Tag Archives: place

Kenny Dalglish: Managing in Premier League is nothing like old days

Managing in the Premier League is nothing like the good old days says Dalglish

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UPDATED:

17:41 GMT, 19 December 2012

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the definition of success has changed in the Premier League era.

The Scot, who remains the last Liverpool boss to have won a league title, in 1990, was sacked despite delivering the club’s first trophy in six years with victory in the League Cup and also reaching the FA Cup final.

Liverpool’s eighth-place finish persuaded owners Fenway Sports Group they needed to look elsewhere for progress, hiring Brendan Rodgers.

Legend: Dalglish won a host of trophies at Liverpool both as a player and a manager

Legend: Dalglish won a host of trophies at Liverpool both as player and boss

Dalglish is not bitter about his departure but admits that times have changed.

'Success is gauged in different ways.' said Dalglish.

'I am sure if you asked some of the clubs, fourth-bottom is success.

'Staying in the Premier League is important because the value of the league is a trophy in itself due to the financial reward.

Good old days: Dalglish believes that managers are judged differently in the modern era

Good old days: Dalglish believes that managers are judged differently in the modern era

Good old days: Dalglish believes that managers are judged differently in the modern era

Dalglish has only been back to Anfield once to watch the team he won three European Cups with as a player since his departure in May.

Patience: Dalglish believes that Rodgers needs time to adapt to the club

Patience: Dalglish believes that Rodgers needs time to adapt to the club

He stressed that was because of circumstances, but he also admitted it was unfair for him to comment on Rodgers' short reign.

'The last thing people need is for others to be giving their opinions,' he said.

'If you want to be manager of any club you have to adjust to the job.

'You just have to adopt whatever attitude you think is right whatever club you go to.

'And once you’re in, if you don’t adapt to it you are still going to have a problem, Liverpool is not exclusive in that.

Dalglish, who has recently been tipped for the vacant Scotland manager’s job, made clear that he had made no plans to return to the game.

'I have no ideas in my mind on what the future holds.

'Football is never going to leave your blood when it’s been your life but I can pass the time easily.

Happy days: Dalglish won the League Cup last season and has no regrets after his sacking in May

Happy days: Dalglish won the League Cup last season and has no regrets after his sacking in May

'If someone representing a job is going to come and ask me a question it will dictate what I do in the future.

'Until then there is no point in worrying about it.'

Dalglish was speaking at the launch of The Football Pools 90 Day Community Challenge at St Helens Junior Football Club.

Toby Flood not fazed by threat to England place

Flood not fazed by threat to England place with No 10 ready to return for Leicester

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 19 December 2012

England fly-half Toby Flood insists he is not worried by the increasing competition for his international place.

Flood is fit to play for Leicester after overcoming a toe injury sustained in England’s defeat by South Africa last month.

Owen Farrell and Freddie Burns were impressive in his absence against New Zealand but Flood is not fazed.

Blow: Toby Flood missed England's triumph over the All Blacks with injury

Blow: Toby Flood missed England's triumph over the All Blacks with injury

‘I’m not fussed about it. It’s the way it goes. It seemed like a good one (the All Blacks match) to miss in terms of the way they were playing,’ he joked. ‘But credit to the lads, the way they finished off was very impressive. I just want to get back.’

Flood, who started England’s first three autumn matches, looks set to regain his Leicester place ahead of England Under 20 fly-half George Ford for the Aviva Premiership match at London Irish on Saturday.

A goal-kicking record of nearly 79 per cent this season makes Flood Leicester’s No 1, despite the promise of Ford, whose accuracy is only around 59 per cent. Leicester also hope to have England flanker Tom Croft back on duty over the holiday period.

He has been pencilled in for a comeback in the home game against Gloucester on December 29.

Croft has not played since April because of a neck injury and his comeback will be carefully managed. ‘It’s a matter of getting his confidence back,’ said Leicester’s director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Ben Youngs said England victory over New Zealand is benchmark for Six Nations

Youngs hopes England take their Six Nations lead from All Blacks bashing

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 2 December 2012

Ben Youngs claimed after England’s record win over New Zealand the display had set a benchmark for the Six Nations Championship next February.

But the Leicester scrum-half said the England team were disappointed at the narrow defeats by Australia and South Africa in an autumn series which also brought a win over Fiji.

'It was a great result and a great way to finish the series, but we are still disappointed because we could have been four from four.

Benchmark: Ben Youngs thinks the win should show England the way for the Six Nations

Benchmark: Ben Youngs thinks the win should show England the way for the Six Nations

'We got in a huddle after the game and said “enjoy the night”, but also we must remember it’s a benchmark for when we meet up in the Six Nations.

'We have to hit the ground running. But it’s tough. We will play Scotland at Twickenham (on February 2) in the first game and it is difficult to explode in the first game.

The win gave Youngs and his brother, Tom, their first win over New Zealand thus matching the deed of father Nick who played in the England team who beat the All Blacks in November 1983.

'I’m really happy, because I can finally shut my dad up because he beat them and now we are one up as well.'

Youngs claimed England were not worried by the draw for 2015 Rugby World Cup which takes place in London on Monday afternoon.

No fear: Youngs said England are not worried about the Six Nations draw

No fear: Youngs said England are not worried about the Six Nations draw

Despite England’s win over the world champions, they remain in the second group of teams and could be drawn against the All Blacks in the pool stages of the tournament.

'I don’t think the draw is a huge thing for us at the moment. We are a young side and are developing.

'You have to remember that in the last two finals the two teams have come out of the same pool. We will notice who we are against, but we won’t worry about rankings.'

Youngs hopes by 2015 England will be a 'team to beat' and one of the favourites. 'The World Cup is quite a way to go yet and the whole idea of Stuart’s plan is that we will be a vastly more experienced team.'

Saturday debate: Owen Farrell surprise candidate for Player of the Year

Saturday debate: Farrell was a surprise inclusion on shortlist for Player of the Year… who would you have picked

PUBLISHED:

22:52 GMT, 30 November 2012

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 1 December 2012

After Owen Farrell's shock candidacy for the IRB Player of the Year award, we ask a panel of rugby experts who they would choose as their winner for the prestigious award.

ROB WILDMAN Daily Mail rugby reporter
Australia captain Nathan Sharpe: He's postponed retirement to lead the Wallabies in an adverse year hit by injuries to key men like Will Genia and David Pocock.

Sharpe has thrived on the responsibility and guided the Wallabies to a draw against the All Blacks and their satisfying recent win over England at Twickenham.

Surprised Owen Farrell is a shock candidate for Player of the Year

Surprised Owen Farrell is a shock candidate for Player of the Year

STEVE HANSEN All Blacks coach
New Zealand centre Conrad Smith: He is Mr Consistent and not only does a lot of work but it's always tidy work, always in the right place at the right time. Sometimes players like that are overlooked.

JERRY GUSCOTT Ex-England centre, now BBC pundit All Blacks No 8
Kieran Read: the best NZ forward, does everything you want of a back row. Well worth watching today.

LUKE BENEDICT Daily Mail rugby reporter
Wales full back Leigh Halfpenny: Has the same commitment to training as his boyhood idol Jonny Wilkinson and is as metronomic with the boot.

Ever present for Wales during the highs and lows of 2012 – his peerless kicking was essential to their Grand Slam.

His favourite expression is to 'own the skies' and he can jump far higher than his 5ft 10in frame should allow. A truly natural footballer.

Could be: Sportsmail's Luke Benedict believes Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny should have taken the prize

Could be: Sportsmail's Luke Benedict believes Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny should have taken the prize

CONOR O'SHEA Harlequins director of rugby
Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien (right): How about the Leinster star He has been a consistent force for his club in their European Cup success and has also become one of Ireland's best.

He's a terrifically competitive customer, though injury has ruled him out of recent autumn games.

JEFF PROBYN Ex-England prop, talkSPORT pundit
Argentina powerhouse Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe: Fly halves and captains are always getting this award.

Let's go for a forward. Nobody has helped Argentina get into the Rugby Championship more than this back row. His workrate and non-stop style have been brilliant to watch and he has kept a losing team buoyant.

Ricky Hatton posts picture of black eye from gym

I must be mental! Hatton returns to gym two days into second retirement

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UPDATED:

09:22 GMT, 27 November 2012

Ricky Hatton was back in his gym today after his comeback was cut abruptly short by Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday night in Manchester.

The Hitman was knocked out in the penultimate round by the Ukrainian and announced his retirement an hour later.

But Hatton, 34, has vowed not to return to the vicious cycle of drink and depression which blighted him after his brutal defeat to Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

And he tweeted a photo of himself in his gym with the tagline: 'If I'm not sick of this place, ha ha. I must be mental.'

Hatton will now focus on his responsibilities as trainer and promoter as he guides the careers of the likes of Martin Murray and Scott Quigg.

'A fighter knows when it's not there, and it's not there,' he said on Saturday. 'I've had too many fights and burnt the candles at both ends.

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

Ricky Hatton

'I've lost four and half stone for this and my sparring was great but I'm not going to put myself through that torture again.

'I got the answers. I was crying in the ring and no doubt I'll be crying tonight but I'm happy. I had to go in there and find out and I did.

'I've no complaints. It's been three and a half years and you all know the story. I needed to put a few demons to rest and I said before the fight I felt I'd already won and that hasn't changed.'

Ricky Hatton is back in the gym

I must be mental! Hatton returns to gym two days into second retirement

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 26 November 2012

Ricky Hatton was back in his gym today after his comeback was cut abruptly short by Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday night in Manchester.

The Hitman was knocked out in the penultimate round by the Ukrainian and announced his retirement an hour later.

But Hatton, 34, has vowed not to return to the vicious cycle of drink and depression which blighted him after his brutal defeat to Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

Battered and bruised: Ricky Hatton was beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko

And he tweeted a photo of himself in his gym with the tagline: 'If I'm not sick of this place, ha ha. I must be mental.'

Hatton will now focus on his responsibilities as trainer and promoter as he guides the careers of the likes of Martin Murray and Scott Quigg.

'A fighter knows when it's not there, and it's not there,' he said on Saturday. 'I've had too many fights and burnt the candles at both ends.

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

End of the road: Hatton was knocked out (above) before retiring (below)

Ricky Hatton

'I've lost four and half stone for this and my sparring was great but I'm not going to put myself through that torture again.

'I got the answers. I was crying in the ring and no doubt I'll be crying tonight but I'm happy. I had to go in there and find out and I did.

'I've no complaints. It's been three and a half years and you all know the story. I needed to put a few demons to rest and I said before the fight I felt I'd already won and that hasn't changed.'

Harry Redknapp takes QPR job with Mark Hughes sacked

Harry's back! Redknapp takes the reins at QPR as furious Hughes is axed

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 24 November 2012

Harry Redknapp is the new Queens Park Rangers manager after Mark Hughes was sacked amid fiery scenes at the club’s Harlington HQ.

Hughes walked out in disgust when he was asked to take charge of Saturday’s game at former side Manchester United but told he would then be dismissed whatever the result.

Ready for a fresh challenge: Harry Redknapp arriving home on Friday

Ready for a fresh challenge: Harry Redknapp arriving home on Friday

Watching brief: Club shareholder Kamarundin Bin Meranun (left) and QPR chief executive Phil Beard (second left) watch QPR's Stephane Mbia train after boss Mark Hughes was sacked

Watching brief: Club shareholder Kamarundin Bin Meranun (left) and QPR chief executive Phil Beard (second left) watch QPR's Stephane Mbia train after boss Mark Hughes was sacked

Fury: Fans turned on Hughes following the defeat to Southampton at home, his final game before being sacked

Fury: Fans turned on Hughes following the defeat to Southampton at home, his final game before being sacked

WITH HARRY THERE'S HOPE

QPR are the only team out of 92 league clubs yet to win a match this season. But Harry has performed miracles before. When he took over from Juande Ramos at Tottenham the team had only two points and his only brief was to stop them slipping them into the Championship. He managed to finish in eighth place that very season, and took Tottenham to the Champions League two years later.

That paved the way for ex-Tottenham
manager Redknapp, who will sign a two-and-a-half-year deal, understood
to be worth in the region of 3million a year.

Redknapp said last night: ‘I’m looking
forward to it. It’s a big challenge and a tough job to take on but I’m
up for the challenge.

‘I’ll watch the game tomorrow. I will
probably travel up and watch from the stand. If everything gets sorted —
and I’m sure it will — I’ll be in Sunday morning, will have the team in
training on Monday, then fly up for the game at Sunderland.’

Hughes, 49, was ready to start the
day’s training session when chief executive Philip Beard arrived at the
club’s west London complex yesterday with shareholder Kamarudin Bin
Merarun.

On the ground: Beard watches training as shareholder Kamarundin Bin Meranun (right) shares a joke with a QPR staff member

On the ground: Beard watches training as shareholder Kamarundin Bin Meranun (right) shares a joke with a QPR staff member

Harry Redknapp photographed in Mayfair

Mark Bowen

The boss men: Redknapp (left) will take charge on Sunday, while Bowen
(right) will be in charge of the QPR team for the trip to Manchester
United

On the brink: Hughes took QPR training this week before being axed on Friday morning

On the brink: Hughes took QPR training this week before being axed on Friday morning

FERNANDES TWEETS OF SUPPORT

Cracked: Tony Fernandes wanted to keep hold of Hughes, but finally snapped

OCTOBER 21 (QPR 1-1 Everton)
'Stop wasting your time and energy
on negative tweets. QPR needs time and stability. We have great squad
great manager great ceo. Takes time and a bit of luck.'

OCTOBER 29 (two days after Arsenal 1-0 QPR)
'I
honestly believe we have one of the best managers in the premier
league. And we are in for the long term. Whatever happens. We love QPR.
Ill be there at reading so rangers fans ill be available to meet and
chat. Trust me on this one. Keep the faith. Stability is the key.'

'Completely
right. Mark has my backing and the shareholders. We need a little luck
and no injuries. What’s written in the press is all rubbish. RT
@wayneoeyers: @tonyfernandes we must stick with Hughes. We haven’t been
playing poorly. The club needs stability, manager change would be
suicide!'

NOVEMBER 4 (QPR 1-1 Reading)
'We are doing
our best. Keep the faith. Need to get behind the team now. Positive
energy is what we need. RT @martingreen_qpr: Message to the entire QPR
team, staff, manager and **** head @tonyfernandes. Please don’t **** up
another one of my weekends.'

'A game of 2 halves. Players getting
used to premier league and different type of teams. Keep calm we will
come good. Plenty of time. Many opps to win the game. I’m calm. Won’t
please everyone. But as I keep saying stability is key.'

NOVEMBER 10 (Stoke 1-0 QPR)
'We
got to cut out errors. One error cost us and we got to take our
chances. Team played as planned. Must win next win. No panic. Table is
compressed. Defense was awful now fairly solid. Midfield strong. Got to
score now.'

'Keep the faith. Panic is not what the doc ordered.'

NOVEMBER 16
'Won’t
be happening. For the one millionth time. Hahaha. Stability. RT
@timnmcollins: @Jeffro_QPR @tonyfernandes @lieyaM_M Maybe you can
practice the “You’re fired” line on Mark Hughes #QPR'

NOVEMBER 17 (QPR 1-3 Southampton)
'I
feel gutted. I have put my heart and soul into this with my other
shareholders. And done all we can to give support to players and all
management. I can only apologise to the QPR fans. we keep fighting.'

'Let
me tell you Fans come first. Everyone including me let the fans down.
Many of us need a hard look at themselves. QPR has amazing fans. They
deserve better.'

AFTER HUGHES' SACKING…

NOVEMBER 23

'Though we have a change the long term vision of the club remains and much good work has already been done and will continue.'

NOVEMBER 23

'This is a club where the chairman and shareholders look at all things in a long term view.

'But also take the views of the fans who are the most important constituents of the club. To us fans come first.'

Sportsmail revealed on Monday how the
majority of the club’s hierarchy wanted Hughes sacked and we predicted
he would be gone before the weekend.

The Welshman had become so infuriated with external speculation over his position that he challenged Beard on the issue.

That’s when Hughes was given the
chance to take charge of QPR for the match against United but told he
would be sacked afterwards.

The manager declined the offer before leaving the training ground.

Hughes’s advisers were last night thrashing out a severance package on the 19 months left on a 3m-a-year deal.

His assistants, Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki, took training yesterday and will be in charge of the team at Old Trafford.

The news did not come as a major shock to the squad — Hughes’s future had been openly discussed.

Certain players are believed to have been consulted over the manager’s sacking and the appointment of Redknapp.

In addition to his salary, Redknapp will land a survival bonus of around 1m if he keeps the club up.

Sources close to the 65-year-old
earlier claimed he was still considering a 3m-a-year deal to coach
Ukraine three days a week but it was his public courting by Ukraine
which triggered QPR’s sacking of Hughes, fearing they could miss out on
their top target. Redknapp said: ‘QPR couldn’t get the results they
needed. You couldn’t have too many worse starts but I’m ready to see if I
can change their fortunes around. If I can keep them up I’ll be the
happiest man around.

‘There are some good players there but I’ve got to find a way of picking a team that can win games.’

Redknapp yesterday, approached his
trusted right-hand man Kevin Bond and goalkeeping coach David Coles to
join his backroom team at Loftus Road. He also wants Ian Broomfield, his
Tottenham chief scout. The futures of QPR technical director Mike Rigg,
Bowen and Niedzwiecki are yet to be finalised, and at least one of them
could stay on.

The new boss will be given up to 10m
to spend in January but the club would prefer loan signings after their
summer expenditure.

The Rangers board feel there is enough
talent at the club already to keep them up, coupled with Redknapp’s
famed motivational skills.

Redknapp will target Tottenham defender Michael Dawson and a striker to cover for the injured Bobby Zamora.

DATES FOR HARRY'S DIARY…

Harry Redknapp will face his old club Tottenham for the
first time as QPR manager on Monday, January 14 at 8pm.

Happy New Year, Harry.

BEFORE THAT…

Man Utd (away) tomorrow, Sunderland (away) Tuesday, Aston Villa (home) Sat, Dec 1

Wigan (away) Sat, Dec 8, Fulham (home) Sat, Dec 15, Newcastle (away) Sat, Dec 22

Connacht 22 Harlequins 30: Danny double takes Care of Quins" business

Connacht 22 Harlequins 30: Danny double takes Care of Quins' business

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 20 October 2012

Conor O’Shea hailed Harlequins’ spirit after a Danny Care double inspired them to a fiercely fought victory against Connacht.

Quins trailed by 10 points after half an hour, following a Dave McSharry try, but the England scrum-half pounced twice in seven minutess.

The victory maintains Quins’ winning start in Europe and they sit on top of Pool Three with back-to-back clashes with Italian minnows Zebre to come in December.

Double delight: Danny Care crosses for Harlequins

Double delight: Danny Care crosses for Harlequins

Quins director of rugby O’Shea said: ‘We
didn’t sustain any momentum or field position and they were getting
stuck in at the breakdown. At 19-9 down we showed great mental strength
to come through.

‘I’ve been coming here my whole life and you don’t get an easy game. But
there was an outstanding 15 minutes where the game swung, and credit to
guys like Ben Botica, who’s come into a hostile place and done well.
Danny scored two nice tries, but it’s about the team performance.’

There was little chance of Harlequins underestimating the Irish after they crashed to defeat at the same venue last year.

Veteran campaigner: No 8 Nick Easter charges up-field

Veteran campaigner: No 8 Nick Easter charges up-field

Harlequins made a quick start with Botica – in for the injured Nick
Evans – bisecting the posts on four minutes before Connacht roared back
into the contest.

George Naoupu made the initial start with a quick tap and McSharry
completed the attack in emphatic fashion, cutting a superb line on a
miss-pass to cruise past Tom Williams. Dan Parks and Botica continued to
trade shots at goal with Connacht edging the contest before Care
pounced.

The scrum-half raced over the try line, cutting the deficit to 19-14 and
he grabbed a second try on 37 minutes. Botica added the extras and
slotted a penalty on the stroke of half-time to hand his side a 24-19
lead.

Brains' trust: Captain Chris Robshaw (left) with director of rugby Conor O'Shea

Brains' trust: Captain Chris Robshaw (left) with director of rugby Conor O'Shea

Biarritz 38 Zebre 17

Biarritz grabbed their first win of the Heineken Cup with a six-try romp over tournament newcomers Zebre.

Yann Lesgourgues scored the first of his double in a decisive opening 20 minutes as the hosts, thrashed 40-13 by Harlequins in their opener, raced into the lead.

But Connacht hit the ground running in the second-half and Parks nailed
an early penalty to cut the deficit. The hosts continued to cause
problems, but Harlequins hung on and Botica slotted a penalty on 56
minutes to ease the pressure. The 23-year-old continued his impressive
performance with his sixth penalty as the London club hung on.

Connacht coach Eric Elwood said: ‘Those 15 unanswered points just before half-time were a bit of a sickener.’

Michael Schumacher reprimanded for holding up HRT drivers in Korea

Schumacher left red-faced after German is reprimanded for holding up slowest drivers

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UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 12 October 2012

Michael Schumacher suffered the ignominy of being reprimanded by the stewards for impeding the two HRTs during second practice for the Korean Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion, who will retire from the sport for a second time at the end of the season, was adjudged to have held up Pedro de la Rosa at turn three 48 minutes into the session, before again getting in the way of the Spaniard and his team-mate Narain Karthikeyan further round the lap.

Red faced: Michael Schumacher has been reprimanded for holding up the slowest team on the grid, HRT

Red faced: Schumacher has been reprimanded for holding up the slowest team on the grid, HRT (below)

Schumacher delays Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa

Schumacher delays Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa

Phil Duncan F1 blog

It is the latest punishment dished out to Schumacher this year.

He was denied pole position in Monaco as he had to serve a five-place grid penalty for taking Bruno Senna out of the Spanish Grand Prix, and a similar incident with Jean-Eric Vergne in Singapore earned him a 10-place penalty for last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

This reprimand will cause particular embarrassment as HRT have consistently been the slowest team in F1 since their arrival in the sport at the start of 2010.

Jenson Button welcomes Sergio Perez to McLaren

Button presses claim for more titles as he welcomes new boy Perez to McLaren ranks

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 5 October 2012

Having taken on and beaten Lewis Hamilton last season, Jenson Button has already turned his attention to the challenge he will face from new boy Sergio Perez at McLaren.

'It made me smile because I love margaritas and sombreros,' quipped Button regarding the arrival of his Mexican team-mate for next season.

'There's a good picture of me somewhere wearing a sombrero and not much else!'

Main man: Jenson Button wants to push for more titles since the departure of Lewis Hamilton

Main man: Jenson Button wants to push for more titles since the departure of Lewis Hamilton

Speaking ahead of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix – his chances of a second successive victory dented by a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change – Button is clearly anticipating some knockabout fun with Perez and hopefully more success after finishing ahead of Hamilton in last year's drivers' championship.

'For the amount of time I have spent with Sergio, he seems a funny guy and I like his attitude,' said Button.

Equally, however, Button is aware that making sure he is not eclipsed by the new arrival from Sauber is no laughing matter.

Being beaten by a world champion in the shape of Hamilton is one thing, losing out to a 22-year-old with only two years' experience is quite another.

'I think he is quick, intelligent and willing to learn,' said Button. 'Having just one experienced person in the team changes things but that is something I love. It is fun racing with new team-mates.

'He is inexperienced compared with Lewis and it will be his first year, but he will still be quick, I think.

'There should be more consistency in the following year but I will definitely be the person McLaren turn to if they want a world champion next year.'

I'm off: Hamilton left McLaren to join Mercedes

I'm off: Hamilton left McLaren to join Mercedes

Focus: Button is committed to taking the title again with McLaren

Focus: Button is committed to taking the title again with McLaren

Perez is likely to have his own thoughts on that while McLaren have vowed that their new driver pairing will enjoy equal status.

There is no doubt, however, that the greater responsibility to deliver race wins rests on Button's shoulders following Hamilton's switch to Mercedes.

It is a decision Button respects; after all, Mercedes were born out of Brawn with whom he won his title in 2009. Even so, he finds Hamilton's choice difficult to fathom.

'I am surprised he is leaving but we all have different things we want to achieve,' said Button.

'For Lewis, I think he feels he needs a new challenge and, fair enough, that is his choice.

'But for me, being at McLaren for three seasons, and nowhere near retiring or stopping racing for this team, puts a smile on my face.

'I love racing in Formula One and I am with a team that can fight for wins, unlike most others on the grid.

New kid on the block: Sergio Perez will leave Sauber to join Button at McLaren

New kid on the block: Sergio Perez will leave Sauber to join Button at McLaren

'I came in here not really knowing what to expect, coming to a brand new team after seven years racing for one team.

'I really had to find my feet again after being so long with one team.

'But I feel very at home here and I can't see me racing anywhere else in my career.

'I am looking to challenge everyone next year – not just Lewis.

'You always want to beat your team-mate, it is one of the most important goals for a Formula One driver. If you are alongside your team-mate going into turn one, you don't back out, you still give it your all.'

Now that Button feels he is the main man at McLaren he clearly has no intention of losing that hard-earned status to Perez, on or off the track.

Welcome aboard Sergio. You have been warned.

Track guide