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ECB announce 2013 Ashes dates and venues

England to start 2013 Ashes defence at Trent Bridge with Old Trafford another returning venue

PUBLISHED:

11:03 GMT, 1 June 2012

|

UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 25 April 2013

The England and Wales Cricket Board have released the itinerary for next year's international fixtures, with Trent Bridge playing host to the first Ashes Test.

It is another packed schedule for England, with series against New Zealand in all three formats between May 16 and June 27 before the world's top-eight teams contest the Champions Trophy.

The Oval, Cardiff and Edgbaston are the home grounds for that tournament but, as ever, the focus will be on the arrival of Australia.

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Ashes heroes: England will begin the defence of the Ashes at Trent Bridge

Ashes heroes: England will begin the defence of the Ashes at Trent Bridge

They will play two four-day warm-ups, against Somerset and Worcestershire, before the opening Test in Nottingham on July 10.

The second Test, at Lord's, follows immediately on July 18 before Australia face Sussex in another tour match at Hove.

The next two Tests are also back to back, with Old Trafford the venue for the third match, as it was in the memorable 2005 series, and Durham's first taste of Ashes cricket coming in the penultimate match of the series, starting on August 9.

The tourists then have a two-day fixture at Northampton before the sides meet again at The Oval, where England have clinched the urn for the last two home series.

Having announced his shock retirement from limited-overs cricket, Kevin Pietersen's international commitments will end on August 25, while his colleagues contest two Twenty20s and five one-day matches against the old enemy as well a stand alone trip to Malahide to face Ireland.

Happy memories: The England team celebrate winning the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005

Happy memories: The England team celebrate winning the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005

The final match on the calendar, a 50-over clash with Australia, takes place at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl on September 16 – four days later than its 2012 equivalent.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: 'The prospect of England defending the Ashes on home soil, the world's top eight teams competing in the ICC Champions Trophy, and a full programme of 50-Over and T20 International cricket will provide rich pickings for cricket fans next summer.

'Last season's international programme attracted a record aggregate attendance of more than 850,000 spectators and we would urge all fans to purchase their international tickets early for 2013 to avoid missing out on what promises to be a memorable summer.'

Collier also referred to the decision to hand Lord's the first Test of the summer against New Zealand, having initially awarded the fixture to Cardiff.

Australia announce Ashes squad

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Ticket sales for last summer's Test against Sri Lanka were disappointing and a compromise deal was reached which saw Glamorgan trade their Test for the Champions Trophy fixtures.

'Wales has earned an outstanding reputation for its ability to deliver world-class sporting events and we are delighted that Cardiff will be used as a host venue for the ICC Champions Trophy and stage a semi-final,' said Collier.

'Cardiff was originally scheduled to stage next summer's first Investec Test match against New Zealand and following further discussions between ECB, Glamorgan CCC, and MCC, this match will now be played at Lord's. We are grateful to both parties for their co-operation in this matter.'

2013 SUMMER DATES FOR NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA

New Zealand tour itinerary

May 4-6 v Derbyshire

May 9-12 v England Lions (Leicester)

May 16-20 v England (First Test, Lord's)

May 24-28 v England (Second Test, Headingley)

May 31 v England (First One-Day International, Lord's)

June 2 v England (Second ODI, Ageas Bowl)

June 5 v England (Third ODI, Trent Bridge)

June 22 v Kent (T20 warm-up, Canterbury)

June 25 v England (First T20 international, Oval)

June 27 v England (Second T20 international, Oval)

NB. T20 tour match at Canterbury on 22 June cancelled if NZ in Final of ICC Champions Trophy.

Champions Trophy

June 6-17 ICC Champions Trophy Group Stages

June 19-20 ICC Champions Trophy Semi-Finals

June 23 ICC Champions Trophy Final (Edgbaston)

Australia tour itinerary

June 26-29 v Somerset

July 2-5 v Worcestershire

July 10-14 v England (First Test, Trent Bridge)

July 18-22 v England (Second Test, Lord's)

July 26-28 v Sussex

Aug 1-5 v England (Third Test, Old Trafford)

AuG 9-13 v England (Fourth Test, Emirates Durham ICG)

Aug 16-17 v Northamptonshire

Aug 21-25 v England (Fifth Test, Oval)

Aug 29 v England (First T20, Ageas Bowl)

Aug 31 v England (Second T20, Emirates Durham ICG)

