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Neil Robertson into second round of International snooker Championship

Robertson overcomes passport issues to make it into second round of inaugural International Championship



17:52 GMT, 28 October 2012

Neil Robertson advanced to the second round of the inaugural International Championship in Chengdu before revealing a passport mix-up almost cost him his place in the tournament.

Former world champion Robertson beat Welshman Ryan Day 6-3 in the evening session to set-up a potential meeting with Matthew Stevens in the next round.

But the Australian, who is currently living in England, had visa issues ahead of his trip to China and could have missed the chance to win the new 600,000 world ranking event.

Going through: Neil Robertson made it into the second round in in Chengdu

Going through: Neil Robertson made it into the second round in in Chengdu

'The past week has been a nightmare,” he told worldsnooker.com.

'I sent the passport recorded delivery to the DVLA's Peterborough office, but then they sent it by normal post to Swansea and then back to me. The Post Office was no help and I couldn't track it.

'The passport finally turned up at my house half an hour before I was due to leave to go to Heathrow to fly to Shanghai. So I just had to hope that when I arrived they would give me a visa.'

Robertson also praised the sport's governing body for supporting him during the mishap and thanked the staff who sorted the visa upon landing in China.

He said: 'Luckily World Snooker helped me a lot and I was able to provide all of the supporting documents to prove that I am a snooker player and I was going to the biggest tournament in China.

'As it turned out, the immigration staff in Shanghai all knew who I was and wanted pictures with me.

'I was there for about five hours, then I was given the visa and was able to fly to Chengdu. Obviously it was not ideal preparation so I'm just really pleased to have played well tonight and got the result.'

Shaun Murphy labelled the new tournament the “fourth major” on the snooker calendar.

The 30-year-old Englishman needed only 89 minutes to secure a spot in the second round, seeing off compatriot Andrew Higginson 6-0 with breaks of 67, 52, 86 and 96.

Murphy, who lifted the World Championship title in 2005, revealed he has been looking forward to what he considers an important new fixture in the sport.

'It's been a long time coming this tournament, and it's exciting to come to a city in the west of China where we've never been before,' he said.

'In terms of ranking points and prize money it's on a par with the UK Championship, so it can be seen as the fourth major.'

Jamie Burnett will face fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the first round after beating Niu Zhuang 6-0 in their wild-card match.

Aditya Mehta of India also reached the first round proper after seeing off Zhu Yinghui 6-5.

He is joined in the final 32 by countryman Pankaj Advani after his wild-card opponent Zhou Yuelong pulled out of the tournament.

Fergal O'Brien set up a first round match against Judd Trump after a 6-3 success over Chen Feilong.

Three other wild-card matches were completed earlier in the day with 14-year-old Lu Haotian coming from 5-2 down to beat Michael White 6-5 in front of his home support.
White, who required treatment on an ankle he injured playing tennis yesterday, was forced to compete in just his socks to try and minimise the pain.

Lu will now progress directly into the second round after receiving a bye due to Ronnie O'Sullivan's decision to pull out of the tournament.

Veteran Ken Doherty also bowed out to youthful Chinese opposition, the Irishman losing 6-5 to 15-year-old Zhao Xintong.

The all-Chinese tie between Cao Yupeng and Wang Yuchen saw the former fight from 4-1 down to secure a 6-5 win and secure a meeting with John Higgins in the last 32.

Derby 1 Blackburn 1 – match report

Derby 1 Blackburn 1: Robinson leaves it late to deny Black first Rovers win



16:49 GMT, 20 October 2012

Theo Robinson struck a minute from time to rescue a point for Derby and deny Blackburn caretaker manager Eric Black a first victory.

Rovers' 8million pound signing Jordan Rhodes looked to have secured the points for the away side with a crisp volleyed effort in the 34th minute, but the Rams snatched a deserved equaliser when Robinson bundled home from point-blank range.

A share of the spoils continues Blackburn's unbeaten away record in the npower Championship, but the expensively-acquired squad have now gone five games without victory.

