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Charlton 3 Bolton 2 – match report

Charlton 3 Bolton 2: Addicks come from two down to record long overdue home win

PUBLISHED:

17:37 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 30 March 2013

Charlton came from two goals down to end their home hoodoo and dent Bolton's play-off hopes.

The Addicks were staring at a fourth straight Valley defeat, and 10th of the season, after Wanderers raced into a two-goal lead through Marvin Sordell and Medo Kamara.

But skipper Johnnie Jackson pulled one back before half-time and Bolton fell to pieces in the second half when Sam Ricketts was sent off.

Turnaround: Yann Kermorgant scored from the spot to complete a remarkable comeback for Charlton

Turnaround: Yann Kermorgant scored from the spot to complete a remarkable comeback for Charlton

MATCH FACTS

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Dervite, Wiggins, Pritchard, Hughes (Gower 72), Jackson, Harriott (Wilson 86), Kermorgant,
Fuller (Haynes 86).

Subs Not Used: Button, Green, Obika, Feely.
Booked: Hughes, Solly, Kermorgant.

Goals: Jackson 25, Dervite 60, Kermorgant (pen) 63.

Bolton: Lonergan, Ricketts, Knight, Dawson, Alonso, Medo, Spearing, Pratley (Odelusi 82), Ngog, Sordell (Butterfield 59), Lee (Craig Davies 69).

Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Eagles, Kevin Davies, Wheater.

Sent Off: Ricketts (58), Craig Davies (90).

Booked: Ricketts, Dawson, Spearing, Craig Davies.

Goals: Sordell 4, Medo 20.

Att: 17,322

Ref: Trevor Kettle (Rutland).

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Dorian Dervite immediately dragged
Charlton level and Yann Kermorgant struck the winner from the penalty
spot to complete an unlikely comeback, while Bolton finished with nine
men after a late red card for Craig Davies.

Charlton were missing two of their
senior defenders, Leon Cort and Matt Taylor, through injury and illness
and their patched-up back four were under the cosh from kick-off.

Chung-Yong Lee had already shot over and David Ngog forced a save from Ben Hamer before Bolton took a fourth-minute lead.

Sordell collected Ngog's pass and
turned makeshift centre-half Dervite inside out before tucking the ball
past Hamer.

Charlton attempted to hit back and midfielder Bradley
Pritchard was twice denied by Trotters keeper Andy Lonergan.

But Bolton doubled their advantage in
the 20th minute when Ngog found Medo 25 yards out and the Sierra Leone
midfielder beat Hamer with a swerving drive which went in off the post.

However, five minutes later Charlton
grabbed a lifeline when Bolton cleared a corner only as far as Jackson
on the edge of the area.

The midfielder took the ball past two
defenders before rifling it low into the net.

Captain's strike: Johnnie Jackson started the Charlton revival with his 25th-minute goal

Captain's strike: Johnnie Jackson started the Charlton revival with his 25th-minute goal

They almost grabbed an
equaliser before the break, but Pritchard could not quite get a toe on
Ricardo Fuller's ball across goal.

At the start of the second half
Lonergan could only parry Callum Harriott's deflected shot but Craig
Dawson was on hand to clear.The game swung Charlton's way on the hour
when Ricketts was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Fuller.

Bolton were hit with a double
punishment as, from the free-kick, Kermorgant's curler came back off the
post and Dorvite reacted first to lash in his first goal for the
club.And three minutes later they were ahead.

Lead: Goals from Marvin Sordell (above) and Medo Kamara (below) put Bolton 2-0 ahead at The Valley

Lead: Goals from Marvin Sordell (above) and Medo Kamara (below) put Bolton 2-0 ahead at The Valley

Lead: Goals from Marvin Sordell (above) and Medo Kamara (below) put Bolton 2-0 ahead at The Valley

Fuller burst into the area and was brought down by Darren Pratley, with Kermorgant stepping up to take the penalty.

The Frenchman has form for fluffing
his lines from the spot, having famously tried and failed with a chip in
a play-off penalty shoot-out while playing for Leicester.