Sept 3 v Scotland (Edinburgh)

Sept 6 v England (First ODI, Headingley)

Sept 8 v England (Second ODI, Old Trafford)

Sept 11 v England (Third ODI, Edgbaston)

Sept 14 v England (Fourth ODI, SWALEC Stadium)

Sept 16 v England (Fifth ODI, Ageas Bowl)

Sept 3 Ireland v England (ODI, Dublin)

Saracens and Ulster Heineken Cup quarter-final at Twickenham

Twickenham to host Heineken Cup quarter-final between Saracens and Ulster

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

13:05 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:57 GMT, 30 January 2013

Saracens have announced their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster on April 6 will be played at Twickenham.

The Aviva Premiership club's new Allianz Park home, complete with its artificial playing surface, had been mooted as a possible venue.

Bumper crowd: Saracens will host Ulster at Twickenham in April

Bumper crowd: Saracens will host Ulster at Twickenham in April

But club chairman Nigel Wray told Saracens' official website today that the game will be staged at Twickenham.

'We look forward to playing this important match at the home of English rugby, a ground that many of our players know extremely well,' Wray said.

'It is absolutely clear that people want to see big teams playing big matches at big stadiums, and that is precisely what we will deliver at Twickenham.

Happy memories: Sarries won the Aviva Premiership title at HQ in 2011

Happy memories: Sarries won the Aviva Premiership title at HQ in 2011

'We did consider the option of playing this showpiece match at Allianz Park, our brand new home stadium in NW4, but, in consultation with local residents and our partners at the London Borough of Barnet, we have decided to settle at the new venue before applying to stage a one-off event with a larger capacity.'

Harlequins will host Munster at their Twickenham Stoop home the following day, with the quarter-final line-up completed by Leicester visiting Toulon and Clermont Auvergne hosting Montpellier.

David Haye: Vitali Klitschko needs to fight me

Vitali Klitschko has never had a defining fight… he needs me, taunts rival David Haye in his latest bid to secure world title clash

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

14:45 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 9 January 2013

David Haye has again underlined his desire to face Vitali Klitschko in 2013 by taunting the WBC heavyweight champion with the claim that he is yet to have a 'flagship' fight.

As has been customary throughout his career, Haye appears to believe in trying to talk his way into a fight with the Ukrainian – the younger brother of Wladimir, who beat the Londoner on points in July 2011 – by insisting that the elder Klitschko needs to fight to boost his own credibility.

'There’s nobody else in heavyweight division that can give RTL (the TV company that has a four-year deal with Klitschkos) the viewing figures,' Haye told The Telegraph.

Good to talk: David Haye chats to Carol Vorderman (L) and Sally Lindsay on daytime TV show Loose Women

Good to talk: David Haye chats to Carol Vorderman (L) and Sally Lindsay on daytime TV show Loose Women

'I wished Vitali a happy new year and congratulated him on all his political bits and bobs and whatever he’s doing over there in the Ukrainian parliament.

'But the bottom line is that he’s a fighter and hopefully he wants the fight the fans want.

'He’s never had that flagship fight, that one mega-fight that people will always remember him for. The only one people remember is the fight with Lennox Lewis, in which he came off second best,' Haye added of the 2003 fight in which Klitschko was stopped in the sixth round because of a significant cut over his left eye.

Brutal: The biggest fight of Klitschko's career, against Lennox Lewis, ended in defeat due to a cut over his eye

Brutal: The biggest fight of Klitschko's career, against Lennox Lewis, ended in defeat due to a cut over his eye

'He’s a proud man, and I’m sure he wants that big victory that he’s never had. He’s fought a lot of people, but for 10 years he’s been a huge favourite.

'I guarantee the smart money would be on someone like myself with power and speed and youth beating him, and he is going to have to pull off the upset. Whether he wants to put himself in that position remains to be seen.'

Since losing to Wladimir, Haye's only fight came against Dereck Chisora at Upton Park when he stopped his opponent in five rounds. Chisora had gone the distance with Vitali only months earlier.

Hungry: Haye is only interested in fighting Vitali Klitschko

Hungry: Haye is only interested in fighting Vitali Klitschko

Paul Cox hoping for FA Cup honeymoon against Liverpool after training-ground wedding

Now this really is the magic of the FA Cup! Mansfield boss to get married at TRAINING GROUND ahead of giantkilling bid against Liverpool

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

11:07 GMT, 3 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:14 GMT, 3 January 2013

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox will begin the biggest weekend of his life on Friday by marrying his girlfriend at the club’s training ground.

