at the Emirates losing 3-2.

Millwall have only won two of their last seven games (L3 D2), with both victories coming at the New Den.

Aston Villa have now progressed through each of their last 10 FA Cup ties against lower ranked sides. Darren Bent has scored in four of his last five matches in the FA Cup.

Aston Villa provisional squad: Guzan, Given,
Marshall, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Lichaj, Stevens, Bennett, Ireland,
Westwood, N'Zogbia, Bannan, Delph, Holman, Benteke, Agbonlahor, Bent,
Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams, Carruthers.

Stoke v Man City

Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson's back problem is likely to keep him out of Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie at home to Manchester City.

The full-back sustained the problem in their third round replay last week and while Ryan Shotton played 45 minutes in a midweek friendly after a hamstring injury he may not be risked.

Thomas Sorensen is set to replace Asmir Begovic in goal, as has been the policy for cup matches this season.

Stoke and Man City have been drawn together seven time before in the FA Cup, with the Citizens progressing (or winning the final) four times and the Potters progressing on three occasions.

The most memorable of these meetings was the 2011 final, where Man City secured the trophy with a 1-0 win, courtesy of a Yaya Toure goal.
When drawn at the Britannia, the Potters are unbeaten in nine FA Cup games, winning seven and drawing two.

The last time City travelled to the Britannia in the FA Cup, they were eliminated, losing 3-1 in a replay back in February 2010.

The Citizens are enjoying a five game winning streak, netting 14 goals and shipping just three in the process.

City have won just two of their last eight on the road in the FA Cup, drawing three and losing three.

Man City are unbeaten in seven against the Potters in all competitions (three home wins, one neutral win and three away 1-1 draws).

Stoke provisional squad: Sorensen, Cameron,
Shawcross, Huth, Upson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington,
Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen,
Shotton, Begovic.

Bolton v Everton
Bolton have not lost to Everton in the FA Cup since 1908, winning all three ties since then including in the semi-final back in 1953.

Overall, these North West rivals have been drawn together six times before, with Bolton progressing four times and Everton twice, both following a replay.

The Toffees are unbeaten in their last six away games in the FA Cup (W4 D2).

Everton have only kept three clean sheets in their last 14 FA Cup games, and only one on the road since 2009.

The Trotters are unbeaten in four games now (1W 3D), their second-longest run without defeat this season (six games in November).

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard netted on the last occasion these sides met, though Bolton still won 2-1 at Goodison Park.

There have been three red cards in the last five clashes between the Trotters and the Toffees in all competitions.

Brighton v Arsenal

Arsenal will be without captain Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brighton.

Midfielders Abou Diaby (thigh) and Tomas Rosicky (calf) are set to be available again, but Mikel Arteta (calf), Francis Coquelin (hamstring) remain out.

Forward Gervinho is away at the African Nations Cup and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (foot) is not yet in contention.

This will be only the fourth time the clubs have met in the FA Cup and the third time in the fourth round. Arsenal have won all three previous ties without needing a replay.

Setback: Tomas Rosicky (left) has played only four times for Arsenal this term

Setback: Tomas Rosicky (left) has played only four times for Arsenal this term

Their last meeting came in the fourth round in 1988, with The Gunners claiming a 2-1 victory.

Brighton have won their last two home FA Cup ties against Premier League opposition.

Arsenal are unbeaten in 33 games against lower ranked sides in the FA Cup, not losing since a 0-1 defeat at Sheffield United in 1996.

The Gunners have won none of their last three games on the road, losing one (v Chelsea) and drawing two (v Swansea in the FA Cup and v Southampton).

Brighton and Hove Albion defeated Newcastle United in the third round of the 1983 competition as they did earlier this campaign; they went on to reach the final 30 years ago.

The Gunners have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven away FA Cup games, shipping 12 in total in this away run.

Arsenal provisional squad:
Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Cazorla,
Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Giroud, Mannone, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santos,
Arshavin, Jenkinson, Diaby, Rosicky.

Derby v Blackburn
The two sides have been played each on 10 previous occasions in the FA Cup, with both sides progressing five times apiece.

The last meeting between these Championship rivals came back in 2001 at this stage, when Blackburn won 5-2 away in a replay after a 0-0 draw at Ewood Park.

Blackburn have lost their last four away games in the FA Cup.