But as The Valley held its breath,
Kermorgant wisely opted for power and blasted his shot wide of
Lonergan.Charlton had to endure seven minutes of stoppage time but
Bolton substitute Davies used up most of it by earning himself two
yellow cards to complete Bolton's second-half meltdown.

Off: Dougie Freedman speaks to referee Trevor Kettle after his Bolton team finished the game with nine men

Off: Dougie Freedman speaks to referee Trevor Kettle after his Bolton team finished the game with nine men

Red card: Samuel Ricketts is given his marching orders in the 58th minute

Red card: Samuel Ricketts is given his marching orders in the 58th minute

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Derby 2 Leicester 1 – Match report: Chris Martin seals crucial victory for County

Derby 2 Leicester 1: Martin seals crucial victory for County to heap more misery on Pearson

PUBLISHED:

19:44 GMT, 16 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 16 March 2013

First-half headers from captain Richard Keogh and on-loan striker Chris Martin saw Derby end their Leicester hoodoo with victory at Pride Park.

After five successive npower Championship defeats against the Foxes, Nigel Clough's side broke the sequence with a vital three points to move them clear of the relegation zone.

Substitute Jeff Schlupp pulled a goal back for the visitors just after the hour mark but Leicester could not rescue anything from the game as their winless league run reached five matches.

Rush of blood to the head: Chris Martin celebrates his goal to put County 2-0 up

Rush of blood to the head: Chris Martin celebrates his goal to put County 2-0 up

Frank Fielding returned in goal for Derby in one of four changes made by Rams boss Clough.

Fielding replaced Adam Legzdins to make his first appearance since losing his place through injury at the start of October.

With Gareth Roberts out with a knock
sustained in training this week, on-loan Watford midfielder Craig
Forsyth filled in at left-back.

Leading scorer Jamie Ward, midfielder
Craig Bryson and right-back Kieron Freeman all returned from injury as
Ben Davies and Valentin Gjokaj dropped to the bench.

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson made
one change to his side, recalling fit-again left-back Paul Konchesky in
place of striker Schlupp.

No way through: Lloyd Dyer (centre) finds his path blocked by Derby's Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts

No way through: Lloyd Dyer (centre) finds his path blocked by Derby's Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts

Match Facts

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Andy King headed over the crossbar as the Foxes attacked early on but it was Derby who took the lead after 16 minutes.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan conceded a free-kick wide on the left and Keogh glanced home Ward's delivery from six yards out.

A mistake by Jeff Hendrick midway through the first half almost led to an equalising goal.

The midfielder lost possession to
opposite number Richie Wellens on the edge of his own box but Lloyd Dyer
scuffed his volley after being picked out at the far post by David
Nugent, who was denied by Fielding shortly afterwards when he let fly
from long range.

Derby felt they should have had a
penalty in the 40th minute when Wellens tripped Freeman just inside the
area down the right-hand side.

In the air: Derby's Richard Keogh opened the scoring with this bullet header

In the air: Derby's Richard Keogh opened the scoring with this bullet header

The Rams finished the first half on
top and almost extended their lead when Ward escaped down the left
before setting up Martin, but the man on loan from Norwich saw his shot
saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Martin would not have to wait long
for a goal, however, as he headed home Forsyth's left-wing cross a
minute before the half-time whistle.

Schlupp, who in Konchesky's absence
had been filling in as a makeshift left-back, was introduced at the
start of the second half with Wellens making way.

And the 20-year-old, who recently
spent a month on trial at Manchester United, got Leicester back into the
game after 62 minutes with an arrowing left-footed strike across
Fielding after being teed up by Nugent's lay-off.

Jumping for joy: Jeff Schlupp of Leicester hit a terrfic strike for the Foxes but they still went down 2-1 to their midlands rivals

Jumping for joy: Jeff Schlupp of Leicester hit a terrfic strike for the Foxes but they still went down 2-1 to their midlands rivals

The German-born Ghana international
continued to make a nuisance of himself and almost returned the favour
for Nugent in the 70th minute, but this time Fielding made the save.

