Tag Archives: express

David Moyes wants a winner at Cheltenham

Moyes chasing Cheltenham double as Everton boss eyes Festival winner

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UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 15 December 2012

Everton manager David Moyes hopes to be celebrating in Cheltenham next month in the FA Cup – and again at the Festival in March.

The Scot, whose side face Stoke in the Premier League this afternoon, owns Desert Cry who ran at Cheltenham this year.

And Moyes the town will prove a happy hunting ground both on the pitch and on the track.

Winning feeling: David Moyes has Everton flying high in fourth place

Winning feeling: David Moyes has Everton flying high in fourth place

'I would like at least one winner at Cheltenham next year. Horse racing remains a hobby for me,' he told the Daily Express. 'My horse, Desert Cry, is at Donald McCain’s stables and he has gone on to the jumps this year.

'On a day off, I’ll go along and watch them on the gallops and I like seeing the horses train. Being a trainer and a manager are different but there are some similarities. You are out there every day with the horse or the players, making sure you get the best out of them. You have the same thoughts, I suppose. “How’s he going Is he at his level”.

Track days: Moyes hopes his horse Desert Cry can win at Cheltenham

Track days: Moyes hopes his horse Desert Cry can win at Cheltenham

'Desert Cry ran at Cheltenham last year and Everton will be going there next month in the FA Cup. I saw them beat Hereford on Tuesday in the replay. Managers are much more liable to take a gamble in an FA Cup game because the points at stake in the Premier League mean everything. But the FA Cup provides strange, strange results and we have to make sure we are not on the wrong end of them.

'We went to the semi-final last season and we want another good cup run.'

Damien Comolli defends Kenny Dalglish"s transfer record at Liverpool

Comolli defends Dalglish's 110m Liverpool spending spree… as it emerges they missed out on Ba, Giroud and Kagawa

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UPDATED:

09:57 GMT, 14 December 2012

Former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli has defended Kenny Dalglish’s transfer record at the club despite the fact that many of his signings are no longer part of Brendan Rodgers' plans.

In his time at the club Comolli oversaw an estimated 110million spending spree as Liverpool aggressively pursued Champions League football.

And since the Frenchman departed Anfield, Dalglish has also left, while his high profile signigs Carroll has been loaned to West Ham, Charlie Adam and Craig Bellamy have departed, Stewart Downing will leave if a buyer can be found in January, and Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson and Sebastian Coates have had doubts raised against them.

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window

Mixed reviews: Liverpool signed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez in the same transfer window

DALGLISH'S SIGNINGS

ANDY CARROLL (35million)
LUIS SUAREZ (22.8million)
JORDAN HENDERSON (16million)
CHARLIE ADAM (9million)
STEWART DOWNING (20million)
JOSE ENRIQUE (5million)
SEBASTIAN COATES (7million*)
CRAIG BELLAMY (free)

*Estimated fee

That leaves Luis Suarez – an 18m signing from Ajax – as the only player who still plays a key role at the club.

Goals have been one of the main problems for Liverpool over the last few seasons and while he does not confirm names, the likes of Demba Ba, Olivier Giroud and Shinji Kagawa all were linked with moves to Anfield but all eventually moved elsewhere.

But Comolli defends his record at the club, speaking to the Daily Express, he said: ‘We did 26 deals and to think we wouldn’t make any mistakes in such a huge number of deals in and out would be totally unrealistic.

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

Defending his role: Damien Comolli says the signings he made should be judged over the long term

‘I do not think we made any mistakes on the players going out and whether we made mistakes on the players who came in, time will tell. I am very uncomfortable for players to be judged after six, eight or even 12 months. Sometimes it takes two or three years.

‘In two or three years you can say, ‘Damien and Kenny, you were wrong’. Or you can say, ‘They just needed time’.’

The 35m move for Carroll is one of the moves that has attracted the most criticism, but again, Comolli is quick to defend the actions of the club.

Demba Ba

Demba Ba

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa

He added: ‘If you want to talk about the Carroll deal, the situation was quite clear.