Leaving it late: Theo Robinson scores two minutes from time to rescue a point for Derby

Leaving it late: Theo Robinson scores two minutes from time to rescue a point for Derby


Derby: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, O'Connor (Tyson 84), Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson, Hughes, Sammon (Jacobs 75), Robinson.

Subs Not Used: Deeney, O'Brien, Bennett, Gjokaj, Freeman.

Goals: Robinson 88.

Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson, Lowe, Dunn (Formica 67), Etuhu, Pedersen, Rhodes, Kazim-Richards.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Murphy, Nuno Gomes, Rochina, Grant Hanley, Ribeiro.

Booked: Kazim-Richards.

Goals: Rhodes 34.

Attendance: 22,958

Referee: Mark Haywood

Click here for the latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Black boldly opted to relegate captain Danny Murphy to the bench, with David Dunn returning in the centre, with Derby unchanged from their goalless draw against Brighton last time out.

The opening exchanges were largely unremarkable, although Blackburn's passing was awry early.
Dead balls appeared their likeliest route to goal, Morten Gamst Pedersen twice causing problems with curling free-kicks from the left side of the area.

Richard Keogh dealt with the first one well but the second, in the 21st minute, was powerfully met by Scott Dann, whose header needed a strong save from Adam Legzdins.

Three minutes earlier Robinson had a good chance for the hosts, getting on the end of James O'Connor's cross at the far post but not managing a firm enough connection.

Back-to-back Derby corners caused problems, Jake Buxton's header diverted wide by Dann and Robinson's effort nodded high and wide.

Blackburn rallied and began to dictate matters in midfield and another free-kick, this time from the right, saw Pedersen draw a full-stretch save from Legzdins at the top corner.

In the 34th minute the visitors took the lead, Colin Kazim-Richards chipping towards Pedersen, whose cushioned header found Rhodes in support.

The Scotland striker waited for the ball to drop then fired home first time from 20 yards.

Bradley Orr, breaking forward from right-back, had two chances for Blackburn before the break but failed to add to the lead.

Deadly finisher: Jordan Rhodes opens the scoring for Blackburn

Deadly finisher: Jordan Rhodes opens the scoring for Blackburn

It took just 40 seconds of the second half for Rovers to go close again, Martin Olsson surging down the left wing and cutting back for Rhodes, who was desperately close to adding the finishing touch.

Derby were not giving up hope yet and fashioned a fine chance of their own when Jeff Hendrick's cross found Bryson 10 yards out.

The midfielder could not keep his snap shot down but the warning had been served.

Hendrick and Bryson both shot over in quick succession and Paul Coutts curled an ambitious effort on to the roof of the net as the Rams grabbed the initiative.

Derby continued to press without success, Buxton rising to meet a 66th-minute corner but missing the target.

Nigel Clough made the curious decision to move from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 for the last 15 minutes, Conor Sammon departing to leave Robinson alone in attack.

Clough eventually remedied that by sending Nathan Tyson on and he drew a smart save from Paul Robinson within moments of coming on.

Derby were committing more men forward now and as Blackburn counter-attacked Mauro Formica went close to curling in his side's second from 25 yards.

The equaliser arrived in the 89th minute, the energetic Bryson drilling low and forcing an impressive save low from Robinson.

Unfortunately for Rovers the ball squirmed to Robinson and he converted, via Robinson, from a tight angle.

Bobby Zamora claims Martin Jol has fallen out with Fulham squad

Jol has fallen out with most of Fulham's players, claims former striker Zamora



16:24 GMT, 2 October 2012

Bobby Zamora has claimed 'the vast majority' of Fulham's squad do not get on with Martin Jol, suggesting that was partly behind the exodus of players from the club.

Zamora left Craven Cottage in January to join QPR, one of several departures under Jol in 2012.

The striker, 31, reportedly fell out with his manager over his lack of game time and he has now claimed he was not the only one to have a problem with the former Tottenham boss.

