Tag Archives: knock

David Moyes linked with Schalke manager"s job

Schalke wait to pounce for Moyes at end of season if talks over new deal at Everton falter

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 4 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 4 April 2013

David Moyes is back at the top of Schalke’s wanted list as the German club prepare to appoint a new manager this summer — with Celtic’s Neil Lennon a strong candidate to replace the Scot if he leaves Everton.

It was thought Moyes had slipped behind Armin Veh in the Schalke running until the Eintracht Frankfurt coach signed a new deal last week.

Moyes, 49, has put off talks over a new deal until the end of the season and is keen to hear what Schalke have to offer.

In the frame: David Moyes is a Schalke target

In the frame: David Moyes is a Schalke target

Contender: Neil Lennon may replace Moyes at Everton

Contender: Neil Lennon may replace Moyes at Everton

The Bundesliga club are looking for a top European coach after installing Jens Keller on a short-term basis when they sacked Huub Stevens in December.

Former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is also in the frame.

Lennon is on the verge of securing his second successive SPL title with Celtic.

But there is a growing sense that he could quit Parkhead for a new challenge this summer.

With Rangers not due to return to
Scotland’s top league until 2015 at the earliest, Lennon knows football
north of the border will not be seriously competitive for his side.

Interim boss: Schalke installed Jens Keller on a short-term basis

Interim boss: Schalke installed Jens Keller on a short-term basis

In the mix: Eintracht Frankfurt manager Armin Veh

In the mix: Eintracht Frankfurt manager Armin Veh

Having the chance to take the next step in his management career at Everton may be too good an opportunity to turn down.

Lennon’s stock has grown considerably this season, despite the lack of competition on the domestic front, thanks to Celtic’s run to the Champions League knock-out stages — which included that euphoric win over Barcelona.

Moyes' 11-year spell in charge at Goodison Park makes him the third longest-serving manager in the Premier League, but he has put off talks over a new deal until the end of the season and will wait to hear what Schalke have to offer.

The Bundesliga club are looking for a top European coach after installing Jens Keller on a short-term basis when they sacked Huub Stevens in December.

Neil Lennon tells his Celtic side to be fearless against Spartak Moscow

Show no fear: Lennon tells his Bhoys to be bold in bid for glory

|

UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 5 December 2012

Neil Lennon has urged his Celtic side to show no fear in their quest to march into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Scotland’s champions must beat a Spartak Moscow side in turmoil at Parkhead, whilst trusting Barcelona to take care of business against Benfica at the Nou Camp.

No Scottish side have ever qualified for the knock-out stages with 10 points.

Task is clear: Neil Lennon oversees training at Lennoxtown ahead of his side's final group game against Spartak Moscow

Task is clear: Neil Lennon oversees training at Lennoxtown ahead of his side's final group game against Spartak Moscow

Desperate to avoid being only the eighth club in the competition’s history to crash out with of the group stages with such a high points tally, however, Lennon will urge his players to put their insipid domestic form behind them and embrace a bold approach.

'I think we’ve got to go for it,' said the Celtic boss.

'This is their moment and they might never get this opportunity again.

'I am not going to put any extra pressure on them, I just want them to go and play as we can at home on a European night. Aggressively and with a good tempo to the game.

'We have got players who can score goals. We’ve got flare players in the team who can rise to the occasion.

Final preparations: The Celtic squad train ahead of their Champions League match against Spartak Moscow

Final preparations: The Celtic squad train ahead of their Champions League match against Spartak Moscow

'So you are hoping that will all encompass itself on the one night.

'They are capable of doing it.

'Spartak are a dangerous team, but they haven’t got the calibre of Barcelona. I’m not too sure they have the structure of Benfica, either, or the way they play.

'But they do have a lot of flare in their team as well.'

Missing the suspended Victor Wanyama Lennon seems certain to gamble on the fitness of captain Scott Brown, with Beram Kayal and Joe Ledley also fit.

