Tag Archives: emotions

Australian Open 2013: David Ferrer beats Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-1, 6-4

Ferrer sees off Japan's Nishikori in three sets as Spaniard eyes first Grand Slam title

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

04:51 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:51 GMT, 20 January 2013

Fourth seed David Ferrer used all of his cunning and exploited Kei Nishikori's nagging knee injury to advance to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory.

Japan's Nishikori, who had entered the tournament with a knee injury, needed to have his left leg re-strapped in the second set of the two hour, 10-minute match, and his normally fluid movement appeared to be slightly hampered.

Looking good: David Ferrer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori

Looking good: David Ferrer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori

David Ferrer

Kei Nishikori

Mixed emotions: David Ferrer celebrates a point as Kei Nishikori looks dejected

Baseline specialist Ferrer took full advantage of the 16th seed's injury, working him around the court and waiting for the 23-year-old to make one of his 65 errors, though the Japanese number one did put up some resistance in the third set.

The Spaniard will next play the winner of the fourth round encounter between eighth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic or 10th seeded compatriot Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals.

Phil Taylor beats Raymond van Barneveld to reach world Championship final

Power surges: Taylor sets up final date with Van Gerwen after on-stage clash with Van Barneveld in semi-final

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UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 31 December 2012

Phil Taylor survived a fightback and an angry confrontation with one Dutchman on Sunday night but he will have to overcome the genius of another if he is to lift a 16th world title.

The Power’s eventual 6-4 semi-final victory over his one-time nemesis Raymond van Barneveld was a display of initial clinical efficiency which drifted into nervous hesitancy and a final eyes-bulging stand-off between the pair who required security guards to maintain an uneasy peace.

Taylor will need to add flamboyant brilliance if he is to beat Michael van Gerwen, judging by the heights reached by the 23-year-old in his 6-4 triumph over James Wade.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taylor said: ‘Michael’s talent is the
best I’ve ever seen, even better than me at my peak. I’ve been studying
Michael’s game and he doesn’t even seem to look at his target. I’m
going to do everything on the dart board I can to beat him. I can’t beat
him playing like that.

'Nothing went on, none of us wanted to lose that. He was brilliant there. He stuck in there.
'I said to Raymond backstage, “there's nobody in this room who's a
bigger fan of you than I am”. We're not going to fall out about
anything. It's forgotten. It's done.'

He's done it! Taylor celebrates his win

He's done it! Taylor celebrates his win

Mixed emotions: Taylor reacts as he misses a dart to win the match

Mixed emotions: Taylor reacts as he misses a dart to win the match

Taylor admitted all had not gone
exactly to plan, saying: 'The crowd seemed to get behind him a bit. I
think the crowd wanted another Michael van Gerwen-James Wade match.

'I'm full of cold. I've got a
temperature. I'm shattered. I'm taking energy sweets. I should have gone
to the doctors to get some antibiotics. I'm trying anything to keep my
energy up.

Titanic tussle: Taylor and Van Barneveld go head to head

Titanic tussle: Taylor and Van Barneveld go head to head

Fightback: Van Barneveld came back to scare Taylor

Fightback: Van Barneveld came back to scare Taylor

'I've got a day off on Monday. I'm going to lie in bed most of the day. I'm shattered.'

Taylor displayed sustained scoring
power as he feasted upon the doubts in Van Barneveld’s head, checking
out 141 and 111 in successive legs. In the end it was sheer
determination not to go more than two years without a world title for
the first time in his career which carried him through.

Arsene Wenger fears Bayern Munich in Champions League draw

Wenger fears Bayern bite and hails huge progress of German sides

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 20 December 2012

Arsene Wenger’s relief at escaping yet another Champions League clash with Barcelona was short-lived as Arsenal were left with a daunting trip to Germany.

The Gunners will face last season’s runners-up — and Bundesliga leaders — Bayern Munich for a place in the quarter-finals.

Barring a third meeting in four years with Barcelona, a match against Jupp Heynckes’s side is arguably the worst-case scenario.

And speaking ahead of the draw in Nyon, Wenger, who has piled the pressure on contract rebel Theo Walcott to sign a new deal, admitted his preference was to avoid the Catalans and any German side.

