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FA Youth Cup: Liverpool 3 Leeds 1 – Steven Gerrard gives thumbs up to Kop kids

FA Youth Cup: Liverpool 3 Leeds 1 – Gerrard gives thumbs up to Kop kids

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

20:56 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:11 GMT, 28 February 2013

Liverpool's Academy is brimming with
talent and Jordon Ibe, one of its most gifted pupils, showed why he is a
name to note by firing his side into the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals.

Ibe, who was brought to Anfield in an
initial 500,000 deal from Wycombe Wanderers in December 2011, scored
twice as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners against Leeds to set up a trip to
Hull City in the next round. Jack Dunn completed the scoring in injury
time after Lewis Cook had pulled one back.

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Hot shot: Liverpool's Jordan Ibe scores the opening goal

Hot shot: Liverpool's Jordan Ibe scores the opening goal

Liverpool's Jordan Ibe celebrates his strike

Take that: Liverpool's Jordan Ibe celebrates his strike

Though Leeds – who had the backing off more than 250 hardy souls from Yorkshire – showed signs of promise in the opening exchanges and finished strongly, they had no answer when Ibe went impressively through the gears in the space of 10 first minutes to take the tie away from the visitors.

Frank McParland, Liverpool’s Academy Director, said: ‘It was a really physical game and I am just pleased we have come through it. Leeds were strong and had more experience and were older than most of our boys.

‘It is great to be in the next round and, of course, Jordon’s performance was excellent. He has been doing really well for the reserves this year and with him being 17, he can play in this competition next year. He took his goals really well.’

Playing on the left-flank and looking to dovetail at every opportunity with Jerome Sinclair – who became the youngest player in Liverpool’s history when he had a brief run out in the Carling Cup against West Brom last September – it was not difficult to see why Ibe is held in such regard.

High jump: Liverpool's Jordan Ibe tangles with Alex Mowatt

High jump: Liverpool's Jordan Ibe tangles with Alex Mowatt

Top man: Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard was at the match

Top man: Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard was at the match

He showed great poise in the 29th minute
to skip inside a challenge, after being teed up by Dan Trickett-Smith,
and rifle a shot through the legs of Leeds defender Afolabi Coker, that
left keeper Eric Grimes with no chance.

If the manner in which he dispatched that was impressive, his second
goal was even more so. When Liverpool midfielder Jordan Rossiter won a
challenge deep inside his own half, Ibe had no other option but to set
off on a run.

Such was his change of pace, though, he left Leeds’ Alex Purver trailing
before slaloming around Corey Roper to crack a drive past Grimes. Ibe
went on Liverpool’s tour to the USA last summer and, if he maintains
this progress, another call up to Brendan Rodgers’ squad will not be far
away.

This, however, was not a one-sided contest. Leeds, who came into this
tie having suffered just one defeat all season, started brightly and had
a goal correctly disallowed in the 24th minute when substitute Eoghan
Stokes was adjudged to have fouled Liverpool keeper Ryan Fulton.

Liverpool struggled to find a rhythm in the second half yet Leeds could
not make their domination of possession pay. Cook gave hope of a late
comeback when he cracked a shot past Fulton after being teed up by Alex
Mowatt but their pursuit of an equaliser left them susceptible to a
quick break.

So it proved in injury time when Dunn and substitute Kristoffer Peterson
combined to leave the first named with the easy task of finishing from
six yards.

Too much: Leeds' Lewis Walters was distraught at being substituted

Too much: Leeds' Lewis Walters was distraught at being substituted

Cool head: Kristoffer Peterson flicks the ball past Leeds keeper Eric Grimes

Cool head: Kristoffer Peterson flicks the ball past Leeds keeper Eric Grimes

Watching brief: Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe

Watching brief: Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe

Video: Ibe's sensational solo effort

Tommy Smith joins Cardiff

Smith joins Cardiff from QPR and links up with Loftus Road old boys Helguson and Connolly

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UPDATED:

10:55 GMT, 24 August 2012

Cardiff have signed QPR striker Tommy Smith for 300,000.

Smith becomes manager Malky Mackay’s eighth signing of the summer and joins former R's striker Heidar Helguson in swapping Loftus Road for the Bluebirds.

The former Watford player has signed a three-year deal at Cardiff City Stadium and will be available for selection against Bristol City this weekend.

Heading to Wales: Tommy Smith has joined Cardiff

Heading to Wales: Tommy Smith has joined Cardiff

Mackay was pleased with his latest acquisition and revealed he tried to sign Smith in January last season.