At the other end, substitute Davies
worried Schmeichel with a 25-yard shot but his effort was always rising
and narrowly cleared the crossbar. Martin's deflected strike then looped
kindly into the hands of the Dane.

Leicester pushed for an equaliser but
never really tested Fielding as Derby held on for a first Championship
victory in nine outings to climb into the top half of the table.

Leicester had been pushed down to
sixth with Nottingham Forest's win at Hull earlier in the day and
Pearson's team remain in the final play-off spot.

ATP World Tour Finals 2012: Tomas Berdych sees off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Berdych sees off Tsonga to set up nerve-wracking finish to Murray's Group A

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UPDATED:

23:57 GMT, 7 November 2012

Tomas Berdych broke his London hoodoo with victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London to ensure Group A will go down to the wire.

The Czech world number six had lost all three of his matches in the capital this year, going out in the first round at Wimbledon and the Olympics and losing his opener to Andy Murray at the O2 Arena on Monday.

Three-way tie: Tomas Berdych's victory will mean either he, Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will progress

Three-way tie: Tomas Berdych's victory will mean either he, Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will progress

But he recovered impressively from dropping the second set to race through the decider and secure a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory.

A Tsonga win would have sent Novak Djokovic, a three-set winner over Murray earlier, through to the semi-finals and eliminated Berdych, but this result means nothing has yet been decided.

Zut alors! Tsonga looks disconsolate during his defeat at the O2

Zut alors! Tsonga looks disconsolate during his defeat at the O2

This was Berdych and Tsonga's third meeting in a month after clashes in Shanghai and Stockholm, both of which were won by the Czech.

He looked like he may have blown his chance in the first set when he missed a simple volley on break point in the seventh game, but made amends in the 11th game and served it out.

Czech her out: Model Ester Satorova hails her boyfriend's victory

Czech her out: Model Ester Satorova hails her boyfriend's victory

Tsonga, who lost to Roger Federer in last year's final, was staring at the exit door as a straight-sets defeat would have seen him eliminated tonight but he hit back and broke for a 3-1 lead in the fourth game of the second set.

The popular Frenchman then saved a break point on his way to serving out the set, and had two chances to break Berdych in the opening game of the decider but it was the Czech's turn to dig in.

That proved to be a crucial moment as Berdych broke in the fourth game and polished off victory in an hour and 52 minutes with his fifth game in a row.

Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool are not scared of playing a Anfield

Rodgers dismisses claims of home hoodoo and hopes to restore fear factor at Anfield

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UPDATED:

14:20 GMT, 6 October 2012

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admits he is not entirely sure why the team's home record has been so poor in recent times, but insists there is no major 'psychological' problem with his players at Anfield.

Thursday's 3-2 Europa League defeat to Udinese means the Reds have now gone five games in all competitions without a win on their own turf, with their only victory there this term coming in a qualifier for the continental tournament against Belarusian outfit FC Gomel.

Liverpool also struggled at Anfield last season under Rodgers' predecessor Kenny Dalglish, taking maximum points in just six of their 19 home Barclays Premier League matches.

It is something Rodgers finds difficult to comprehend, but he has stressed the players are working hard to address the issue and is not convinced they are suffering any kind of stage fright.

Confidence trick: Brendan Rodgers will hope to restore some home comforts

Confidence trick: Brendan Rodgers will hope to restore some home comforts

Speaking ahead of the home clash against Stoke, Rodgers said: 'Sometimes it is just a confidence factor, and you also have to imagine that when any team comes to Anfield, it is one of the biggest games of the (visiting) players' lives.

'Playing at home is certainly not a distraction. I think to play at Anfield is a real honour and a privilege and the support we get from the crowd is incredible.

'The backing we get every time we play there is fantastic, so it is just one of those statistics there is no explanation for.

'What you have to do is just try to work very hard. We have performed well there this season – in the Europa League (qualifying) game we have won, and we have come close in a number of the Premier League games and should have won.

