Tag Archives: managing

Liverpool won"t sell Luis Suarez this summer

Suarez is going nowhere, vow Liverpool despite hitman warning he would 'welcome' talks with Champions League clubs

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

20:04 GMT, 20 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:19 GMT, 21 March 2013

Liverpool have 'no desire' to sell Luis Suarez, according to managing director Ian Ayre.

Suarez’s future at Anfield has made headlines this morning after it was reported he would be willing to talk with other clubs following an interview in his native Uruguay.

Ayre has, however, played down any notion the striker may be about to leave the Reds after signing a four-year deal last August.

VIDEO: SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE LATEST LUIS SUAREZ NEWS

Club and country: Suarez (left) in Uruguay training under pressure from Liverpool teammate Sebastian Coates

Club and country: Suarez (left) in Uruguay training under pressure from Liverpool teammate Sebastian Coates

Shaping up: Suarez admitted he would consider a summer move to a club in the Champions League

Shaping up: Suarez admitted he would consider a summer move to a club in the Champions League

Table

'You can read into the comments – it was given in his native language so I think maybe it was a bit lost in translation,' Ayre told BBC Radio Five Live.

'We’ve been consistent with Luis. Last summer he signed a new four-year contract and we have no desire to sell Luis. He is a fantastic player and a great contributor to our team.

'We’ve been very honest with him and he’s been very honest with us.
Suarez is under contract at Anfield until 2017, but in the interview hinted he could be tempted by a big-money move at the end of the season.

Disappointing: Suarez played in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by struggling Southampton on Saturday

Disappointing: Suarez played in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by struggling Southampton on Saturday

'I am very happy at Liverpool but you
never know in football,' Suarez said ahead of his international side's
World Cup qualifier with Paraguay, as reported in the Liverpool Echo.

'If another team comes around with
more prospects of competing in international club competition games,
which is willing to have me, they are welcome.

'We would talk to the club, we would see if I want to go, if I don’t want to go.'

Philosophy: Manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to implement his possession-based style at Liverpool

Philosophy: Manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to implement his possession-based style at Liverpool

However, Suarez also recognised
Liverpool's strengths, including manager Brendan Rodgers' footballing
philosophy, which he hopes to see propel the club further next year.

Rodgers won plaudits for his Swansea
side's passing style last season, and has attempted to implement the
same structure at Anfield.

'A player’s ambition is always there, the ambition of wanting to play in elite teams is always there,' said Suarez.

'I’m in a world-class team, an elite team like Liverpool.

'We have to realise we have a new
manager who is imposing a philosophy and a way of playing that the
players are adapting to as best we can.

'We hope that it will bear fruit next year.'

Watch the latest Luis Suarez news

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Michael Appleton settled at Blackburn Rovers

He's the only manager to have been in charge of three different teams in the FA Cup in the same season… but stability is the key for roving Blackburn boss Appleton

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

22:17 GMT, 15 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:50 GMT, 16 February 2013

In the car park at Blackburn’s fabulous training complex, a white painter and decorator’s van from Clitheroe is occupying the space of global adviser Shebby Singh.

‘I’m not sure what Shebby’s doing at the moment, but if he’s global advising he’s not advising me,’ admitted Blackburn’s new manager Michael Appleton. ‘I’ve not had any contact from Shebby since I’ve been here. He knows my number, he knows where I am.’

Appleton is already making his mark, a forward-thinking manager with ambitions to reach the highest level with Rovers. The interference from above, the comical sideshow that turned Blackburn into a laughing stock before he arrived on January 11, is no longer an issue.

Shake on it: Michael Appleton is building bridges at Blackburn

Shake on it: Michael Appleton is building bridges at Blackburn

He answers to Derek Shaw, Blackburn’s managing director, as the pair stabilise the club after a chaotic couple of years under Venky’s. They feel like a football club again, aiming for the Championship play-offs and proudly travelling south on Saturday for an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Arsenal.