Rift: Bobby Zamora has claimed that Martin Jol has fallen out with many of his Fulham players

Rift: Bobby Zamora has claimed that Martin Jol has fallen out with many of his Fulham players

Asked by the Evening Standard whether he felt the trend of high-profile exits was due to an issue in the squad, Zamora said: 'Yes. I left because I didn't see eye to eye with Martin Jol.

'I think that is the case with the vast majority of players there now.

'A lot of the lads aren't happy. But that's that. There were a few bits and pieces but we just didn't see eye to eye.'

Mousa Dembele, Dickson Etuhu, Andrew Johnson, Danny Murphy and Clint Dempsey were among the players to leave Fulham this summer and Zamora did not say which of them had also fallen out with Jol.

The Cottagers refused to comment on Zamora's claims this afternoon.

Eye-to-eye: According to Zamora, there are a number of players at Fulham who are on bad terms with Jol

Eye-to-eye: According to Zamora, there are a number of players at Fulham who are on bad terms with Jol

But new signing Giorgos Karagounis praised Jol in an interview with the same newspaper, saying: 'He is a very experienced coach, who wants to play football the right way.'

League Two round-up: Rochdale hand Gillingham first loss of season

League Two round-up: Rochdale hand Gillingham first loss of season



18:57 GMT, 29 September 2012

Happy manager: Rochdale's John Coleman

Happy manager: Rochdale's John Coleman

Goals from Andrew Tutte and Bobby Grant either side of half-time helped Rochdale end 10-man Gillingham's unbeaten npower League Two record this season with a 2-1 victory at Priestfield.

The leaders headed into the game having won their last four but were behind after 15 minutes when Tutte collected a short corner on the left and his inswinging cross evaded everyone and nestled in the far corner.

Gills encountered a further setback
in the 33rd minute when Danny Jackman was shown a straight red card for
lunging in on Tutte, and it got worse after the break when Grant slotted
home a second.

Danny Kedwell got the 10 men back in contention with a
74th-minute penalty, but they could not find an equaliser against John Coleman's men.

The result allowed second-placed Port
Vale to close to within three points of the leaders with a 1-0 success
over fellow high-flyers Bradford at Valley Parade.

The winner came against the run of
play in the 37th minute when Vale's leading scorer Tom Pope intercepted a
headed back-pass from Bantams skipper Gary Jones, beating goalkeeper
Jon McLaughlin with a left-footed shot from just inside the penalty area
to end the hosts' perfect home record.

Fleetwood and Accrington moved within
five points of the Gills thanks to 2-1 wins over 10-man Barnet and at
AFC Wimbledon, respectively.

Barnet keeper Graham Stack saw red as
his side gave up an early lead, David Ball's penalty and Tom
Barkhuizen's 78th-minute winner turning things around after Jake Hyde
had bundled in an early opener.

Peter Murphy and Padraig Amond were
the men on target for Stanley, with Luke Moore's stoppage-time effort
scant consolation for Wimbledon as Simon Bassey slipped to his first
defeat as their caretaker manager.

Elsewhere in League Two, Matty Blair
and Jason Walker struck early in the second half to end York's
four-match winless streak with a 2-0 victory at Aldershot.

Dagenham & Redbridge clinched
their first win of the campaign in emphatic style – 3-0 at home to
second-bottom Wycombe thanks to goals from Dwight Gayle, Michael
Spillane (penalty) and Billy Bingham.

Skipper Kelvin Langmead scored at both ends as Northampton fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Burton.

Tommy Wright maintained his unbeaten run as Chesterfield caretaker boss as his side drew 1-1 with Torquay at the Proact Stadium.

Bristol Rovers picked up their first
victory of the season with a 2-1 win at Exeter, Rotherham were 3-1
winners against Oxford and Plymouth's clash with Southend ended 1-1.

Motherwell 0 Celtic 2: Match report

Motherwell 0 Celtic 2: Hoops topple hosts at Fir Park to snatch top spot



16:37 GMT, 29 September 2012

Celtic leapfrogged Motherwell to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League by dismantling the Steelmen in impressive style at Fir Park.