'Obviously it overspills into last season as well, but psychologically, there is nothing there for me (in terms of a problem).

'We have just got to get the results – hopefully we can get some wins there and perform well for the rest of the season.'

Reality check: Liverpool react to Sebastian Coates' own goal

Reality check: Liverpool react to Sebastian Coates' own goal

Following his appointment as manager over the summer, Rodgers has had a mixed start to his tenure at Liverpool, with the team accruing only five points from their opening six league fixtures.

He has been trying to introduce a dynamic, aesthetically-pleasing style of play at the club which is in sharp contrast to the direct approach Stoke are associated with.

It is hard to deny that the Potters have impressed in terms of the way they have adapted to life in the Premier League since their promotion in 2008, achieving consistent mid-table finishes under boss Tony Pulis.

Rodgers has nothing but praise for his opposite number and feels Stoke do not get the credit they deserve.

'No matter what brand of football you play, playing against any team in this league is difficult, and Stoke are certainly one of those teams,' Rodgers said.

'I have great respect for Tony and the work he has done. He has taken Stoke a long, long way from the time he went in there.

Famous win: Udinese celebrate victory at Anfield

Famous win: Udinese celebrate victory at Anfield

'He got them promoted and they are now very much an established team at this level.

'There is no right or wrong way to play football – at the end of the day, it is about getting results.

'Tony has his way of working and I don't think they get enough praise for the actual football they do play.

'They do play some good football, but obviously, they have a stigma about playing a slightly longer game.

'You have to work as a team and defend against that, and then bring your own style to the game.'

Meanwhile, Rodgers has spoken of how highly he rates Reds defender Daniel Agger, who has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool.

'Daniel is a terrific player and I am absolutely delighted he has committed himself. It's a big boost for everyone connected with the club,' said Rodgers.

'He's one of the best centre-backs in world football. His balance, his reading of the game, his defensive qualities and his ability to bring it out from the back is outstanding.'

Cardiff 2 Leeds 1: Craig Bellamy free kick and Peter Whittingham penalty enough

Cardiff 2 Leeds 1: Set piece stars Bellamy and Whittingham keep up 28-year record

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 15 September 2012

Craig Bellamy curled home a superb second-half free-kick and Peter Whittingham converted a penalty as Cardiff maintained their 28-year hoodoo over Neil Warnock's Leeds.

Bellamy, back in the squad following a calf injury, stepped off the substitutes' bench in the 64th minute and clipped home a 20-yard strike to break the deadlock three minutes later.

Whittingham coolly slotted home from the spot in the 73rd minute after Leeds defender Tom Lees had scythed down Cardiff striker Nicky Maynard and, although Jamaica international Rodoplh Austin fired home a 30-yard thunderbolt for Leeds with 13 minutes left, Malky Mackay's side held on to secure their third npower Championship win of the season.

Opener: Craig Bellamy is congratulated after scoring a free-kick

Opener: Craig Bellamy is congratulated after scoring a free-kick

Match facts

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Hudson, Connolly, Taylor, Whittingham, Smith, Noone (Bellamy 64), Mutch (Gunnarsson 76), Helguson, Maynard (Cowie 83). Subs not used: Lewis, Kim, Mason, Nugent.

Booked: Smith.

Scorers: Bellamy 67, Whittingham 73 pen.

Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Drury (Diouf 46), Pearce, Lees, Austin, White, Tonge, /09/15/article-0-15079AF3000005DC-59_634x408.jpg” width=”634″ height=”408″ alt=”Blow: Leeds' Ross McCormack is stretchered off in the opening minutes” class=”blkBorder” />

Blow: Leeds' Ross McCormack is stretchered off in the opening minutes

Leeds
boss Neil Warnock sent on striker El-Hadji Diouf for defender Adam
Drury at the start of the second half, but Mutch and Whittingham
threatened for the home side with long distance drives that flew wide.

Visiting goalkeeper Paddy Kenny then held Tommy Smith's 25-yard effort and caught defender Mark Hudson's close-range header as Cardiff chased the game's opening goal.

Bellamy replaced winger Noone in the 64th minute and three minutes later the former Manchester City livewire broke the deadlock.

Keeping it up: Malky Mackay maintained Cardiff's great record against Leeds

Keeping it up: Malky Mackay maintained Cardiff's great record against Leeds

Tonge was booked for his nasty challenge on Maynard 20 yards from goal and Bellamy curled the subsequent free-kick beyond Kenny and into top corner.

Cardiff doubled their advantage six minutes later. England under-21 defender Lees cut down Maynard in the area and referee Paul Tierney did not hesitate in pointing to the spot, with Whittingham coolly side-footing the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.

But Leeds hauled themselves back into the game when Austin blasted home a low free-kick from 30 yards following Aron Gunnarsson's foul on Varney.

Leeds defender Lee Peltier almost snatched a point for the visitors in the 87th minute, but headed over the crossbar and Cardiff held on for all three points.

Jenson Button hopeful of ending British Grand Prix podium hoodoo

Button hopeful of ending podium hoodoo at British Grand Prix

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UPDATED:

17:44 GMT, 29 June 2012

Jenson Button is prepared to put his emotions on show should he finally bring an end to one of the more bizarre sporting hoodoos.

With the British Grand Prix looming over the horizon, it means it must be time to focus on Button's inexplicably wretched record at Silverstone.

In 12 attempts at the Northamptonshire venue Button has never managed to clamber on to the podium, a feat he has achieved on 45 other occasions throughout his career across the world.

On the Button: Jenson is optimistic of ending his Silverstone hoodoo

On the Button: Jenson is optimistic of ending his Silverstone hoodoo

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Put into greater perspective, there is only one other circuit on the current calendar – the upcoming new track in Austin aside of course – where Button has failed to claim a top-three place, and that is Korea, which has only staged two grands prix.

'Heading into the British Grand Prix I am positive,' said Button. 'I have been through a difficult spell, and looking at the result in Valencia (qualified ninth and finished eighth) you would say it was the same.

'But personally I was a lot happier with the car over the weekend and how we improved it from the starting point we had.

'It wasn't the perfect weekend, but I feel happy we've definitely found a direction now as we were a little lost before.

Grand plans: Lewis Hamilton and Button at the glitzy launch of the London GP

Grand plans: Lewis Hamilton and Button at the glitzy launch of the London GP

'As a team there is still more we need to do to fight at the front in terms of developing the car.

'But I do think Silverstone is a circuit that suits the McLaren. It's high speed so it should be a circuit where we're quick.

'We have good downforce at high speed, which is something we don't probably have at low speed, so the car should be strong there.

'It's a very mixed season, which means it's sometimes difficult to know where your car is going to work well, but I'm pretty sure it's going to work well at Silverstone.'

But the question is, will it be quick enough to push him into the top three for once, or will luck again desert him, as typified by last year

Pushing for a podium finish, Button was forced to retire on lap 40 when his pit crew failed to secure the right-front wheel at a pit stop, resulting in him grinding to a halt just a few hundred yards from the garage.

Errors have notably been a feature of McLaren's pit stops this season, but hopefully Button will avoid any such issues in his bid to at least thrust himself back into title contention.

Second in the table and trailing team-mate Lewis Hamilton by two points after the first three races, Button has plummeted to eighth and 62 points adrift of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso five races later.

But then that Button confidence comes to the fore again as he said: 'I know I'm a long way behind and that I've put myself in a very difficult situation.

'I know I've made it more difficult for myself compared to most other people, but you never give up until it's not possible any more, and especially heading into the British Grand Prix.

'So I've every confidence in the world it's going to be a good weekend, and it just makes it all the more exciting as I try and chase down my rivals.'