When Appleton, 37, took charge of Blackburn against Derby in round four, he unwittingly became the subject of a pub-quiz question. ‘That’s right — I’m the only manager to have been in charge of three different teams in the FA Cup in the same season,’ he said.

He began the season with Portsmouth in League One, throwing together a team each week as the financial excesses of the previous regime continued to bite. Then it was on to Blackpool, replacing Ian Holloway until he left for Rovers after just 65 days.

New challenge: Michael Appleton made Blackburn his third club this season

New challenge: Michael Appleton made Blackburn his third club this season

He wasn’t aware of the financial restrictions under Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston until he began.

‘Karl admits he runs the club a certain way,’ said Appleton. ‘It was a slightly more attractive opportunity than at Pompey.

Next up: Appleton joined Blackpool

Next up: Appleton joined Blackpool

‘I wouldn’t have left Blackpool if I was completely happy, or felt I could take the club to the next level and keep it there. The club is certainly day to day. You can’t argue in a way, because Karl can say it’s been successful like that. We argued constantly, but Karl quite liked that. There was a mutual respect. We told each other what we thought, even if it was about each other, but it became a frustration.

‘I can see the talent they’ve got in the squad, the potential at the club, and the first XI is as good as any in the division. But with that you need the right infrastructure, training ground and facilities, and for things to be done in the right way so the players feel loved.’

Blackburn have the infrastructure and Appleton has had an impact. There is a feel-good factor again, a genuine buzz. They are six points off sixth in the Championship.

Appleton added: ‘I had to build bridges between the management and above, with the fans and the owners.There wasn’t a lot of stability: we had 12 people wanting to play the No 10 role. It’s a difficult job, but I didn’t know when an opportunity to take over a club as big would come along again.

‘Look at the facilities. They’re first class — it’s a nice place to work — and what you’d expect of a club who have competed for so long in the Premier League. We’ve steadied the ship, tried to be a lot more solid, and we have a goalscoring machine in Jordan Rhodes who can nick a win for us at any time.’

Rhodes has scored 20 since his 8million move from Huddersfield at the start of the season and, like the rest of the squad, is responding to Appleton’s influence. The manager said: ‘All I want now is stability. I’d love to put my stamp on the football club.

Goal machine: Jordan Rhodes has been in fine form for Blackburn

Goal machine: Jordan Rhodes has been in fine form for Blackburn

‘The frustration at Portsmouth was that no one saw what we were trying to do behind the scenes. I found it difficult to do at Blackpool, which is why I’m here. I’d love to be at Blackburn long enough for people to see the work we’re putting in. As difficult as the job is going to be, I didn’t expect it to come so quickly.’

As they head to Arsenal on a five-match unbeaten run, things are already happening fast for Appleton.

Liverpool will wear charity sponsor for West Brom game

Gerrard delight as Liverpool stick charity sponsor on shirts for West Brom clash

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

10:26 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:22 GMT, 11 February 2013

Liverpool will wear a charity logo on their shirts for their clash with West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard and Co will have the 'Seeing is Believing' logo on their chests, rather than the usual 'Standard Chartered'. The shirts will be signed by the players after the game and then auctioned off.

Among other Reds stars, Gerrard took part in some events to support the charity and was happy to be involved with the charity which tries to tackle avoidable blindness in developing countries.

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Positive contribution: Lucas Leiva models the shirt with the charity sponsor

Positive contribution: Lucas Leiva models the shirt with the charity sponsor

He said: 'You realise at the time how difficult it is without your sight. Especially doing activities. We were involved in a penalty shoot-out using a blindfold and it's so difficult.

'It was really enjoyable to take part and very important for myself and the club as well to play our part and try to help these people.'

Liverpool wore shirts with the same logo on last season in their final home match, against Chelsea, and the cash went to supporting the Standard Chartered charitable initiative.

