Tag Archives: positive

Stephen Hendry backs Ronnie O"Sullivan to defend World Championship … if he wants to

Hendry backs O'Sullivan to defend World Championship … if he wants to

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

23:50 GMT, 23 February 2013

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UPDATED:

23:50 GMT, 23 February 2013

Stephen Hendry is convinced Ronnie
O'Sullivan would be a serious Crucible contender if he decides to cut
short his break from the sport to defend the World Championship title.

O'Sullivan, 37, will make a statement regarding his future in the sport at a press conference in London at midday on Tuesday.

He has played only one low-profile
match in competition this season, and announced in November he would be
skipping the rest of the campaign for personal reasons.

Title holder: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Title holder: Ronnie O'Sullivan

But there has been speculation almost ever since that O'Sullivan would be unable to resist the temptation to make a bid for a fifth world title.

He has apparently reached a decision, and Hendry expects it to be that O'Sullivan will make a dramatic comeback.

The entry deadline for the World Championship is the end of February, and the scheduling of his press conference for Tuesday – two days before the deadline – has only heightened speculation O'Sullivan will play.

'I would presume that's what it's for but you never know with Ronnie,' Hendry told talkSPORT.

'When I spoke to him last year, I said, “All you'll need is three or four weeks of really good practice … and you'll be well capable of winning it”.

'Maybe play a couple of best-of-19s against some top players and he'll be ready.'

Hendry says it would be positive news for snooker if the Chigwell cueman was ready to return.

Backing Ronnie: Retired snooker legend Stephen Hendry

Backing Ronnie: Retired snooker legend Stephen Hendry

'Absolutely, especially for the other players because you don't want to win the World Championship with the best player not there,' Scotland's seven-time world champion said.

Hendry retired last May, and it remains a possibility that O'Sullivan will say he too is bowing out of snooker on Tuesday.

Jimmy White, who wrote on Twitter on Thursday that he thought O'Sullivan was planning not to play, is now not so sure what to expect.

'Looking at the time frame, probably he will play,' White said. 'Who says he hasn't been practising, who knows that

'He may be saying he's never going to play again, who knows'

White promised: 'If Ronnie does decide to play, I'll go over there and give him some practice games.'

Six Nations 2013: Jonathan Sexton and Mike McCarthy injured and out of Scotland game

Blow for Ireland as Sexton and McCarthy are ruled out of Scotland clash

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

13:41 GMT, 14 February 2013

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UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 14 February 2013

Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton and second row Mike McCarthy have been ruled out of the RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on February 24.

Sexton sustained a hamstring problem and McCarthy knee ligament damage in Sunday's 12-6 defeat by England and team manager Mick Kearney announced today that they will miss the trip to Edinburgh.

'Jonny's scan revealed a grade two
hamstring injury. Progress has been good so far, but it's too early to
say when he will return to play,' Kearney said.

Crocked: Sexton hobbled off injured against England last weekend

Crocked: Sexton hobbled off injured against England last weekend

'Mike has hurt the medial ligament of
his right knee. It's quite sore and he will be in a brace for two
weeks. A further review will take place in two weeks.'

Ireland received more positive news on the remaining injuries they incurred during a brutal clash at the Aviva Stadium.

Centre Brian O'Driscoll, full-back Rob Kearney, flanker Sean O'Brien and lock Donnacha Ryan are at varying degrees of fitness, but all should be available to face Scotland.

'Brian had a recurrence of the soft tissue injury in his good ankle. Scans revealed no structural damage and he will do non-contact training today,' Kearney said.

Ruled out: McCarthy (centre) will also miss the Scotland clash

Ruled out: McCarthy (centre) will also miss the Scotland clash

'Donnacha Ryan suffered a lower back
muscle strain. Scans have excluded structural damage but he's quite sore
and won't train this week.

'He'll be reassessed at the weekend and at this stage he has a good chance of being available against Scotland.

'Sean O'Brien has recovered well from his stiff neck and tight hamstring and will train today.

'Rob is fine. He had a slight dead leg but trained fully today.'

Euro 2020: Michel Platini insists good for fans

Platini insists Euro 2020 will be good for fans as hopes raised of major role for England

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UPDATED:

13:40 GMT, 7 December 2012

UEFA president Michel Platini has claimed the pan-continental Euro 2020 will be good for fans – and gave a boost to British hopes of hosting some matches at the tournament.

Platini said UEFA had held talks with fans group Football Supporters Europe and convinced it that the 'zany' format of holding games in 13 matches across Europe would benefit the majority of supporters.

The Football Association will bid for Wembley to host the final while Wales and Scotland will also bid for Euro 2020 games.

Big idea: Michel Platini came up with the concept for Euro 2020

Big idea: Michel Platini came up with the concept for Euro 2020

Platini told reporters at a briefing in Nyon: 'We have talked to the fans. They were against it originally but we told them we are going to help them and suddenly they had a much more positive attitude.

'Certainly it will be easier for the English to go to Wales and Scotland to watch a match instead of having to travel the world.

