Tag Archives: blackburn

Wigan v Millwall FA Cup semi-final open to neutral spectators following poor ticket sales from Premier League side

Wembley woe for Wigan as FA open neutral section after Latics fail to sell 10,000 tickets

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:06 GMT, 10 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 10 April 2013

Saturday's FA Cup semi-final between Millwall and Wigan at Wembley will be open to 'neutral' supporters following the Premier League team's struggle to sell tickets.

Wigan's ticket sales have so far not sold 10,000 of their 31,000 allocation for the last-four tie against the Championship side and the FA have intervened by opening a mixed zone for spectators.

Both teams were given just over 31,000 tickets and Millwall – who are, of course, based in London – are expected to sell their full quota.

Poor sales: The FA have opened a neutral section for this weekend's semi-final between Millwall and Wigan

Poor sales: The FA have opened a neutral section for this weekend's semi-final between Millwall and Wigan

But Wigan's Wembley woe is not exactly unexpected. Roberto Martinez's men rarely sell out home matches and the average attendance for Premier League games at the DW Stadium this season is just shy of 19,000.

Perhaps more of a surprise is that Millwall, who only had around 9,000 at their home game against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, have managed to shift nearly 31,000 tickets.

The FA have now made a maximum of 6,000 seats, from what was due to be Wigan's allocation, available to neutrals.

Even so, Wembley is still expected to be far from full on Saturday with officials estimating around 15,000 empty seat.

Sunday's more glamorous semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea is expected to sell out, though.

Wigan qualified for their first ever FA Cup semi-final thanks to a surprising 3-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park.

Millwall,
meanwhile, advanced to the last four after Danny Shittu's header saw
off Blackburn in their quarter-final replay at Ewood Park.

Cruise: Wigan set up their first ever FA Cup semi-final after a 3-0 win at Goodison Park in the last round

Cruise: Wigan set up their first ever FA Cup semi-final after a 3-0 win at Goodison Park in the last round

Heading for Wembley: Danny Shittu scored the only goal as Millwall beat Blackburn in their quarter-final replay

Heading for Wembley: Danny Shittu scored the only goal as Millwall beat Blackburn in their quarter-final replay

Kevin Davies to be released by Bolton after a decade at the Reebok

'Shocked' Bolton legend Davies to be released after a decade at the Reebok (and the club told him on his birthday!)

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:58 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 27 March 2013

Kevin Davies has been left shocked and hurt after discovering he is being released by Bolton at the end of the season.

The former England striker, who turned 36 on Tuesday, is out of contract in the summer and he has been told he will not be offered an extension by the Championship side.

Davies, who has made more 400 appearances and scored 84 goals during a 10-year spell at Bolton, admits he has been taken aback by the news as he had hoped to finish his career at the Reebok Stadium.

Finest hour: Kevin Davies scores for Bolton against Bayern Munich to secure an improbable 2-2 draw in the Allianz Arena in 2007

Finest hour: Kevin Davies scores for Bolton against Bayern Munich to secure an improbable 2-2 draw in the Allianz Arena in 2007

Davies celebrates

He told talkSPORT: 'It was a bit of a shock. I was shocked at the time and it's not quite sunk in yet, but these things happen.

'I've had clubs come in for me down the years but always turned them away because I've been so happy here. I always wanted to stay here and finish my career here, and hoped to go into a coaching role. That's maybe why it's shocked me so much.'

The former Blackburn and Southampton centre forward, who will look at the possibility of going out on loan in the next few days, insists he has no intention of hanging up his boots yet, however.

Aerial ultra: Davies scores with his head against Tottenham and (below) Chelsea

Aerial ultra: Davies scores with his head against Tottenham and (below) Chelsea

Kevin Davies scores against Chelsea

'I've had a few clubs come in for me so I'm not going to start panicking about retiring just yet. I want to carry on for at least a couple more years yet. It hurts right now, but hopefully by the end of this season I'll have a new challenge ahead of me,' he said.

Davies also revealed his contract runs out just before he is due a testimonial at Bolton, although the Bolton News report that the striker could still get one if he asks the club.

He said: 'It would have been nice to have one as a thank you for what I've done.

'I was aware when I signed [a new deal] last year it was running short, and the club said they might extend it for a week or two [to get to the testimonial] but I don't think that will happen.