Taking part: Steven Gerrard joined in with some events put on by the charity

Taking part: Steven Gerrard joined in with some events put on by the charity

On the ball: Gerrard plays keepie-uppie

They raised over 86,000 last time around and managing director Ian Ayre was glad to be able to try and do the same again.

He said: 'We’re once again proud to display the Seeing is Believing logo on our home shirt.

'Since Standard Chartered became the club’s shirt sponsor, we’ve worked closely with them to raise awareness for Seeing is Believing, both in the developing world and here in the UK.

'It’s a fantastic initiative and we hope
to raise as much as possible from the shirts to cure avoidable blindness
in developing countries.'

Throwback: Liverpool used the sponsor last season, here on Andy Carroll (centre) and Maxi Rodriguez (right)

Throwback: Liverpool used the sponsor last season, here on Andy Carroll (centre) and Maxi Rodriguez (right)

The Baggies will go into this evening's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield on the back of five defeats in their last six games.

Skipper Chris Brunt is convinced his side will emerge from their current slump now they face a less demanding schedule for the remainder of the campaign.

Brunt said: 'We are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment but, for a club our size and for the money we've got and spent, we are still ninth in the league, 34 points.

'We are moving in the right direction but the last few weeks we haven't been great. We know that ourselves and know where we've got to improve to get it right.

Happy memories: Last time Liverpool wore the sponsor they smashed Chelsea at Anfield

Happy memories: Last time Liverpool wore the sponsor they smashed Chelsea at Anfield

'December and January is a pretty hectic period and it's one where we have tended to struggle a bit in the last few seasons and then picked up in February.

'Hopefully that will be the case again – starting on Monday. Our squad has been really stretched over the last few months, a lot of games and a few injuries have really hurt us.

'The boys have just had to play through it or play out of position because we don't have the luxury of rotating the team other clubs can to keep players fresher.'

VIDEO: Gerrard speaks about Seeing is Believing

If you want to bid for the shirts after the game, head to www.ebay.co.uk/perfectmatch.

Michael Appleton new Blackburn Rovers manager

Appleton is Blackburn's third manager this season… and they are his third club of campaign!

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

18:31 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:37 GMT, 11 January 2013

Blackburn have confirmed the appointment of Michael Appleton as their new manager.

Appleton becomes Rovers' third boss this season despite only taking over at Championship rivals Blackpool two months ago.

The 37-year-old former Manchester United and Preston midfielder, who began the season in charge of League One Portsmouth, has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal at Ewood Park.

Third time lucky Appleton succeeds Steve Kean and Henning Berg

Third time lucky Appleton succeeds Steve Kean and Henning Berg

Ashley Westwood, first-team coach under Appleton at both of his previous two clubs, will join him as assistant.

In a statement released by Blackburn, Appleton said: 'I am delighted to
be joining such an historic club. This is a fantastic opportunity for me
and I am excited about the challenge we have ahead of us.

'I can't wait to start working with what is a very talented group of players.

'I'd like to thank everyone at Blackpool for their efforts during my
time there and the chairman for allowing me to come here. I wish them
all the best for the future.'

On a roll: Blackburn have won three on the spin under caretaker Gary Bowyer

On a roll: Blackburn have won three on the spin under caretaker Gary Bowyer

Rovers' managing director Derek Shaw said: 'We are delighted to welcome both Michael and Ashley to the football club.

'They are both highly regarded within the game and we are confident that
they have the drive and ambition to take this club forward.

'We will do everything in our powers to support them in our quest to make an instant return to the Premier League.'

Michael Appleton skips Blackpool training for Blackburn talks

Appleton skips Blackpool training to thrash out deal over Blackburn job

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

16:27 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:03 GMT, 10 January 2013

Michael Appleton has been given permission to speak with Blackburn.

The Blackpool boss is regarded as one of the brightest young managers in the game.

He has been mentored by Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Hodgson since his playing career was ended by injury.