Mixed emotions: Arsene Wenger was happy to avoid Barcelona but was hoping to miss out on any German teams too

Mixed emotions: Arsene Wenger was happy to avoid Barcelona but was hoping to miss out on any German teams too

Wenger said: ‘If I had a choice I would want to avoid Barcelona. Also, the German clubs have made a big, big leap forward. The Spanish clubs are traditionally there and in England we have a little deficit because usually at this level we have four but now we are only two.

‘You have the French, Paris Saint-Germain, coming in, traditionally Porto are always in there. But especially I believe the Germans have improved.’

And when discussing the draw, Germany international Lukas Podolski admitted the Gunners will find it difficult against Bayern.

‘It’s a big club but we have the chance to win against Bayern Munich,’ said Podolski, who used to play for the German giants.

‘They have a very good team with big players. They have [Mario] Gomez up front, they have [Franck] Ribery, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer. But both teams have the chance to win.’

The significant strides German football has taken in recent seasons has not gone unnoticed by Wenger and his backroom team.

Sportsmail highlighted in October how the Gunners, led by influential chief talent-spotter Steve Rowley, had expanded their German scouting network as a result of the country’s flourishing game.

Arsenal have already lured Serge Gnarby, 17, and Thomas Eisfeld, 19, from Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund respectively, and Wenger hopes the club’s increased presence in Germany will lead to further acquisitions. Wenger is also interested in Bayern midfielder Luis Gustavo and Dortmund prospect Mario Gotze.

Of the forthcoming clash, Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: ‘We enter this match as the slight favourites, but we can’t make the mistake of underestimating them.

Out of the hat: Arsenal have a tough draw in the Champions League

Out of the hat: Arsenal have a tough draw in the Champions League

‘Arsenal have struggled at times in the league over the last few months, which a look at the standings in the Premier League will tell you. But by no means will this be an easy game for us.’

Meanwhile, Wenger has urged Walcott, 23, to repay the faith Arsenal have shown in him by signing a new contract. Walcott has rejected a five-year deal worth 75,000 per week but, as Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday, both parties have held talks geared towards persuading him to sign fresh terms.

And in his most forthright interview on the long-running saga yet, Wenger indicated that Walcott owes the Gunners.

He said: ‘I believe what is important is to keep the young players together and that at some stage I have stood up for them.

Watch out: The likes of Franck Ribery will pose a real threat to Wenger's side

Watch out: The likes of Franck Ribery will pose a real threat to Wenger's side

‘I played them at 17, 18, 19 years of age and I know I took a gamble. It is easier to take a player of 25 and put him in the team. You know what you are getting. If you put them in at 17 or 18, you have to stand up for them. You know you risk losing games while they are learning their job.

‘Once you have produced them, you want to say, “OK, let’s stay together and win together”.

‘Somewhere along the line they need to give back to the club what the club has given to them.After, when a guy gets to 30, you can understand it is his last contract and if he feels he wants a change, I can understand that.’

Wenger added: ‘Robin van Persie was 29 when he left. Theo is 23. It is important we keep him. I don’t want to compare him to Robin, but it would be a big loss. I want him to stay and have been consistent on that.

Sign up: Wenger hopes Theo Walcott will put pen to paper on a new deal

Sign up: Wenger hopes Theo Walcott will put pen to paper on a new deal

‘I am happy to pay Theo the money he deserves. But I feel as well that I bought him at 17 and spent a lot of money on him.

‘I am a big supporter and I believe he is happy here. He has always looked to me like he is an Arsenal man.’

Arsenal have put a 5million price-tag on flop defender Andre Santos, despite telling the Brazilian he is free to leave.

Santos arrived in the summer of 2011 from Fenerbahce for 6m, but the left back has failed to live up to expectations. Galatasaray have made a 2.5million enquiry but the offer has been rejected by Arsenal, who want the Turkish side to double their offer.

Santos, 29, is out of favour and angered Wenger by making a beeline for Van Persie’s shirt at half-time during the Gunners’ defeat at Manchester United.

Bradford"s Phil Parkinson gets one over former employers Arsenal

From Arsenal scout to taking the Gunners' scalp! Parkinson was part of Wenger's team before inspiring Bradford cup shock

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UPDATED:

10:57 GMT, 12 December 2012

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson showed little gratitude to his former club Arsenal in dumping them out of the Carling Cup last night.