The Rams have won five and lost none of their last six home FA Cup matches against teams from the same division.

Overall, the Rams have suffered just one defeat in their last five games, winning two and drawing two.

Blackburn have won two and lost just one of their last four trips to the home of the Rams, drawing the other 1-1 earlier this season.

Huddersfield v Leicester
Huddersfield and Leicester have never met in the FA Cup.
The Terriers have won four out of their last five home games in the cup (1L).

The Foxes have struggled of late on the road in the FA Cup, winning only once in nine games (D1 L7).

Jermaine Beckford has scored seven goals in his last five FA Cup appearances and 16 in 19 overall.

Simon Grayson’s Huddersfield side have won just one of their last 13 games (1-0 v Charlton in FA Cup), losing six and drawing six.

Leicester have won each of their last five games, netting 14 goals and conceding just one goal in the process, with that goal against coming in their 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield on January 1st.

Hull v Barnsley
The two sides met in the third round in 1958, with the tie going to a replay after finishing 1-1. The Tigers eventually progressed to the fourth round after securing a 2-0 victory.

The Tigers have reached the fourth round 23 times, progressing 12 times, including in three of their last four at this stage.

The Tykes have won just one of their last eight fourth round games on the road outright; though they have drawn five of these and gone on to win the replay on each occasion.

Barnsley are enjoying a three game unbeaten streak (W2 D1), their longest run without defeat this season.
On home soil, Hull have enjoyed just one win in their last four games, drawing two and losing one.

The last four clashes between these Championship rivals have all ended in home wins, while only one of the last eight has been won by the away side.

Macclesfield v Wigan

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez looks set to make several changes for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Macclesfield.

Roger Espinoza and Angelo Henriquez are likely to start after making their Wigan debuts in the third-round win over Bournemouth, while Callum McManaman and Fraser Fyvie could also make rare appearances for the Latics.

Arouna Kone is unavailable as he is on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast while Antolin Alcaraz (groin), Ivan Ramis (knee), Adrian Lopez (hamstring), midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg) and Albert Crusat (knee) and striker Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) are still unavailable.

Cup shock: Macclesfield players celebrate after eliminating Cardiff in round three

Cup shock: Macclesfield players celebrate after eliminating Cardiff in round three

This is the first time in Macclesfield’s history that they’ve reached the fourth round.

The Latics and the Silkmen have never met in the FA Cup before.
Wigan haven’t advanced through the fourth round since 1987, where they claimed a 1-0 victory against Norwich City.

The Silkmen have never defeated top flight opposition in the FA Cup.

Despite enduring another difficult season, Wigan are unbeaten in their last three games on the road, winning two and drawing one.

Matthew Barnes-Homer has scored six goals in his last five appearances in all competitions for the Silkmen.

Wigan have won both previous competitive meetings with Macclesfield, beating them 1-0 away and 2-0 at home in the 1998/99 division two.

Wigan provisional squad: Al
Habsi, Pollitt, Boyce, Caldwell, Ramis, Figueroa, Beausejour, Jones,
Maloney, Espinoza, McCarthy, McArthur, Stam, McManaman, Di Santo,
Henriquez, Boselli, Fyvie, Redmond, Mustoe, Orsula, Morris.

Middlesbrough v Aldershot
Boro and Aldershot will meet for the first time in the competition in this clash.

The Shots have scored eight goals in three FA Cup games so far this season, though they are yet to face a team from a higher division.

Aldershot have not won away from home against a side from a higher division since 1983, when they won 3-1 at Portsmouth.

‘Boro have won 11 of their last 15 home FA Cup ties against sides from lower divisions than them (D3 L1).

At the Riverside, ‘Boro have lost just one of their last six games, winning the other five.

Aldershot’s Danny Hylton has only scored one league goal in 19 games all season, but has netted seven times in three FA Cup appearances for the Shots.

Aldershot Town have made the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1987, when they lost to Barnsley.

Norwich v Luton

Norwich manager Chris Hughton will again rotate his squad for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Blue Square Premier side Luton at Carrow Road.

Declan Rudd will come into goal, while the likes of fit-again midfielder Andrew Surman, playmaker David Fox and winger Elliott Bennett are likely to get a chance to impress.