He will talk to Blackburn today and could even be their new manager in time to be at Molineux tomorrow night for the Championship clash with Wolves.

Rover and out Michael Appleton's reign at Blackpool could be an extremely short one with the former Portsmouth manager wanted at Ewood Park

Rover and out Michael Appleton's reign at Blackpool could prove to be an
extremely short one with the former Portsmouth manager wanted at Ewood
Park

Sportsmail understands Appleton and coach Ashley Westwood did not attend Blackpool’s training session on Thursday but were meeting chairman Karl Oyston to thrash out a deal.

It is believed Blackburn are prepared to pay
compensation of around 350,000.

Gary Bowyer will be in charge tomorrow if Appleton has not been appointed in time.

A statement from Blackburn managing director Derek Shaw was released on the club's official website last night confirming their interest in the 37-year-old former Portsmouth boss, with a Blackpool statement acknowledging a 'formal approach' shortly afterwards.

Blackpool reportedly rejected Rovers' initial approach and when contacted Shaw said: 'We’re in discussion, if that can be adequate.'

In the market: Blackburn need a new boss after Henning Berg was sacked

In the market: Blackburn need a new boss after Henning Berg was sacked

When pressed on whether Blackpool did turn down Blackburn's offer last night he added: 'I wouldn’t like to comment
on that. If there’s anything later we’ll certainly let you know.'

Appleton left Portsmouth for Blackpool on November 7 following Ian Holloway’s departure to Crystal Palace.

Henning Berg was appointed Blackburn manager seven days after Appleton but a run of one win in 10 games, including a 2-0 defeat by Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in his penultimate match, saw the ex-Norway defender sacked after 57 days in charge.

Blackburn have won all three games since Berg was dismissed and last week issued a statement to confirm reserve team manager Bowyer and head of youth Terry McPhillips would remain in caretaker charge until the end of this month.

This would now appear unlikely in light of the Appleton approach and Bowyer is due to address the media this lunchtime.

Appleton has won two and drawn seven of his 11 Championship games in charge of Blackpool, who are 14th in the table and six points shy of the play-offs – one point and one place behind Blackburn.

Blackburn Rovers crisis: players revolt, Shebby Singh under pressure

Revealed: From boardroom split to player revolt, the inside story of crisis engulfing Blackburn

Senior players revolt after poor start to season
Derek Shaw wants controversial Shebby Singh out
Club no closer to naming successor to Henning Berg

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UPDATED:

09:07 GMT, 31 December 2012

Crisis club Blackburn are in greater disarray than ever after being rocked by a bitter boardroom split and a growing revolt among senior players.

Managing director Derek Shaw flew to India at the weekend to try and convince the club’s owners Venky’s to end the farcical reign of their global advisor Shebby Singh.

Former Preston chairman Shaw, an experienced football administrator, has become increasingly frustrated at being marginalised by Singh and has brought matters to a head by confronting the owners over it.

Controversial: Blackburn's global advisor Shebby Singh is under pressure

Controversial: Blackburn's global advisor Shebby Singh is under pressure

While Shaw fights his own personal battle, and tries to oust the controversial Singh, Venky’s are facing just as big a problem trying to quell mounting unrest in a disillusioned dressing room.

Several senior players were reluctant to drop into the Championship, after last season’s relegation, but relented after Singh urged them to give it until Christmas for the club to demonstrate their ambition about trying to bounce straight back.

Most feel that, far from seeing
evidence of Singh’s predicted revival, Blackburn have continued to
decline after the shambolic handling of appointing a successor to Steve
Kean.

The mood was not
helped by the presence of untried Asian coach Judan Ali at their
training ground at the end of last week, and several are now ready to
jump ship and seek a move in the January transfer window.

Though Singh denied Ali was about to
become part of the coaching team at Ewood Park, the continuing fiasco of
the management set-up at Blackburn, a contentious issue that has been
allowed to tear the club apart ever since Sam Allardyce was sacked, has
caused ructions at board level and in the dressing room.