Leading from the front: Davies's all-action style has made the Bolton captain a hero at the Reebok

Leading from the front: Davies's all-action style has made the Bolton captain a hero at the Reebok

Kevin Davies challenge

Yellow peril: Davies, here challenging Tom Cleverley, has been booked 99 times in the Premier League

Yellow peril: Davies, here challenging Tom Cleverley, has been booked 99 times in the Premier League

'Right now it's difficult for me to take but I need to keep my head up. It's going to be hard to try to keep involved, but I just have to try my best.'

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman told the club's official website: 'Kevin Davies is and always will be a Wanderers legend.

'I want to be fair to him as regards his future, as he deserves it. This decision means that he is now free to sort himself out with a new club in plenty of time for next season.'

International man of history: Davies became the second oldest player to make his England debut, against Montenegro in 2010 at the age of 33

International man of history: Davies became the second oldest player to make his England debut, against Montenegro in 2010 at the age of 33

Premier League dog football fans – Final 12 announced

One fan and his dog: Battle to be Britain's most devoted football fido hots up

By
Oliver Harbord

PUBLISHED:

15:38 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 25 March 2013

They say a dog is a man’s best friend, and he most certainly will be when one of the remaining 12 dogs in this competition manages to win their owner a season ticket to their favourite club.

Oh and it gets better for the modelling pooches, as they get the chance to grab a season ticket for themselves too!

In the UK’s first ever canine football supporter contest, sports website TVbet.co.uk launched a search to find the most devoted doggie in British football.

Hound Hammer: Miss Bear is a West Ham fan

Hound Hammer: Miss Bear is a West Ham fan

Well wrapped up: Lucy supports Norwich City

Well wrapped up: Lucy supports Norwich City

Loyal supporter: Jaeger is a fan of Bournemouth

Loyal supporter: Jaeger is a fan of Bournemouth

Great headgear: Louis, a Celtic fan

Great headgear: Louis, a Celtic fan

Loyal: Leo wears a Newcastle shirt

Loyal: Leo wears a Newcastle shirt

After hundreds of applicants, the competition has been whittled down to these 12 mutts, with the top prize being a season ticket for the winning dog and his owner.

A spokesman for Tvbet.co.uk said: 'We’ve been amazed at the number of entries. It seems that Britain’s dogs are all barking mad about football.'

Armchair fan: Lenny the Arsenal supporter

Armchair fan: Lenny the Arsenal supporter

If the shirt fits... Jeter supports Chelsea

If the shirt fits… Jeter supports Chelsea

Rover(s): Sasha follows Blackburn

Rover(s): Sasha follows Blackburn

Royal rover: Cassie supports Reading

Royal rover: Cassie supports Reading

Following up from Sportsmail’s article earlier this month, the contest has got tongues and tails wagging with some on social media channels suggesting that one of the dogs – Chelsea fan Max the mongrel – could have a shot at becoming Rafa Benitez’s replacement.

Others have also poked fun at their respective clubs, claiming that the dogs would be better on the pitch than their players.

Devoted: Max the mongrel is a Chelsea fan

Devoted: Max the mongrel is a Chelsea fan

Gooner: Ginny the Arsenal-supporting dog

Gooner: Ginny the Arsenal-supporting dog

No1 fan: Villa following Luna

No1 fan: Villa following Luna

With the decision on Britain’s favourite football pooch imminent and the competition into the knockout stages, the contestants will be chomping at the bit to get their paws on the prize.

Premier League team news for March 9-10

All the FA Cup and Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

08:54 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:12 GMT, 8 March 2013

Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Barclays Premier League team as it breaks ahead of another action-packed weekend.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Resistance: Heavy rain this winter will be no problem for the Maxim

SATURDAY

FA CUP

Everton v Wigan 12.45pm

Manchester City v Barnsley 5.30pm

PREMIER LEAGUE

Norwich v Southampton 3pm

QPR v Sunderland 3pm

Reading v Aston Villa 3pm

West Brom v Swansea 3pm

SUNDAY

FA CUP

Millwall v Blackburn 2pm

Manchester United v Chelsea 4.30pm

PREMIER LEAGUE

Newcastle v Stoke 3pm

Liverpool v Tottenham 4pm

FA Cup 2013: Giant-killings could end because of new FA Cup ball

FA Cup underdogs have been having a ball – but that could be about to change…

By
Simon Cass

PUBLISHED:

15:16 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:32 GMT, 18 February 2013

It is not just the balls that come out of the bag that those teams intent on FA Cup giant-killing will be concerned about.