On-form striker Gary Hooper opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a low drive before Well defender Adam Cummins put Scott Brown's cross past Darren Randolph and into his own net four minutes later.

Cummins was sent off soon after the break by referee Iain Brines for a 'last man' challenge on Kris Commons but Brown saw his second penalty in a week saved before a sterling display by Randolph – along with some poor finishing – prevented the scoreline reflecting the Hoops' dominance.

Another one for me! In-form Gary Hooper opened the scoring for Celtic

Another one for me! In-form Gary Hooper opened the scoring for Celtic

Neil Lennon's men will travel to Russia tomorrow for their Champions League Group G game against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday buoyed by their performance in contrast to the beleaguered Lanarkshire side, who barely troubled Hoops keeper Fraser Forster, who had one of his easiest afternoons.

Stuart McCall's men, knocked out of the Scottish Communities League Cup third-round by Rangers at Ibrox in midweek, showed three changes with Jamie Murphy, Simon Ramsden and Zaine Francis-Angol in for Henrik Ojamaa, Fraser Kerr and Steven Hammell, the latter out of the squad altogether with an injury.

Brown, Forster, Mikael Lustig, Commons and Victor Wanyama all came back after missing the 4-1 Scottish Communities League Cup third-round win over Irn-Bru First Division side Raith Rovers on Tuesday.

Efe Ambrose, who performed so impressively in the middle of the park against Raith in his first start for Celtic, partnered Kelvin Wilson in the heart of the Hoops defence, with Charlie Mulgrew moving wide left in midfield.

Brought down: Adam Cummins (left) took down Celtic's Kris Commons to give Celtic a penalty

Brought down: Adam Cummins (left) took down Celtic's Kris Commons to give Celtic a penalty

Whoops: Scott Brown missed a penalty, but it did not make a difference on the result

Whoops: Scott Brown missed a penalty, but it did not make a difference on the result

Celtic were pushed back in the early stages but it was Randolph who had to make the first real save of the game in the ninth minute from Hooper's close-range shot, after the Parkhead striker had raced on to a well-timed pass from James Forrest.

The visitors, playing in a three o'clock kick-off away from home on a Saturday for the first time in seven years, appeared to turn on a switch and moments later Randolph did well to parry Brown's low drive before Wanyama failed to get the rebound on target.

Commons looked in the mood and he had three efforts on goal, all of which narrowly missed the target, but the third of which was a clever lob in the 22nd minute which almost caught out Randolph.

In the 27th minute, though, it was casual play by the former Nottingham Forest and Derby player which gave possession away to Tom Hateley but the Fir Park defender blazed his shot from distance high over the bar.

Moments later, Hooper looked favourite to beat Randolph to Wanyama's through ball which beat the Well defence, again caught square, but the Well keeper race from his line to clear.

As Celtic kept up the pressure it took a good blocking tackle by Francis-Angol to prevent the Englishman's close-range shot again testing the Steelmen's number one.

However, Hooper was not to be denied and just after the half-hour mark, Commons' perfectly-flighted pass evaded Hutchinson and the former Scunthorpe striker took the ball in his stride before confidently steering it past Randolph for his sixth goal in three games.

It went in Brown (left) celebrated after his pass was deflected in against Motherwell

It went in Brown (left) celebrated after his pass was deflected in against Motherwell

It went in Brown (left) celebrated after his pass was deflected in against Motherwell

Four minutes later Cummins, in his bid to cut out Brown's cross from the left, after the former Hibs player had been picked out by Emilio Izaguirre, knocked the ball into his own net from six yards.

Celtic started the second-half with unsurprising confidence, Forrest playing in Hooper whose driven cross from wide on the right was begging for a team mate to tap into the net.

In the 54th minute the home side's chances of an unlikely comeback disappeared when Cummins was shown a straight red for bundling Commons to the ground inside the box as the Celtic player shaped to go through on goal after racing on to a Wanyama pass.