Cox’s team from the Blue Square Premier host giants Liverpool at the One Call Stadium on Sunday in one of the ties of the FA Cup third round.

But Cox will begin the weekend by marrying his girlfriend Natasha Bertin on the training ground next to the stadium after honouring a promise he made to her ahead of the club’s replay with Lincoln in the previous round.

Happy couple: Paul Cox with his bride-to-be Natasha Bertin

Happy couple: Paul Cox with his bride-to-be Natasha Bertin

Countdown: Paul Cox poses at Mansfield's training ground - in front of the marquee in which he will marry

Countdown: Paul Cox poses at Mansfield's training ground – in front of the marquee in which he will marry

Countdown: Paul Cox poses at Mansfield's training ground - in front of the marquee in which he will marry

Having drawn 3-3 at Sincil Bank in the first game, Cox told his partner he would marry her if Mansfield went through and, after a 2-1 win clinched a meeting with Brendan Rodgers’ team, he will keep his word tomorrow when the couple tie the knot in a specially erected marquee.

A Mansfield source said: 'It’s going to be a big three days for Paul.

'He gets married on Friday and then it’s Liverpool on the day of his 41st birthday on Sunday.'

Busy week: Cox is facing a 48 hours at Mansfield

Busy week: Cox is facing a 48 hours at Mansfield

Hope the weather improves... the view at Mansfield's training ground

Hope the weather improves… the view at Mansfield's training ground

Mansfield are currently ninth in the Blue Square after losing out in the promotion play-offs last season.

The club applied for permission to use their full capacity to 10,000 for Sunday’s game but their request was rejected on safety grounds. There will be only 7,500 fans in the stadium, meaning that club will lose in the region of 50,000 in possible takings.

Andy Murray delighted to receive OBE in New Years Honours

Murray proud to receive OBE as 'final touch' to incredible year for US Open and Olympic champion

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 29 December 2012

Olympic and US Open champion Andy Murray expressed his pride at being awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

The 25-year-old was one of a host of sporting stars to receive honours as part of a special list rewarding British athletes who excelled at the London Olympics and Paralympics.

Murray said in a statement on his website: 'It is with incredible pride that I have been named in the New Year's Honours List to receive an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to sport.

What a year: Andy Murray won two Olympic medals and lifted the US Open trophy

What a year: Andy Murray won two Olympic medals and lifted the US Open trophy

'This has been an amazing year for British sport and I am proud to have been able to play my part.

'I reached my first Wimbledon final, competed and won gold at the London 2012 Olympics with Team GB at Wimbledon, and then won my first grand slam title at the US Open.

'Being recognised in such a way at the end of such a great season is the finishing touch on 2012. Thank you all for your support, I hope everyone has a very happy New Year…..and here's to 2013!'

Murray went into the Olympics still looking to win one of tennis' biggest titles after falling just short at Wimbledon in July.

The Scot reached the final for the first time, ending a 74-year wait for a home men's singles finalist, but was beaten in four sets by Roger Federer, his devastation clear for all to see as his sobbed his way through a post-match interview.

Devastation: Murray (right) had to settle for second best at Wimbledon after losing to Roger Federer (left)

Devastation: Murray (right) had to settle for second best at Wimbledon after losing to Roger Federer (left)

Bouncing back: Murray beat Federer in the Olympic final at Wimbledon to take gold in the men's singles

Bouncing back: Murray beat Federer in the Olympic final at Wimbledon to take gold in the men's singles

Murray reacted in superb fashion, though, beating Novak Djokovic to guarantee himself a first Olympic medal and then handing Federer his worst defeat on grass to clinch gold in the men's singles on Wimbledon's Centre Court.

Murray almost made it two gold medals on the same day but had to settle for silver in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson.

The hope was the success would spur him on to break his grand slam duck, and he did just that at the first opportunity by winning the US Open in New York, ending Fred Perry's 76-year reign as Britain's last male grand slam singles champion.

Busy: Murray was in action earlier this week in Abu Dhabi

Busy: Murray was in action earlier this week in Abu Dhabi

The Wimbledon final was the fourth slam showpiece Murray had lost but he matched coach Ivan Lendl in winning at the fifth time of asking with a five-set victory over Djokovic.