Full-back Steven Whittaker (hip) has resumed full training this week, so could come back into contention, but centre-half Sebastien Bassong (calf) may be rested again while striker Steve Morison (thigh) and England goalkeeper John Ruddy (thigh) remain sidelined.

This will be the fourth meeting between the Canaries and the Hatters in the FA Cup; the Hatters the first two, including the1959 semi, before Norwich won the most recent clash.

Cupset: Non-league Luton knocked out Wolves in the third round

Cupset: Non-league Luton knocked out Wolves in the third round

The last clash between these sides in the cup also came in the fourth round and Norwich won 2-0 (1976).

It’s the first time since 2007 that Luton have made it to the fourth round. That year, they were eliminated by Blackburn Rovers.

Luton haven’t beaten a Premier League side since 1993/94, when they defeated West Ham 3-2 in sixth round replay.

Chris Hughton’s Canaries have managed just one win in their last seven games (3-0 v Peterborough in the FA Cup), losing five and drawing one.
The Canaries have won their last three against Luton in all competitions, winning both meetings in 2006/07 3-2.

Norwich provisional squad:
Rudd, Barnett, Martin, R Bennett, Tierney, Fox, Surman, Snodgrass,
Johnson, E Bennett, Jackson, Steer, Garrido, Tettey, Pilkington, Kane,
Holt, Whittaker, Hoolahan.

QPR v MK Dons
The R’s and the Dons met for the first time in any competition in the FA Cup last season, where they drew the original fixture 1-1 before QPR won 1-0 at Loftus Road, courtesy of a Danny Gabbidon strike.

The R’s have not won an FA Cup tie without the use of a replay since January 1997, when they beat Barnsley 3-2 at this stage in 1997.

MK Dons have scored 10 goals in their last four FA Cup games and they have never helped them reach the fourth round for the first time.

The Hoops have been improving under Harry Redknapp and remain unbeaten in 2013, winning two, drawing three, scoring four and shipping just two in the process.

The Dons have won two and drawn two of their last four games, shipping a total of just two goals in those four fixtures.

Milton Keynes eliminated a higher ranked side for the first time in their history in the third round of this season, beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 in a replay.

Reading v Sheffield United

Reading are without striker Jason Roberts (hip) for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round clash against Sheffield United.

Midfielder Jem Karacan suffered an unspecified knock in training but should be fit, while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) and midfielder Hope Akpan (cup-tied) are unavailable.

Striker Adam Le Fondre could start after scoring two vital goals as a substitute in the Royals' 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle last weekend.

Royal no show: Jason Roberts (left) has been ruled out for Reading

Royal no show: Jason Roberts (left) has been ruled out for Reading

Reading’s only previous encounter against the Blades was back in 1998 and ended in a 1-0 home victory for the Sheffield side.

Reading have kept only two clean sheets in 15 home cup ties.
The Blades have only won once in their last 18 away FA Cup games to higher level opposition, drawing three and losing 14.

The Royals have won their last three games in a row, the first time they’ve managed consecutive wins this season, with Adam Le Fondre netting five goals in total in those games.

Reading have won five of their last six FA Cup games against sides from lower leagues, though they did lose their last one at home (0-1 v Stevenage last season).

The Blades are unbeaten in five against Reading in all competitions, winning four.

United have also won their last three at the Madejski Stadium, not tasting defeat there since the 2006/07 Premier League.

Reading provisional squad:
Federici, Ugwu, Taylor, Gunter, Kelly, Cummings, Pearce, Morrison,
Mariappa, Shorey, Harte, McAnuff, Carrico, Tabb, Karacan, Kebe,
McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Le Fondre, Hunt, Pogrebnyak.

Manchester United v Fulham

Ashley Young and Jonny Evans will remain on the sidelines for Manchester United's FA Cup fourth round tie with Fulham at Old Trafford.

England winger Young suffered a knee injury against Liverpool a fortnight ago, whilst Evans (hamstring) has not featured since the FA Cup draw at West Ham three weeks ago.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson must decide whether to stick with David De Gea in goal or recall Anders Lindegaard, who took over for the replay win against the Hammers.

Old Trafford return: Dimitar Berbatov left Manchester United to join Fulham last summer

Old Trafford return: Dimitar Berbatov left Manchester United to join Fulham last summer

Fulham midfielder Kieran Richardson will miss the chance to take on former club Manchester United.