Celtic know that their efforts will all be in vein if Benfica pull off a shock win in Barcelona against a home side already safely through to the knock-out stages.

Job to do: Celtic captain Scott Brown (right) speaks to team-mate Kris Commons at training

Job to do: Celtic captain Scott Brown (right) speaks to team-mate Kris Commons at training

With a shrug, however, Lennon admits he can do nothing to affect events elsewhere.

After winning just two of their last six Celtic have enough to contend with getting their own form right.

'I just have to try and make sure we win our game. I have to focus on that. If Benfica win in Barcelona, so be it. We would have to congratulate them on doing that.

'That would be a magnificent effort from their point of view. We have to make them win, so the onus is on us to win at home.

'Of course Benfica could win. There is always that scenario with the unpredictability of football. While that is at the back of mind, right at the forefront of it is winning our game.

'It will be difficult, it will be tense. We are playing a team who are coming here with nothing to really play for but their pride. They are very dangerous coming forward, but they do concede goals. So it is there for us.

'I'm not saying we will win it, but if we play as well as we can we have a good chance.

'If we don’t we would still have made progress in Europe this season and we would have the Europa League in the New Year anyway. But we all want the big one.'

Alan Pardew says Newcastle"s egos have been damaged by bad run

Pardew says Newcastle 'egos have been rocked' after string of poor results

|

UPDATED:

23:48 GMT, 27 November 2012

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew admits his players’ egos have been damaged by their poor run and he has had to re-evaluate the club’s ambitions for the season.

Pardew had hoped to be in contention for a top five finish again, after qualifying for the Europa League last season.

Although Newcastle have managed to secure a place in the knock-out phases of European competition from their group with one game remaining, a run of just one win in the last eight Barclays Premier League matches has taken its toll on his side and they are currently down in 16th.

Dented ego: Alan Pardew says Newcastle's players are hurt by the bad run

Dented ego: Alan Pardew says Newcastle's players are hurt by the bad run

Newcastle travel to Stoke City tonight without several key players. Steven Taylor was last night ruled out for up to two months with a hamstring injury, joining Yohan Cabaye, who has had two groin operations this week, on the long-term injury list. Main playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa is also out again tonight although captain Fabricio Coloccini returns from a three-match ban.

'We have ten players in the treatment room,’ said Pardew. 'We have suffered and we have to deal with it.’

The Newcastle boss confessed that he has had to re-assess his side’s league ambitions after setting a target of top five at the start of the season.

Time to turn it around: Fabricio Coloccini and the Newcastle players prepare for the trip to Stoke

Time to turn it around: Fabricio Coloccini and the Newcastle players prepare for the trip to Stoke

And he said players who were such an integral part of last season have suffered as a result of a difficult campaign, and the criticism which has come the club’ s way during their worst run since relegation from the top flight four seasons ago.

Pardew said: 'A big creative force of this team is in the treatment room. You cannot suddenly say to a team to start delivering the type of imagination Hatem and Yohan offer us. We have to come up with a different game-plan to win games

'A few egos have been knocked and I think that is understandable and not a bad thing. It’s about how you react to it. There are a few players hurting from their performances but great players fight that and are able to answer the criticism. `We are well aware that the fans are restless for a performance let alone a win but so are we and we need them to help us now.

'We have had some unfortunate blows with injuries and I think the fans need to help us along the way here, whatever their opinion is, if the team is playing poorly or the manager has made an incorrect decisions. We really need them because if they turn their back on us we will really have a problem.

'I don’t know what has happened in the past but it will be a long , long run for us , certainly in the second half of the season we will look to have a stronger side what with the window and senior players coming back to us. The crucial period for us will be now until the first of February.

'As a manager I am looking to my big senior players, Ba, Cisse, Coloccini, Krul , Santon, Tiote, Simpson, Gutierrez to see us through this period.’