‘The way we looked at it, we were selling two players – Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel – and we were bringing two in – Suarez and Carroll – and we were making a profit and the wage bill was coming down considerably as well. It was a four-player deal.

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

Parting ways: Kenny Dalglish won the League Cup but owners Tom Werner and John W Henry decided to go a for Brendan Rodgers this season

'Chelsea kept bidding higher and higher for Torres. The difference between their first and final bid is double.

'They [FSG] asked me what the risks were and I said if things don’t go well you’ll lose something on Andy, but it is difficult to measure whether you will make money if things go well because Liverpool aren’t a selling club and he could be here for the next 10 years.’

Manny Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton comeback is a mistake

Pacquiao on Hatton's return: I respect Ricky but he's making a big mistake

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UPDATED:

13:42 GMT, 21 November 2012

Ricky Hatton is making a big mistake returning to the ring this Saturday. That is the verdict of Manny Pacquiao, the man whose knockout blow consigned the two-weight world champion into retirement three years ago.

The Hitman makes his big comeback this Saturday against Ukraine's former WBA welterweight king Vyacheslav Senchenko in front of a sell-out crowd at Manchester Arena.

But Pacquaio, who brutally defeated Hatton inside two rounds at the MGM Grand in May 2009, thinks the 34-year-old should have stayed away from the ring for good and insisted it is not something he will ever do once he walks away.

Comeback: Ricky Hatton undergoes his final preparations with his trainer Bob Shannon before Saturday's big return

Comeback: Ricky Hatton undergoes his final preparations with his trainer Bob Shannon before Saturday's big return

'I do not think it is a good idea to come back once a fighter has retired. It’s not something I plan on doing,' said Pacquaio, quoted in the Daily Express.

'I know how hard it is to get back into good boxing shape after being out of the training camp for only three or four months.'

Pacquiao is preparing for his first fight since controversially losing his WBO welterweight title to Timothy Bradley last June with a fourth fight against rival Juan Manuel Marquez next month in Las Vegas.

Blow: Manny Pacquiao destroyed Hatton inside two rounds in May 2009

Down and out: Manny Pacquiao destroyed Hatton inside two rounds in May 2009 (celebrating, below)

Down and out: Pacquiao celebrates his win over Hatton in May 2009

Despite voicing his concerns over Hatton's return, the Filipino legend insisted he respects the Manchester fighter's decision.

'I cannot imagine what it is like after a number of years,' Pacquaio added.

'It’s not just the conditioning, it’s the reflexes, legs, mental conditioning, and so much more.

'But this is Ricky’s decision to make and I respect him for it.'

Crunch test: Hatton will collide with Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena

Crunch test: Hatton will collide with Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Manchester Arena

Andy Murray beaten by Roger Federer at ATP Finals semi final

Fed express tramples on Murray's dreams as Swiss star sets up Djokovic clash

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UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 11 November 2012

With the 02 Arena festooned as if it had been shifted to somewhere called Basle-on-Thames Andy Murray might have wondered where he was as he stepped out to meet Roger Federer.

And by the time the great Swiss had finished with him he might have wondered what year it was, too, for as their match went on it seemed increasingly we had gone back to the time when Federer ruled the world and Murray was still trying to convert his promise into a Grand Slam title.

The result was a 7-6 6-2 victory in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, in a contest that became disarmingly one-sided. Murray will have many fantastic memories from 2012 but this will not be one of them.

Roger Federer

 Andy Murray

Contrasting fortunes: Roger Federer jumps for joy as Andy Murray is beaten at the semi-final stage

In the last match of the regular season, Federer will take Novak Djokovic – a 4-6 6-3 6-2 winner over Juan Martin Del Potro – and those of us who have been heralding the Djokovic-Murray axis as the new big thing in tennis will try and digest a little humble pie.

Federer showed the champion's appetite for a scrap and backed it up with fine shot making after a poor start and whatever happens this evening he will be heading into his off-season feeling a little less than his 31 years.