The 28-year-old suffered a calf injury in last weekend's defeat at Manchester City and will not be fit in time for the game at Old Trafford, although he is likely to return to training next week.

Mahamadou Diarra (knee) is not likely to play again for a month whilst Kerim Frei (pelvis) is also absent.

The two clubs have met nine times before in the FA Cup, with United progressing through the last seven after elimination in the first two (1905 and 1908).

The last time they played each other in the fourth round was in 1979, when the Red Devils won 1-0 in a home replay after drawing 1-1 in London.

United have only lost twice in their last 18 FA Cup games at home, winning 14.

Fulham have won 10 out of their last 11 FA Cup fourth round ties, though they were eliminated at this stage last season (to Everton).

Robin Van Persie has scored in each of his last six games for United (seven goals in total) and has bagged 11 in his last 11 appearances.

Martin Jol’s Whites have registered just two wins in their last nine games, losing four and drawing three.

The Red Devils have won their last 10 at home to Fulham in all competitions, not even sharing the spoils with the Whites since a 1-3 defeat in October 2003.

Manchester United provisional squad:
Lindegaard, De Gea, Amos, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Buttner, Evra,
Cleverley, Giggs, Anderson, Scholes, Carrick, Kagawa, Nani, Hernandez,
Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie.

Fulham provisional squad:
Schwarzer, Somogyi, Etheridge, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos,
Riise, Briggs, Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Duff,
Kasami, Ruiz, Rodallega, Berbatov, Petric, Davies.

Brentford v Chelsea
The only time the West London clubs have met in the FA Cup was in 1950, where Chelsea won 1-0 at Griffin Park.

The Blues have won 15 of their last 16 FA Cup fourth round ties, losing the other on penalties to Everton.

Chelsea have only lost one of their last 35 FA Cup games outright; 0-1 v Barnsley in March 2008 (W29 D5 L1).

The Blues have shipped just nine goals in their last 13 away FA Cup games combined, and never more than once in single match in this run.

The Bees have won just one of their last 13 FA Cup games against

Premier League sides; beating Sunderland at this stage in 2006 (W1 D3 L9).

Juan Mata has now scored four goals and assisted five in just eight FA Cup appearances for Chelsea.

Frank Lampard has been involved in 10 goals in his last nine FA Cup appearances; scoring six and assisted four.

Leeds v Tottenham
The two clubs have faced each other five times in the FA Cup before, with Leeds winning just one tie (sixth round in 1972).

The most recent meeting came back in 2010, in the fourth round, when the original tie ended 2-2. The replay saw Spurs win 3-1 at Elland Road, courtesy of a Jermain Defoe hat-trick.

Spurs have kept three clean sheets in their last four away FA Cup games, but have failed to score in three of the four themselves.

Leeds have been eliminated by North London clubs in each of the last three FA Cups, losing to Tottenham in 2010 and Arsenal in 2011 and 2012.

At Elland Road, Leeds have lost just one of their last eight games (W6 D1), although that defeat came against another Premier League side, Chelsea, 5-1 in the Capital One Cup.

AVB’s Tottenham side are now unbeaten in eight games, winning five and drawing three.

After no goals in his first 13 games in the competition, Gareth Bale has scored in three successive FA Cup games.

Oldham v Liverpool
The two clubs met last year in the third round, in a one-sided match dominated by Liverpool who won 5-1.

Oldham have lost all four matches against Liverpool in the FA Cup.
The Reds have won five and lost just two of their last nine away games in the FA Cup (D2).

Oldham have won two of their last four FA Cup games against Premier League sides, including a win against Merseysiders Everton in 2008.

The Latics have lost each of their last four games at Boundary Park, conceding exactly two goals in each of those defeats.

Brendan Rodgers’ Reds are enjoying a good run of form, winning four of their last five (losing the other one), with Luis Suarez netting six goals in total in those games.

The Reds have won their last three against Oldham in all competitions, but did lose 2-3 at Boundary Park in the Premier League back in May 1993.

Bradford 3 Aston Villa 1 match report

Bradford 3 Aston Villa 1: Inspired Bantams on the verge of Wembley after sinking Villa

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 8 January 2013

An inspired performance from Bradford moved them closer to a trip to Wembley as they beat Aston Villa 3-1 in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.