FC Bruges v Newcastle: Cheick Tiote on best behaviour

Tiote vows to be on best behaviour ahead of Toon's Europa clash with Bruges

|

UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 7 November 2012

Newcastle enforcer Cheick Tiote is ready to unleash his pent up frustrations on FC Bruges but has promised to be on his best behaviour.

The Ivory Coast midfielder is still serving a three-match Premier League for his derby day dismissal and is using his team's Europa League adventure for valuable game time.

Tiote returns to the Newcastle side along with captain Fabricio Coloccini, who will starts three-match on Sunday following his sending-off at Liverpool.

He is hoping to play a key role in securing Newcastle's place in the knock-out stages. If they win in Belgium tonight, and Maritimo lose in Bordeaux, Newcastle will have qualified from Group D with two games remaining.

Cheick mate: Tiote will return to the Newcastle team to face Club Brugge

Cheick mate: Tiote will return to the Newcastle team to face Club Brugge

How Newcastle will line up

Elliot; Tavernier, Williamson, S.Taylor, Ferguson; Tiote, Bigiramana, Anita; Obertan, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi.

Central midfielder Tiote was out of
sorts for the first meeting between these sides a fortnight ago, when,
he confessed, he was still overcoming the red card at the Stadium of
Light which turned the derby in Sunderland's favour.

Tiote, has been booked 30 times in 60
games and it was his second dismissal but he has admitted he cannot
promise to change the way he plays.

'I didn't need the manager to talk to
me about my disciplinary record,' he said. 'I know that I have picked
up too many yellow cards and that I have to be careful but it is my
style and I cannot change.

'I need to be a lot more careful over
some of the bookings that I pick up but I will not change my style of
play. It will get better – it will get better.

'I have to forget about the sending
off in the derby but that is difficult. Of course it hurt but it's over
and I have to concentrate on how I can help the team moving forward. Now
we have to qualify and I think we can reach the final of this
competition.'

Newcastle boss Pardew is hoping to
reap the benefit of the two domestic suspensions when Newcastle face
managerless Brugge in the Jan Breydel Stadium.

Coloccini and Tiote are driving
forces in the Newcastle side which is looking to replicate last season's
European finish and they will be sorely missed in the Premier League.

Early bath: Coloccini will serve a three-match ban after he was sent off

Early bath: Coloccini will serve a three-match ban after he was sent off

But Pardew admitted: 'Cheick looked
really bright this morning. It's a Godsend for him to miss those league
games, but have these to focus on, and you could see a difference.

'He was the best player in training
today and the extra rest from not playing at the weekend, that will be a
bonus for us. Now Colo comes into that category, so that's been a kind
of welcome bonus.'

A win in Belgium, and defeat for
Maritimo in France will put Newcastle into the next stage of the
competition but Pardew is predicting a difficult night for his team.

FC Bruges have not won in six, and
sacked their coach George Leekens at the weekend, and also have their
eyes on a weekend fixture with champions Anderlecht. Reserve team
manager Georges Clement is likely to be in charge for both games,
although Brugge have been in talks with former Villarreal coach Juan
Carlos Garrido.

Pardew said: 'I am sad to see the manager go because I really admired him. He has been a fantastic manager.

'It's a two-edged sword. Their
players will be highly-motivated to prove to the stand-in manager and
the manager who may be coming in – who may be in the stands tomorrow,
you never know with these type of things, and players who are certainly
aware of that will have a renewed energy.

'But the tactical brain not being on the sideline, hopefully might be advantage because Leekens is a tremendous manager.

'We felt the power of Bruges when
they came to our place – they are a good side – and he gave us some
problems, so I am sad to see him go and in some ways, I am glad he is
not on the bench.

'We feel we are in a good space. We have had a good couple of weeks and the group is looking forward to another good game.

'It's about growing as a club. The
more games we can play, the more we are going to grow. European games
are a little bit different and we seem to have taken to it ok. We look
forward to progressing and gaining experience. We are entering it with a
smile and trying to take that into every game.

