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Harry Redknapp will have birthday blues if QPR lose Southampton relegation clash even if Tony Bennett is there

'I won't turn up even if Tony Bennett's there!' Redknapp will have birthday blues if QPR lose relegation clash

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

13:16 GMT, 1 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 1 March 2013

Harry Redknapp has told his wife Sandra not to bother putting on any birthday celebrations if QPR lose at Southampton on Saturday.

Redknapp turns 66 on Saturday and shares a birthday with his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino, who will be 41.

A win for either manager will be huge in the race to avoid relegation, but is more important to QPR who are already seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.

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Birthday blues: Harry Redknapp won't celebrate his 66th birthday if his QPR side lose to Southampton

Birthday blues: Harry Redknapp won't celebrate his 66th birthday if his QPR side lose to Southampton

And Redknapp, who enjoyed an early piece of birthday cake in his pre-match press conference, said: 'My whole weekend revolves around the match.

'To be honest my wife could make arrangements tomorrow night to bring Tony Bennett, who I absolutely love, over and I wouldn't turn up if we got beat.

'I'm no use to anybody. My whole weekend will revolve around how the game goes tomorrow. I'll be no use to anybody if it doesn't go well.

'She wouldn't even bother to arrange anything if I come home and it hasn't gone well. It wouldn't be worth me bothering.'

He recalled a birthday evening in Birmingham in 1997 with his wife that followed a 1-0 loss to Leeds when he was West Ham manager. ‘

'We booked a lovely restaurant,' Redknapp remembered. 'She said it was the most miserable night of her life. I can’t help myself, it’s pathetic really.

'Mark, my other son, was there with his girlfriend. She must have thought: “what a barrel of fun he is!” Like that geezer off the TV, Victor Meldrew. I can’t snap out of it, I can’t help it.'

Redknapp
has been warned he faces a torrent of abuse from Southampton fans when
he returns to St Mary's for the first time since he left the club to
return to bitter rivals Portsmouth.

Hoping for a happy return: Redknapp goes back to Southampton for the first time since taking them down in 2005 - and on his birthday, too

Hoping for a happy return: Redknapp goes back to Southampton for the first time since taking them down in 2005 – and on his birthday, too

He added: 'I'll get a bit of grief but what can you do It's no problem. They're not bad people, Southampton supporters. They're good supporters.

'They'll give me a bit of grief but that's life. I won't lose any sleep over it, the only thing I'll lose sleep over is if the result is bad.'

The two managers may share a birthday, but they are at different ends of the managerial timeline.

Redknapp has managed six different clubs, is creeping towards the end and has almost 30 years in management to draw on to keep QPR up.

Pochettino is at only his second club and heading into his fifth year as a manager. But when asked if he would rather be more experienced, or heading freshly into the managerial game like his counterpart, Redknapp replied: ‘No, I’ d rather be 25 years younger, although only if my missus was 25 years younger.

‘I’d love to be coming into management now at 35 or 36, starting out at Bournemouth again. I feel great. The heart is good and there is no problem. I feel well and not like I am 66.

‘I don’t think I act like a 66-yearold. I feel about 30. I feel fantastic and not any different.’

If Redknapp pulls off a remarkable escape and keeps QPR up, he could have us all repeating Meldrew’s famous catchphrase: ‘I don’t believe it.’

Crooner: Redknapp would ditch birthday celebrations even if favourite singer Tony Bennett was to appear

Crooner: Redknapp would ditch birthday celebrations even if favourite singer Tony Bennett was to appear

Not even if Tony Bennett is there! Redknapp won't vows no party…

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West Brom fan hunted by police after snowball attack on Aston Villa defender Joe Bennett

Police hunt West Brom fan after snowball attack on Aston Villa defender Bennett

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

13:31 GMT, 22 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 22 January 2013

Police are trying to identify the fan who threw a snowball at Aston Villa's Joe Bennett and missed during the Midlands derby with West Brom.

Television cameras caught the supporter aiming his shot at the left back during their draw at The Hawthorns on Saturday evening.

Although the snowball missed its intended target, police have launched an investigation into the incident and are hoping to identify the culprit.

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Swing and a miss: The snowball went nowhere near Joe Bennett as he prepared to take a throw

Swing and a miss: The snowball went nowhere near Joe Bennett as he prepared to take a throw

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police told Sportsmail: 'We are making inquiries to identify the offender and deal with him appropriately.'

The incident was one of several similar 'attacks' over the weekend.

On Saturday, Blackburn Rovers' controversial owners were pelted by fans when they made a rare appearance at Ewood Park.

Jitendra Desai, husband of owner Anuradha, was hit in the face as the Venky's group got out of their limos at the entrance to Ewood Park before the defeat by Charlton Athletic, new manager Michael Appleton's first game in charge.

Peterborough 0 Norwich 3: Snodgrass rounds off comfortable victory for Canaries

Peterborough 0 Norwich 3: Snodgrass rounds off comfortable victory for Canaries

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 5 January 2013

Norwich returned to winning ways after four Premier League straight defeats by easily brushing aside Championship strugglers Peterborough at London Road.

Elliott Bennett opened the scoring after half an hour and Simeon Jackson doubled the lead just before half-time.

Robert Snodgrass picked up a perfectly weighted ball from Bennett to slide home the third late into the second half.

Snodgrass passes in Norwich's third to round off a comfortable display

Placement: Robert Snodgrass passes in Norwich's third to round off a easy win

Match facts

Peterborough: Olejnik, Alcock (Gordon-Hutton 34), Brisley, Knight-Percival (Ajose 46), Little, Ferdinand, Bostwick, Newell, Rowe, Swanson (McCann 54), Boyd. Subs not used: Day, Clarke-Harris, Sage, Richens.