'We have some decisions to make now – some political, some geographical – for example we cannot have an English fan going to Lisbon, Kazakhstan and Sweden.

'We will have an intelligent solution – not chasing the fans all over Europe.

'The Euros are coming to the fans and taking matches to quite a number of countries.

'We have met with supporters’
associations recently and have reassured them we will do whatever is
possible to make sure fans get the necessary support when they travel.'

Platini
himself came up with the idea of staging the tournament but he said it
had been supported by every European country apart from Turkey, who had
hoped to host the Euros on its own.

Up for it: Wembley is a contender to host the Euro 2020 final

Up for it: Wembley is a contender to host the Euro 2020 final

He added: 'I just bring forward ideas and then national associations have their own meetings and workshops and 52 out of 53 said yes, I don’t decide, the national associations have decided.

'Poland and Ukraine was a great Euro but it was very expensive, almost as expensive as the Olympic Games.

'It is perhaps a bit of a zany idea but it is a good idea.'

Platini added that he wanted the finals and semi-finals to be in one city – and the FA will put London forward as a candidate.

He
said: “I’m in favour the final phase being in one city to give it more
importance, that’s my idea. The executive committee will decide whether
it’s a good or bad idea.

'I
think this would create a very special atmosphere among the supporters
and it will be a week of national teams and it could be a great party.'

Platini said FIFA president Sepp
Blatter had congratulated him on the Euro 2020 idea – and that he is
succeeding where the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi failed.

Champions: Spain will defend their title in France in four years' time

Champions: Spain will defend their title in France in four years' time

Gaddafi had suggested moving the
African Nations Cup around the continent, and Platini said: 'I got
congratulations from the president of FIFA, he said it is a marvellous
idea. He said somebody wanted to do it a few years ago with the African
Nations Cup and it was Gaddafi.'

He also hit back at criticism from FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke pointing out that the world governing body had ratified Japan and Mexico playing in South American competitions.

'FIFA accepts Mexico and Japan taking part in the Copa America and that is much more against the spirit than what we are suggesting,' said Platini.

The UEFA president also insisted he wants to support the Europa League rather than scrap it – an interview he gave to a French newspaper last week led to reports UEFA are considering getting rid of the tournament and having a 64-club Champions League.

He added: 'All I said is that there is a reflection going on to figure out what shape we want – we are discussing it, nothing is decided.

'I never said I am going to stop the Europa League. We have to look at all 53 countries and I believe the Europa League is great and that we need to support it and continue with it. It is a very popular competition.

'I am never going to organise competition for money's sake, only in the interests of football.'

Andy Murray should cheer up, says John McEnroe

Pot. Kettle. Black Notoriously grumpy McEnroe tells Murray to cheer up now he's won a Major

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UPDATED:

23:13 GMT, 6 December 2012

John McEnroe was never known for his sunny demeanour on a tennis court, but he still has some advice for Andy Murray – cheer up now that you have won your first Major.

The veteran American thinks a more positive outlook should help Murray in his quest to add to his US Open next season, although he acknowledged that he was hardly a shining example when he was at the top of the sport.

'It would be helpful to see Andy be sort of “I want to be here and I’m loving this”,' the American, who yesterday beat Jeremy Bates 6-4, 6-1 in the Statoil Masters at the Royal Albert Hall, said. 'The next time he wins a Major it would be nice to look a little bit more excited,'

Cheer up: John McEnroe, renowned for his fire on court, has told Andy Murray he should be happier on court as it may help him win more

Cheer up: John McEnroe, renowned for his fire on court, has told Andy Murray he should be happier on court as it may help him win more

Cheer up: John McEnroe, renowned for his fire on court, has told Andy Murray he should be happier on court as it may help him win more

'I say it as an ex-player and someone who wished that perhaps at times I had done that a little bit more. Maybe he was more relieved than anything else when he won at Flushing Meadows.

'One of the things that worried me is that he used to get so negative that not only would it turn himself off in a way, but it turned off people watching him.

'It's like when I saw Azarenka play Sharapova at the US Open, the grunting, it takes away from what you're watching. You're trying to watch and it was a great battle, but it feels like it's hard to stay with it as much as I would like to, given the quality.'

McEnroe believes that Murray has everything to play for next season in what could be a year of change for the men’s game after so much domination by four players.

'This is around the time that something is going to give. Roger is amazing, no doubt about that, but he’s 31. Rafa is the one we don’t know about, he hasn’t played for seven months. I hope to God he does have two or three more good years.

Eye on the ball: McEnroe beat British tennis star Jeremy Bates at the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday

Eye on the ball: McEnroe beat British tennis star Jeremy Bates at the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday

Eye on the ball: McEnroe beat British tennis star Jeremy Bates at the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday

'Novak's had two years at No 1, so it wouldn’t be unheard of to feel like there'd be some type of let-down on some level. Maybe, then again, if he won two majors next year it wouldn’t be shocking.