Murray enters that phase of the year on Monday, and in defeat it was not hard for him to find consolation in the events of the last five months. 'If you told me last year that I would be sitting in this position now with the results I've had in the last twelve months I would have signed up for that straightaway,' he said.

Proposition: Federer fans cheer their man on at the O2 in London

Proposition: Federer fans cheer their man on at the O2 in London

'It's been incredibly positive season but obviously I would have loved to finish it with a win. It's been the best year of my career by a mile and I've achieved things I've never done before.'

One of those came in the Olympic final, when he trounced Federer, and it was interesting to note how different Sunday night's atmosphere was to that heady Sunday afternoon in August in the midst of that heady two weeks.

On that day you had never heard a British crowd so supportive of Murray and positively anti-Federer, swept up in Olympic fervour, but it was as if the default position of deep affection for the great Swiss had been reset and that many had forgotten the home player's historic triumphs of 2012.

Murray did not complain that he was afforded less than partisan support, although it hardly augurs well for his chances of winning Sports Personality of the Year, saying 'Whenever you play Roger anywhere in the world he gets great support and he deserves that because of everything that he's achieved.'

 Andy Murray

Catch me if you can: Federer managed to get nose in front – and stayed there

The febrile atmosphere did not spur Federer to race out of the blocks, far from it, and his forehand was erratic as he gifted the 25 year-old Scot the first break of the match in the very first game, and was fortunate not to go 3-0 down shortly afterwards.

Competitor that he is, Federer fought his way back in and started to profit from his opponent's second serve, coming back from 3-1 down in a tiebreak in which neither man did much wrong until Murray netted a couple of times to conclude it.

The match properly turned at 1-1 in the second set, when Murray got to 40-0 on his serve and then threw in five desperately poor points in succession with ill-executed drop shots to the fore, the manoeuvre he admits can leave him looking like a genius or idiot.

Despair: Murray reflects on his semi-final defeat to Federer

Despair: Murray reflects on his semi-final defeat to Federer

'I started the match well, he came back in and then I played that poor game. He is very tough once he gets ahead, he played very well after that. I didn't think it was an incredibly high standard in terms of the length of the points, a lot of them went quickly,' said Murray, often pressured by the Swiss's judicious net rushes.

The fact that their last two matches had seen Federer lose all five sets was an irrelevance, but then a big difference was that this was indoors and he is the greatest player ever seen in this environment.

Whether that will be enough to see off Djokovic is another matter with the Serb in this mood. He was in deep trouble at a break down in the second set but eventually worked Del Potro out, and you have never beaten the world No 1 until you shake hands.

At full stretch: Murray had chances to make an impression but was unable to convert

At full stretch: Murray had chances to make an impression but was unable to convert

ATP Tour Finals: Roger Federer beats David Ferrer

Spirited Ferrer can't delay the Fed express as Swiss great marches on in London

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UPDATED:

17:07 GMT, 8 November 2012

Defending champion Roger Federer defeated David Ferrer for the 14th successive time to book his place in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The second seed still has a final Group B match to come against Juan Martin Del Potro on Saturday but Thursday's 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), victory was his second straight-sets win of the tournament and means he cannot be denied a spot in the last four.

Purple patch: Roger Federer looked good as he took the first set against David Ferrer

Purple patch: Roger Federer looked good as he took the first set against David Ferrer

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM LONDON

Now watch video highlights of Murray in action at the O2 Arena

Ferrer went into the clash on an
11-match winning streak but he had managed only three sets in his
previous meetings with Federer compared to 27 for his opponent and again
came out second best.

Federer is looking for his third
straight title at the O2 Arena and he made a great start this afternoon,
winning the first three games.

That did not tell the whole story,
though, as he fought off six break points, and they were back level
after Ferrer finally took his eighth chance.

The 30-year-old Spaniard has had the season of his life, winning more titles and more matches than anyone else on the ATP Tour.

He was pushing Federer, who was
making quite a few errors but, as he so often does, the world number two
found another gear when he needed it to break to love and secure the
opening set.