Nahki Wells opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he latched onto Zavon Hines’s deflected shot before Rory McArdle’s second-half header had the League Two side dreaming.

Andreas Weimann scored a late away goal for the Premier League side but Carl McHugh's header soon after gave the League Two side a two-goal lead going into the second leg at Villa Park on January 22.

More to follow

Opener: Wells gave Bradford the lead in the 19th minute

Opener: Wells gave Bradford the lead in the 19th minute

Shirty: The Bermudan striker celebrated by revealing a message

Shirty: The Bermudan striker celebrated by revealing a message

Shirty: The Bermudan striker celebrated by revealing a message

MATCH FACTS

Bradford: Duke, Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Good, Hines (Turgott 66), Gary Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Wells, Hanson.

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Ritchie Jones, Hannah, Connell.

Goals: Wells 19, McArdle 77, McHugh 88.

Booked: McHugh

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Agbonlahor (Bent 57, Burke 85), Delph, Bannan, N'Zogbia, Benteke, Weimann.

Subs not used: Guzan, Ireland, Stevens, Lichaj, Carruthers.

Goal: Weimann 82.

Booked: N'Zogbia, Delph.

Att:

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Kauto Star owner Smith lets rip in row with Nicholls

Kauto Star owner Smith lets rip in row with Nicholls after legend leaves trainer's yard

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UPDATED:

11:40 GMT, 13 December 2012

The depth of the bitterness behind the row over the retirement plans for superstar steeplechaser Kauto Star have been revealed by the horse's owner Clive Smith.

Smith says his association with trainer Paul Nicholls has broken down irretrievably and that the strain on their relationship stretched back to an argument at Nicholls' Open Day in September.

Smith, on holiday in New York, said: 'He came up to me with a tirade of foul language. He must have said it six times that he wanted the horse out of the yard then, never mind this Tuesday. What happened was the final straw.'

Breakdown: Kauto Star's owner Clive Smith (left) and trainer Paul Nicholls

Breakdown: Kauto Star's owner Clive Smith (left) and trainer Paul Nicholls

He added in the Racing Post: 'On October 31, I had a final meeting with Paul. Kauto was in light training but it was confirmed he should be retired, as I'd wanted, but would stay in the yard until after the King George (at Kempton on Boxing Day).

'Then, a couple of weeks ago when I was at Haydock to unveil Kauto's statue, Paul bowled a googly at me, saying it would be right if he could stay at the yard with (head lad) Clifford Baker.

'I'd already spoken to Yogi Breisner (performance director of Britain's Olympic eventing team) and he said it was no good having a top-class horse in a yard like that where he's a hack.

'I'm sure Clifford Baker would do a wonderful job and he'd be lovely for him but I always thought I was the owner.

'I didn't see him enough anyway because I'm 100 miles away. As the owner I'm entitled to some time with him.'

Fans' favourite: Clifford Baker rides Kauto Star for the crowd at Haydock

Fans' favourite: Clifford Baker rides Kauto Star for the crowd at Haydock

Smith said he had been phoned by Nicholls and informed of his intention to remove the Kauto Star form his stable on Tuesday while he was on the runway at Heathrow about to embark.

He also laid bare his irritation at their difference in opinion in how to pronounce the horse's name. The trainer has always said 'Kato'.

Smith added: 'To be honest I was disappointed from early on that Paul didn't pronounce Kauto's name correctly. There was no excuse but he did not back off.'

In response, Nicholls said: 'I strongly refute these allegations but the last thing I want to do is to become involved in a war of words with Clive. I have wished him all the best and have no further comment to make.'

Legend: Kauto Star won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009

Legend: Kauto Star won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009

Kauto Star, the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner left the Nicholls' Somerset yard amid scenes of distress and expressions of bitterness among staff.

Nicholls said he realised that Smith planned to remove the horse and saw no reason to further delay with the hiatus causing distraction to his upset staff.

Kauto Star has joined Berkshire-based international event rider Laura Collett who, with Breisner, is assessing the best retirement plan for the 12-year-old. One option is Dressage.

Smith, who no longer has any horse in training with Nicholls, has said Kauto Star will still parade at Kempton on Boxing Day, although he will not be ridden by Baker as had been planned.