Championship sides Blackburn, Millwall, Barnsley and Middlesbrough, along with League One Oldham, are all still dreaming of a trip to Wembley and a semi-final encounter with one of the Barclays Premier League big boys.

But with goalkeepers already having had to contend with an unpredictable Umbro FA Cup ball, those stoppers from further down the league now face the disadvantage of having to get used to the flight of the Nike Premier League ball from the final four of the competition onwards.

Cup Magic: But Colin Kazim-Richards' Blackburn Rovers, who knocked out Premier League Arsenal on Saturday, may have trouble with the Premier League ball, used in the FA Cup semi-finals onwards

Cup Magic: But Colin Kazim-Richards' Blackburn Rovers, who knocked out Premier League Arsenal on Saturday, may have trouble with the Premier League ball, used in the FA Cup semi-finals onwards

Unpredictable: Goalkeepers have had to get used to the ball for the earlier rounds, the Umbro Neo 2

Unpredictable: Goalkeepers have had to get used to the ball for the earlier rounds, the Umbro Neo 2

As part of the FA’s megabucks deal with Nike, from the semi-final of the Cup the ball used will be a de-branded version of the Maxim, which Premier League strikers have been lashing into the net all season and which top-flight keepers have been tipping around the post.

Having spent hours on the training ground trying to get to grips with the Umbro Neo 2 used so far in the competition, Football League keepers must now familiarise themselves with the Nike ball whose flight is second nature to the Premier League counterparts.

MK Dons goalkeeping coach, Paul Heald, who watched his keeper David Martin ship in three in Saturday’s defeat by Barnsley, explained: ‘We work all year with a certain match ball but for cup games we use Umbro balls which are totally different, move differently and have a different texture to them. Some people don’t realise that it is a big difference.

Knock-out: MK Dons keeper David Martin, left, conceded three goals in Saturday's cup loss to Barnsley

Knock-out: MK Dons keeper David Martin, left, conceded three goals in Saturday's cup loss to Barnsley

‘All the balls are made slightly
differently. The Premier League balls are different to the Football League
balls but the FA Cup balls just seem to travel quicker.

'They have got a
little bit more bounce and they shoot off the surface, especially on
wet surfaces, and move a lot sharper.

‘The
balls are different every year and the manufactures try and keep it
interesting. Even the way the leather is cut, the design is to make the
ball unpredictable.

'I take my hats off to young keepers. It is great for
the strikers and supporters but it is an absolute nightmare for
goalkeepers.’

All change: Any lower league side facing Robin van Persie in the semi-final will have to deal with the same ball, pictured above, that he has scored with 19 times in the Premier League this season

All change: Any lower league side facing Robin van Persie in the semi-final will have to deal with the same ball, pictured above, that he has scored with 19 times in the Premier League this season

There were
presumably plenty of sleepless nights for goalkeepers over the weekend
as 25 goals were scored in seven matches, suggesting the preparation on
the training pitch had not gone according to plan despite there being no
limit on how much you can practice with the ball.

Umbro’s technical specifications of their Neo 2 claim it features ‘just 14 panels to offer larger strike zones and a smoother, more accurate flight.’ Nike, by comparison, claim their Maxim’s Geo II Balanced technology ‘distributes pressure evenly for consistency and accuracy’ while it also features a ‘carbon-latex bladder for acceleration and superior air retention.’

But despite such space age technology, Heald certainly feels the advantage lies with the strikers in the modern game.

He said: ‘We have a laugh and a joke amongst keepers and say that outfield players, all they do is close their eyes, keep their head down, hit and hope and the ball does the rest.

'We say that all they do is swing the leg and hit the ball and the art is really in the goalkeeping.’

Arsenal"s Jack Wilshere was forced off with a thigh injury against Sunderland

Arsenal face anxious wait over Wilshere as England star hobbles off at Sunderland

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

16:42 GMT, 9 February 2013

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UPDATED:

09:54 GMT, 10 February 2013

Jack Wilshere was forced off during his Arsenal's 1-0 victory against Sunderland with a thigh injury after being bodychecked by Alfred N'Diaye.

There didn't seem to be a great deal
of contact from the new Sunderland signing, but it was enough for Wilshere to be replaced by Abou Diaby as Arsenal looked to keep hold of their lead.