Euro 2012 Joachim Low sure Germany will end Italy hoodoo

Germany can beat anyone: Low confident of putting Italy hoodoo to bed

PUBLISHED:

21:53 GMT, 27 June 2012

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 27 June 2012

It will offer little comfort to Roy Hodgson but the organisers here were so confident of England beating Italy that one of the two dug-outs had been reserved for them in anticipation of a semi-final against Germany.

In fact it was not until Wednesday that ‘England’ was removed from the dug-out roof at the National Stadium.

Alas, they are not here. The Italians are. But Joachim Low scored one victory for England against Italy when he suggested Roy Hodgson’s side were superior to the one his Germany team encountered at the last World Cup. A side, of course, that was managed by Fabio Capello.

Final preparations: Joachim Low readies Germany for Italy in training

Final preparations: Joachim Low readies Germany for Italy in training

Final preparations: Joachim Low readies Germany for Italy in training

Low was asked why Germany are always here at this stage of a competition — this is their fourth semi-final in as many tournaments — and why, by this stage, England have usually returned home.

‘I don’t know why,’ he said. ‘It’s hard to answer. The English were much better in this tournament than in 2010. When they played us then, they were a team who had a lot of problems.

‘Here they were a very well organised team. Roy Hodgson has brought order into the side and has done a great job.

‘England will develop under him in the next few years and, in the next tournament, they’ll play a better role than they did here and certainly than they did in 2010.’

The sky's the limit: Italy stand in Germany's way of a final place, with Low aware of the havoc Andrea Pirlo (below) can wreak, if given the luxury of time and space

The sky's the limit: Italy stand in Germany's way of a final place, with Low aware of the havoc Andrea Pirlo (below) can wreak, if given the luxury of time and space

Dangerman: Pirlo

Germany have certainly improved since 2010. They were far too good for England in Bloemfontein but now they appear to have the measure of any team in the world. On the evidence so far they are the team of Euro 2012.

But like England, there is a certain hoodoo that must be erased against Italy if they are to advance to the final in Kiev on Sunday.

Never in Germany’s history have they beaten Italy in a competitive match.

They lost the semi-final of the 2006 World Cup, conceding twice in the last two minutes of extra time, and before that they lost one of the great encounters: a 4-3 semi-final defeat after extra time in the 1970 World Cup.

Heartbreak: Two extra-time strikes from Alessandro Del Piero knocked Germany out of the World Cup on home soil six years ago

Heartbreak: Two extra-time strikes from Alessandro Del Piero knocked Germany out of the World Cup on home soil six years ago

‘In 2006 we didn’t have the maturity we have now,’ said Low. ‘Italy have also gone through a change. When we played them last year (in a friendly clash that ended 1-1) they weren’t just a team who defended and played on the counter. They had developed, made and took chances, and have improved in quality without losing their strength in defence.

‘But our team is perfectly capable of beating any team in the world. We are in a position where we can beat anyone, so we have to take confidence from that into the game.’

Italy midfielder Daniele de Rossi is confident he will not be kept out of the clash by a bad back. De Rossi suffers from long-standing back problems and was in some discomfort immediately after Sunday’s win over England.

Confident: Daniele De Rossi says he wants to play, despite a persistent back injury

Confident: Daniele De Rossi (right) says he wants to play, despite a persistent back injury

However, as a key man in the Azzurri ranks, coach Cesare Prandelli will want De Rossi available and the Roma man has no intention of missing out.

‘It is not a case of being a hero or a warrior,’ he said. ‘I would never give up the opportunity of playing for Italy against Germany, although I would feel the same if it was a match for Roma in the Coppa Italia.

‘OK, I have got a bad back. But I have a lot of faith in the medical people. There are a few fitness tests tomorrow but I am confident I will make it.’

Stats: Germany V Italy

Jenson Button heading to Silverstone in positive mood

Button heading to bogey track Silverstone in positive mood despite poor run of results

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UPDATED:

08:22 GMT, 26 June 2012

Jenson Button is hoping he turned enough of a corner in Valencia over the weekend to lead to him breaking his podium hoodoo at Silverstone.