Sportsmail revealed in April 2011 how the 45-year-old had taken up a role as a northern-based scout for the Gunners.

Happy man: Phil Parkinson

Dejected: Arsene Wenger

Mixed emotions: Bradford boss Phil Parkinson is all smiles after his cup scalp as Arsene Wenger looks dejected after the shock defeat

Parkinson is highly thought of within coaching circles having attended various courses and seminars across the country on his way to completing the UEFA B badge in 2005.

That, together with his good relationship with Arsenal chief scout Steve Rowley, saw Parkinson join Arsenal's scouting set up after he was sacked as Charlton boss in January 2011.

Famous win: The Bradford players run towards goalkeeper Matt Duke as they celebrate their win

Famous win: The Bradford players run towards goalkeeper Matt Duke as they celebrate their win

Not that his time spent at the Emirates Stadium mattered one iota last night as he masterminded a euphoric penalty shoot-out win over his ex-employers to pile the pressure on Arsene Wenger.

AFC Wimbledon should bury hatchet with MK Dons, say Crazy Gang members

It's time to bury the hatchet with MK… so long as they ditch the 'Dons', say original Crazy Gang ahead of grudge match

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UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 29 November 2012

It may have been 24 years ago but when the FA Cup comes around, it still stirs passionate emotions among the most famous football mavericks of them all – the Crazy Gang of Wimbledon who shocked the then mighty Liverpool to lift the famous old trophy at Wembley in 1988.

And those passions are no less fiery due to the nature of this weekend’s second round games that pit the reborn AFC Wimbledon against the hated club they call the franchise robbers who stole their birthright – MK Dons.

It was when the original Wimbledon, founder members of the Premier League, died and their League place in the fourth tier was snapped up by the Milton Keynes outfit, headed by opportunist chairman Pete Winkelman, that a vow was taken to restore the old club.

The upset to end all upsets: Lawrie Sanchez heads the winning goal in the 1988 FA Cup Final at Wembley

The upset to end all upsets: Lawrie Sanchez heads the winning goal in the 1988 FA Cup Final at Wembley

Legends: Dave Beasant (centre) and Bobby Gould (bottom) celebrate with the famous old trophy

Legends: Dave Beasant (centre) and Bobby Gould (bottom) celebrate with the famous old trophy

So successful has that been that AFC have climbed all the way back from the Combined Counties League and back into the Football League – and now have the draw that the game would lick their lips over – though AFC fans have warned they won’t set foot in the place that forced them to start all over again on a park pitch.

But the old Dons heroes, the REAL Dons, who won that FA Cup, believe it is time to bury the hatchet with MK – as long as Winkelman agrees to drop the Dons from their name and renames them City, Town, United or some other.

Goalkeeper Dave Beasant, who comes only behind FA Cup Final scorer Lawrie Sanchez in the pantheon of Wimbledon legends by saving a penalty on the great day, led the call last night to call a truce.

Beasant said: ‘There is a lot of bitterness from AFC fans that Wimbledon lost their League status. They think that MK didn’t go about it the right way, when they should have only gained a place in the League by qualifying through non-league football.

‘You understand the bitterness but it’s been done, it was a while and the position isn’t going to be changed. And MK Dons are a progressive team, having gained promotion to League Three, just as AFC have progressed into the League proper.

Dons folklore: Beasant dives to his left to save a penalty from Liverpool striker John Aldridge

Dons folklore: Beasant dives to his left to save a penalty from Liverpool striker John Aldridge in the Final

‘I know a lot of fans won’t forget about it. But this is now a Cup match, the two teams are meeting for the first time. And AFC getting there from where they started is what Wimbledon’s history is all about.

‘We were never a big club but got a big name through winning the FA Cup. It’s a game that will be talked about because of the way MK attained their League status on the back of Wimbledon losing theirs.