'He is one of those players who can play up front, out left, in midfield or up top.

'He’s got guile, can manipulate the ball well and is experienced.

'I tried to get him in January and I’m delighted to have him now.'

Joining up: Heidar Helguson swapped QPR for Cardiff earlier this summer

Joining up: Heidar Helguson swapped QPR for Cardiff earlier this summer

Smith made 17 Premier League appearances for QPR last season, scoring two goals.

Kim Bo-Kyung and Jordon Mutch cost 2m each, Etien Velikonja was a 1m buy from NK Maribor and Matt Connolly a 500,000 capture from QPR.

Goalkeeper Joe Lewis, Helguson and Craig Bellamy, signed on free transfers, taking the number of signings to eight.

Birmingham reject Southampton"s 6m Jack Butland bid

Birmingham reject 6m Butland bid from Southampton as Pannu says only 'eye-popping' offer would spark sale

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 27 June 2012

Birmingham City have turned down a 6m bid from Southampton for Jack Butland.

The keeper, who was part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad at the Euro 2012, has yet to play a game for the Championship club.

But the Saints have been tracking Butland for the past two years and have followed up an initial opening offer of 3.5m with a far more substantial bid.

Big money move: Southampton have bid 6m for Butland (third left)

Big money move: Southampton have bid 6m for Butland (third left)

Nigel Adkins is hoping that a swift move for Butland, 19, may be sufficient for the Barclays Premier League new boys to steal a march on several rivals who have also been watching the teenager.

Birmingham’s cash problems are well known but acting vice-chairman Peter Pannu has indicated that only an 'eye-popping' offer for one of their young prized asset would be considered.

There are indications that a fee of around 10m would be too much for the club to resist and Butland’s valuation could rocket if he performs well in the upcoming Olympics.

New manager Lee Clark has opened negotiations with former Ireland Under-21 international Colin Doyle in a bid to keep him at the club, along with veteran Steven Carr.

Grabbing it with both hands: Lee Clark

Grabbing it with both hands: Lee Clark

Clark expected that Ben Foster would be sold to West Bromwich Albion but with Alan McGregor now available for a fraction of the money that it would cost to secure the signature of the former England international, Baggies’ chairman Jeremy Peace is likely to consider the option of plundering Rangers for a new keeper.

Meanwhile, Clark has been told he will not receive any of the money from Butland’s proposed sale and is unlikely to profit either from the 3m fee the club will eventually bank for Jordon Mutch.

And he defended his time at Huddersfield. He was surprisingly sacked midway through last season, despite leading the Terriers into the top three.

He said: 'It was stale when we arrived. We created an exciting squad and we created value on the pitch.

'The value of the squad rocketed massively and we sold two players for substantial amounts of money.

'My biggest hurt was being away form the training pitch. Now I’m back I’m determined to grab this chance with both hands. It’s not about proving people wrong or getting rid of the hurt. I honestly haven’t got time for that.'

Jordan Mutch signs for Cardiff City

EXCLUSIVE: Cardiff seal deal for Mutch as England Under 21 star exits Birmingham

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UPDATED:

18:02 GMT, 22 June 2012

On the move: Mutch is heading to Wales to join Cardiff

On the move: Mutch is heading to Wales to join Cardiff

Cardiff City have signed England Under 21 international Jordon Mutch from Birmingham City.

The Bluebirds have taken advantage of the current cash problems at St Andrew's and have swooped on the 20-year-old playmaker.

The fee is likely to be in excess of 1m for the player who made his breakthrough last term under Chris Hughton.

Bluebirds' boss Malky Mackay is a
long-time admirer of the midfielder. The Scot gave Mutch his first-team
chance at Watford when he took the player on loan from Birmingham two
seasons ago.

News that Lee Clark is expected to be
announced as the club's new boss is not likely to placate supporters
who have seen a succession of players leave St Andrew's in the wake of
Birmingham's demotion from the Premier League 12 months ago.

Clark met acting chairman Peter Pannu in Birmingham to finalise his appointment yesterday afternoon.

However, while Mutch's arrival is an
undoubted coup for Cardiff, it will however, fuel speculation that Peter
Whittingham may be off to pastures new.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton fears fire-sale after play-off setback

Birmingham boss Hughton fears fire-sale after play-off setback

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UPDATED:

07:34 GMT, 11 May 2012

Chris Hughton is seeking an urgent
meeting with Birmingham City's acting chairman Peter Pannu over rumours
that another fire-sale of his players is about to start.