Arsene Wenger was visibly furious with the physical nature of Sunderland's tackling, as his playmaker was left on the floor on more than one occasion.

After the match the Arsenal manager said that Wilshere 'can't walk properly now', but hopes he will only be out for around four or five days.

Down: Jack Wilshere was in distress when receiving treatment after the collision

Down: Jack Wilshere was in distress when receiving treatment after the collision

Furious: As Wilshere hobbled off, Arsene Wenger was irate with the referee

Furious: As Wilshere hobbled off, Arsene Wenger was irate with the referee

Laurent Koscielny, who was initially
named on the Arsenal teamsheet, had to be withdrawn just before kick-off
after limping out of the warm up with a calf injury.

He had passed a fitness test before
the game, but was unable to take to the pitch, meaning Bacary Sagna had
to play centre back and Carl Jenkinson came in at right back.

Arsenal were also made to play the last 30 minutes without Carl Jenkinson, who was sent off for two
yellow cards, the second being a silly lunge on Stephane Sessegnon.

He will be suspended for their FA Cup fifth-round clash against Blackburn on Saturday.

They
held on to pick up a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light after Santi
Cazorla had put the Gunners ahead in the first half with a low shot past
Simon Mignolet.

Fighting: Wilshere and N'Diaye go head to head for the ball

Fighting: Wilshere and N'Diaye go head to head for the ball

Smash: Bramble came in with a heavy tackle on the Arsenal midfielder

Smash: Titus Bramble came in with a heavy tackle on the Arsenal midfielder

Wilshere's injury comes the day after Wenger had said that the England star needed to be protected from burnout and future injuries.

He had played a leading role in their 2-1 win when Brazil visited Wembley, outshining the likes of Ronaldinho and Neymar.

However Wenger was more philosophical: 'It is not just the physical aspect, but the mental pressure every time he plays. We will have to manage him well physically to make sure he doesn't face that burnout.

'I had in fact expected Jack to play only a part of the game on
Wednesday, but it didn't happen and because of his quality he will be
exposed to that, the overuse of his quality, and you can understand that.

'He will have to be managed like everyone else.'

Competitive: Wilshere and Lee Cattermole getting to grips with each other in the middle of the park

Competitive: Wilshere and Lee Cattermole getting to grips with each other in the middle of the park

Winner: Santi Cazorla's strike was the only goal of the game

Winner: Santi Cazorla's strike was the only goal of the game

Michael Appleton new Blackburn Rovers manager

Appleton is Blackburn's third manager this season… and they are his third club of campaign!

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

18:31 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:37 GMT, 11 January 2013

Blackburn have confirmed the appointment of Michael Appleton as their new manager.

Appleton becomes Rovers' third boss this season despite only taking over at Championship rivals Blackpool two months ago.

The 37-year-old former Manchester United and Preston midfielder, who began the season in charge of League One Portsmouth, has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal at Ewood Park.

Third time lucky Appleton succeeds Steve Kean and Henning Berg

Third time lucky Appleton succeeds Steve Kean and Henning Berg

Ashley Westwood, first-team coach under Appleton at both of his previous two clubs, will join him as assistant.

In a statement released by Blackburn, Appleton said: 'I am delighted to
be joining such an historic club. This is a fantastic opportunity for me
and I am excited about the challenge we have ahead of us.

'I can't wait to start working with what is a very talented group of players.

'I'd like to thank everyone at Blackpool for their efforts during my
time there and the chairman for allowing me to come here. I wish them
all the best for the future.'

On a roll: Blackburn have won three on the spin under caretaker Gary Bowyer

On a roll: Blackburn have won three on the spin under caretaker Gary Bowyer

Rovers' managing director Derek Shaw said: 'We are delighted to welcome both Michael and Ashley to the football club.

'They are both highly regarded within the game and we are confident that
they have the drive and ambition to take this club forward.

'We will do everything in our powers to support them in our quest to make an instant return to the Premier League.'

Dean Saunders issues McDonald"s ban on Wolves players

Eat like Ennis! McDonald's is off limits to Wolves players as Saunders clamps down

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

08:36 GMT, 11 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:51 GMT, 11 January 2013


Big Macs banned: Dean Saunders wants his Wolves players to eat properly

Big Macs banned: Dean Saunders wants his Wolves players to eat properly

New Wolves manager Dean Saunders has ordered the club's players to stop eating at McDonald's.

The former Wales striker takes charge of his first game at Molineux tonight, against Blackburn, and wants to get his squad in shape.

He has issued a set of strict rules to keep his team in top condition as they prepare to recover from a disastrous spell under Stale Solbakken.

He said: 'Without discipline you have
nothing. Football is a watered-down version of the army and in the army
they make you do things you don’t want and you have to obey orders.

'The
overall thinking of it is that when we go into battle – when it really
matters – and you get instructions, you comply with the instructions you
are given.

'You are all
together as a group. And you get used to obeying instructions and
respecting authority. It keeps everybody together on the same sheet.

'If
you go into war and two soldiers do their own thing, they get the rest
killed. Obviously we are not in the army but there have to be rules in
place.

No entry: Wolves players must not visit McDonald's after training

No entry: Wolves players must not visit McDonald's after training

'They include not
being late for training, not leaving your training kit on the floor,
being in for treatment on time, living your life properly, not going
away from here into McDonald’s. Eating like an athlete.

'I
don’t think Jessica Ennis stops off at McDonald’s on the way home, I
don’t think so looking at her. That’s discipline – to be able to say
“No” to things that don’t make you play very well.

'You need to respect your team-mates and respect authority. If the manager tells you to do something, do it!

New rules: Saunders has told his troops that Olympian Jessica Ennis (below) wouldn't eat at McDonald's

New rules: Saunders has told his troops that Olympian Jessica Ennis (below) wouldn't eat at McDonald's

Olympic heroine Jessica Ennis

'I’m not an old school manager, really. Graeme Souness packed in because of it. It’s harder and harder to discipline players – they just look at you sometimes and go, “What are you on about”'

Saunders believes the Wolves players will soon appreciate his stern stance.

He explained: 'Most footballers like discipline. They like to know where the line is. And they don’t like to see other people not adhering to it.'

Sam Allardyce accepts damages from Steve Kean and Blackburn Rovers

Allardyce accepts damages from Blackburn and Kean over foul-mouthed rant

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

11:21 GMT, 6 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:32 GMT, 6 January 2013

Steve Kean pulled out of a scheduled appearance on Goals on Sunday today, the day after Sam Allardyce accepted an out-of-court settlement believed to be in the region of 200,000 from him and Blackburn Rovers.

Former Blackburn manager Kean had to fork out after derogatory claims were made about Allardyce by him in the summer of 2011.

SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF KEAN'S RANT

Steve Kean

Sam Allardyce

No love lost: Sam Allardyce (right) and his former No 2 Steve Kean

Goals on Sunday co-host Chris Kamara revealed the short-notice change on Twitter this morning.

He said: 'Morning all. Last minute lineup change Didi Hamann and Phil Brown with me and the adorable @benshephard tweet him any questions 11till 12.'

Kean was filmed making the remarks by supporters during a pre-season trip Blackburn made to Hong Kong.

Kean’s allegations about the
operating methods, integrity and managerial ability of Allardyce — his
predecessor at Ewood Park — were made public when the fans published a
video of the conversation on YouTube.

Allardyce took legal action against
Kean personally and against Rovers. The action has been settled with a
payment to Allardyce, who is now manager of West Ham. On Saturday all
parties involved in the case declined to comment.

VIDEO: Kean's foul-mouthed tirade

Neil Redfearn could replace Keith Hill at Barnsley

Redfearn could return to old club Barnsley to replace sacked Hill as manager

|

UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 30 December 2012

Former Barnsley winger Neil Redfearn is among contenders to replace Keith Hill as the Championship club's manager.

Redfearn, 47, is currently coaching at Leeds.

Former assistant David Flitcroft, 38, has been put in caretaker charge following Hill's dismissal on Saturday.

Wanted man: Neil Redfearn could return to Barnsley to replace Keith Hill

Wanted man: Neil Redfearn could return to Barnsley to replace Keith Hill

Hill left the club after recording a home defeat against Blackburn.

Josh King, Ruben Rochina and Jordan Rhodes secure the win to cancel out Stephen Dawson's 76th-minute goal.

Caretaker: David Flitcroft (left) has taken the reins at Barnsley after Hill was dismissed on Saturday

Caretaker: David Flitcroft (left) has taken the reins at Barnsley after Hill was dismissed on Saturday