Murray revealed after his triumph that his friends had been teasing him about the possibility of a knighthood – something he definitely was not expecting.

The world No 3 said: 'A lot of my friends have been messaging me about it and I don't really know what to say. I think it should take more than one or two good tournaments to deserve something like that. It would probably be a bit rash.'

The OBE is the first honour received by Murray, who survived the school shooting in his home town of Dunblane when he was eight.

Nottingham Forest 4 Leeds 2: Billy Sharp scores twice

Nottingham Forest 4 Leeds 2: Sharp caps happy Christmas with brace in convincing victory

PUBLISHED:

14:14 GMT, 26 December 2012

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UPDATED:

14:37 GMT, 26 December 2012

Billy Sharp capped a fine fortnight by striking twice as Nottingham Forest turned on the style either side of half-time to send in-form Leeds spiralling to defeat at the City Ground.

The striker's wife had given birth to their son on December 14 after a period of heartache that began with the death of their first child, who was just two days old, last summer.

Forest, who had slipped to 11th place after taking only four points from their previous five matches, were the latest side to make a mockery of the form book in the npower Championship after Sharp converted a late first-half penalty to cancel out Paul Green's early opener for Leeds.

Sharp fired his second of the game soon after the restart and a three-goal blitz in nine minutes – Rodolph Austin scored a clumsy own goal and Dexter Blackstock headed home the fourth – stunned the visitors, who had celebrated the completion of last week's takeover by Dubai investment bank GFH Capital with victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday – Leeds' fifth win in their last six league games.

Hotshot: Sharp's double proved the difference in Forest's victory

Hotshot: Sharp's double proved the difference in Forest's victory

Match facts

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ward, Collins, Halford, Cohen, Guedioura, Majewski, Reid, Sharp, Blackstock.
Subs: Darlow, Harding, Gillett, Moussi, McGugan, Cox, Lansbury.

Leeds: Kenny, /12/26/article-2253315-16A7EA1A000005DC-511_468x323.jpg” width=”468″ height=”323″ alt=”Mobbed: Sharp's Forest team-mates celebrate after he scored” class=”blkBorder” />

Mobbed: Sharp's Forest team-mates celebrate after he scored

Leeds striker Luciano Becchio's header
from Drury's cross was comfortably gathered by Camp, while at the other
end visiting goalkeeper Paddy Kenny pulled off a fine save in the 28th
minute to keep out Forest defender Elliott Ward's goalbound header.

Forest deservedly equalised in the
44th minute. Referee Lee Probert did not hesitate in pointing to the
spot following Lees' challenge on Sharp and the Forest striker picked
himself up to send Kenny the wrong way with the subsequent penalty for
his eighth goal of the season.

Forest, suitably perked, looked the
more dangerous side after the break and stole into a two-goal lead
within 12 minutes of the restart.

Spot on: Sharp's penalty brought Forest level

Spot on: Sharp's penalty brought Forest level

Blackstock headed a long clearance
brilliantly into the path of Sharp, who coolly rounded goalkeeper Kenny
and rammed home his second goal in the 54th minute and three minutes
later an out-of-touch Austin swung a clumsy leg at Forest defender
Ward's cut back and lashed the ball into the roof of his own net.

Worse was to come for Leeds. Forest
midfielder Andy Reid ghosted passed right-back Sam /12/26/article-2253315-16A7E9C8000005DC-370_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Agony: Leeds players saw Forest overtake them in the Championship table with victory” class=”blkBorder” />

Agony: Leeds players saw Forest overtake them in the Championship table with victory

Ecstacy: Forest are well-placed to challenge for promotion in the New Year

Ecstacy: Forest are well-placed to challenge for promotion in the New Year

Arsenal v West Ham Boxing Day match off due to Tube strike

Wenger granted mid-winter break as Arsenal's Boxing Day clash with West Ham is OFF due to Tube strike (but United will play THREE times in SIX days)

|

UPDATED:

14:51 GMT, 19 December 2012

Arsene Wenger has finally had his wish for a winter break granted… by London’s striking Tube drivers.

The Arsenal manager has long been a vocal supporter of the Barclays Premier League taking a mid-winter break like the top leagues in Spain, France, Italy and Germany.

Arsenal's match at home to West Ham on Boxing Day has been postponed due to industrial action on the London Underground, meaning they will not play a match for an entire week over the usually hectic festive period.