FA Cup Final 1988 – Match Facts

Wimbledon: Dave Beasant (c); Clive Goodyear, Eric Young, Andy Thorn, Terry Phelan; Alan Cork (Laurie Cunningham 56), Vinnie Jones, Lawrie Sanchez, Dennis Wise; John Fashanu, Terry Gibson (John Scales 63)

Manager: Bobby Gould

Goals: Sanchez 37

Liverpool: Bruce Grobbelaar; Steve Nicol, Gary Gillespie, Alan Hansen (c), Gary Ablett; Ray Houghton, Nigel Spackman (Jan Mlby 74), Steve McMahon, John Barnes; Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge (Craig Johnston 64)

Manager: Kenny Dalglish

‘Of course I have more of a feeling for AFC because they represent the foundations that Wimbledon came from. I don’t know how many fans went with MK or how many stayed. I know a few did and one or two became directors.

‘But I do feel they should stand on their own two feet now as Milton Keynes – forget calling themselves Dons.’

Beasant, now a part-time coach with Bristol Rovers and previously Glenn Hoddle’s academy in Spain until it finished, added: ‘If they would drop the Dons from their name, I do feel that would go some way to appeasing Wimbledon’s current fans.’

In looking back to those great days of the Crazy Gang, Beasant says: ’We weren’t given the credit we deserved as individual players because of the way we played. But look how many of us did move on to bigger clubs after the Cup triumph – myself, the likes of John Fashanu, Dennis Wise and Vinnie Jones.’

Yet through the mists of time he sees one man as the original Crazy Gang founder – current West Ham coach Wally Downes. Beasant explained: ‘He was the original before myself and Alan Cork joined in. Then the likes of Fash, Wisey and Vinny became associate members.’

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

New dawn: Wimbledon's league place was taken by the newly-formed MK Dons in 2004

Injury prevented Downes from sharing in the FA Cup glory but he was there from the start as an apprentice Crazy Gangster.

Another who came through that route was Cup Finalist Andy Thorn, up until recently the Coventry manager before his heroic struggle to keep them from being relegated to Division One gave out.

Thorn, who is now eager to get back into the managerial fray after settling compensation, remembers the kind of stunt the Gang were famous for. He said: ‘We used to go everywhere in this minibus, lads all piled in the back, feet up on the kit like a bunch of schoolboys. That was the way we went to White Hart Lane to play our FA Cup semi-final against Luton.

‘It was a minibus I remembered well after my first experience of the senior team, a trip to Leyton Orient when I was probably 13th man.

VIDEO: Dean Holdsworth's FA Cup memories

‘After we won, I was ordered to get to the nearest off licence in Leyton High St to get the beers in. I duly brought armfuls of cans back, handed them over, upon which the back doors were slammed in my face and they roared off leaving me stranded in the middle of the high street!

‘So I was left to get a couple of buses and trains back home on my own.

‘But it was all part of the growing up, the toughening up. We don’t go out of our way to see each other these days but it’s as though we’ve never been away when we do bump into each other. It seems we’re all following the same pattern of life, a few divorces, and we’re all moving on.

‘On the big game, I regard them as two
completely separate clubs now. But with Wimbledon, the way we battled
from where we came from to get as far as founder members of the Premier
League, what we had to overcome, the supporters of the new AFC have done
exactly the same thing. It epitomises what Wimbledon are all about.’

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Phoenix from the flames: AFC Wimbledon have risen through non-league football to League Two

Cup Final winning manager Bobby Gould regards himself as an honorary Crazy Gang member and recalls hilarious times. Gould, who now has a regular show on Talksport, said: ‘I originally joined Wimbledon as a player after the sack from Chelsea as a coach in 1981 when I answered an advert from then manager Dave Bassett for a centre forward. It was 40 a week and 20 expenses.

‘When I was manager the one who was always up to something was Dennis Wise. I could never take my eyes off him.

‘The players used to have what was known as The Circle when a dispute needed settling. They would form a circle and the two players who had a problem with each other would have a grapple, like wrestling – but no punching or biting!

‘After a few days there, Wisey shouted: ‘’Circle’’. I said: ‘’Who’s in it’’ He said: ‘’You are Gouldy, you’ve upset me’’. So I couldn’t back down,

‘We started to fight and all of a sudden I land on his fist and crack a rib. I had the physio Steve Allan in and said: ‘’Get me up the stairs to the dressing room before I faint because at the moment I’m winning’!

‘But I had fought Wisey in the circle. We laughed and we never stopped. But the beauty of them was they knew when they wanted to do the job and went about it the right way.’

VIDEO: We are Wimbledon

Gould will be supporting AFC this weekend, though admits: ‘I started off supporting MK in the early days, simply because I wanted Wimbledon to survive in some form or other. But once AFC came on the scene, starting up from a Sunday kickabout, my allegiance changed to them.

‘On the day I’ll be wearing my lucky tracksuit that I wore the day we won the FA Cup. I agree with Dave Beasant that now MK should do the decent thing and drop the Dons part of their name. Why not be City, United or whatever. They don’t need it, they’ve handed back all the trophies so they recognise that Wimbledon are the true Dons.’

Alan Cork, who can proudly claim that he played for Wimbledon in every division of the old Football League, sadly does not connect with AFC as much as some of the others. He said: ‘I don’t have a club to go back to in Wimbledon like I can with Sheffield United, because it’s not the same one I played for. I know a lot of the boys do associate with AFC but as far as any dispute with MK Dons is concerned I don’t have a serious view.’

Cork, formerly a No 2 for Gary Megson at Bolton and now a part-time scout for Stuart Pearce’s England Under 21s, added: ‘MK have an excellent stadium and a thriving club. The cup tie I won’t be supporting either, as my loyalties now are to Southampton where my son Jack plays and is doing very well.

‘It’s hard to get to watch him because I am normally at another game. I was recently at Italy v. Spain Under 21s for Stuart. Italy are in our group in the championship finals next summer. Spain have got quite some side….’

Different Dons with differing views but the old boys will all have memories of great past deeds this weekend.

VIDEO: The best FA Cup second-round shocks

Lewis Hamilton farewell to McLaren

Hamilton rues Brazil crash as Brit bids emotional farewell to McLaren

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UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 25 November 2012

A numb Lewis Hamilton bade an emotional farewell to McLaren as his six-year journey with the team ended in bitter frustration.

Just seven days after the ultimate high of victory in the United States Grand Prix came a gut-wrenching low after crashing out in an extraordinary race in Brazil when in the lead.

It is the third time in the last seven races Hamilton has lost out on a maximum haul of points when front running, epitomising the turbulent campaign he has been forced to endure.

End of an era: Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button celebrate the latter's win in Brazil

End of an era: Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button celebrate the latter's win in Brazil

On this occasion, with mayhem taking place all over Interlagos, the 27-year-old was slid into by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg as the German attempted to regain a lead he had earlier lost to Hamilton.

The resulting damage of a broken front-left suspension saw Hamilton retire for the fifth time this year, and a walk back to the garage where he was given a standing ovation.

For Hamilton, there is now a month off before joining Mercedes on January 1 on a three-year deal, but not after many goodbyes to a team he has been associated with for the last 14 years.

'I don't remember too much about the accident with Nico, but he came to see me after the race, which was nice,' said Hamilton.

Over and out: Hamilton collided with Nico Hulkenberg and his race was finished

Over and out: Hamilton collided with Nico Hulkenberg and his race was finished

Over and out: Hamilton collided with Nico Hulkenberg and his race was finished

'Now the season is done and dusted, I feel a bit numb. It's been a day of mixed emotions, and I'm sad I didn't finish the race.

'But I'm excited about the future. I'll miss my friends and McLaren, but I'm optimistic about what lies ahead for me.

'I feel comfortable going into this winter because I feel I did a good job this year. I gave 2012 everything I had. I couldn't have done anything more.

'It's been a brilliant experience to be a part of McLaren over the past six years.

'I want to thank everyone, and sincerely wish everyone the very best for the future.

'They've been fantastic, so supportive, and they continue to do an amazing job, so to everyone at McLaren, I'll miss each and every one of you.'

Head to head: Hamilton and Button had one final battle (above) before hugging it out (below)

Head to head: Hamilton and Button had one final battle (above) before hugging it out (below)

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton at least wore a rocket-red victory top one final time, even if not in the circumstances he had hoped for, given team-mate Jenson Button inherited the victory following his collision with Hulkenberg.

It was Button's third triumph of the year for McLaren, and enough to see him finish ahead of Hamilton on total points over their three-year partnership.

Once the furore had died down, Button paid a heart-felt tribute to Hamilton as he said: 'I had a lot of fun racing with him, especially for the first 10 laps. We had a really good, clean fight.

'It's a pity he wasn't still there at the end, but it was nice to have such a great dice with him in our last race as McLaren team-mates.

'And I really want to say this: 'It's been so good working with you, Lewis. Over the past few years, we've driven a lot of great races together. It's been fab'.'

Ricky Hatton KOd in round nine by Vyacheslav Senchenko on comeback fight in Manchester

Hitman's fairytale comeback ends with sobering retirement as Senchenko lands savage body blow to KO Hatton in the ninth

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UPDATED:

01:02 GMT, 25 November 2012

Ricky Hatton's boxing career came to an end when he was knocked out in the ninth round of his comeback fight.

After three and a half years out of the ring, the 34-year-old's decision to take on a tough opponent in his reappearance in the ring turned out to be a big mistake.

Vyacheslav Senchenko ruined the night for Hatton and his 20,000 raucous fans with a stunning body punch which left the Briton in agony on the canvas.

Down and out: Ricky Hatton winces in pain after a savage blow to the ribs ended his comeback in the ninth round

Down and out: Ricky Hatton winces in pain after a savage blow to the ribs ended his comeback in the ninth round

Hard though Hatton tried to beat the
count, there was no way he could continue and referee Victor Loughlan
counted him out after two minutes and 52 seconds.

It almost certainly marked the end of
his career as a boxer. The former world champion had vowed he would
retire and concentrate on his new life as a trainer and promoter if he
lost.

Now all those people with his
interests at heart will hope he keeps his word. When he had recovered
enough to talk, a tearful and shockingly bruised Hatton insisted he
would not rush into a decision.

'I am heartbroken,' he said. 'I am so sorry for my fans. I am not a quitter, I keep trying but it did not come off.

Mixed emotions: Senchenko (rear) is jubilant but Hatton looks distraught on the canvas

Mixed emotions: Senchenko (rear) is jubilant but Hatton looks distraught on the canvas

'I am not a failure but that is two
defeats now in a row. You don't know how much that hurts me. That is not
the way my career should end. I will sit down with my team and discuss
things. There is a lot I need to think about.

'I was doing some good things for
three and a half years out. He was a world champion, he only lost his
unbeaten record in his last fight. I want to fight for world titles and
so I had to beat someone like that.

'I thought I was maybe four rounds
up but there were clear signs of ring rust. I hurt him a few times and I
was winning. It was a good shot, I should have realised he was looking
for that. I suppose that is what three and a half years out of the ring
does.'

Hatton's trainer Bob Shannon added:
'I'm really disappointed. Ricky lost his concentration and got caught in
the fourth round and that took a lot out of him.

He was exhausted after that.

Harsh reality: Hatton is comforted by a member of his corner team following a chastening defeat in the ring

Harsh reality: Hatton is comforted by a member of his corner team following a chastening defeat in the ring

'He's not 24 any more, he's 34 and
he looked old in some of those rounds. Ricky's a proud man and that's
why he wanted to take on such a difficult opponent.

'He wanted to beat him better than
Paulie Malignaggi had. I don't know what happens now but I'm going to
have to sit down and have a good talk to him.'

Hatton had achieved his aim of
getting rid of the demons that have plagued him for the last three
years, when he turned to drink and drugs in the midst of depression, but
the years catch up with everyone.

Anxious moments: Hatton lay prostrate for about a minute and received medical attention following defeat

Anxious moments: Hatton lay prostrate for about a minute and received medical attention following defeat

Three years away proved too much and,
although Hatton fought with typical courage and aggression and probably
would have sneaked a points verdict had it gone to that, he did not
have the punch resistance when it mattered.

Ring-rustiness could have accounted
for some of his failings as Hatton repeatedly swung wildly and missed
his taller opponent, a former WBA champion who had lost only once in 33
fights before last night.

But, on the strength of five
all-action opening rounds, before he began to tire, Hatton had probably
done enough to win the fight until a fierce left hook to the ribs ended
his dreams of a glorious comeback in the ninth.

Respect: Senchenko and Hatton share their thoughts after a gruelling nine round bout

Mutual respect: Senchenko and Hatton share their thoughts after a gruelling nine round bout

Hitting the target: Hatton connects with a left to put Senchenko on the back foot

Hitting the target: Hatton connects with a left to put Senchenko on the back foot

'This was too difficult an opponent
to come back to,' said former world champion Barry McGuigan. 'He was an
accurate puncher and difficult. I did think when I saw he'd taken
Senchenko he would be the wrong style of boxer for Ricky.

'Hatton gave it his best shot but he
was slowly ground down and started to walk into sickening blows. 'His
jab just didn't work. If he'd got that going his right hand would have
fired off like a gun and he would have nailed his target. The longer the
fight went the more I was concerned for him.'

Hatton's life had gone into alarming
decline in the past three years. While many boxers struggle to cope with
retirement few fall as far as the popular hero, who had won 45 fights
and been a world champion at two weights.

His stunning defeat by Manny
Pacquiao, when he was clubbed to the canvas in two rounds, left no
argument about Hatton's status in his brutal sport – not quite up there
with the very best.

While he had been able to delude
himself that his only other defeat, to Floyd Mayweather, had been an
unfair outcome brought about by poor refereeing this time there was no
argument.

Promising start: Hatton began in fine fettle, but faded in the latter rounds

Promising start: Hatton began in fine fettle, but faded in the latter rounds

Caught out: Ricky Hatton recoils as Vyacheslav Senchenko connects with a fierce right jab

Caught out: Ricky Hatton recoils as Senchenko connects with a fierce right jab

He's back: Hatton makes his entrance at the MEN Arena

He's back: Hatton makes his entrance at the MEN Arena

Paul Lambert won"t avoid confrontation with Roberto Mancini

Villa boss Lambert promises he won't duck another confrontation with Mancini

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UPDATED:

01:19 GMT, 17 November 2012

Paul Lambert goes up against Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon and will not avoid another confrontation.

Manchester City’s boss upset Lambert with his card-waving antics at Aston Villa players when the clubs met in the Capital One Cup two months ago.

Flashpoint: Lambert and Mancini squared up during League Cup clash

Flashpoint: Lambert and Mancini squared up during League Cup clash

While Lambert says the September fracas has been forgotten, he added: ‘I’m there to defend my team. I’m sure Roberto will be the same. I’ll shake his hand before and after.

‘I’m pretty sure he’ll shake my hand. Emotions overspill in a game — I don’t have any problems with it — he’s a manager, ex-footballer, it’s going to happen.’

Mark Clattenburg career is over if he made racist remarks – Graham Poll

Clattenburg knows if he made racist remarks in heat of Stamford Bridge battle his career is already over

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UPDATED:

13:41 GMT, 29 October 2012

Mark Clattenburg will be feeling mixed emotions. He'll feel incredibly low and after such a high-adrenaline match full of incidents it is impossible not to come down… hard.

Especially when the game finished as unsatisfactorily from the officials' perspective as this one did. And faced with the very serious allegations he will also feel angry and worried.

Angry that he is subject to such allegations given all the abuse that he, along with so many other officials, allow themselves to be subjected to week in week out; and worried in case, in the heat of the moment he forgot himself and made inappropriate comments.

Worrying times: Clattenburg's career hangs in the balance after allegations made by Chelsea

Worrying times: Clattenburg's career hangs in the balance after allegations made by Chelsea

Not racist ones, he'll know if he made those and will know his career is over if he did; but comments including foul or inappropriate words that he cannot recall making. When the pressure is at its greatest things are said and done which do not bear scrutiny.

In November 2006 I was accused of making inappropriate remarks to three Chelsea players during their defeat at White Hart Lane.

Nothing as serious as the allegations that Clattenburg faces but serious enough to worry me as to what would happen to me. I was livid at even being asked if I had made the comments attributed to me by three players.

I was 99 per cent certain I had said nothing wrong and yet I was still worried until my colleagues confirmed that I had not said anything untoward. The point is the job means so much to a referee, if there is any possibility of it being taken away it brings out irrational thoughts. You know you are innocent but what if…

Centre of attention: All eyes are on Clattenburg as authorities attempt to piece together events at Stamford Bridge

Centre of attention: All eyes are on Clattenburg as authorities attempt to piece together events at Stamford Bridge

Centre of attention: All eyes are on Clattenburg as authorities attempt to piece together events at Stamford Bridge

I don't know if Clattenburg feels that
way, whether he knows he is completely innocent. He has said that he
will co-operate fully, of course he has to.

He will have got on the phone to Mick McDonagh and Simon Long, his two assistants and his select group referee colleague, Mike Jones, who was acting as fourth official.

All three will have been on the referee communication system and heard every word that Clattenburg said during play. He will have wanted to speak to them, not to 'get their stories straight' but to re-confirm that he said nothing inappropriate.

In such a high pressure environment Clattenburg may well have used an expletive or two. It's hard not to if you are in that atmosphere where foul language prevails.

Clattenburg will be contacted by the FA compliance department and asked for a written statement in response to the complaint made by Chelsea Football Club. So will the other three match officials.

Red alert: Clattenburg will have to make a full report on events in west London

Red alert: Clattenburg will have to make a full report on events in west London

Red alert: Clattenburg will have to make a full report on events in west London

Then the FA disciplinary department will look at the statements and any evidence that they have gathered from video footage and decide if Clattenburg has a case to answer.

If he does then he will probably be suspended until such a hearing, which should not take the months and months to prepare that other cases have done.

The question everyone is asking is, if all comments made by and to the referee were recorded this case could be settled very quickly.

Red alert: Clattenburg dismissed two Blues players

Red alert: Clattenburg dismissed two Blues players

Blackburn consider their options after failing to land Tim Sherwood and Billy McKinlay

Blackburn bid to calm fans over boss fears after failing to land Sherwood and McKinlay

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UPDATED:

14:42 GMT, 24 October 2012

Blackburn global advisor Shebby Singh has pleaded for patience from fans over the club's protracted search for a new manager.

Steve Kean resigned to end his
troubled reign at Ewood Park on the eve of last month's 1-1 draw at
Charlton and a host of high-profile names were immediately linked with
the job.

No rush: Blackburn Global advisor Shebby Singh

No rush: Blackburn Global advisor Shebby Singh

Caretaker boss Eric Black will search for his first win in charge at the fifth time of asking against Sheffield Wednesday in the npower Championship tonight and Singh, overseeing the recruitment process on behalf of owners Venky's, insists he will not be rushed into an appointment as Rovers look for an instant return to the top flight.

'It has been a very, very difficult three weeks – difficult in that we have to make a quick decision but, at the same time, we cannot rush into making such a decision because of recent history,' he told Blackburn Rovers TV on the club's official website, www.rovers.co.uk.

'That means taking time and, yes, I do understand that we need to make an appointment but it cannot just be any appointment because obviously after what happened we've got to tread very, very carefully.

'I would like to appeal to the fans; do not react to what you read in the papers or what is rumours – do not react to that.

Aiming for the top: Jordan Rhodes is spearheading Blackburn's drive

Aiming for the top: Jordan Rhodes is spearheading Blackburn's drive

'I am taking everybody's emotions into consideration. The fans have been through difficult times and the last thing I want is to put fans through more anguish.

'So give me more time now, rather than all of us rush into a decision and we all suffer together.'

Reaction to reported rejected approaches for Tim Sherwood and Billy McKinlay have not been overly positive among Blackburn's fanbase.

The former Rovers midfielders are coaches with Tottenham and Fulham respectively but are managerial novices, prompting parallels to be drawn with Kean's credentials upon his full-time appointment in January 2011.

Singh is committed to examining a wide range of options and retains a keen internest in 'next big thing' candidates of Sherwood and McKinlay's ilk.

'It has been (more difficult that expected) simply because we try to look at football from different angles,” he explained.

'You've got three different types of potential candidates. One is the young, untried, next big thing – dynamic, forward-thinking candidate.

'Then you have the bitter-sweet group – they have had a little bit of success here, a little bit of success there and they have tasted both sides of football.

'In the third category you get the wise old head. So while we know what a wise old head can bring, while we know what the bitter-sweet group can give you, we cannot just brush aside the potential, the possibility of something that can happen.'