Brown, who had a penalty saved by Robert Douglas in last week's win over Dundee, stepped up again and Randolph guessed right to parry the shot with Wanyama putting the rebound over the bar.

It was all rather irrelevant though.

Nightmare: As well as giving away the penalty, Cummins scored an own goal

Nightmare: As well as giving away the penalty, Cummins scored an own goal

Routine: Celtic ran out deserved winners in the end

Routine: Celtic ran out deserved winners in the end

Motherwell's 10 men were penned inside their own half, struggling to survive a Celtic siege and in the 65th minute Randolph had to make a great save from Brown, who had latched on to an Izaguirre cross.

Two minutes later, the Scotland midfielder was replaced by Georgios Samaras, who returned for the first time since injuring his elbow on international duty for Greece earlier in the month, before Wanyama headed over another good Izaguirre cross from the left.

Celtic were relentless. Randolph saved from Izaguirre, who decided to have a go himself, before making another block from Forrest, who had outstripped the bedraggled Well defence.

Randolph prevented further damage being inflicted by a rampant Parkhead side who will travel to Russia tomorrow with confidence.

Tim Sherwood set for Balckburn Rovers return

Sherwood set for Rovers return with Blackburn ready to finally conclude Kean's reign



21:30 GMT, 26 September 2012

Blackburn will make a formal approach to Tottenham this week in the hope of persuading Tim Sherwood to become their new manager.

Sherwood, who captained the club to the Premiership title in 1995, is the man Rovers want to restore stability once Steve Kean’s departure has been finalised.

Sherwood, 43, is keen to move up the ladder after four years as assistant first-team coach at Spurs.

Familiar face: Tim Sherwood was at Blackburn for seven years

Familiar face: Tim Sherwood was at Blackburn for seven years

It looks unlikely that he will be considered for the role of director of football alongside Andre Villas-Boas at White Hart Lane, with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy still hoping to tempt Barcelona’s former technical director Txiki Begiristain with a 2million-a-year offer.

Blackburn legend Alan Shearer could also come into contention for a return to Ewood if his old teammate turns down the opportunity.
The club’s Indian owners will finally axe Kean after accepting that keeping him on has manager has rebounded on them financially.

Attendances are down 40 per cent despite Blackburn’s promising start to the season and the team are still without a shirt sponsor. It has also emerged that current match day revenue does not even cover the wages of summer signings Jordan Rhodes, Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu.

League Two round-up: Gillingham thump Bristol Rovers

League Two round-up: Gillingham thump Bristol Rovers as Exeter are held



19:40 GMT, 15 September 2012

Gillingham extended their lead at the top of npower League Two to three points on Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 home win over Bristol Rovers.

The Gills did most of the damage in the first half, going 3-0 up thanks to a Danny Kedwell penalty in the fifth minute, a header from the same player 10 minutes later and Charlie Lee's nodded effort seconds before the interval.

Chris Whelpdale headed in a fourth eight minutes from time for the hosts, who now have 16 points from their opening six league fixtures this term.

At the start of the day they had been a point clear of second-placed Exeter, who drop to fourth after their 1-1 home draw with York, a result they salvaged through John O'Flynn's late equaliser after Michael Coulson had put the Minstermen in front.

The Grecians have been leapfrogged in the table by Port Vale and Fleetwood, who both join them on 13 points after victories on Saturday afternoon.

Held: Exeter slipped down to fourth place after playing out a 1-1 draw against York

Held: Exeter slipped down to fourth place after playing out a 1-1 draw against York

Vale are up to second with a 3-1 win at Plymouth, who were ahead through Robbie Williams before the away side responded with a Jennison Myrie-Williams penalty and goals from Ashley Vincent and Ben Williamson.

Third-placed Fleetwood, meanwhile, secured their three points right at the death as Andy Mangan's stoppage-time header earned them a 1-0 triumph at home against Northampton, the visitors having been reduced to 10 men in the first half by Danny East's dismissal.

Accrington stay fifth after a 1-1 draw at Dagenham, Peter Murphy ensuring Stanley's point late on by cancelling out Luke Howell's goal for the hosts.