Arsene Wenger

Sir Alex Ferguson

Happy holidays: Wenger will be delighted with Arsenal's seven-day break, but Fergie (right) is sure to be furious that United have to play three times in six days

No go: The Gunners clash with West Ham at the Emirates must be rescheduled

No go: The Gunners clash with West Ham at the Emirates must be rescheduled

Wenger's side will not kick a ball for seven days after their trip to Wigan on Saturday until they host Newcastle in the evening kick-off on December 29.

Manchester United, meanwhile, will play three times in six days facing a trip to Swansea (December 23), a home game against Newcastle (Boxing Day) and another home match against West Brom (December 29).

The Arsenal manager's call for a mid-winter break has become an annual tradition. Last month, he even suggested moving the season to be played January to November.

He said: 'I understand it looks completely strange as people have been educated the current way but I moved to Japan and the season was in January to November. We started training in January and after a while it was completely normal.

'The period of rest would be the same. It wouldn’t change the number of games. You would not be confronted with these situations when players are playing in two different championships. You would play during the summer period in the best period for football to be played.

In 2011, Wenger said: 'I think after that [the Christmas break] you would like a little breather. I would like a winter break but after Christmas. Create a break after 2 January for two weeks. We can go on holiday for one week and prepare for one week.'

Arsenal's seven day Christmas break…

Arsenal now have a week off over the manic Christmas period thanks to the Tub strike. /12/17/article-2249424-16789CC6000005DC-469_468x349.jpg” width=”468″ height=”349″ alt=”Christmas cheer Arsenal are facing a tricky festive period” class=”blkBorder” />

Christmas cheer Arsenal now have an extra day to prepare for Newcastle

'We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused supporters but we feel that the right decision has been made.'

Arsenal's 60,000-seater ground is
five minutes' walk from Holloway Road station in north London, with
Highbury and Islington and Finsbury Park also close by. Many fans use
the service to get to games so a suspension would have caused chaos if
the match had gone ahead.

A strike by Tube drivers last year
forced Arsenal to delay their Boxing Day match with Wolves by 24 hours
but they cannot do the same this year as they have a game against
Newcastle on December 29.

A midweek evening in January seems the
likeliest date for re-staging but neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and the
FA Cup are also factors to be considered.

QPR's match with West Brom will kick off at 3pm as planned after the club held a meeting this afternoon to discuss the matter.

Loftus
Road is close to three Tube stations and fans are often reliant on the
service but a statement on Ranger's website read: 'Supporters are
advised to allow extra time for their journeys to and from Loftus Road.

'Buses
will be running on the usual Sunday/Bank Holiday service on the day of
the fixture, whilst parking in the borough will be free.

'Supporters who are unable to attend the fixture owing to the Tube strikes will be entitled to a full refund.'

Fulham will wait for official confirmation of the Tube strike before deciding if any action needs to be taken over their Boxing Day match with Southampton at Craven Cottage.

Derailed: Fans will have find it difficult to get across the capital

Derailed: Fans will have found it difficult to get across the capital on Boxing Day

A club spokesman said: 'We are
monitoring situation and putting contingency in place but remain fully
committed to the game going ahead as scheduled.'

Fulham play Swansea three days later.

Charlton
are the only Championship side hosting a Boxing Day fixture in the
capital but it is understood their match with Ipswich should not be too
badly disrupted and will go ahead. Most home fans travel in from Kent
rather than central London.

The announcement by Aslef means
London Underground drivers are on course to walk out on Boxing Day, as
well as January 18 and 25 in a row over bank holiday pay. It will be the
third successive Christmas walkout by Tube drivers.

The
move was announced after Aslef members voted by 9-1 in favour of
strikes. A spokesman said: 'The ballot result shows the strength of
feeling that remains on this issue.'

Neil Lennon on brink at Celtic… 17 days after beating Barcelona

If you want me to go, I'll go! Lennon on brink at Celtic, 17 days after beating Barcelona

|

UPDATED:

00:07 GMT, 25 November 2012

Neil Lennon sensationally threatened to quit Celtic after an angry altercation with fans during the 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Inverness at Parkhead.

With the home side trying to claw back Billy McKay's 65th-minute strike late in the game, the former Celtic skipper remonstrated with angry supporters behind his technical area and the match ended with a crescendo of boos from many of the frustrated Hoops support.

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

The Parkhead side have taken only one point from the last nine at home but remain top of the league by a point and are within one game of reaching the last-16 of the Champions League due, in part, to an incredible 2-1 home win over Barcelona earlier in the month.

However, in the post-match press conference the former Celtic skipper was clearly enraged by some of the criticism.

Lennon said: 'They are frustrated. I disagreed with them, I didn't like what they said about the team.

'Look, if they are not happy with what I am doing and they want me to go, I will.

'If the fans make it clear that they are not happy and they want me out then that's okay, I will do the honourable thing.

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

'I can't repeat it (what fans said) because it is public arena but there were a lot of expletives and heavy criticism, which I didn't think was justified and (there was) a lack of patience with the team as well.

'If there was a lack of application and commitment I would be the first to criticise the team.

'I didn't see that today but I did see a lack of composure and quality in the final third and that's what cost us.

'If I think it is justified then I don't have a problem with it but I don't think it was justified today.

'But they pay their money, they are allowed to say what they like. I've got my opinions on it and sometimes I give them as well.

'I am not happy with the league form, it is my team at the end of the day so I take the responsibility for it.

'It's not for the lack of trying to find the answers.'

If you want me to go, I"ll go! Lennon on brink at Celtic… 17 days after beating Barcelona

If you want me to go, I'll go! Lennon on brink at Celtic, 17 days after beating Barcelona

|

UPDATED:

18:55 GMT, 24 November 2012

Neil Lennon sensationally threatened to quit Celtic after an angry altercation with fans during the 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Inverness at Parkhead.

With the home side trying to claw back Billy McKay's 65th-minute strike late in the game, the former Celtic skipper remonstrated with angry supporters behind his technical area and the match ended with a crescendo of boos from many of the frustrated Hoops support.

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

Flash point: Celtic manager Neil Lennon argues with a Celtic fan

The Parkhead side have taken only one point from the last nine at home but remain top of the league by a point and are within one game of reaching the last-16 of the Champions League due, in part, to an incredible 2-1 home win over Barcelona earlier in the month.

However, in the post-match press conference the former Celtic skipper was clearly enraged by some of the criticism.

Lennon said: “They are frustrated. I disagreed with them, I didn't like what they said about the team.

“Look, if they are not happy with what I am doing and they want me to go, I will.

“If the fans make it clear that they are not happy and they want me out then that's okay, I will do the honourable thing.

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Not happy: Lennon received a verbal volley during shock defeat by Inverness

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

Happy days: Lennon celebrates with players after victory over Barcelona

“I can't repeat it (what fans said) because it is public arena but there were a lot of expletives and heavy criticism, which I didn't think was justified and (there was) a lack of patience with the team as well.

“If there was a lack of application and commitment I would be the first to criticise the team.

“I didn't see that today but I did see a lack of composure and quality in the final third and that's what cost us.

“If I think it is justified then I don't have a problem with it but I don't think it was justified today.

“But they pay their money, they are allowed to say what they like. I've got my opinions on it and sometimes I give them as well.

“I am not happy with the league form, it is my team at the end of the day so I take the responsibility for it.

“It's not for the lack of trying to find the answers.”

Middlesbrough"s Tony Mowbray wins Championship Manager of Month award

High five for Mowbray as Middlesbrough manager claims Championship award

PUBLISHED:

20:23 GMT, 16 November 2012

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UPDATED:

20:23 GMT, 16 November 2012

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has been named npower Championship Manager of the Month for October.

Mowbray beat off competition from
Millwall's Kenny Jackett and Nottingham Forest's Sean O'Driscoll after
Boro recorded five wins and a draw during the month.

The former West Brom chief was quick to share the praise with his players as well as the club's staff.

Top man: Boro boss Tony Mowbray

Top man: Boro boss Tony Mowbray

'It's a recognition of the whole club, not just for me, the players and the coaching staff, but also Avril, who empties the bins and cleans my desk, and Darkey who put the kits out each and every morning,' he told the club's official website.

'If they don't do their jobs properly the players will moan and I'll end up arguing with them. But instead everything just works – the players go in at lunchtime and the food is ready, you go to have a cup of tea and the cups are there clean for you.

'I help pick the team with my coaching staff but it's a huge team effort every single week to try to win football matches. Everybody behind the scenes is working to make it a happy camp – Manager of the Month awards are really a reflection that something is happening in your club for that period of time.'

Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson won the League One gong and Mark Yates of Cheltenham was the League Two winner.