The St Andrew's chief is advising
against the loss of any more of his first-team squad if he is to be
asked to mount a promotion bid next term.

Concerns: Birmingham boss Chris Hughton

Concerns: Birmingham boss Chris Hughton

Birmingham's cash crisis mean that on-loan West Brom keeper Ben Foster's move to the Hawthorns should get the go-ahead once the season is finished.

But stories are already circulating that Hughton has been informed that he needs to generate more cash to keep the club in the black.

And that is likely to mean the club's young players, including keeper Jack Butland, along with winger Nathan Redmond and England Under-21 international Jordon Mutch will all be sacrificed.

That news will infuriate supporters who will see this as a shameless cash-grab ahead of a bail-out.

One analyst said: “Pannu believes he has a buyer for the club. For anyone out there it won't be a purchase, it will be more like a rescue mission.”

Setback: Birmingham crashed out to Blackpool in the play-offs

Setback: Birmingham crashed out to Blackpool in the play-offs

Hughton hinted after the play-off defeat by Blackpool that he would find it hard to operate next term on the same basis that he has this time around.

And, with West Brom waiting-in-the-wings to pounce on the former Newcastle United boss at the first sign of any hint of unrest, it is going to take a lot of sweet-talking to keep the Blues' chief in situ.

Hughton said: 'It will be harder next season. Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday are coming into the Championship – two established clubs – along with those relegated from the Premier League. For us, this season has lifted expectations.

'And I know Peter Pannu has tried to inform everyone what's going on in his programme notes.

'I will be speaking to him. I don't see wholesale changes. We lost a lot of players this season. Right at this moment, I don't anticipate another exodus. I don't want to see players going out the door. But I need to sit down with him and see where we are.'

England record caps holder Peter Shilton has urged Ben Foster to come back from his self-imposed international exile and step up the competition.

Manchester City stopper Joe Hart, 25, is the man currently in possession of the England gloves, having impressed during the European Championship qualifying campaign under Fabio Capello.

Calling: Peter Shilton wants Ben Foster to return to England fold

Calling: Peter Shilton wants Ben Foster to return to England fold

It remains to be seen what will be the
make-up of the squad for the finals when new boss Roy Hodgson unveils
his selection, as Bursaspor's Scott Carson and West Ham keeper Robert
Green are expected to offer back-up to Hart for Poland and the Ukraine.

However, Shilton – who won 125 caps between 1970 and 1990 – would love to see West Brom's on-loan stopper Foster make himself available for England duties again, the 29-year-old having taken a break from international action in May 2011 which could now be ended when Hodgson steps up to the national team.

'Joe Hart could win a lot of caps for England. You need a bit of luck through injuries, but he is in at an early age and there is not a lot pushing him at the moment. Unless Foster comes back, you never can tell, certainly he could be there for a while,' said Shilton, who took part in the filming of Carlsberg's new England Fan Academy television commercial.

'Hart has done really well to get there, and I still think Rob Green deserves to be part of the set-up because he obviously had the one big misfortune [in the World Cup against USA], but you can't judge him on one game.

'I would like to see Foster come back in and put some pressure on, and after that there is a few with potential.”

Burnley 1 Birmingham 3: Jordon Mutch scores winner

Burnley 1 Birmingham 3: Mutch winner give Blues clear air in play-off race

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UPDATED:

20:44 GMT, 3 April 2012

Birmingham opened up a three-point cushion between themselves and the chasing Championship play-off pack with a crucial win at Turf Moor.

Midfielder Jordon Mutch scored the winner with 15 minutes left on the clock, just a minute after Danny Ings had equalised for Burnley. Marlon King had given the Blues an early lead, and David Murphy added a late third.

Burnley are languishing down in 16th and their play-off dreams are all but over.

Mutch too good: The Birmingham midfielder celebrates his strike

Mutch too good: The Birmingham midfielder celebrates his strike

MATCH FACTS

Burnley: Grant; Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Wallace; Marney (Stanislas 59), McCann, Bartley; McQuoid, Austin, Ings.

Subs not used: Jensen, Howieson, Hewitt, Fletcher.

Goal: Ings 74.

Birmingham: Myhill, Ramage, Davies, Caldwell, Murphy, Burke, Elliott, N'Daw, Zigic, King, Mutch.

Subs not used: Doyle, Huseklepp, Townsend, Gomis, Redmond.

Booked: Mutch, Zigic.

Goals: King 11, Mutch 75.

Referee: Jock Waugh (South Yorkshire)

Attendance:

More to follow…