Crazy for Kempton: Kauto Star won the King George five times

Crazy for Kempton: Kauto Star won the King George five times

Kauto Star leaves Paul Nicholls" stables to begin new career in dressage

Nicholls saddened after Kauto Star leaves his stables to begin new career in dressage

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UPDATED:

18:47 GMT, 11 December 2012

Paul Nicholls admitted his 'sadness' after Kauto Star's time at his Ditcheat yard came to an abrupt end on Tuesday.

The winner of five King Georges and two Cheltenham Gold Cups had been officially retired in late October and was expected to remain at Manor Farm Stables in Somerset until Boxing Day, when he was due to parade at Kempton.

Owner Clive Smith had announced on Monday that the 12-year-old would be moving away to be prepared by European bronze medalist eventing rider Laura Collett and long-time Great Britain manager and coach Yogi Breisner for a new career in the world of dressage – a decision not popular with Nicholls and his staff.

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

The winner of 19 races for the champion trainer, including four Betfair Chases and two Tingle Creeks, Kauto Star had been with Nicholls for eight years and was invariably ridden by his head lad Clifford Baker.

'It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time,' Nicholls told his Betfair column.

'It has been no secret that Kauto's future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.

'And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.

'Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive's horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford to have looked after him for the rest of his years.

'But what upset me and my team here is
when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse's
future – but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had
looked after him here for the past nine years. That really upset us.'

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Nicholls went on: 'So we had a team meeting here this morning. And after listening to everybody involved – there were about six of us in the meeting – I rang up Clive, said I don't want to fall out, but we think it is in the best interests of everybody concerned to take Kauto to Yogi Breisner's this afternoon so that he could start his new career in the dressage field as soon as possible.

'Which we did with the saddest of hearts. But I like to think with a lot of dignity, too. And, yes, there were plenty of tears too. He was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much.

'I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse. Good luck, old boy. You were the best – and deserve the best.'

Collett, 22, who is an aspiring Olympian based at the Membury Estate in Wiltshire, will be helped by Breisner to assess the gelding's suitability for the discipline in the coming weeks.

She tweeted: 'I feel very privileged and extremely honoured to have been asked to ride Kauto Star. I will be working closely with Yogi to give Kauto Star the best chance of a second career in dressage.'

Members of the Ditcheat team expressed their sadness at the horse's departure, with Nicholls' travelling head girl Donna Blake, tweeting:

'Farewell to our dear Kauto Star, sad day that he is leaving those who genuinely care and respect him. Undeserved.'

Smith is currently abroad, but at a lunch to promote the William Hill King George VI Chase in London on Monday, he had said: 'A lot of very good chasers have gone on to do very well at dressage, like Garrison Savannah and Neptune Collonges and I wanted him to have an interest – he's just too good to be a hack or to be out in a field.

'I wanted him to do something else and he's going to be down at the other side of Lambourn and Laura Collett and Yogi will be working with him. We'll know in a very short time (if it is a possible option).'

US Open Tennis 2012: Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski stun defending champions

Brits Delgado and Skupski stun defending doubles champions

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 1 September 2012

British pair Jamie Delgado and Ken Skupski stunned defending champions Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner to reach the third round of the men's doubles at the US Open.

Skupski and Delgado, who reached the same stage last year with Wimbledon champion Jonny Marray, prevailed in two tie-breaks, winning 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (9/7) against the Austrian-German partnership.

Upset: Jamie Delgado stunned the champions

Upset: Jamie Delgado stunned the champions

There was also success for 14th seeds
Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, quarter-finalists last year, who beat
American pair Brian Baker and Rajeev Ram 7-5 6-3.

Crawley 2 Bolton 1: Nicky Ajose nods late winner

Capital One Cup second round round-up: Crawley nick late win over Bolton

By
Janine Self

PUBLISHED:

22:46 GMT, 28 August 2012

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UPDATED:

22:49 GMT, 28 August 2012

When it comes to Cup upsets then Crawley can claim to be masters.

Bolton went the way of Derby, Bristol City, Hull and Millwall as the League One side knocked Owen Coyle’s team out of the Capital One Cup.

Benik Afobe put Bolton into the lead but two goals in the final eight minutes turned the tie on its head.