Protest: Blackburn fans make a point

Protest: Blackburn fans make a point

When the vilified Kean finally decided he’d had enough earlier this season, Shaw is understood to have favoured a move for Blackpool boss Ian Holloway but was overruled by Singh, who bizarrely went for Henning Berg, despite the former Blackburn defender being sacked for almost relegating Lillestrom.

That was the last straw for Shaw and
prompted his trip to India for showdown talks with Venky’s, while
Blackburn’s players have been just as dismayed by the ensuing decline in
fortunes that prompted Singh to acknowledge his folly and axe Berg
after just 10 games in charge.

With little sign of the
desperately-needed managerial know-how being recruited, other than
suggestions that one-time Aston Villa caretaker-boss Kevin MacDonald
might be added to the coaching staff, several disaffected players are
now ready to push for a move in the next few weeks.

Singh appeared on BBC Radio
FiveLive’s 606 phone-in on Saturday night and flew into a rage after
being quizzed about his input on the training pitch.

Co-presenter Darren Fletcher asked if
he had taken training on Friday, and it clearly touched a nerve, as
Singh shouted down the line:
‘Oh come on, give me a break. How stupid is that Surely no-one believes
that. I did not take training yesterday. That is really stupid for
anyone to even think that.

‘That is downright stupidity to even
suggest that. I was at the training ground because of my
responsibilities, but on the pitch, I have no involvement whatsoever.
Listen to me, I did not take training.’

Singh appeared to confirm that he was at loggerheads with Shaw and also took the rap for the disastrous appointment of Berg.

Asked to define his role, he said: ‘It
is difficult to explain when it is not a conventional title, but I am
pretty much trying to put the club back on a proper footing. I am
fighting enemies from inside and outside the club. Inside every club,
you find that not everyone is fighting the same cause. Individuals have
their own agenda. This is common everywhere you go.

Over and out: Blackburn sacked Henning Berg after ten matches in charge

Over and out: Blackburn sacked Henning Berg after ten matches in charge

‘I make the decisions, with the owners’ blessing and endorsement. It upsets a lot of people, but unfortunately that’s the way it is. The final decision about appointing Henning Berg was mine, but results were very poor and performances were not the best. A decision had to be made on how long you can put up with that.

‘You always think you have made the right decision, but it doesn’t always work out. I do not agree that 57 days was not long enough. It was 10 games. To me, 10 games is a lifetime. I got it wrong on that one. I will hold my hands up and say that, but it is not the end of the world. We still have to soldier on, and the team can still progress.’

Singh attempted to clarify the situation over Ali, saying: ‘I had a chat with him nine weeks ago, and he was interested in visiting the club to see how things were done. He came here to observe training and how the club functioned. Every coach wants to know that as part of their education.

'The timing (of his visit) was not right, unfortunately, but he is a friend. We enjoy talking about football, but it was not the plan that he would be part of the coaching set-up, and I don’t know why people think there is something happening.’

Raheem Sterling wanted by Manchester City

EXCLUSIVE: Man City on Sterling standby after winger falls out with Rodgers

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 30 November 2012

Fallout: Sterling and Rodgers

Fallout: Sterling and Rodgers

Manchester City are keeping a close eye on the Raheem Sterling contract negotiations at Liverpool as his advisers become increasingly irritated with manager Brendan Rodgers.

They feel that Rodgers is trying to railroad the winger, who is 18 next Saturday, into signing a new deal following his comment that Sterling would be ‘very foolish’ not to agree fresh terms.

But Sportsmail understands City are monitoring Sterling’s situation closely and could consider launching a bid in January if the stand-off is not resolved by then.

Sterling’s advisers have held two meetings with Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre – the second of which took place at the start of the week – but the player has yet to receive a formal offer, despite the fact he is entering the final 18 months of his current contract.