Booked: Bostwick, Brisley.

Norwich: Rudd, Martin, Barnett, Ryan Bennett, Tierney, Elliott Bennett, Fox, Johnson, Lappin, Snodgrass (Butterfield 72), Jackson. Subs not used: Steer, Pilkington, Garrido, Ward, Tettey, Kane.

Booked: Martin.

Goals: Elliot Bennett 30, Jackson 41, Snodgrass 70.

Attendance: 13,198.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Former Posh players Russell Martin, the Norwich captain, and Ryan Bennett kept their places in a Canaries side showing eight changes, while goalkeeper Declan Rudd was among those given a chance to impress by manager Chris Hughton.

The hosts were weakened by the absence of three key players, with Gaby Zakuani on African Nations Cup duty, in-form striker Dwight Gayle cup-tied and Gavin Tomlin suspended.

League clubs are thin on the ground in this part of the country so this was virtually a derby despite there being 65 miles between the two.

More than 5,000 Norwich fans made the trip and football special trains were brought back for the occasion.

Peterborough have not beaten a top-flight club since a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the fourth round in 1965, when they went on to reach the quarter-finals.

They began brightly, though, and Joe Newell may well have scored had Ryan Bennett not deflected his shot just past the post.

But Posh's dominance was short-lived and Snodgrass was the main player as Norwich began to get on top.

Elliott Bennett rattled in the first goal after half an hour

Opener: Elliott Bennett rattled in the first goal after half an hour

Johnson is hauled back by Nicky Ajose as he looks to roam through the midfield

Foul: Bradley Johnson is hauled back by Nicky Ajose as he looks to roam through the midfield

He did brilliantly to get his head to
an overhit cross by Elliott Bennett in the 12th minute and Bobby
Olejnik was at full strength to prevent the ball reaching Jackson.

Michael Bostwick was soon in the book
for a challenge on Jackson, while Olejnik did well to push a fizzing
shot from Elliott Bennett over the bar.

The hosts' resistance was broken in
the 30th minute, though, with Snodgrass jinking into the area and
setting up Elliott Bennett, who poked his shot into the bottom corner.

Delia Smith at Peterborough v Norwich

Jake Humphrey at Peterborough v Norwich

Famous faces: Delia Smith and Jake Humphrey enjoy their day out watching Norwich

Posh manager Darren Ferguson made a
tactical change, bringing on 17-year-old Jaanai Gordon for Craig Alcock
and going to five at the back, but in the 41st minute they conceded
again.

A long ball from David Fox caught out the home defence and Jackson took his chance expertly with a cool lob over Olejnik.

And it would have been 3-0 at half-time but for the keeper, who stuck out a hand to divert Snodgrass' free-kick over the bar.

Ferguson made another change at
half-time, sending on Nicky Ajose for Nathaniel Knight-Percival, but the
pattern remained the same and Snodgrass was frustrated he could only
find the side netting when most of the visiting fans thought he had
scored.

Grant McCann replaced Danny Swanson
in Peterborough's final change, and their fans tried to inspire a
comeback, but it was largely one-way traffic.

Peterborough's Newell is quickly closed down by the Norwich defence

Rare shot: Peterborough's Joe Newell is quickly closed down by the Norwich defence

The most likely scenario appeared to
be a third for Norwich, and Bradley Johnson came close but his 25-yarder
was just wide while Jackson's header from a corner was blocked.

There were belated signs of
improvement from Posh midway through the half but the game was all over
in the 70th minute as Norwich broke away, Elliott Bennett fed Snodgrass
and he calmly beat Olejnik.

The midfielder was replaced moments
later by Jacob Butterfield, his afternoon's work done, and, although
Posh kept pushing, it was only for a consolation goal.

They almost got it with three minutes
to go after Martin had been booked for a foul on Tommy Rowe but Bostwick
could only poke McCann's free-kick into Rudd's arms – the keeper's
first save of the match.

Tierney clears the ball away from the dangerous George Boyd

High foot: Marc Tierney clears the ball away from the dangerous George Boyd

Fuming Peterborough manger Darren Ferguson apologised to his side's fans after the humiliating defeat.

He said: 'We've got our largest crowd of the season and I have to apologise to my own supporters for that performance because we're at home in a cup game which my players, for whatever reason, turned into a pre-season game.

'I'm quite glad it's taken me a while to talk to the press, and I haven't had a meeting with the players yet, because sometimes you can say things you might end up regretting.

'It was a shocking performance. If you've got your first proper tackle after 65 minutes in a cup tie then you're going to lose.

'I can accept people playing badly but the most disappointing thing for me was Norwich looked like they wanted it more, and they were the ones that made a lot of changes.

'I know what I'm going to say to the players. They'll expect me to pick them up again and perhaps they're starting to take that for granted.'

Barry Ferguson was bemused by the attitude of his players

Annoyed: Barry Ferguson was bemused by the attitude of his players

Posh were hampered by the loss of three key men in Gaby Zakuani, Lee Tomlin and Dwight Gayle but Ferguson insisted that was no excuse and called for a reaction in next weekend's home clash with Nottingham Forest.

'When you go on a good run and then you've got a cup match and it's a home tie, you think it could be another step towards improving in the season,' he said.

'Now we've seen what we've seen today, and it's the easiest game Norwich will have all season. All of a sudden you're back on the back foot, and you've got to go to a hard game like Forest.

'I gave my players two days off so there's no excuses whatsoever. I'm as frustrated as I've been for a while because I didn't see that performance coming.

'They've definitely let the fans down but I think the players have let me down today and they're going to have to give me a response, simple as that.'

Gordon-Hutton tries to get Peterborough on the scoresheet

Stretching: Jaanai Gordon-Hutton tries to get Peterborough on the scoresheet

Norwich manager Chris Hughton hailed
the attitude of his players, with Declan Rudd's only save coming in the
final minutes of the match.

He
said: 'Our approach to the game was very good, very professional from
the first minute, but of course you need to score goals to give yourself
a bit more of a comfortable time.

'I
think probably the pivotal time was at half-time because if they get a
goal back then it could be a tough afternoon but I thought we were very
professional from first to last minute.'

Snodgrass,
one of only three players retained from the loss to West Ham, was the
star of the show, setting up the first goal before applying a clinical
finish to a second-half break.

Hughton
added: 'He's a good player. I made the decision to make some changes.
Robert's one that I know can play games, he's a fit lad. I think he just
showed the form that he's been showing for us.

'He's
been playing consistently and has been adding some goals to his game
and assists. But I thought he was part of a really good all-round team
performance today.'

Rafa Benitez savours Juan Mata masterclass after Chelsea midfielder shoots down Norwich

Benitez savours Mata masterclass after Chelsea midfielder shoots down Norwich

|

UPDATED:

18:36 GMT, 26 December 2012

Chelsea interim manager Rafael
Benitez hailed Juan Mata as one of the best players in the Barclays
Premier League after the Spaniard struck the winner in a 1-0 victory at
Norwich.

Despite not hitting the heights of
the 8-0 thrashing dished out to Aston Villa on Sunday, Chelsea were the
better side in a game that lacked any sustained quality.

Beauty: Mata broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time with a long-range effort

Beauty: Mata broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time with a long-range effort

Delight: Mata celebrates his goal with Ashley Cole

Delight: Mata celebrates his goal with Ashley Cole

Match facts

Norwich:
Bunn, Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson (Howson 82), Pilkington (Morison
78), Hoolahan (Elliott Bennett 88), Holt.

Subs Not Used: Rudd, Jackson, Barnett, Ryan
Bennett.

Booked: Johnson.

Chelsea:
Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Mikel (Lampard 73), Luiz, Moses (Hazard
78), Oscar, Mata (Ake 90), Torres.

Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Piazon.

Booked: Hazard.

Goal: Mata 38.

Att: 26,831

Ref: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

Latest Premier League table and results

Mata struck from 25 yards in the 38th minute to settle the match and condemn Norwich to a second defeat in four days, with the Canaries failing to truly test Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech over the course of the game.

The win moves the Blues to within four points of Manchester City in the Premier League table and Benitez was full of praise for his compatriot.

'He is playing really well,' he said.

'Even without the ball he is working hard but when we are in possession he is making the difference, I always say the same; if the team are playing well these players can make the difference.

'I think the Premier League has a lot of good players and Mata is one of the best for sure – he can be even better.

'Mata is a player who is dangerous – inside the box and outside the box, we are really pleased with him.

'The team has won three games in a row since Japan…against Man United and Arsenal they (Norwich) have won so we knew it could be tough, I'm pleased for the team and pleased for Juan.'

Star man: The gifted Spaniard scored the only goal in a game of little quality

Star man: The gifted Spaniard scored the only goal in a game of little quality

Closing the gap: Chelsea moved closer to Manchester City, who lost to Sunderland

Closing the gap: Chelsea moved closer to Manchester City, who lost to Sunderland

Benitez left Frank Lampard on the bench for the trip to Norfolk amid speculation he will leave Stamford Bridge next summer.

But the former Liverpool boss was bullish about the future of Lampard and fellow England star Ashley Cole.

'From my position it is very easy, it is a private conversation between
Frank and the club and that is it. He is a good player and I would like
to bring the best from him, that is my position.

'I don't know if Ashley has had the conversations or not but, for me, they are players under contract, good players.

'After being injured like he (Lampard) was, we needed fresh legs and we have to manage the squad,' he said

'We can't play so many game with the same players so we have to manage and everyone is important.'

Resilient: Chelsea kept another clean sheet under Rafael Benitez

Resilient: Chelsea kept another clean sheet under Rafael Benitez

On a roll: Chelsea have won their last three games since returning from the Club World Cup in Japan

On a roll: Chelsea have won their last three games since returning from the Club World Cup in Japan

Norwich 0 Chelsea 1: Juan Mata scores winner at Carrow Road

Norwich 0 Chelsea 1: Mata strike sees off Canaries for third straight win

PUBLISHED:

16:58 GMT, 26 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 26 December 2012

Juan Mata's first-half strike was enough to secure all three points for Chelsea as they beat Norwich in a game of little quality at Carrow Road.

The win moves the Blues to within four points of second-placed Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League table but it was only a fantastic effort seven minutes from half-time that separated the two sides.

Mata, who scored his sixth goal in eight games with aplomb, also missed a good opportunity with the scoreline 0-0 while Norwich had decent spells of possession but were too blunted in attack to ever truly test Petr Cech.

Beauty: Mata broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time with a long-range effort

Beauty: Mata broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time with a long-range effort

Delight: Mata celebrates his goal with Ashley Cole

Delight: Mata celebrates his goal with Ashley Cole

Match facts

Norwich:
Bunn, Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson (Howson 82), Pilkington (Morison
78), Hoolahan (Elliott Bennett 88), Holt.

Subs Not Used: Rudd, Jackson, Barnett, Ryan
Bennett.

Booked: Johnson.

Chelsea:
Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Mikel (Lampard 73), Luiz, Moses (Hazard
78), Oscar, Mata (Ake 90), Torres.

Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Piazon.

Booked: Hazard.

Goal: Mata 38.

Att: 26,831

Ref: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

Latest Premier League table and results

Neither side dominated the opening 15
minutes, which saw both Rafael Benitez and Chris Hughton emerge from
their respective dugouts and bark orders from the touchline.

Norwich conceded possession a little
too readily in Chelsea's half during the early exchanges but the
Canaries were not punished by the visitors.

Chelsea only had two long-rang
efforts from David Luiz in the opening 25 minutes and both were fired
high and wide by the Brazilian.

The hosts were happy to let Chelsea
have possession around the halfway line with only captain Grant Holt,
recalled following a hamstring problem, remaining upfield for Hughton's
side.

Chelsea were almost ahead after 30
minutes as Luiz robbed Wes Hoolahan of the ball before picking out Mata,
who shot into the side-netting when well placed.

Luiz was involved again moments later
as he squared the ball on the edge of the box to John Obi Mikel, whose
thundering drive rose just over Mark Bunn's crossbar.

The sustained spell of Chelsea
pressure eventually paid off and it was Mata who opened the goalscoring
in style. The Spain international cut in from the left before letting
fly with an effort from 25 yards that flew past Bunn.

Star man: The gifted Spaniard scored the only goal in a game of little quality

Star man: The gifted Spaniard scored the only goal in a game of little quality

Closing the gap: Chelsea moved closer to Manchester City, who lost to Sunderland

Closing the gap: Chelsea moved closer to Manchester City, who lost to Sunderland

Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington was
enjoying a battle with Cesar Azpilicueta and got the better of the
full-back on a number of occasions throughout the opening period.

The former Huddersfield man again
wriggled free of Azpilicueta just before the break but his cross into
the box was calmly dealt with by Ashley Cole as Chelsea held on to their
lead going into the interval.

A near-post corner at the start of
the second half almost doubled Chelsea's advantage as Oscar's set-piece
evaded everyone before Bunn reacted well to push the ball wide.

Resilient: Chelsea kept another clean sheet under Rafael Benitez

Resilient: Chelsea kept another clean sheet under Rafael Benitez

On a roll: Chelsea have won their last three games since returning from the Club World Cup in Japan

On a roll: Chelsea have won their last three games since returning from the Club World Cup in Japan

The Norwich goalkeeper was called
into action again a couple of minutes later as Azpilicueta's low cross
reached Victor Moses at the far post and the former Wigan winger forced
another smart save from Bunn.

Mata then tried to catch Bunn out
with a quickly-taken free-kick but was too far out to send the ball past
the ex-Blackburn stopper.

The weather conditions worsened during the second half and Norwich started to enjoy more of the ball in attacking positions.

Tight: There was no repeat of Chelsea's 8-0 win at the weekend as they edged past Norwich

Tight: There was no repeat of Chelsea's 8-0 win at the weekend as they edged past Norwich

Physical: It was a hard-fought encounter on Boxing Day at Carrow Road

Physical: It was a hard-fought encounter on Boxing Day at Carrow Road

They could still not force Chelsea
stand-in skipper Cech into a meaningful save but the movement of
Hoolahan and Holt started to cause problems.

Fernando Torres was struggling to get
involved in the game for Chelsea with Norwich defensive duo Sebastien
Bassong and Michael Turner handling him well.

It was Moses who again came close for
the visitors after Russell Martin missed a headed clearance and the
ball fell to the feet of the Nigeria international who fired a shot wide
of the post.

The travelling Chelsea contingent had
been singing the name of Frank Lampard for the majority of the game and
Benitez introduced the 34-year-old with 17 minutes remaining.

Blank: Fernando Torres wasn't on the score-sheet despite his recent form

Blank: Fernando Torres wasn't on the score-sheet despite his recent form

Looking up: Rafa endured a tough start at Stamford Bridge but the Blues have won their last three league matches

Looking up: Rafa endured a tough start at Stamford Bridge but the Blues have won their last three league matches

Hughton gambled with a little over 10
minutes left on the clock as he brought on a second striker in Steve
Morison, with Pilkington making way.

The change did not have the desired effect as Norwich still could not muster any clearcut chances to take a point from the game.

Chelsea substitute Eden Hazard forced
another decent save from Bunn with only a couple of minutes remaining
after being found by a deft flick from Torres, before receiving a
caution moments later for a cynical clip of Martin's heels as the
Norwich full-back looked to counter.

The resulting free-kick was almost hooked into his own goal by Cole before Bassong headed the corner over Cech's bar.

Chelsea then managed to see out a shaky last few moments to secure a valuable win.

Hull 2 Huddersfield 0 match report

Hull 2 Huddersfield 0: Bruce keeps Tigers flying high with comfortable victory

|

UPDATED:

00:23 GMT, 16 December 2012

Hull manager Steve Bruce is determined to get justice for his son Alex after his side’s win over Huddersfield ended in controversy.

The defender was sent off after the full-time whistle when he shoved Huddersfield striker Alan Lee in retaliation for an off-the-ball incident, and a melee ensued on the pitch and in the tunnel.

Bruce senior is determined the right person is punished, though, and took a DVD of the incident into the post-match press conference to show reporters footage of Lee aiming a forearm smash into the face of his son. ‘We are appealing his red, you can understand why,’

Party time: Hull celebrate taking the lead against Huddersfield

Party time: Hull celebrate taking the lead against Huddersfield

Match facts

Hull: Stockdale, Elmohamady, Chester, Hobbs, Bruce, Brady (Rosenior 81), Evans (Cairney 63), Meyler, Koren (Faye 90), Quinn, Simpson.

Subs Not Used: Jakupovic, Mclean, Olofinjana, Proschwitz.

Booked: Quinn, Meyler.

Goals: Koren 8,Meyler 90.

Huddersfield: Smithies,Hunt,Peter Clarke,Gerrard,Lynch,Clayton,
Norwood (Lee 70),Southern,Ward (Atkinson 60), Novak (Beckford 60),Vaughan.

Subs Not Used: Bennett, Woods, Hammill, Wallace.

Booked: Southern.

Att: 16,488

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

The latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Bruce said. ‘I knew there must have been something in it for him to react like that. I thought it was cowardly by Alan Lee.

‘I thought more of him, I have had a pint of Guinness with him, I have played his guitar and I thought more of him.

‘Cheat is the right word for him. I
don’t use that lightly but that’s the right word for him. He’s
15-and-a-half stone and he went down like that.

‘That has ruined the day. We had the best referee in the country in Howard Webb and I have spoken to him.

'He will report it and hopefully there
is some justice. Alex is wrong with his retaliation, but he only pushes
him in the chest. He’s my son, but he takes after his mother.’

Before the incident, Hull had cruised
to a third straight win thanks to Robert Koren’s eighth-minute goal and
an injury-time second from David Meyler, though the win could have been
more convincing.

Bruce added: ‘It was an excellent
performance and we were the better team by a million miles. Our only
achilles heel is the conversion of chances we create.’

Huddersfield boss Simon Grayson
admitted Lee deserves punishing if found to have done something wrong.
He said: ‘I didn’t see what Alan has done, but if he has done something
he will probably get punished.

‘I don’t know what will happen, but he
deserves punishing if he’s shown to have done something. It was a
stupid way to end the game from both sets of players.’

The defeat represents a sixth game in a
row without a win for Huddersfield and they rarely looked like scoring,
despite having plenty of possession.

Grayson added: ‘It is disappointing
because we did a lot of work on trying to match Hull and the way they
played, and inside eight minutes we were a goal down to something that
we had worked to prevent.

‘We tried to change formation and get
something out of the game, but i t was disappointing that we didn’t
create too many opportunities and when you look back Hull goalkeeper
David Stockdale has not had too much to do.

‘It will take hard work to get out of this run. We will just have to work hard on the training pitch.’

Huddersfield 2 Bolton 2: James Vaughan grabs late equaliser

Huddersfield 2 Bolton 2: Vaughan puts Terriers back on track as Wanderers rue missed chances

PUBLISHED:

17:52 GMT, 8 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:52 GMT, 8 December 2012

James Vaughan marked his return from injury with a late equaliser as Huddersfield denied Bolton a return to winning ways with a 2-2 draw at the John Smith's Stadium.

The striker, making his first start in eight games following a thigh problem, struck in the 87th minute to help the Terriers avoid a third successive defeat.

After Mark Davies had cancelled out Zat Knight's first-half own goal, Eagles wasted the chance to put his side in front when his 74th-minute penalty was saved by Alex Smithies.

Last-gasp: James Vaughan fires the equaliser for Huddersfield

Last-gasp: James Vaughan fires the equaliser for Huddersfield

Match facts

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon, Clayton, Atkinson (Ward 80), Norwood, Novak (Lee 80), Church (Scannell 75), Vaughan. Subs Not Used: Bennett, Woods, Wallace, Arfield.

Yellow cards: Gerrard, Novak, Vaughan, Dixon, Clayton.

Scorers: Knight 9 og,Vaughan 87.

Bolton: Bogdan, Mills (Ream 85), Knight, Ricketts, Warnock, Spearing, Andrews, Eagles, Mark Davies, Lee, Kevin Davies. Subs Not Used: Lonergan, Ngog, Petrov, Afobe, Pratley, Butterfield.

Yellow cards: Bogdan.

Scorers: Mark Davies 70, Eagles 80.

Att: 16,372

Ref: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).

The latest Championship table, results and fixtures

However, the in-form winger looked to have given Bolton, who lost to struggling Ipswich last weekend, the three points six minutes later before Vaughan's late leveller.

Adam Clayton tried his luck from distance early on, but Adam Bogdan was equal to the former Leeds midfielder's 30-yard effort.

The Trotters responded and dangerman Eagles pulled the ball back only for Keith Andrews to scuff a shot into the hands of Smithies, who then had to keep out an Eagles 25-yard drive after Peter Clarke gave away possession.

But it was the hosts who went ahead in the ninth minute when Anthony Gerrard headed Oliver Norwood's corner goalwards and the ball went in off visiting defender Knight.

Bolton almost levelled up three minutes later when Andrews fired narrowly over after Mark Davies saw his effort blocked.

However, Town were unfortunate not to double their advantage when Clayton's shot was parried by Bogdan and Lee Novak hit the rebound against the crossbar.

Huddersfield had to be alert at the back to clear a Sam Ricketts header, while at the other end Chris Atkinson sliced a half-volley over the top from 25 yards.

Town finished the half strongly, with Norwood curling a free-kick from the edge of the area just wide before Bogdan had to backtrack quickly to tip over Jack Hunt's teasing cross.

Bolton came out firing in the second half and Knight almost made up for his earlier error but his header was off target, before Lee Chung-yong shot narrowly wide from an acute angle.

Out in front: Chris Eagles (centre) celebrates his goal for Bolton

Out in front: Chris Eagles (centre) celebrates his goal for Bolton

In the 52nd minute, referee Eddie Ilderton waved away Bolton's appeals for a penalty when Kevin Davies was bundled over in the box.

Kevin Davies was then played in by Lee, although the former England striker's shot whistled past the post.

Bolton's pressure told in the 69th minute when Mark Davies picked up a pass from Eagles and side-footed home from 12 yards.

Eagles missed a glorious opportunity to put his side into the lead five minutes later as his penalty was tipped onto the post by Smithies after Paul Dixon fouled Ricketts in the area.

However, the former Manchester United winger made amends shortly afterwards when he found the net from 12 yards.

But Vaughan secured a point for Simon Grayson's outfit three minutes from time, shooting into the bottom corner.

Norwich 2 Sunderland 1: Match report

Norwich 2 Sunderland 1: Canaries flying high after escaping Black Cats' claws

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UPDATED:

18:35 GMT, 2 December 2012

Norwich survived a second-half onslaught from Sunderland to secure their fourth straight home Barclays Premier League win and condemn the Black Cats to yet another defeat.

A second goal in eight days from former Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong and a smart finish from Anthony Pilkington gave the home side a well-deserved two-goal lead.

But Craig Gardner pulled one back just before the break for Sunderland, who then wasted numerous chances in a second half they dominated without managing to secure a much-needed result.

Doubling up: Anthony Pilkington makes it 2-0 to Norwich in the first half

Doubling up: Anthony Pilkington makes it 2-0 to Norwich in the first half

Match Facts:

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Bassong, Ryan Bennett, Garrido, Snodgrass (Elliott Bennett 77), Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan (Howson 88), Holt.

Subs Not Used: Rudd, Martin, Jackson, Morison, Barnett.

Goals: Bassong 8, Pilkington 37.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Rose, Johnson, Gardner, Larsson (Vaughan 90), McClean (Campbell 85), Sessegnon, Fletcher (Wickham 46).

Subs Not Used: Westwood, McFadden, Colback, Bramble.

Booked: Kilgallon, Bardsley.

Goal: Gardner 44

Attendance: 26,228

Referee: Phil Dowd

The win moves the Canaries up to 12th
in the table, with Sunderland still only one place and one point above
the relegation zone.

The hosts dominated the opening
exchanges and looked much sharper in possession, with Sunderland
defender Matthew Kilgallon cautioned by referee Phil Dowd after just
three minutes for tugging at Norwich skipper Grant Holt as he turned
past him.

Another free-kick conceded five
minutes later led to the opening goal as Robert Snodgrass' set-piece was
flicked on by Bradley Johnson, the ball taking a deflection off the arm
of Carlos Cuellar before being bundled home from close range by
Bassong, with the borderline offside decision going in Norwich's favour.

Sunderland finally tested Mark Bunn
in the 28th minute as Sebastian Larsson pulled a corner back to the edge
of the box to Danny Rose, who fired in a low effort that the Norwich
goalkeeper did well to keep hold of. The game became a little scrappy as
the half progressed but the Canaries would double their lead eight
minutes before the break.

Bradley Johnson played a through ball
into the run of Pilkington, who was played onside by Kilgallon, and the
winger ran through on goal before rounding Cuellar and coolly slotting
past Simon Mignolet.

From distance: Pilkington sees his effort fly in

From distance: Pilkington sees his effort fly in

With just one minute remaining before half-time, Sunderland hauled themselves back into the game.
Adam Johnson skipped down the left flank and pulled the ball across to
Gardner who arrowed a low effort past Bunn, although the former
Blackburn goalkeeper may feel he could have kept it out.

Gardner's effort was the first goal
Norwich had conceded in the league at home since Liverpool's 5-2 victory
at Carrow Road at the end of September and it meant the Black Cats went
in at the break with renewed vigour ahead of the second period.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill
introduced striker Connor Wickham at half-time with Steven Fletcher
making way and the visitors started the second half brightly, with only a
clearance from Ryan Bennett stopping Wickham from tapping home to make
an immediate impact.

Going ahead: Sebastien Bassong scored an early header for Norwich

Going ahead: Sebastien Bassong scored an early header for Norwich

Where Norwich had looked calm and
assured in possession for the majority of the first half, Gardner's goal
seemed to knock them off their stride and they played a number of
lacklustre passes in the early stages of the second 45 minutes.

After weathering a Sunderland storm,
Chris Hughton's side started to reassert themselves on the game and only
a flying stop from Mignolet prevented Pilkington scoring his second
from just outside the box.

Back in the game: Craig Gardner celebrates scoring his side's goal

Back in the game: Craig Gardner celebrates scoring his side's goal

The heat is on: Sunderland manager Martin ONeill looks on as his side were beaten by Norwich

The heat is on: Sunderland manager Martin ONeill looks on as his side were beaten by Norwich

Sunderland should have been level
moments later as a rasping Gardner free-kick rattled the post and
Kilgallon turned the rebound over the bar from six yards out.

Bunn's goal continued to live a
charmed life as the goalkeeper's punched clearance from a Sunderland
corner fell straight to Gardner, whose effort was cleared off the line
by Javier Garrido.

Stephane Sessegnon was the next
Sunderland player to have a chance to level matters but he shot straight
at Bunn who had stayed on his feet.

Taking a fall: Connor Wickham goes to ground after a challenge from Bassong

Taking a fall: Connor Wickham goes to ground after a challenge from Bassong

Fight for the ball: Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon and Norwich City's Alexander Tettey battle

Fight for the ball: Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon and Norwich City's Alexander Tettey battle

The Benin international again came
close on 73 minutes when the Norwich defence allowed an innocuous ball
into their penalty area to bounce and Sessegnon's overhead kick flew
wide.
Wickham had the ball the back of the net with 13 minutes remaining after
Bunn spilled Rose's long-range effort, but the former Ipswich man was
flagged offside.

With his side still struggling to
contain the visitors Hughton introduced Elliott Bennett from the bench
in place of Snodgrass to offer more pace in attack.

Holding off: Wes Hoolahan fends off Matthew Kilgallon of Sunderland

Holding off: Wes Hoolahan fends off Matthew Kilgallon of Sunderland

Making a break: Ryan Bennett vies with Sunderland's Danny Rose

Making a break: Ryan Bennett vies with Sunderland's Danny Rose

Holt then had a great chance to
punish the profligacy of their visitors but a heavy touch after being
played through by Wes Hoolahan meant Mignolet could collect the loose
ball, before Elliott Bennett found Holt with a decent cross a minute
later only for the Canaries captain to blaze a difficult chance over the
bar.

O'Neill threw on Fraizer Campbell and
David Vaughan in the closing stages but Norwich held on to extend their
unbeaten league run to eight games and move six points ahead of
Sunderland in the table.

Southampton 1 Norwich 1: Mark Clattenburg returns, Rickie Lambert and Robert Snodgrass score

Southampton 1 Norwich 1: Clattenburg back with a clanger with Lambert on hand to take advantage

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UPDATED:

22:12 GMT, 28 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg probably hoped for a gentle re-introduction into Premier League refereeing. He did not get it.

Taking charge of a football match for the first-time since being wrongly accused of racially abusing John Mikel Obi, the official missed a crucial handball in the lead up to Southampton taking the lead, before being targeted with cries of 'you don't know what you're doing' and 'you're not fit to referee' from Saints supporters as Norwich fought their way back into this encounter.

It all started so well for Clattenburg, as he was given a standing ovation during his pre-match warm up. But little did he know how feelings towards him would change.

The main man: Rickie Lambert (left) put Southampton ahead

The main man: Rickie Lambert (left) put Southampton ahead

Match facts

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Lambert, Ramirez. Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Do Prado, Mayuka, Reeves.

Booked: Clyne.

Goal: Lambert 32.

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Ryan Bennett, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Johnson, Tettey, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Holt. Subs not used: Rudd, Martin, Howson, Jackson, Morison, Elliott Bennett, Barnett.

Goal: Snodgrass 45.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.

Attendance: 29,325.

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How the referee would fare on his
return to frontline action would have been the last thing on the minds
the two managers, Nigel Adkins of Southampton and Norwich’s Chris
Hughton. Both sides went into the game in promising form.

Since emerging victorious from ‘El
Sackico’ against Queens Park Rangers 12 days ago, Southampton swept
Newcastle aside on Sunday to keep Adkins in a job — for now.

Likewise, Norwich have gone seven games unbeaten — a run that has included wins over Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham.

Hughton’s glee was tempered somewhat
before kick-off with the news that first-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy
will miss at least three months as he prepares to have surgery on a
thigh problem.

Norwich created the first
opportunity, goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga producing an excellent save to
stop Anthony Pilkington’s effort in the fifth minute.

Eight minutes later, Clattenburg made
his first major decision, waving away Southampton’s claims for a
penalty after Adam Lallana went down under pressure from Sebastien
Bassong.

Welcome return: Referee Mark Clattenburg took charge of his first game since the Chelsea race row

Welcome return: Referee Mark Clattenburg took charge of his first game since his Chelsea race row hell

Welcome return: Mark Clattenburg was given a standing ovation at St Mary's before officiating his first game since the Chelsea race storm

Welcome return: Mark Clattenburg was given a standing ovation at St Mary's before officiating his first game since the Chelsea race storm

The centre of attention: Clattenburg keeps Alex Tettey and Morgan Schneiderlin apart

The centre of attention: Clattenburg keeps Alex Tettey and Morgan Schneiderlin apart

The Saints skipper then went within
inches of putting his side ahead with a spectacular volley when his
sweet strike from Lambert’s arrowing pass flew just over Mark Bunn’s
bar.

But the home side only had to wait
seven more minutes to take the lead — but it came in controversial
circumstances, with Clattenburg at the centre of it.

Lallana swung in a
free-kick from the left, Grant Holt made a hash of his attempted
defensive header before the ball clearly hit Lambert on the arm.

On target: Rickie Lambert pokes past Mark Bunn to give Saints the lead

On target: Rickie Lambert pokes past Mark Bunn to give Saints the lead

On target: Rickie Lambert makes no mistake, converting from inside the six yard box

On target: Rickie Lambert makes no mistake, converting from inside the six yard box

Bright start: Rickie Lambert's sixth of the season first Saints ahead

Bright start: Rickie Lambert's sixth of the season first Saints ahead

However, Clattenburg ignored
Norwich’s appeal for handball before Lambert took advantage of the
uncertainty to prod home from close range.

Gaston Ramirez went close to doubling the home side’s lead with curling free-kick that flew narrowly wide of Bunn’s far post.

Massive clanger: Saints keeper Paulo Gazzaniga allowed Robert Snodgrass' free-kick to slip through his hands just before the break

Massive clanger: Saints keeper Paulo Gazzaniga allowed Robert Snodgrass' free-kick to slip through his hands just before the break

Pure delight: Robert Snodgrass looks stunned after Paulo Gazzaniga's howler let Norwich back into the game

Pure delight: Robert Snodgrass looks stunned after Paulo Gazzaniga's howler let Norwich back into the game

But on the stroke of half-time,
Norwich dragged themselves level, thanks in part to Clattenburg. The
referee awarded Hughton’s side a free-kick on the edge of the area for
Nathaniel Clyne’s challenge on Snodgrass — and the Norwich midfielder
struck a shot that somehow went through Gazzaniga and into the back of
the net.

Clattenburg was treated to
renditions of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’, from home supporters,
who had grown frustrated at the number of decisions that had gone
Norwich’s way.

Tough to stop: Adam Lallana skips past Bradley Johnson to launch another Saints attack

Tough to stop: Adam Lallana skips past Bradley Johnson to launch another Saints attack

Clyne made a superb tackle to deny
Pilkington in the 60th minute as Norwich started the second half with
renewed vigour, before Gazzaniga made up for his first-half error with a
brilliant save from Holt header.

Jason Puncheon then saw his low
powerful drive well saved by Bunn as Southampton were denied the win
that would have lifted them out of the bottom three.

Middlesbrough 3 Huddersfield 0 – match report: Scott McDonald hits double

Middlesbrough 3 Huddersfield 0: McDonald double gets Boro back to winning ways

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UPDATED:

22:31 GMT, 27 November 2012

Scott McDonald's brace helped Middlesbrough recover from back-to-back defeats as they recorded a convincing win over an out-of-sorts Huddersfield.

Boro's impressive start to the campaign had hit a snag when they suffered successive losses to Cardiff and Bristol City, but they got back to winning ways in front of nearly 22,000 at the Riverside this evening.

With Marvin Emnes and Ishmael Miller both on the bench, McDonald repaid manager Tony Mowbray's faith in starting him by stabbing home the opener.

At the double: Scott McDonald (right) hit two goals as Middlesbrough beat Huddersfield

At the double: Scott McDonald (right) hit two goals as Middlesbrough beat Huddersfield

MATCH FACTS

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday (Parnaby 90), Ledesma (Zemmama 87), Bailey, McEachran, Smallwood, McDonald, Jutkiewicz (Miller 87).

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Luke Williams.

Booked: Hoyte.

Goals: McDonald 28, Ledesma 66, McDonald 85.

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Lynch, Peter Clarke, Dixon, Ward, Norwood (Atkinson 54), Arfield, Robinson (Hammill 54), Church, Novak (Lee 68).

Subs Not Used: Bennett, Woods, Gerrard, Wallace.

Att: 21,850

Ref: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).

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Only the crossbar denied the hosts a
second before the break as Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies pushed
Peter Clarke's hacked clearance on to the woodwork.

Lukas Jutkiewicz and McDonald
continued to cause the visitors' back four problems but it was Emmanuel
Ledesma who got the second goal with a dipping free-kick just after the
hour mark.

McDonald then fired in his second of
the evening, Jutkiewicz once again grabbing the assist, to extend
Huddersfield's winless streak to three games.

Both sides made changes from their weekend XIs and it was Huddersfield who were the more impressive starters.

After a couple of speculative efforts
went wide, Jack Hunt's mazy run culminated in a vicious left-foot strike
which just whistled over the top of the crossbar.

There was plenty of frustration for
the home side early on as Josh McEachran and Ledesma failed to coax out
their creative sides.

That all changed 28 minutes in, though, as McDonald turned in Jutkiewicz's centre for the opener.

Justin Hoyte burst into the box from
his right-back berth and rolled the ball to Jutkiewicz, who in turn
fired across goal where McDonald produced one of his predatory finishes.

You beauty: Emmanuel Ledesma (second right) scores the second goal for Boro from a free kick

You beauty: Emmanuel Ledesma (second right) scores the second goal for Boro from a free kick

Terriers captain Clarke then had his goalkeeper Smithies to thank just before the break as he spared the centre-back's blushes.

Jutkiewicz kept his head down when
embarking on a run and was oblivious to the fact nobody in a red shirt
was near his cut across, yet Clarke sliced his clearance towards goal
and Smithies had to palm the ball on to the crossbar.

Smithies' opposite number Jason Steele
also had to be alert to ensure Scott Arfield's dipping effort did not
drop under his crossbar.

McDonald and Jutkiewicz almost
combined to devastating effect once more minutes after the break but the
latter dallied when the chance materialised, allowing Smithies to
narrow the gap and make the save.

Manager Simon Grayson waited less than
10 minutes after the interval to make alterations for the visitors,
introducing Adam Hammill and Chris Atkinson.

It did not prevent Boro's front two
from threatening their goal once more, however, as Jutkiewicz displayed
great strength to turn away from two men before teeing up McDonald, who
smashed an effort narrowly wide.

The hosts did not have to wait much longer to double their advantage as Ledesma curled in a magical 25-yard free-kick.

The Argentinian earned the set piece
himself, when he cajoled Paul Dixon into tripping him, and his curling
effort dipped so low that Smithies could only push it into the roof of
his net.

Jutkiewicz forced Smithies into a good
save before he once more assumed his role as the provider for McDonald
five minutes from time.

The visitors wanted play stopped with
Hunt down on the ground injured but Boro continued unabated and
Jutkiewicz's cushioned header down was drilled home by McDonald to wrap
up the points.