'I would be surprised if we secured
qualification tomorrow. Winning here is a tough game for us. We will
enter it to win it, but I think it will be tough. It would certainly be
welcome because we have got some tough games coming up.

'Every game is massive for the
younger players, they have to grab it, and there are one or two tomorrow
who will get an opportunity who haven't shone this year, and they need
to because there is real competition for the bench now.

'I look round at that bench and in
all honesty, there's not a lot of difference between the bench and the
team that's starting, so it's a great position for me.'

Yaya Toure wants to stay at Manchester City for rest of career

I want to make history! Yaya Toure pledges to stay at City for rest of his career

|

UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 5 November 2012

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has given Roberto Mancini a huge boost by revealing he wants to stay at the club for the rest of his career.

City boss Mancini will speak to the media on Monday morning under a little pressure ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League game at home to Ajax.

But Toure has dismissed suggestions of rifts in the City dressing room and revealed he would like to sign a new contract at the Barclays Premier League champions.

Here to stay: Yaya Toure (left) wants to remain at Manchester City

Here to stay: Yaya Toure (left) wants to remain at Manchester City

Tour told French football paper L’Equipe: 'I want to make history with this club, I want to end my career here.

'I'm pretty sure and I hope that when I'm an old man, sat around, they will still talk about me here.

'Of course there are rows at big club, with all the people with different egos, including mine.

'But we will be okay. I am still confident.'

City are bottom of their Champions League group after defeats to Ajax and Real Madrid and a home draw with Borussia Dortmund.

Mancini’s team need to win at the Etihad Stadium if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

City were held to a goalless draw at West Ham on Saturday as their city rivals United went top of the Premier League.

Struggle: City were unable to breakdown West Ham on Saturday

Struggle: City were unable to breakdown West Ham on Saturday

Asked about Toure’s admission that there are egos in City dressing room, Mancini said on Monday that it shouldn’t be a barrier to winning football.

Mancini said: 'I don’t have any problem with egos.

'I have played and worked with many players like this.

'They are top players and this is what it is like. It was the same when I was a player.

Under pressure: Roberto Mancini is feeling the heat over City's season

Under pressure: Roberto Mancini is feeling the heat over City's season

'It is normal in a squad where you have 40 or 50 players of this level.

'Yaya is a very important player for us. He is one of the best in Europe. I have seen a lot of big players in my life.

'Yaya is up there with all of them.'

Alan Pardew set to start Shola and Sammy Ameobi for Newcastle

Newcastle boss Pardew calls in SAS to deal with Belgian dangermen

|

UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 24 October 2012

Alan Pardew will create history by calling on the SAS to power Newcastle United a step closer to the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

Shola Ameobi and his brother Sammy are being lined up to start together for the first time in the Magpies' Group D fixture with Belgium league leaders Club Brugge at St James' Park.

If Newcastle can make it nine points from nine at the half way stage then they will already be within touch of securing a place in the next round.

Brothers in arms: Shola Ameobi and his brother Sammy are set to start together for Newcastle

Brothers in arms: Shola Ameobi and his brother Sammy are set to start together for Newcastle

PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Newcastle (4-4-2): Harper; Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Ferguson; Obertan, Tiote, Cabaye, Sa Ameobi; Sh Ameobi, Cisse.

Club Brugges (4-4-2): Jorgacevic; Hoefkens, Figueras, Engels, Buysse; Blondel, Vazquez, Odjidja-Ofoe, Lestienne; Vleminckx, Bacca.

The Ameobis – who have played together a number of times – have never been in the starting line-up since Sammy, 20, emerged on to the first team stage at Chelsea in May last year when he came off the bench.

Shola, 30, said: 'My parents have mentioned it in the past, and I'm sure seeing both of us on the pitch at the same time will bring them tremendous pleasure. It's no different for me.