Rodgers, whose side take on Southampton at Anfield on Saturday afternoon, is desperate for his brightest young talent to end the speculation over his future by agreeing fresh terms.

Highly-rated: The winger has been a revelation this season

Highly-rated: The winger has been a revelation this season

But his latest comments look to have had the opposite effect, alerting City to the possibility of landing one of the brightest talents in the Premier League.

Raheem Sterling yet to sign new contract with Liverpool

Deadlock in Sterling contract negotiations but Liverpool remain confident

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 November 2012

Liverpool remain confident Raheem Sterling will sign a contract despite the latest round of talks passing without the winger being made a firm offer.

The England international turns 18 on December 8 and it has long been expected that Sterling would commit his future on that date.

In talks: Raheem Sterling has yet to commit his future to Liverpool

In talks: Raheem Sterling has yet to commit his future to Liverpool

But there remains some uncertainty after negotiations between Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre and Sterling’s advisors earlier this week ended without a definitive figure being outlined.

Liverpool, however, are certain that Sterling – who has been one of their most influential performers this season – will ultimately agree terms on a long-term deal.

Confident: Brendan Rodgers is not concerned over Sterling's delay

Confident: Brendan Rodgers is not concerned over Sterling's delay

A club source said: ‘Negotiations continue to be constructive but we are not prepared to go into any specifics and we do not think that is best served through the media.’

Harry Redknapp tells QPR players to show they care

Four points is shameful! Redknapp tells QPR players to show they care about club

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UPDATED:

00:29 GMT, 27 November 2012

This time last year, Harry Redknapp was managing a team on a run to the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

Tottenham’s football was breathtaking, unbeaten in 10 games as Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart tore into the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.

A year on, a top-four manager who hoped to succeed Fabio Capello as England boss has taken over a team with just four points.

Prove you care: Harry Redknapp is demanding his men improve their performances

Prove you care: Harry Redknapp is demanding his men improve their performances

Rapid improvement: QPR must get more points on the board if they are to avoid the drop

Rapid improvement: QPR must get more points on the board if they are to avoid the drop

‘When Daniel Levy sacked me that night (June 13) I didn’t leave and think I’d jump off the edge of Bournemouth cliffs,’ Redknapp said on Monday.

‘The next day I was up playing golf. I don’t hold grudges and I spoke to Daniel over the weekend. He wished me all the best. It’s all a bit bizarre the way things finished for me at Tottenham, but that’s life.

‘When I heard Roy Hodgson had got the England job I wasn’t going to lock myself in a room — it’s only a game. I can get het up because I want to do well but in the cold light of day what does it all mean’

Yesterday it meant everything again as he talked at QPR’s decrepit training base in Harlington, west London, where paint peels off the walls and the big industrial bins in the car park are overloaded with rubbish. It may be a case of taking out the trash in January, just as soon as Redknapp works out who is ready for a relegation scrap.

‘Four points is embarrassing,’ he admitted as he prepares the players for this evening’s Premier League clash at Sunderland. ‘How can you have four points from 13 games

‘Players who aren’t playing will blame those who are playing. Those who are playing will blame somebody else. It’s up to me to make my own decisions over what’s wrong with them and what needs doing.’

Redknapp will run this team with the same enthusiasm that filled the air when he walked into Tottenham’s old training ground. His love of the game is infectious and reassuring; he has promised the grandchildren he would stop at the club shop later to buy them QPR kits before his new team travelled to the Stadium of Light.

‘The family are QPR fans now,’ he said. It could easily have been the colours of Ukraine, after Redknapp was offered the job by the president of the country’s football federation, Anatoliy Konkov, in London last week.

‘It was a great job, a four-year contract, and it wasn’t as if I had to live in Ukraine,’ explained Redknapp. ‘Capello is manager of Russia and he lives in Italy. I could have gone over at weekends, watched some games and then spent a few days at home. I spoke to Andriy Shevchenko about it. The Under 21s are good and I was excited.