Reaching out: Ferrer twice pulled the game back from the brink before finally being defeated

Reaching out: Ferrer twice pulled the game back from the brink before finally being defeated

Ferrer had another opening at the start of the second set but could not take it, Federer saving two more break points.

The set was very tight and Ferrer
stayed with his opponent all the way until the tie-break, but an error
on the sixth point proved crucial.

Federer had been immaculate on serve
and took his third match point when a Ferrer return dropped long to
become the first singles player through to the semis.

Meanwhile, after it was confirmed the
showpiece would continue in London until 2015, its success has been
hailed by the Riccardo Silva, the president of MP&Silva, the
international media company that owns, manages and distributes TV and
media rights for leading tennis events across the globe.

Inch by inch: Ferrer did his best to stay toe-to-toe with Federer on the famous blue court

Inch by inch: Ferrer did his best to stay toe-to-toe with Federer on the famous blue court

Inch by inch: Ferrer did his best to stay toe-to-toe with Federer on the famous blue court

He said: 'This year's ATP Tour finals is being enjoyed by fans all over the world and the event moving to London over the past few years has been key to its growth.

'London has been at the centre stage of sport this year hosting a wonderful Olympic Games and is an iconic city that’s famous to audiences around the world, undoubtedly making it more appealing from a broadcast and sports rights perspective.

'Wimbledon is of course a magical and unique championship, but hosting another high profile tennis tournament in London will certainly help to grow tennis in the UK even more.'

Looking forward, he added: 'Given Tennis is popular in markets all over the world, there is certainly plenty of areas for growth in the future. Unsurprisingly, we’re currently seeing the sport’s popularity boosted in markets with the world’s top players.

'Novak Djokovic inspiring audiences in Serbia is one example, but I think we’re also seeing it in the UK with Andy Murray’s success this year.'

Celeb spotting: Juan Mata, Fabrice Muamba, and TV personality Bear Grylls were all in attendance

Celeb spotting: Juan Mata, Fabrice Muamba, and TV personality Bear Grylls were all in attendance

Celeb spotting: Juan Mata, Fabrice Muamba, and TV personality Bear Grylls were all in attendance

Celeb spotting: Juan Mata, Fabrice Muamba, and TV personality Bear Grylls were all in attendance

Manchester United want Tom Ince

United want Blackpool star Ince to follow in father's footsteps in 6m deal

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UPDATED:

09:17 GMT, 30 September 2012

Manchester United are reportedly close to agreeing a 6million swoop for Blackpool starlet Thomas Ince.

Sir Alex Ferguson wants the midfielder to follow in his dad Paul's footsteps and join the Old Trafford side.

Ince moved to Blackpool last year from Liverpool and has shone for the Championship club.

Star: Thomas Ince (left) has shone since joining Blackpool last year

Star: Thomas Ince (left) has shone since joining Blackpool last year

The 20-year-old was wanted by Swansea in the summer transfer window but opted to remain with the Tangerines, who lost 3-0 at Cardiff on Saturday.

United, however, are set to have more joy as they look to tie up a deal, according to the Sunday Express.

He said last month: 'It was flattering that there was interest, as it shows you are doing something well.

No joy: Blackpool were soundly beaten by Cardiff on Saturday

No joy: Blackpool were soundly beaten by Cardiff on Saturday

'But it was only right I put my faith in Blackpool because they had put their faith in me.

'They have helped me become the player I am.'

Manchester City, Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool eye Russia captain Igor Denisov

Man City, United, Arsenal and Liverpool ready to fight it out for Russia captain Denisov

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UPDATED:

06:29 GMT, 26 September 2012

Manchester United, Manchester City,
Liverpool and Arsenal are on alert after Russia captain Igor Denisov was forced to train with Zenit St Petersburg's youth team
following a bust-up.

The 28-year-old midfielder angered his club by criticising the lavish salaries handed to Hulk and Axel Witsel, signed for a combined fee of
72m during the summer.

Fall out: Russia captain Igor Denisov (right)

Fall out: Russia captain Igor Denisov (right)

Zenit reacted by ordering him to play for their youth team, alongside team-mate Alexander Kerzhakov, who backed the outburst

Denisov told Russian newspaper Sport-Express: 'I could understand it if we signed Messi or Iniesta, who are worth any price. Yes, we bought good players who clearly will help Zenit. But they are so much better than others to earn a salary three times better'

Now the Premier League rivals are ready to fight it out for Denisov during the January transfer window, reports talkSPORT.

UEFA will not monitor banned Juve coach Antonio Conte during Chelsea clash

UEFA will not monitor banned Juve coach Conte during Chelsea clash

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UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 18 September 2012

Banned: Juventus coach Antonio Conte

Banned: Juventus coach Antonio Conte

UEFA have admitted they will not try to stop banned Juventus coach Antonio Conte communicating with his coaching staff during Wednesday's Champions League clash with Chelsea.

Conte is currently serving a 10-month dugout ban for not reporting evidence of match-fixing during his spell in charge of Siena in 2010.

The ban extends to UEFA games, but officials admitted they will not be monitoring him during the game when he will be sitting in the stands.

It means he could use a mobile phone to talk to his bench and issue instructions to his players.

A UEFA official told the Daily Express: 'Conte is not allowed to have any contact with the players during the game or at half-time but he can be in the stands watching.

'There will be people watching the bench to check there is no communication. They will have eye contact with the bench.

'But there will not be anyone with him in the stands. He knows he is not allowed to communicate, so he will not do it.'

Juve have lost only once under Conte, in the Coppa Italia final against Napoli. The Turin club are unbeaten in Serie A for 16 months.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho got round a similar touchline ban in 2005 in a Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona by hiding in a skip to get into the dressing room.

In the quarter-finals against Bayern Munich, when Mourinho was still banned, his assistant, Rui Faria, wore a woolly hat in the dugout which raised suspicions that he was wearing an earpiece to communicate with his boss.

London 2012 Olympics: Sebastian Coe and Chris Hoy urge Government to invest in sport

Coe and Hoy urge Government to invest in sport after Olympic success

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UPDATED:

14:10 GMT, 14 August 2012

Sir Chris Hoy and Lord Coe have urged the Government to capitalise on the success of the London Olympics by investing in sport at grass-roots level.

Team GB's return of 65 medals in London – 29 of them gold – represented this country's best performance at the Olympics since 1908 and triggered a wave of patriotic fervour.

With participation levels in a range of sports expected to spike in the coming months, pressure is being applied to ensure the next generation of stars are given every opportunity to reach their potential.

Knight of the realm: Sir Chris Hoy with the two gold medals he won in London

Knight of the realm: Sir Chris Hoy with the two gold medals he won in London

'This success has shown the politicians and people in power at how the country is responding to these Games,' Hoy, whose two cycling golds in London were his fifth and sixth at Olympic level, told the Daily Express.

'Look at the positive feeling we are getting. We must keep this going. Put money into school sport, put money at the grass-roots level, give kids the chance to get involved in the sport.

'If you do that, you are going to bring this next generation through and it's going to make them fitter, healthier and improve social issues.

'As a result of all that you get the odd medal that pops out the top end, too. It's a win-win situation.'

Clean-up: The Olympic Stadium after the Closing Ceremony

Clean-up: The Olympic Stadium after the Closing Ceremony

Prime Minister David Cameron has already responded to Britain's success by stating that there will be no cuts to funding for Olympic sports before the 2016 Games in Rio.

UK Sport will receive 125 million annually for the next four years to maintain funding at same level as the run-up to London.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe maintains, however, that 'grown-up conversations' are still required over how best to take Britain on to further success in the future.

'I was asked by the Prime Minister if I would play my part about thinking alongside others about how we can maximise and leverage every ounce from the Games,' Coe told the Daily Telegraph.

Building a legacy: Lord Coe has been asked to advise the Government

Building a legacy: Lord Coe has been asked to advise the Government

'I am very happy to play my part. We need some grown-up conversations about how we deliver these things, and I am pleased the PM realises this.

'Those great British moments and great international moments will do more than anything else to inspire young people to take up sport.

'You have to have the right structure in place to deal with that demand, but everything starts from emulation and aspiration. Those Team GB athletes will be the best drivers of participation that we have had in this country in the last 20 years.

'The challenge now for national governing bodies, and everyone who is interested in promoting sport, is converting every one of those medals into more people kids playing sport, and the ability of clubs at community level to absorb that demand.'

Fulham 1 MK Dons 0: Pre season round-up

Reading and Southampton held to friendly draws as Rodallega shines for Fulham

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UPDATED:

22:19 GMT, 7 August 2012

Hal Robson-Kanu spared Reading's blushes as they drew 1-1 with npower Championship side Brighton in Michael Kuipers' testimonial match at the American Express Community Stadium.

Kuipers played the first 15 minutes in goal for the Seagulls before being replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak, but it took a penalty for Brighton to open the scoring.

Alex Pearce conceded the spot-kick after 32 minutes, upending Ashley Barnes, with Vicente Rodriguez stepping up to convert the penalty.

Saved: Reading's Hal Robson-Kanu (left) earned his side a draw with Brighton

Saved: Reading's Hal Robson-Kanu (left) earned his side a draw with Brighton

Some bright play from Reading yielded results in the second half though, with Robson-Kanu eventually levelling the scores on the 90-minute mark.

Billy Sharp managed to salvage a 1-1 draw for Southampton as they clashed with Bristol City at at Ashton Gate.

The home side took the lead through Jon Stead after 36 minutes but Saints, who had Olympic player Jack Cork back in the side, levelled the score as Sharp knocked home a far-post shot at the death.

Craig Dawson was another to suffer Olympic disappointment with Team GB, but he featured on the scoresheet as West Brom saw off fellow midlands club Walsall 3-1.

Helping hand: Craig Dawson ends up in the crowd after scoring the first goal for West Brom

Helping hand: Craig Dawson ends up in the crowd after scoring the first goal for West Brom

Dawson gave the Baggies the lead when heading home Yassine El Ghanassy's 16th-minute corner while Saido Berahino doubled the margin after 62 minutes.

El Ghanassy secured his first Albion goal in the 87th minute while George Bowerman scored a consolation effort for the home side with a minute to go.

Hugo Rodallega made an immediate impact for Fulham by notching a late winner in their penultimate pre-season friendly at MK Dons.

Instant impact: Hugo Rodallega of Fulham celebrates scoring the only goal of the game

Instant impact: Hugo Rodallega of Fulham celebrates scoring the only goal of the game

The ex-Wigan Star joined Fulham on a three-year deal last month and he made the most of an opportunity in the six-yard box after 81 minutes to seal a 1-0 win for the Whites.

Norwich gave plenty of players a run out as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Hull at the KC Stadium.

Meanwhile,Swansea manager Michael Laudrup was coy over speculation linking him with a move for Newcastle winger Gabriel Obertan after watching his side's 4-2 pre-season win over Blackpool.

Laudrup revealed on Monday he is closing in on another couple of additions to his squad, saying one deal in particular was not too far away from completion.

As well as Obertan, Valencia's Pablo Hernandez and Hannover's Didier Ya Konan have also been mentioned as targets for the Dane.

Target: Swansea are reportedly keen on Gabriel Obertan of Newcastle United

Target: Swansea are reportedly keen on Gabriel Obertan of Newcastle United

But when Obertan's name was put to him, Laudrup said: 'I can only say this. Speculation about players coming in, I don't want to comment on that.

'It is better for me to say I don't comment on rumours, I can comment on things about our players as it is different.

'When something is near or is done then you can ask me all you want.'

Danny Graham's hat-trick set the Swans on their way to a comfortable victory over the Seasiders, with new arrival Michu also getting on the scoresheet as Liverpool target Joe Allen watched from the stands, ahead of his crunch talks with Laudrup over the interest from Anfield.

A Ludovic Sylvestre strike and Thomas Ince's penalty provided some consolation for Blackpool.