Alex Revell's finish saw Rotherham to a 1-0 home victory over Torquay which saw them move up to sixth, while Bradford advanced into the final play-off berth with a 3-0 home win against rock-bottom Barnet, second-half goals from James Hanson, Alan Connell and Andrew Davies sealing it.

Southend came from behind to beat Cheltenham 3-1 away, the visitors hitting back after Jermaine McGlashan's early goal through Sean Clohessy, Britt Assombalonga and Mark Phillips.

Calvin Zola and Jacques Maghoma notched a brace each as Burton routed Oxford 4-0 at home, while Aldershot and Morecambe drew 0-0.

Elsewhere, Rochdale defeated Wimbledon 2-1 away, Dele Adebola and Bobby Grant putting the visitors in charge in the first half – with visiting striker Jack Midson being shown a red card between the two goals – before Luke Moore's late reply, and Chesterfield won 3-1 at home against Wycombe.

Wanderers had Leon Johnson sent off after only 10 minutes and the hosts soon took advantage, Chris Atkinson and Jack Lester swiftly netting. A Neal Trotman own-goal gave Wycombe hope, but Sam Hird then added Chesterfield's third.

Rugby League legends statue to be erected outside Wembley Stadium

Rugby League legends set to be honoured with statue outside Wembley Stadium



13:21 GMT, 23 August 2012

A group statue of rugby league legends Martin Offiah, Alex Murphy, Billy Boston, Eric Ashton and Gus Risman is to be erected outside Wembley Stadium.

Rugby league, whose Challenge Cup final has been played at the national stadium since 1929, is only the second sport to be recognised by Wembley, with the five legends set to appear alongside Bobby Moore, captain of England's 1966 World Cup-winning team.

The final choice was made by the RFL's board of directors from a shortlist assembled following a public vote and a number of selection panels comprising fans, journalists, coaches, players and MPs, and was announced at Wembley 48 hours before the 2012 final between Leeds and Warrington.

Try of the century: Martin Offiah celebrates scoring against Wigan in the 1994 final

Try of the century: Martin Offiah celebrates scoring against Wigan in 1994

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: 'The RFL board's view echoed that of the many thousands of people who were involved in the selection process in that the statue needed to be a group representation.

'So many players have contributed to the rich history of the sport and its association with Wembley and the board were keen that that should be reflected in the statue.

'Having Risman, Boston, Ashton, Murphy and Offiah all part of the statue means that every generation of the sport is celebrated.'

Wembley Stadium managing director Roger Maslin said: 'Wembley Stadium is inextricably linked with rugby league and most specifically the Challenge Cup.

Up for the Cup: Eric Ashton (holding cup) is also remembered in the statue

Up for the Cup: Eric Ashton (holding cup) is also remembered in the statue

'At Wembley Stadium we constantly strive
to inspire memories and the players being honoured today have
undoubtedly given their supporters and the wider sporting public as a
whole plenty of memories to cherish.'

Offiah, best remembered for his stunning
length-of-the-field try for Wigan against Leeds in 1994, was shocked to
discover he would form part of the statue.

'I couldn't believe it when I heard the news,' he said. 'I've said from the beginning that I'd be proud to support a rugby league statue at Wembley, no matter whom or what it was.

'But to know that I will be part of the statue is very special. This sits alongside anything that I achieved in my playing career. I'm immensely proud.'

Murphy, who captained three different sides at the iconic venue and has an unbeaten record there as both player and coach, is equally honoured to be part of the work of art.

Picture perfect: Leigh's Alex Murphy takes a snap of his team-mates

Picture perfect: Leigh's Alex Murphy takes a snap of his team-mates

Honoured: Gus Risman lifts the Cup with Workington Town in 1952

Honoured: Gus Risman lifts the Cup with Workington Town in 1952

'A match at Wembley is the most important in a player's career,' he said.

'No matter the nationality, you always dream of playing at Wembley.

'So to have a statue representing the history of rugby league at the stadium is a great accolade for the sport.'

Boston said: 'It's a wonderful honour and privilege. I'm deeply moved that there's going to be a statue of me outside Wembley alongside Gus, Alex, Martin and Eric and that people will look on us all as they do Bobby Moore.

'There is no finer venue anywhere in the world. It's a fabulous stadium and it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every year when I come to watch matches here.'

Offiah, Murphy and Boston all attended today's announcement, with Bev Risman representing his late father Gus and the late Eric Ashton represented by daughters Michelle Huyton and Beverley Smith.

The sculpture is set to be unveiled in time for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup semi-final double-header at Wembley next November.

Clint Dempsey to Liverpool: Charlie Adam used as bait

Rodgers will use Adam as bait in new bid to bring Fulham's 10m Dempsey to Liverpool



21:45 GMT, 11 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is prepared to jettison Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam in order to sign Fulham’s Clint Dempsey.

Rodgers sees the 26-year-old as surplus to requirements at Anfield following the arrival of Joe Allen from Swansea City on Friday and the impressive form of Jonjo Shelvey.

Rodgers and the club’s American owners want USA striker Dempsey but have been unable to agree a deal with Fulham, who value him at 10million.

London calling Charlie Adam (left) could be on the way out of Anfield

London calling Charlie Adam (left) could be on the way out of Anfield

But Liverpool hope the inclusion of Adam as part of the package will help push the move forward. Fulham are looking for a creative midfielder following the departure of Danny Murphy.

Rodgers is an admirer of Adam but has been surprised by the emergence of youngster Shelvey, who was picked ahead of his Scottish rival for the Europa League win against Gomel last week.

Like striker Andy Carroll, there are doubts Adam can fit into the quick-passing style Rodgers wants to introduce.

In demand: Clint Dempsey hit 23 goals in 45 games for Fulham last season

In demand: Clint Dempsey hit 23 goals in 45 games for Fulham last season

Rodgers has already begun breaking up Dalglish’s squad by letting Craig Bellamy, Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt and Alberto Aquilani leave but he needs more departures to bring in more signings, following the arrivals of Fabio Borini and Allen.

Daniel Agger is the subject of interest from Manchester City, while Liverpool hope to agree a deal which would see 35m Carroll return to Newcastle only 18 months after he joined.

Steve Kean to be sacked if he loses three on the bounce

Three losses and you're out, Steve! Kean will be axed if he fails to deliver again at Blackburn



15:41 GMT, 11 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Steve Kean has been hit with a 'three strikes and you're out' warning by the Blackburn Rovers hierarchy.

The club's global advisor Shebby Singh revealed that if Kean loses three games in a row he will be sacked as manager.

Singh, who was appointed over the summer, oversees the day-to-day running of the club.

Three strikes: Steve Kean (right) could be sacked if he loses three games on the trot

Three strikes: Steve Kean (right) could be sacked if he loses three games on the trot

Kean, who joined Blackburn after Sam Allardyce left in December 2010, struggled with the club last season, as the Rovers failed to escape the drop from the Premier League into the Championship.

The Scot has been unpopular with much of the Ewood Park faithful since he took the helm, and fans have on several occasions staged protests calling for his sacking.

Singh was speaking at an open forum organised by fans from the Blackburn Rovers Action Group, and said that failure this season would not be tolerated by Venkys Group, who own the club.

Kean has overseen signings such as Danny Murphy from Fulham

Kean has overseen signings such as Danny Murphy from Fulham

'I am here to be successful and I know what it needs to get out of the Championship and so far nobody has disagreed with me at the club,' he said.

'The owners have said to me do what you are doing, continue doing it – the manager has not said to me we should have signed so-and-so, or we don’t need so-and-so.

'For me, it is all about results. For me, after three games if we have dropped nine points, we would quite literally only have a 50 per cent chance of getting promoted, so everyone has to start from day one.'

When asked the killer question about whether Kean could be sacked, he replied: 'If we lost three games on the trot, definitely. Yes.'