Qualifying ninth and finishing eighth in the European Grand Prix is a long way short of what Button knows he should be achieving.

However, it represented something of an improvement in comparison to previous races as Button found a more workable set-up he feels should be better suited to the British Grand Prix's circuit.

On the Button: Jenson is hoping for an improved showing at Silverstone

On the Button: Jenson is hoping for an improved showing at Silverstone

'In terms of the car I was much happier over the weekend,' Button said.

'Saturday I was very strong in qualifying, the car felt good, but the last run in Q3 didn't work out.

'The race was then not as good as on Saturday, in fact it was a mess, kickstarted by a problem with the clutch I had off the line.

'After that the race was such that I could have been 15th, I could have been on the podium. You never know. You luck into that sort of result.

'Who would have thought that after a safety car sticking on new tyres (a few laps later) would be the right thing to do, as Mark (Webber) and Michael (Schumacher) did.

Poor run: Button has managed only six points in his last five races

Poor run: Button has managed only six points in his last five races

'It was just a very strange race, one in which we stuck to our guns and strategy. We didn't do anything wrong, we just didn't do anything exciting.

'But I do take something away from the weekend in that I was much happier with the balance. I think we found something.'

Whether that will be enough to propel Button into the top three remains to be seen, but he would like to think so.

It is a remarkable fact Button has never finished on the podium in 12 attempts at Silverstone, something he would dearly love to end this time around.

Button said: 'For us the next race is our home grand prix, with home support.

Behind: Button is 62 points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso

Behind: Button is 62 points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso

'A lot more importantly it's a high-speed circuit which should suit us better than these low-speed ones, so there's hope. I'll be going there positive.'

The title picture, however, is fast becoming a concern, although one Button will be putting to the back of his mind in just under a fortnight's time given the gap he now faces to Fernando Alonso.

Collecting just six points from his last five races, Button said: 'Sixty two points behind Fernando, wow! That's quite a lot.

'That's more points than I've scored (49), but at least I've another 12 races, so although I'm a long way behind, it is still possible.

'But I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking about going to my home race and driving a fast, flowing circuit which hopefully our car should work well on.'

Euro 2012: England have improved, says Mesut Ozil

England have improved, says Ozil, but Germany just get better and better

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UPDATED:

14:39 GMT, 25 June 2012

Mesut Ozil refused to be drawn on whether England's European Championship defeat to Italy simply spared them another thrashing by his Germany side.

England crashed out of Euro 2012 on penalties, denying them the chance to try to avenge their 4-1 World Cup hammering by Germany in this week's semi-finals.

But the manner of the two sides' performances in Poland and Ukraine have led some to suggest England were at risk of another hiding in Warsaw had they managed to progress.

Too hot to handle: Germany's Mesut Ozil skips round the challenge of Greece's Kostas Katsouranis in the Euro 2012 quarter-final

Too hot to handle: Germany's Mesut Ozil skips round the challenge of Greece's Kostas Katsouranis in the Euro 2012 quarter-final

Euro 2012 email button

Asked if he believed that and if he also felt Germany were a better team than two years ago, midfield star Ozil said: 'Yes, we have improved. We're on a very good track.

'We've reached the semi-final, with just a few inches to go until the big final.

'As far as England are concerned, I think they've played a very good tournament.

'They were slightly inferior against Italy and I think that was visible during the game.

'But they, too, as a team definitely have improved and have developed further.'

Paying the penalty: England again came up short in the shoot-out against Italy

Paying the penalty: England again came up short in the shoot-out against Italy

Last night's defeat was England's sixth in seven shootouts, as their hoodoo on spot-kicks continued with decisive misses from Ashley Young and Ashley Cole.

Their record had been lost one, won one, when they last faced Germany on penalties during the Euro 96 semi-finals.

Germany goalkeeping coach Andrea Kopke was his country's hero that night, saving Gareth Southgate's weak sudden-death strike.

Kopke was at a loss today as to why England were still so bad at penalties.

He said: 'It was all in their own hands. They were up one penalty and hitting the crossbar was just unlucky.

'Cole had a stinker when he took that penalty.

'England are tragically unlucky in many respects but why that is, I don't know.'

Heartache: Kopke famously saved Gareth Southgate's spot-kick as Germany beat England in the semi-final of Euro 96

Heartache: Kopke famously saved Gareth Southgate's spot-kick as Germany beat England in the semi-final of Euro 96

A big deal has been made out of the importance of practising penalties, with many believing that to be behind Germany's historic shootout success.But Kopke said: 'It's near impossible to 'practise' penalty shootouts in training.

'In training, players just whack it in and they do different things when it really counts.

'It makes precious little sense to practise penalties during training.'

Euro 2012: Joe Hart best in the world, insists Steven Gerrard

Hart can be the best in the world, insists Gerrard

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 23 June 2012

England skipper Steven Gerrard believes Joe Hart will become 'the best keeper in the world' and will have a key role to play in Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final with Italy in the Olympic Stadium.

Gerrard gave his glowing testament as England attempt to reach their first major semi-final since Euro 96 when they lost on penalties to Germany.

Glowing praise: Gerrard says Hart is among the best

Glowing praise: Gerrard says Hart is among the best

The Liverpool midfielder has seen Hart grow in stature since becoming established as the England number one since the 2010 World Cup.

Gerrard said: 'I think we have got one of the best keepers in the world in Joe and I think eventually he will go on to be the best in the world.

'His performances so far in this tournament have been fantastic and he is going to be one of our key players tomorrow night.

'We need Joe to perform at his maximum because at some stage in the game or in extra-time or if it goes to penalties, he is going to be called upon to make a fantastic save.

'We all think we can do it.'

Safe hands: Hart will have a vital role to play against Italy

Safe hands: Hart will have a vital role to play against Italy

Gerrard is aware of the importance of himself and Scott Parker getting to grips with the midfield trio of Andrea Pirlo, Daniele de Rossi and Claudio Marchisio.

He said: 'Italian have some fantastic midfielders. Pirlo has proved he is one of the best midfielders out there.

'De Rossi can see a long pass and score goals. Marchisio is a bit of a different player and runs into the box more.

'But they are all threats and it is up to Scott and myself to control the midfield because they are three superb players. If they get control of the game, we are in trouble.'

I've got your back: Hart (left) and Gerrard (right)

I've got your back: Hart (left) and Gerrard (right)

Gerrard has urged his England team-mates to 'seize the moment' and end their quarter-final hoodoo – they were beaten in three successive tournaments at that juncture under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He said: 'In previous tournaments we just haven't shown what we are capable of. But our performances are getting stronger in this competition.

'That is what gives me the belief and confidence that we can end this hoodoo that people talk about.

'I get told that not many of the current players have figured in quarter-finals, but they are all big-game players and are aware of what is required.

'It is important they seize the moment, seize the opportunity, because from experience, I know they don`t come around very often.

'It is important nobody leaves anything out on the pitch and show the critics we are good enough to compete at this level.'

Gerrard knows England will have to contain Mario Balotelli if he is recalled to the starting line-up by the Italians.

The controversial Manchester City man came off the bench to score against the Republic of Ireland on Monday, and is rarely far from the action.

Gerrard said: 'We all know about Mario, we watch him week in and week out in the Premier League. He`s an excellent and dangerous player.

'He is someone we will have to take extra care of if he is chosen, and we will have to try and contain him tomorrow night.'

Head coach Roy Hodgson will not change his approach compared to that demonstrated in the group stages.

He said: 'I'm not so sure you need a different mentality because in the group there is always the element of knockout involved in, if you don't win, you could be out.

'We must make sure we are ready to go out on the pitch and do what we set out to do.'

Hodgson also reiterated his determination for England to rid themselves of the statistic of failing to beat a major nation in a tournament since the 1966 World Cup.

He said: 'All stats that can be turned against you, that make things look negative regarding the nation's football, you are anxious to do something about.

'But you don't change stats by talking. You do it on the field.'

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