'There's nearly 11 years between us, so when we were growing up, I think he was maybe a little bit intimidated by me, which is normal. He's trying to go through what I've been through.

Chance: Sammy Ameobi looks set to start for Newcastle

Chance: Sammy Ameobi looks set to start for Newcastle

'But we've got a great relationship now.
I'm sure he's well aware of how hard it's going to be, and what he has
to put in to make it to the very top. But I want to see him surpass
anything I've ever done in this game.'

It will be the first time two brothers have started for Newcastle in major European competition – although George and Ted Robledo did play together in the league in 1952 while Richie and Matty Appleby played in an Anglo-Italian Cup tie 40 years later.

Key midfielder Cheick Tiote is set to face Brugge just days after he was sent off in the Wear-Tyne derby draw at Sunderland, but skipper Fabricio Coloccini will not be risked with calf trouble.

It was the second red card of Tiote's Newcastle career and he has also racked up 27 cautions from his 54 matches since joining from Twente.

And Newcastle boss Pardew said: 'I spoke to Cheick about his disciplinary record and his responsibility to Newcastle. I think he responded well to that.

'Yes he will play and the next Europa League game too because we need to keep him up to speed. This is a lifeline for him because he can't play in the league.'

London 2012 Olympics Boxing: Anthony Joshua beats Zhang Zhilei to secure medal

Speedy Joshua hooks a medal as he sends Zhang crashing to the floor

|

UPDATED:

23:40 GMT, 6 August 2012

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Anthony Joshua knocked down the great wall of China’s amateur boxing on his way to building Britain’s rising tally of guaranteed medals in the ExCel ring to four.

Zhilei Zhang, a giant panda of a super-heavyweight, was floored by a perfect right hook from the Londoner of whom great things are expected this week and in the professional ranks in the near future.

Zhang, the silver medallist in Beijing, was bamboozled by Joshua’s speed before being decked in the second.

On the way to glory: Anthony Joshua beat Zhilei Zhang in the quarter finals

On the way to glory: Anthony Joshua beat Zhilei Zhang in the quarter finals

He recovered to give Joshua a score-draw war in the third round but ended up being soundly outpointed 15-11.

This time Joshua did it all by himself. There was no need of help from the judges who gave him the benefit of huge doubt against Cuba’s slick Erislandy Savon in his opening bout of London 2012.

Every fight adds experience to this comparative novice and this bout should help him against the large and heavy-handed Kazakh Ivan Dychko in Friday’s semi-final.

Knock down: Zhang hits the canvas after being hit by Joshua

Knock down: Zhang hits the canvas after being hit by Joshua

Joshua said: ‘I’m glad I’ve got the medal but I want to go all the way. Every fight is a learning curve for me and Lennox (Lewis) has advised me to use my jab more. I also know I must keep my feet on the ground.’

Another wildly enthusiastic crowd at the ExCel took Joshua to their hearts as he set his sights on one of the gold medals expected of this British team.

The football ground atmosphere confirms there is a fortune awaiting him if he can succeed Lennox Lewis and Audley Harrison to the biggest Olympic throne.

On the front foot: Joshua beats Zhang on points

On the front foot: Joshua beats Zhang on points

Joshua was preceded into the men’s semi-finals by a team-mate who also had to redeem himself. If you get lucky once you have to wake up and go-go.

Anthony Ogogo made the most of the generosity of the judges, who gifted him a dubious victory against world amateur middleweight champion Ievgen Khytrov last week, by dazzling his way to a guaranteed medal with a 15-10 victory over Germany’s Stefan Hartel which did not flatter the Englishman. He will face Esquiva Falcao of Brazil — the fourth seed — in the semi-final.

Czech Republic v Poland and Greece v Russia – EURO 2012 LIVE

EURO 2012 LIVE: Czech Republic v Poland and Greece v Russia – all the action as it happens

|

UPDATED:

18:59 GMT, 16 June 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of Euro 2012 as co-hosts Poland look stay in the tournament as they take on Czech Republic and Russia look to make the knock-out stages with a draw or better against Greece.

Follow me on Twitter: @JamesAndrew_ or send me an e-mail to: [email protected]

GROUP A – LATEST

Czech Republic 0 Poland 0

Greece 0 Russia 0

10mins: Another chance for Poland, this time Boenisch fires wide after a corner is only half cleared.

8mins: Another chance for Poland, this time Robert Lewandowski is played through but fires his shot wide. Good chance for the Poles

6mins: Poland go close again with Obraniak firing just wide with a free-kick from the corner of the area, Cech was happy to let the ball fly wide.

5mins: In the other game, Greece, who have to win, seem to be taking the game to Russia.

3mins: Let off for Poland as the Czech Republic should have taken the lead through Vaclav Pilar who fluffed his shot when in front of goal. Chances at both ends

2mins: Chance for Poland, a free kick is played into the Czech area and Dudka has an over head kick which goes just wide of Petr Cech's goal

7.45pm: We are off in both games, Greece get the game underway while Poland kick off the other game

7.43pm: From OptaJoe on Twitter: Petr Cech has conceded five goals from only six shots on target faced so far in Euro 2012.

7.40pm: The anthems are being sung by both sets of players in the two games.

7.35pm: We are just 10 minutes away from kick off.

7.30pm A stat from @InfostradaLive:

Greece have only scored goals through substitutes at Euro 2012: Salpingidis against Poland and Gekas against Czech Republic. Both players have earned a place in the starting line-up today.

7.15pm: Wojciech Szczesny is available again for Poland after his suspension following his red card against Greece in the opening day, but coach Franciszek Smuda has opted to keep faith with Przemyslaw Tyton in goal.

7.12pm: And here are the teams from the other game in Group A:
Czech Republic: Cech, Gebre Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limbersky, Hubschman, Plasil, Jiracek, Kolar, Pilar, Baros.
Subs: Lastuvka, Suchy, Hubnik, Necid, Rezek, Rosicky, Petrzela, Rajtoral, Pekhart, Lafata, Darida, Drobny.
Poland: Tyton, Piszczek, Wasilewski, Perquis, Boenisch, Dudka, Polanski, Blaszczykowski, Murawski, Obraniak, Lewandowski.
Subs: Szczesny, Wojtkowiak, Kaminski, Matuszczyk, Rybus, Wawrzyniak, Sobiech, Mierzejewski, Wolski, Grosicki, Brozek, Sandomierski.
Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland)

Ready and waiting: A Poland fans gets ready for the game in Wroclaw

Ready and waiting: A Poland fans gets ready for the game in Wroclaw

Time to deliver: Greece fans cheer prior to the game in Warsaw

Time to deliver: Greece fans cheer prior to the game in Warsaw

7.10pm: The teams are in:
Greece: Sifakis, Torosidis, Papastathopoulos, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Tzavelas, Katsouranis, Maniatis, Salpingidis, Karagounis, Samaras, Gekas.
Subs: Chalkias, Malezas, Makos, Liberopoulos, Mitroglou, Fotakis, Ninis, Holebas, Fortounis, Fetfatzidis, Tzorvas.
Russia: Malafeev, Aniukov, Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Shirokov, Denisov, Glushakov, Dzagoev, Kerzhakov, Arshavin.
Subs: Akinfeev, Sharonov, Izmailov, Pavlyuchenko, Kombarov, Granat, Pogrebnyak, Nababkin, Semshov, Shunin.
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

7.05pm: No confirmed team news yet, but there are rumours that Czech Republic's Tomas Rosicky has not made the starting XI for the game against Poland, confirmation when we get it.

7.00pm: Good evening and welcome to live coverage of tonight's final games in Group A.

The task is simple for hosts Poland, win against Czech Republic and they are through, anything else and they are out.

Russia need just a point against Greece to make the quarter finals where as the the 2004 winners know anything other than a win will see them heading home.

Ready to go: Russia striker Andrey Arshavin is hoping to guide his side into the knock out stages of Euro 2012

Ready to go: Russia striker Andrey Arshavin is hoping to guide his side into the knock out stages of Euro 2012

Lewis Hamilton: My wild nights are over

My wild nights are a thing of the past… Hamilton vows to crack down ahead of F1 opener

|

UPDATED:

11:11 GMT, 11 March 2012

Lewis Hamilton admits he over-indulged away from the track last season as he looks get back to his best in the forthcoming campaign.

The Briton endured a relatively disappointing season last year, finishing fifth in the drivers' championship.

Over and out: Lewis Hamilton insists his wild days are now behind him

Over and out: Lewis Hamilton insists his wild days are now behind him

The 2008 world champion believes that can be partially attributed to a 'knock-on effect' from his pursuits away from the track and insists that he has refocused for the 2012 season.

'Last year quite a lot of times I went out and enjoyed myself thinking that these things don't affect you but in actual fact they do, they have a knock-on effect,' he said.

Turning a corner: Hamilton hopes to be in contention of winning the world championship this year

Turning a corner: Hamilton hopes to be in contention of winning the world championship this year

Phil Duncan F1 blog

'It takes you two days to recover, you miss two days of training and your mind is somewhere else when you get to the race.

'It's the amount of travel you do, choosing the right time to travel, the right place at the right time, ahead of time. Going out to Australia and China early, to make sure I get there in plenty of time. Those kind of things.

'They are all sorts of things you can improve.'

Leeds hooker Rob Burrow faces Manly

Burrow hoping for better memories from Manly clash after knock-out marred previous meeting


Second attempt: Rob Burrow wants better memories

Second attempt: Rob Burrow wants better memories

Leeds hooker Rob Burrow is hoping for some happier memories from Friday's World Club Challenge against Manly Sea Eagles after struggling to recall much of the last encounter.

Burrow was knocked out just 15 minutes into the 2009 showdown with the Australian champions at Elland Road by a crunching tackle from Anthony Watmough and has little recollection of the Rhinos' 28-20 defeat.

'I can remember bits when I have watched it on television but not much else,' he said.

'It's going to be incredible with a full house and hopefully it will be an unforgettable night.

'They're great games to play in. It's a chance to test your team against the best in the world and the fact that it's England v Australia again has that extra little spice.'

Burrow, one of 11 survivors from that meeting three years ago, believes the current Leeds team is better than the 2009 vintage but admits the Sea Eagles also have an array of talent at their disposal.

He has highlighted the danger posed by former St Helens centre Jamie Lyon and international half-backs Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans but admits Manly's threat could come from anywhere.

Tense: Burrow is anticipating a tight game

Tense: Burrow is anticipating a tight game

'They've got some quality young half-backs that push the team around and a massive pack and we all know what Jamie Lyon can do,' he said.

'You can go from one to 17 and they are all quality players.

'I do think we're a better team, though. We've a new coach and some great additions. We're excited and confident.'

Burrow does not believe the Super League champions' confidence has been dented by last Saturday's 20-6 defeat at Wigan or that Friday's crunch clash was on their minds as they lost for the first time since the Challenge Cup final last August.

Confidence high: Burrows says the recent defeat to Wigan will not interfere

Confidence high: Burrows says the recent defeat to Wigan will not interfere

'You can't not think about it but it's not been on our minds during the games,' he said.

'You focus on every game and the fact we lost last week has nothing to do with this game.

'We were obviously disappointed with it. You have to learn from that and get back out there. A team like Manly will test you like Wigan did.'

Leeds winger Ben Jones-Bishop is set to make his first appearance of the season after named in coach Brian McDermott's 19-man squad as the replacement for Lee Smith, who has been ruled out with a rib injury suffered in last Saturday's 20-6 defeat at Wigan.