That's the way to goal: Harry Redknapp gives his players instructions ahead of their first game

That's the way to goal: Harry Redknapp gives his players instructions ahead of their first game

What am I doing here Redknapp has fallen some way from his Spurs days

What am I doing here Redknapp has fallen some way from his Spurs days

Need a cuppa: Redknapp supps on a hot beverage during the press conference

Need a cuppa: Redknapp supps on a hot beverage during the press conference

Sunderland v QPR

‘It wouldn’t have been easy for me to face England in the World Cup qualifiers, but I couldn’t say “Oh it doesn’t matter if we don’t win today” — they would have thrown me down the salt mines.’

But there is no regular contact with players in a national job and there was a twinkle in Redknapp’s eye yesterday as he prepared to take an 11am training session in the wind and rain.

Redknapp has missed the morning commute from his home in Sandbanks, picking up assistant Kevin Bond along the way.

‘I probably needed a break and maybe it didn’t do me any harm,’ he added. ‘I went through a tough year with the court case and maybe leaving Tottenham wasn’t the worst thing. Until last Saturday I hadn’t watched a Premier League game live since I finished at Tottenham. I thought if I turned up people would say, “What’s he doing here, they’ve lost a few games, he’s after my job”. I don’t need that.

‘I used to watch Bournemouth play on
Saturday afternoons and I loved it. But now I’m looking forward to
getting back into the Premier League.’

It starts on Tuesday at Sunderland, his first official game in charge after Mark Hughes was sacked on Friday.

Axed: Mark Hughes was booted out of Loftus Road

Axed: Mark Hughes was booted out of Loftus Road

QPR are without an away win since November 19, 2011, when two Heidar Helguson goals and a Luke Young strike secured a 3-2 win at Stoke under Neil Warnock.

‘We keep saying we have a good team, but you don’t have four points from 13 games if you are playing well,’ Redknapp said.

‘Apart from going back to Portsmouth, when it looked like we were doomed, this is my biggest challenge yet as a manager. If I’d failed there I probably wouldn’t have been allowed to get out alive. At QPR the challenge is to bring the group together.

‘I want to see players chasing and getting the hump if they see other players standing around.’

Instead, he expects to get them up and running.

Liverpool fans soaked by faulty sprinkler at Anfield

Water torture! Liverpool fans get soaked by faulty sprinkler at Anfield

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UPDATED:

19:58 GMT, 4 November 2012

It never rains but it pours for Liverpool fans.

A number of supporters received a dousing
but VIPs escaped getting drenched after a sprinkler malfunction at Sunday's Premier League match with Newcastle.

Just before the teams emerged for the
second half of the 1-1 draw a jet of water – designed to dampen the
pitch – turned itself towards the Main Stand.

Why always me One wet Liverpool fan

Why always me One Liverpool fan gets soaked by the faulty sprinkler

Water torture: Fans are soaked by a broken sprinkler

Water torture: Fans are soaked by a broken sprinkler

Supporters in the first 20 rows of the Paddock got a soaking for at least 30 seconds but the dignitaries – including Reds managing director Ian Ayre – had not yet re-taken their seats in the directors' box and so avoided an unwelcome wet start to the second half.

It put a dampener on their day as Kop legend Steven Gerrard made his 600th appearance for the club.

The Liverpool captain was presented with a special award by former midfielder Gary McAllister before kick-off.

Honour: Steven Gerrard (right) receives an award from former Liverpool captain Gary McAllister to mark his 600th appearance for the club

Honour: Steven Gerrard (right) receives an award from former Liverpool captain Gary McAllister to mark his 600th appearance for the club

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard

Pass master: Liverpool midfielder Gerrard

But Luis Suarez ensured the day finished on a bright note for Liverpool by scoring a stunning second-half equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw.