Tag Archives: media

Taribo West accused of lying about being 28 when he was 40

Taribo West 'was 40 when he said he was 28', claims former Partizan Belgrade chief

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

14:49 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:28 GMT, 3 April 2013

Former Derby County, Plymouth and Inter Milan defender Taribo West has been accused of lying about his age.

The former Nigeria centre half, now retired, joined Serbian team Partizan Belgrade in 2002 after leaving Derby County and told club bosses he was 28.

But now the ex-president of Partizan, Zarko Zecevic, has accused him of lying, saying the defender was actually 40.

Taribo West while at Partizan

Taribo West while at Partizan

Accusation: Taribo West was 40 – not 28 as he claimed – when he played for Partizan Belgrade, according to the club's former president Zarko Zecevic

Ram raider: West (right) challenges Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink while playing in the Premier League for Derby County

Ram raider: West (right) challenges Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink while playing in the Premier League for Derby County

'He joined us saying he was 28. We
only later found out he was 40, but he was still playing well so I don’t
regret having him on the team,' Zecevic said.

But according to the Croatian media, the
former defender known for his colourful hairstyles also lied when trying
to join Croatia’s Rijeka club.

At the age of 44, they said West told club doctors he was only 32.

Milan spells: West made his name with Inter Milan but also played a few games for rivals AC (below)

Milan spells: West made his name with Inter Milan but also played a few games for rivals AC (below)

Cross country: West with AC

Blue boy: West with Teddy Shedingham during Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial match

Blue boy: West with Teddy Shedingham during Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial match

It was only after an examination that the doctors raised suspicions with the club because West’s knees suggested he was older.

He wasn’t signed to the team but later
joined Plymouth and then Iranian side Paykan FC, where he ended his
career at the age of 46 in 2008.

Today his Wikipedia entry says he is 39.

Super Eagle: The Nigeria defender coloured his hair green to go with his national side's kit at France 98

Super Eagle: The Nigeria defender coloured his hair green to go with his national side's kit at France 98

Taribo

Taribo v Yugoslavia

Taribo West V Gabriel Batistuta

Fabio Capello: I want to manage in England again

Capello opens door to England return: 'I miss it, the packed stadiums… and Russia has worse problem with foreign players'

By
Adam Crafton

PUBLISHED:

01:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:42 GMT, 23 February 2013

Fabio Capello has opened the door to Premier League suitors, declaring his fascination for English football and revealing his difficulties adapting to life as manager of the Russian national team.

Speaking through a translator at a question and answer session at the Cambridge Union, the former England boss revealed his strong passion for English football.

He said: 'The Premier League is absolutely fascinating. I would be available and would be flattered to be linked with jobs in this league.

Longing: Fabio Capello admitted he misses England after taking over as the manager of Russia

Longing: Fabio Capello admitted he misses England after taking over as the manager of Russia

'Both my wife and I enjoyed our time in the UK and what I miss about football in the UK is that the stadiums are packed, whereas the Russian league is often half-empty.

'I am used to the media attention from Italy and Spain, and I can handle the newspapers and press here. It is just part of the job. In Russia, it is great because nobody can read the newspapers!

Although Capello is finding the Russian media easy to deal with, the Italian revealed the frustrations he has found as he tries to get to grips with the Russian language.

He said: 'It is not difficult when we train but it is very hard to pass on my emotions and motivation to the players and I have to rely on the translator.

'Before a match, I show the players videos and show them bullet points to get my point across but the translator even has to write these because the Russian language has a different alphabet. Sometimes, the translator relates the concepts but not with the feeling that I want to convey.'

Defender: Capello consistently backed John Terry despite his off-the-field problems

Defender: Capello consistently backed John Terry despite his off-the-field problems

New horizons: Capello hopes to lead Russia to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

New horizons: Capello hopes to lead Russia to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Along with the language-barrier, the former Real Madrid and AC Milan boss has grown frustrated with the small pool of Russian players that he has to work with, believing the influx of foreign players in the Russian league to be an ailment even more chronic than the same issue facing the English Premier League, while the long travelling is also proving problematic.

He said: 'I used to complain that there are only playing 38 per cent of Premier League players that are English but the situation is even worse in Russia on this issue. To attract players to Russia, a lot of money is needed.

'Moreover, many of the best teams with these huge private benefactors are located at the borders of Russia so it is a lot of travelling for me.'

And the former Three Lions boss couldn't mask his surprise that AC Milan decided to pay 21million to take Mario Balotelli back to Italy.

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

All change: Mario Balotelli moved from Manchester City to AC Milan in the January transfer window

He said: 'When I found out that Milan were signing Balotelli, I thought it was crazy! But he has been playing brilliantly since arriving, he has had no problems with the referee and he can make a difference, as he has showed with four goals in three games. He’s great – but it’s impossible to manage Balotelli!

'With these players, like I had with Antonio Cassano myself you have to speak to them to explain exactly what they have to do before the game – but within five minutes they do whatever they want anyway!'

Didier Drogba to make Galatasaray home debut in front of loudest fans in world

Better bring your earplugs, Didier! Gala fans named loudest in world as Drogba prepares to make home debut against Schalke

PUBLISHED:

12:59 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

13:48 GMT, 18 February 2013

Didier Drogba can expect a thunderous reception when he makes his home debut for Galatasaray on Wednesday after the Turkish fans were named the loudest in the world.

Drogba, who scored five minutes into his first appearance for the club on Friday, is expected to feature in the Champions League last-16 clash against Schalke.

And the striker can expect the full backing of the home crowd at the Turk Telekon Arena who recorded a sound level of 131 decibels at a recent derby match – louder than standing 50m away from a military jet taking off.

Scroll down for video

Main man: Didier Drogba celebrates scoring on his debut and will hope to do the same in front of his home fans

Main man: Didier Drogba celebrates scoring on his debut and will hope to do the same in front of his home fans

galatasaray fans

Meanwhile, Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua will take their battle against Drogba's move to Galatasaray to football's governing body FIFA this week.

The Ivory Coast striker left the club in acrimonious circumstances last month, with Shanghai saying he had breached his contract.

'We now have evidence which we believe will give Shenhua a 99 per cent chance of winning a lawsuit at FIFA,' a lawyer acting for the club told the Sina web portal.

The anonymous source from 'Shenhua's legal team' said papers would be submitted to the sport's governing body on Wednesday.

The report said Shenhua will provide evidence that Drogba breached his contract and that Galatasaray had violated FIFA rules by luring a player away from his current club.

Star man: Drogba left Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to join Galatasaray

Star man: Drogba left Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua to join Galatasaray

Chinese media previously reported Drogba had asked FIFA to nullify his contract after the club defaulted on payments following a shareholder dispute dating back to September. The striker signed an 18-month, 9million deal with the Istanbul side.

Drogba — a Champions League winner with Chelsea last season — had signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Shanghai in June last year on a reported salary of $200,000-a-week.

Drogba's exit from Shanghai followed that of former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka, who joined Italian giants Juventus on loan.

VIDEO Proof that Galatasaray fans are loudest in the world

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Alex Ferguson charged by FA over rant at Tottenham linesman

Fergie CHARGED by FA over blast at 'shocking' linesman who was 'never going to give United a decision'

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 29 January 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson has been charged by the FA over his rant at the linesman during their draw at Tottenham this month.

The Manchester United boss could now be fined for misconduct after attempting to explain his comments.

Ferguson was furious that referee's
assistant Simon Beck did not flag for a penalty when Wayne Rooney was
challenged by Steven Caulker.

Fuming: Ferguson was furious with Beck for missing Caulker's trip on Rooney

Fuming: Ferguson was furious with Beck for missing Caulker's trip on Rooney

Fuming: Ferguson was furious with Beck for missing Caulker's trip on Rooney


Hot water: The United boss has been summoned before the FA

Hot water: The United boss has been summoned before the FA

By
claiming that United 'were never going to get a decision' from Beck and
'he gave them everything else', the FA believe that Ferguson may be
guilty of questioning his integrity.

An FA statement read: ‘The FA has
today charged Sir Alex Ferguson in relation to post-match media comments
made following Manchester United’s game at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday
20 January 2013.

‘It is alleged the Manchester United
manager breached FA Rule E3 in that he implied that the match official
was motivated by bias.

‘Ferguson has until 4pm on Friday 1 February 2013 to respond to the charge.’

Earlier
this month Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini escaped punishment
when asked to explain a comment that referee Kevin Friend 'ate too much'
before the Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland.

On the same day, Ferguson angrily
confronted referee Mike Dean at half-time of United's game with
Newcastle but the FA took no action.

However, their legal team decided to
take the matter further on Monday after analysing his remarks following
the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.

'The stand-side linesman never gave us a thing all day,' said Ferguson.

'I think he had a shocking game. I'm
disappointed in his performance, I really am. We've got that history
with him. He never gave offside with (Didier) Drogba at Old Trafford
when he was three yards offside. Everyone remembers that. I certainly
do.'

The decision not to award what
Ferguson described as 'a clear penalty' proved costly for United when
Clint Dempsey struck in injury time to cancel out Robin van Persie's
first-half header.

Late twist: Ferguson was even more unhappy after Clint Dempsey (left) scored Tottenham's late leveller

Late twist: Ferguson was even more unhappy after Clint Dempsey (left) scored Tottenham's late leveller

United defender Rio Ferdinand backed
his manager saying: 'It was a 100 per cent penalty. I cannot believe he
didn't give it. The linesman didn't really help us on the near touchline
at all.

'He maybe wasn't going to put his flag up, but I'm disappointed that the referee didn't give what was a stonewall penalty.'

Ferguson has been banned from the
touchline on five occasions in the past, most recently in 2011 when he
was found guilty of questioning the integrity of referee Martin
Atkinson.

Sam Allardyce charged by FA after comments about referee Phil Dowd

West Ham boss Allardyce CHARGED by the FA after 'homer ref' comments

By
Tom Sheen and Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

16:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:02 GMT, 18 January 2013

Sam Allardyce has been charged by the Football Association for the remarks he made in the wake of West Ham's defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Allardyce alleged that referee Phil Dowd favoured the hosts as he failed to award West Ham a penalty but then awarded one at the other end moments later for a similar incident in the FA Cup third-round replay.

A statement from the FA read: 'West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has been charged with misconduct in relation to media comments following this week’s FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round replay against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Charged: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is expected to face charges after accusing Phil Dowd of bias during Wednesday night's loss to Manchester United

Charged: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is expected to face charges after accusing Phil Dowd of bias during Wednesday night's loss to Manchester United

'The charge is in relation to an
alleged breach of FA Rule E3 concerning media comments which questioned
the integrity of the match referee and/or match officials in general
and/or implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general
are motivated by bias and/or brought the game into disrepute.

'Allardyce has until Wednesday 23 January to respond to the charge.'

Speaking on Wednesday, Allardyce said: 'The one difference between Rafael’s handball and Spence’s was that Jordan plays for West Ham away against Manchester United and Rafael plays at home at Old Trafford.

'It's got to be that simple. Phil Dowd was in the perfect position. Rafael pushes the ball away with his left arm. No penalty. Go to the other end and the ball hits Jordan’s hand. If you give one you have to give both, simple as that.'

West Ham have a London derby on
Saturday against strugglers QPR. But under new manager Harry Redknapp, Rangers have found some improved results.

Accusation: Allardyce (pictured) blasted Dowd after the referee failed to award West Ham a penalty but gave one to United for a similar incident

Accusation: Allardyce (pictured) blasted Dowd after the referee failed to award West Ham a penalty but gave one to United for a similar incident

'Harry knows full well that, should QPR survive, it will be one of the biggest achievements of his managerial career,' said Allardyce.

'In fact he will be only be only the second manager in the history of the Premier League to have guided his team to safety after being bottom of the table at Christmas.

'Bryan Robson was the only man to have accomplished that, when at West Brom.

Disruption: QPR manager Harry Redknapp (pictured) prepares his side to face West Ham in deep snow

Disruption: QPR manager Harry Redknapp (pictured) prepares his side to face West Ham in deep snow

'As an achievement, it would not be something that will be lauded in quite the way as when Spurs qualified for the Champions League under Harry but, believe me, if it happens, it will be right up there and proof he can handle things at either end of the spectrum.'

Allardyce, who has signed Marouane Chamakh, Joe Cole, Sean Maguire and Wellington Paulista so far in the transfer window also expects new signing Loic Remy to be a hit at Loftus Road.

'I expect new signing Loic Remy to be in their squad,' Allardyce added in his column with the Evening Standard.

Welcome to London: Allardyce expects new QPR new boy Loic Remy (centre) to be a hit

Welcome to London: Allardyce expects new QPR new boy Loic Remy (centre) to be a hit

'From what I've seen of him, he's quick and can play anywhere across the front three.

'He was linked with us at one stage but he was too expensive – we don't have that kind of money.

'It remains a massive task for QPR and Harry – but it can be done.'

Mario Balotelli daughter Pia is born

Balotelli 'delighted' at becoming father for the first time as his ex gives birth to baby girl named Pia

|

UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 7 December 2012

Some of Mario Balotelli's actions during his time at Manchester City could best be described as childish. Wonderfully entertaining, but childish nonetheless.

Well, now the 22-year-old Italian striker has a kid of his own.

His relationship with ex-girlfriend Raffaella Fico has been fairly tumultuous over the past nine months but bad boy Balotelli, preparing for the Manchester derby this Sunday, is said to be 'delighted' after becoming a father for the first time after she gave birth to a baby girl.

New dad: Mario Balotelli

He's the daddy: Mario Balotelli has become a father for the first time as his ex-girlfriend gives birth to a baby girl

He's the daddy: Mario Balotelli has become a father for the first time as his ex-girlfriend gives birth to a baby girl

Little Pia had been due on Christmas Day
but was born just under three weeks early after Raffaella was rushed to
hospital after having contractions while at home with her mum.

Balotelli himself was not present at the
birth but Raffaella's brother Francesco and her mum Pia were and the
baby weighed in at a healthy 8lbs, 4oz (3.8kg) and was registered in her
mother's name.

There was no official comment from Balotelli following the 'nappy' news although sources close to the City star said he was 'delighted' with the birth which took place at the private Clinica Mediterranea in Naples.

Ex underwear model Raffaella and Balotelli had split up in April following a furious doorstep bust up after she flew to Manchester from Italy to confront him over his cheating.

Bad boy: Balotelli's form for Man City has been erratic this season

Bad boy: Balotelli's form for Man City has been erratic this season

Two months later she called him to say she was expecting his child and initially he refused to accept the baby was his and demanded a DNA test to prove he was the father.

The couple then played out a furious
slanging match via the Italian media over the summer with a shocked
Raffaella expressing anger and surprise that he should question whether
he was the father.

Two months ago Balotelli then revealed
he was going to 'try again' with Raffaella and he flew to her home near
Naples where the two were pictured kissing passionately on the balcony
of her home.

He's punishment: Mario Balotelli got a tattoo of a Genghis Khan quote to celebrate his first goal of the season last month. Will he get a new tattoo for his daughter

He's punishment: Mario Balotelli got a tattoo of a Genghis Khan quote to celebrate his first goal of the season last month. Will he get a new tattoo for his daughter

In happier times: Mario and Rafaella were together before splitting up and getting back together in recent months but they are now not together despite welcoming their first child

In happier times: Mario and Rafaella were together before splitting up and getting back together in recent months but they are now not together despite welcoming their first child

However since then he has not been in touch with Raffaella and only this week she had issued an ultimatum to the player saying: 'If you love our child and me then marry me.'

On Thursday a source at the clinic said: 'Pia was born on Wednesday night and both mother and baby are doing well.'

Raffaella, who has dated Cristiano Ronaldo in the past and also appeared in Italy's version of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, is said to have sold exclusive first pictures of Pia to glossy Italian weekly Chi – the magazine that published photographs of a topless Duchess of Cambridge.

Balotelli, who has scored just once in 11 Premier League games this season, will hope to involved when City welcome Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Adkins: Players should take credit, but pressure is still on after win at QPR

Adkins: Players should take credit, but pressure is still on after win at QPR

|

UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 17 November 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins
heaped praise on his players after their win over fellow strugglers QPR
but admitted that he remains under pressure.

The visitors completely outplayed Mark Hughes' team to move four points clear of the west Londoners.

But with his side still facing an uphill battle to stay in the top flight, Adkins refused to get carried away.

Still pressure: But Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was please with his team's work

Still pressure: But Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was please with his team's work

'In the Premier League, you're always going to get the media attention and whether you're at the top or the bottom, it is only going to intensify,' he said.

'Every game brings its own pressures, its own demands.'

Asked if he thought the win helped to relieve the pressure on his own position, Adkins added: 'I am a manager in the Premier League.

'You guys (the media) are always going to keep the pressure on everybody.

'Today was a good performance again and it shows a good, growing maturity about the players.

'You could see again that we have players maturing all the time. There were some really good performances.

'We had a good defensive shape today. We know we can score goals and there is a confidence growing all the time among the players.'

Jen Chang sacked by Liverpool

SACKED: The PR man brought in to boost Liverpool's image pays price for string of threats over spoof Twitter account

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UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 16 November 2012

Why Chang had to go…

Scroll down to read Charles Sale's verdict on the mess at Liverpool

Liverpool's controversial communications director Jen Chang has left the club following the Twitter storm with spoof blogger 'Duncan Jenkins'.

The club were forced to apologise to Jenkins, real name Sean Cummins, for the 'inappropriate actions' of Chang, after they met in a Manchester restaurant.

Chang was tipped to leave his post earlier this week in Charles Sale's Sports Agenda column.

Axed: Liverpool's communications director Jen Chang has left the club

Axed: Liverpool's communications director Jen Chang has left the club

Meeting: Chang and Cummins pictured on CCTV at the Manchester restaurant

Meeting: Chang and Cummins pictured on CCTV at the Manchester restaurant

A club statement read: 'Jen Chang has left Liverpool Football Club by mutual consent and has returned to the US for family reasons,” said a Liverpool spokesman.

'Jen brought a fresh perspective to the overall communications function through the use of a variety of media channels, including social media and blogs.

'He reviewed and refocused the Liverpool Ladies and created a new impetus in relation to their structure, organisation and future playing strategy.

'We would like to thank Jen for his contribution to Liverpool Football Club during his time here and wish him well in his future career back in the US.

'Jen would like to thank everyone he has worked with during his time at Liverpool for their support and respect and wishes the club every success.'

Chang wrongly believed inside information used by Cummins on Twitter had been fed to him by an Anfield mole.

Enlarge

Exclusive: Sportsmail's Charles Sale revealed Chang's return was in doubt earlier this week

Exclusive: Sportsmail revealed Chang's return was in doubt earlier this week

Cummins pointed out that all his information was lifted from fans' forums.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2225347/Liverpool-apologise-Sean-Cummins-Duncan-Jenkins-threats-Jen-Chang.html#ixzz2COjG1nRd

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The fan then alleged in a blog that Chang made a series of threats to him, which included revoking his shared season ticket.

After accusing Cummins of costing the
club 300,000 extra in the Fabio Borini transfer from Roma this summer
because of 'information' posted on the Jenkins Twitter feed, Cummins pointed out that all his information was lifted from fans' forums.

It is then alleged that Chang demanded he tweet under the fake account to 'confess' there was no mole and the whole account was made up.

After Cummins complained, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre spoke to both men before apologising for Chang’s error.

In his letter to Cummins he wrote: ‘I acknowledge some of the elements you highlight were not appropriate. I would therefore like to apologise to you on behalf of Liverpool FC, for any upset and distress this caused you.’

'Clearly it is not appropriate for me to comment on how the club is managing this internally, and I trust you understand this.'

Chang has been in New York sorting out
the family home after Hurricane Sandy.

Why Chang had to go, by Charles Sale

Charles Sale

Jen Chang’s departure from Liverpool was inevitable ever since the communications director’s highly ill-advised harassment of fan Sean Cummins was made public.

The only surprise is that it has taken so long for his exit to be announced, especially after an investigation into the incident by managing director Ian Ayre led to the club writing a letter of apology to Cummins for the inappropriate actions of the club official.

The club statement today mentions Chang leaving by mutual consent and returning to the United States for family reasons.

But earlier in the week Chang was said to have gone to New York only to sort out the family home after the power loss caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Liverpool, whose PR has been a mess ever since the Luis Suarez racism saga was handled so badly inside Anfield, now cannot afford to appoint another communications chief as patently unsuited for the post as Chang.

And the fact that Chang was yet to relocate his wife and children from America to Merseyside suggests he had his doubts about his long-term future at Anfield as well.

The signs that Chang would never be the right fit for Liverpool were evident before he joined the club.

The ex-journalist’s last article for Sports Illustrated before starting his spin doctor responsibilities at Anfield was a glowing tribute to the way Everton manager David Moyes utilises performance data.

Andre Villas-Boas dismisses Hugo Lloris complaint from Didier Deschamps

In one ear, out the other! AVB dismisses Deschamps' complaint over Lloris

|

UPDATED:

07:21 GMT, 9 November 2012

Andre Villas-Boas brushed off Didier Deschamps' latest barb over Hugo Lloris after the Tottenham goalkeeper made his first high-profile error in Thrusday night's 3-1 win over Maribor.

Deschamps renewed his attack on Villas-Boas, claiming Lloris was losing his sharpness after being used in a rotation system with Spurs No 1 Brad Friedel.

The France head coach had twice previously questioned the wisdom of Lloris' decision to swap Lyon, where he was guaranteed first pick, for Tottenham.

Blunder: Hugo Lloris was at fault as Tottenham conceded against Maribor

Blunder: Hugo Lloris was at fault as Tottenham conceded against Maribor

'He does not have enough playing time,' Deschamps was quoted in the French media as saying at a press conference.

'He plays one game per week in the Europa League. It is a situation that is cumbersome and not ideal. He is a competitor and he cannot simply play two or three matches.'

When asked how he felt about Deschamps' constant commenting on his goalkeeper, Villas-Boas pointed to his head and said: 'It goes in one ear and comes out the other.'

Lloris' failure to clear a Kyle Naughton backpass allowed Robert Beric to equalise just before half-time in Thursday night's Europa League Group J meeting at White Hart Lane.

Naughton's pass was heavy, leaving Lloris with little time to clear before Beric closed him down, but the France skipper still did not take the opportunity to clear the ball to his side – a move that would have certainly prevented the Slovenians from scoring.

Villas-Boas insisted Lloris still has a chance of making Spurs' team for Sunday's game at Manchester City despite the error.

He said: 'Sometimes things like this happen.

'It happened to us at Chelsea with Petr Cech last year. It's mistakes that make you evolve as a player and I have no problem with that.

'It could happen to any goalkeeper during any game. It will not affect my decision-making.'

Andre Villas-Boas

Didier Deschamps

Loggerheads: Andre Villas-Boas (left) and France boss Didier Deschamps

Who was to blame for the Maribor strike proved inconsequential in the end as Tottenham ran out comfortable winners thanks to Jermain Defoe's hat-trick.

The 30-year-old's triple strike meant he moved ahead of Teddy Sheringham in to eighth place in Tottenham's all-time top goalscorer list.

'That's special on a personal note as Teddy was a player I watched as a kid,' Defoe told ITV.

'He was a great player for club and country.

'It was amazing [to score a hat-trick]. As a forward you get judged on scoring goals. It's the best thing in the world but it was important we won the game tonight.'

Nigel Adkins still enjoying life at Southampton

Adkins insists he is enjoying the ride despite Southampton's struggles

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 2 November 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is thriving under the challenge of keeping the Saints in the Barclays Premier League.

Adkins takes his side to West Brom on Monday night still searching for an elusive away win.

The former Scunthorpe manager has come under increased media speculation regarding his future at St Mary's but revealed he is loving life at the wrong end of the table, with Southampton sitting 19th with only four points on the board.

Under pressure: Southampton have been on a woeful run of form

Under pressure: Southampton have been on a woeful run of form

'I'm loving the challenge, you only know once you're in a situation how you are going to react and face it,' he said.

'After the West Ham defeat there was a half-hour period which I didn't like but I'm loving the challenge that we are faced with, it is what you want to be in football for.'

Adkins feels he has been a marked man even before the Premier League season got under way but does not feel under any more pressure now than when he was guiding the Saints to back-to-back promotions.

He said: 'Before we even kicked a football I think I was the favourite to be sacked.

'So every week there is a question about that and it doesn't faze me one iota, I'm very, very ambitious and we are very ambitious here at Southampton – what will be in football will be.

'(The pressure) is exactly the same as when I joined. I put my comments out straightaway that I wanted to win the league and we got ourselves promoted, then we got ourselves promoted from the Championship.

Upbeat: Adkins is remaining positive

Upbeat: Adkins is remaining positive

'We are ambitious, we want to be winners and we are used to being winners – we are now faced with a different challenge but it is one that we embrace, we look forward to it. Nobody said it was going to be easy, this is what we are in football for, we are pushing ourselves to the limit.

'We can go one of two ways – we can either hide behind situations and crumble or we can face everything up, stick our chests out and we can be positive in what we do.'

Norwich set an example last season of a side who can sustain a place in the top flight following two consecutive promotions but Adkins is keen to stress the club are still in a transitional period after dropping into the third tier.

'We have come a hell of a long way in a short space of time, I think everyone is well aware of that,' he said.

'It is quite often the way that a newly-promoted side from a defensive point a view, a lot more questions are asked of you when you move up – especially if you have jumped up two divisions like we have gone and done.

Leaky: Southampton have the worst defence in the league

Leaky: Southampton have the worst defence in the league

Returning: Ramirez

Returning: Ramirez

'Everyone wants to the finished article straightaway, there is a great work in progress that is going on here at Southampton.

'There a lot of people from top to bottom throughout all of the different departments work very hard and are proud to be here at Southampton.'

Adkins feels a number of injuries to key personnel over the opening months of the season have also played a part in destabilising his side.

'I never want to harp on about injuries but it is fair to say that the back four has been unsettled more or less in every game for one reason or another,' he said. 'I'd like to think we can now put a consistent back four together and that will only add to the stability in the team.'

One player due to return from injury is club-record signing Gaston Ramirez.

The Uruguayan has been missing for five weeks with a thigh injury after his summer move from Bologna but Adkins is hoping he can unleash the 21-year-old at the Hawthorns on Monday night.