Substitute Billy Clarke then scored one and made the other for Nicky Ajose, who clinched the 2-1 win in the dying seconds.

On target: Nicky Ajose nods Crawley's second

On target: Nicky Ajose nods Crawley's second

Managerless Coventry found something to smile about as they dumped npower Championship neighbours Birmingham 3-2 after extra time.

A topsy-turvy match saw Peter Lovenkrands put Birmingham into the lead before goals from Cody McDonald and Kevin Kilbane handed Coventry the advantage.

The League One side sacked Andy Thorn on Sunday after three successive draws but caretaker boss Richard Shaw did himself no harm in the bid to become his successor.

Having seen Jonathan Spector send the tie into extra time, Carl Baker scored the winner after Kilbane’s cross was not cleared.

Hammer blow: Carl Baker hits Coventry's third

Hammer blow: Carl Baker hits Coventry's third

Nicky Wroe struck twice to help League One Preston to a shock 4-1 victory over Championship strugglers Crystal Palace. Akpo Sodje and Jeffrey Monakana were the other scorers with Aaron Wilbraham netting for Palace.

Leeds United strolled through and spoiled Oxford’s perfect start to the season.

Jamaican Rodolph Austin scored his first goal in in English football, teenager Sam Byram doubled the lead and a Tom Lees header in the second half cemented an 3-0 win against the League Two leaders.

Luke Chadwick scored twice to dump out lacklustre Blackburn and send MK Dons into the third round.

Chadwick netted two close-range finishes before David Goodwillie nodded in an 83rd-minute consolation goal for Rovers as the Dons claimed a richly-deserved giant-killing victory.

Aston Villa 3 Tranmere 0

Aston Villa 3 Tranmere 0: Delph touch is such a relief for Lambert

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UPDATED:

20:44 GMT, 28 August 2012

With a home record of just one victory in the past nine months, Aston Villa supporters will take good cheer wherever they find it.

And while the first two goals are unlikely to be the finest seen at Villa Park this season, they were no less welcome to put the Premier League side in command.

Former England Under-21 international Fabian Delph squeezed home late in the first-half as Paul Lambert savoured his first triumph as Villa boss.

Leading role: Fabian Delph puts Villa ahead in the first-half

Leading role: Fabian Delph puts Villa
ahead in the first-half

It was by no means convincing against opponents from League One, but after a stinging wake-up call against Everton last Saturday the result was all important.

And Chris Herd followed up midway through the second-half, after Owain Fon Williams had parried Stephen Ireland's shot to leave Villa in an unusually comfortable position on their own turf.

Lambert rang the changes following the defeat by Everton and handed a debut to former League of Ireland defender Enda Stevens. With Villa's boss chasing Middlesbrough's Joe Bennett after lodging a 2.5m bid for the England Under-21 international, the chances of the young left-back retaining his spot in the future are slim.

But this was certainly the opportunity for a few to stake their claim, given the miserable showing against Everton.

There was little to choose between the sides in the opening half-hour, though Villa had a combination of Barry Bannan and Nathan Baker to thank for the double-block that prevented Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro firing the visitors in front. Villa eventually found their feet, coming closest twice thanks to set-pieces.

First Bannan's free-kick was nodded into the net by Baker, only for a push by the centre-half to curtail the celebrations.

Then the Scotland international tried his luck from 25 yards, Owain Fon Williams turning the ball over the bar. It was a smart piece of quick-thinking from Ireland, eight minutes before the interval, which gave Villa the lead.

His quick throw-in was fed to Andreas Weimann, who fed Stevens. The full-back's cross was deflected and looped up to the far post where Delph applied the finishing touch.

The assistant referee had flagged for the goal as Tranmere's covering defenders cleared the ball only for Darren Bent to make sure by firing it into the net once more.

Tranmere threatened briefly after the interval. Midfielder Liam Palmer saw one effort blocked by Baker while Fon Williams saved smartly twice after Weimann had broken through.

The Austria Under-21 international wasted his clearest opening of the night as the game entered its' final quarter, heading over from Eric Lichaj's cross.

But the tie was eventually made safe in the 66th minute. Ireland scampered down the left and his shot was palmed out into the dangerzone by Fon Williams for Herd to finish. Any doubt about the outcome was dispelled by Darren Bent's neat finish after 81 minutes.

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 0

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 0: Hammers off to flying start thanks to Nolan strike

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UPDATED:

15:57 GMT, 18 August 2012

Kevin Nolan's first-half goal ensured West Ham got off to a winning start on their return to the Premier League.

The midfielder was on hand to slot home Ricardo Vaz Te's cross with just five minutes remaining in the opening period.

Villa were unable to fight back as Paul Lambert endured a miserable start to his tenure.

More to follow…

Off and running: Kevin Nolan celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game for West Ham

Off and running: Kevin Nolan celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game for West Ham

MATCH FACTS

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, McCartney, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Vaz Te, Cole, Taylor.

Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Maynard, Maiga, O’Brien, Diarra, O’Neil.

Goal: Nolan 40

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Holman, El Ahmadi, Delph, N’Zogbia, Ireland, Bent.

Subs: Guzan, Bannan, Weimann, Lichaj, Herd, Burke, Gardner.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Check out all the latest, stats, facts and table from the Premier League

Winner: Nolan got on the end of Ricardo Vaz Te's cross to put West Ham in front

Winner: Nolan got on the end of Ricardo Vaz Te's cross to put West Ham in front

Controversy: Aston Villa felt there was an offside in the build-up to West Ham's goal

Controversy: Aston Villa felt there was an offside in the build-up to West Ham's goal

Duel: Winston Reid of West Ham United and Darren Bent of Aston Villa battle for the ball

Duel: Winston Reid of West Ham United and Darren Bent of Aston Villa battle for the ball

Welcome back: Sam Allardyce enjoyed a winning return to the Premier League

Welcome back: Sam Allardyce enjoyed a winning return to the Premier League

London 2012 Olympics: Clare Balding is BBC"s best presenter – Mark Alford"s Goggle Eyes

Mark Alford's Goggle Eyes: Balding leads the way when comes to BBC anchors

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 8 August 2012

An emerging rule of these Games is that if Clare Balding’s anchoring an event, it must be important. Wednesday she brought her enthusiasm and knowledge to Greenwich for the showjumping. It’s between Clare and Gary Lineker for the Beeb’s best in show.

Magic moment

Pride of Yorkshire Nicola Adams, from Leeds, was interviewed after reaching today’s women’s flyweight boxing final. She melted hearts when she said: ‘All I want to do is make my mum proud.’

Fight star: Nicola Adams beat India's Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte

Fight star: Nicola Adams beat India's Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte

Thumbs up for…

STAYING WITH BACKMARKERS: The director at the athletics resisted the urge to cut away from the action after the winners crossed the line in the 800 metres heats. Viewers saw three uplifting stories as a result. First, tearful Merve Aydin from Turkey hobbled home more than a minute after the field. Then Palestinian Woroud Sawalha, in a white hijab, ran a personal best time. And finally, Sarah Attar, the first Saudi woman to compete in athletics at the Olympics (left), trailed home. Top television.

Thumbs down for…

TALKING NOT SHOWING: Matt Baker was waxing lyrical about Flying Dutchman Epke Zonderland, who took gold on the high bar with an outrageous routine. The footage has become an internet sensation but the main BBC1 feed failed to show it at any point throughout the day.

Gold: Epke Zonderland's routine became an internet sensation

Gold: Epke Zonderland's routine became an internet sensation

Corner cam

Boxing coverage has rightly been criticised for not carrying on-screen scores during bouts — it still rankles! But praise is due for the camera and microphone bringing us the cornermen’s briefings between rounds. Fascinating stuff.

The Pundits' podium

GOLD: Andy Austin, showjumping: Same course, lots of different horses — it’s a tough job making it sound exciting but Austin and main commentator Mike Tucker do just that. Flawless.

SILVER: Brendan Foster, athletics: As passionate as ever. ‘Mo Farah, Olympic champion. I just love saying it,’ said Foster. We love hearing it, keep up the good work.

BRONZE: Jamie Staff, BMX: Impressed at the Velodrome but his ‘woop that time’ cry was a low point at the BMX track.

Jolly hockey sticks

The best thing on TV The thrilling women’s hockey semi-final penalty shootout in which Holland beat New Zealand. Each player was given eight seconds to beat the goalkeeper. Look and learn, football, this was proper drama.