'Andy's sort of set himself up for doing something big as well. Someone else is shortly going to come through, I’ve been wondering myself who that is.

'Del Potro to me would be the most obvious choice of who’s got the experience and knows what it's like to go long and win one.

'If he can stay healthy and get himself just a little bit fitter, which is what you've got to do against these guys. Then there’ll be someone sort of unknown.

'I thought it was going to be Milos Raonic, but he’s sort of levelled off in a way, and I thought there were other guys that were in the mix that seem to have dropped off. But someone’s going to appear.

'Andy has set himself for a big year, although he missed a few opportunities at the end of this season, still it was the best one he’s ever had.

'If he doesn’t take it up a notch he would be disappointed but if he wins one Major that would be a good year. They are not easy to win.'

Reasons to smile: Murray claimed his first Major at Flushing Meadows in September

Reasons to smile: Murray claimed his first Major at Flushing Meadows in September

McEnroe has been impressed by what he has seen of Laura Robson and Heather Watson but feels the former has the potential to go further.

'Heather has done well but it might be a bit tougher for her because of her size. Robson to me is the one with the bigger upside. She has got a lot of ability and clearly if she is committed and in tip-top shape, I think she could easily be top 10.

'The US Open is the best she has ever played. I think she can do something big personally. I saw that four years ago.

'Hopefully she will have a consistent period to get where she should be. I think she could be really dangerous.

'She is a natural tennis player but she is going to have to be like a Berdych in the men's game – big and powerful. In natural talent I think she is good as anyone out there.'

Despite that view, it was ultra-competitive and mobile Watson who finished the year as British No 1. She is in the middle of a winter training block that has been mostly done in Florida, although on Thursday night she was playing a mixed doubles exhibition alongside Tim Henman at the Statoil Masters.

Pride of Britain: Heather Watson and Laura Robson have bright futures

Pride of Britain: Heather Watson and Laura Robson have bright futures

One of things she will be doing this week is sitting down with her father Ian in what is like an annual general meeting to determine her goals and mark her performance of this season.

'We have this big meeting every year when we discuss the targets for the next season. It lasts about three hours and we talk very openly and honestly and I mark my performance at each tournament. It sort of guides me through the year.

'Twelve months ago my target was to break the top 50 and win an event on the WTA Tour, and I managed both. I don’t know what we will come up with for next year yet but the training is going very well and I’m feeling very confident.'

New Zealand star Dan Carter winning fitness battle for England showdown

New Zealand fly-half Carter winning battle to be fit for England showdown

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UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 27 November 2012

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter is confident he will be fit for Saturday's clash with England at Twickenham.

Carter missed last Saturday's 33-10
defeat by Wales with achilles and calf problems, but expects to return
for the All Blacks' final match of the year.

Welcome sight: New Zealand's Dan Carter (C) during training

Welcome sight: New Zealand's Dan Carter (C) during training

'Hopefully I'll be ready, nothing's changed over the last couple of days,” he said.

'The plan was to get through training and it was pretty light today, I didn't go over 50%. I got through it well.

'We're looking after it well and doing everything right to be ready for this weekend.

Just the ticket: Carter out in London on Tuesday

Just the ticket: Carter out in London on Tuesday

'I'm pretty confident I'll be right to play, I just need some positive thinking.

'It's the last game of the year and I want to be part of it.'

BUMBLE TEST DIARY:David Lloyd says England should drop Jonathan Trott because India are having England for breakfast

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Drop Trott, it's time to wield the axe because India are having England for breakfast

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UPDATED:

12:59 GMT, 19 November 2012

JONATHAN'S ON A BAD TROTT

Controversial call: England need to consider axing Jonathan Trott

Controversial call: England need to consider axing Jonathan Trott for Friday's second Test

I want to freshen things up with England’s batting so that is why I would take the bold step of dropping Jonathan Trott. He has been a brilliant No 3 for England in the last few years and averages almost 50 in Test cricket but I’d give him a break. He only averages 32 in his last 15 Tests and has struggled here, as well as in Sri Lanka, and in the UAE against Pakistan. As for Samit Patel, I’d stick with him. He got two shocking lbw decisions so he deserves another chance with the bat and he can be a useful third spinner behind Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.

TIME FOR ENGLAND'S SPIN TWINS

As for the bowling, England need to do some positive thinking…and to ‘think Indian’. It was a thoroughly deserved win for India but England must now get the team right for the second Test. Monty Panesar has to come in, and England must forget about seamers. Zaheer Khan, who is India’s spearhead, bowled only two out of 40 overs in the second innings! There has been some talk about England not winning a Test when Panesar and Graeme Swann have been in the same side but don’t blame them, blame England’s batters.

Dynamic duo: Graeme Swann (right) shares a joke with Monty Panesar during the 2010 tour of South Africa

Dynamic duo: Graeme Swann (right) shares a joke with Monty Panesar during the 2010 tour of South Africa

BROADLY SPEAKING, ENGLAND ARE OFF THE PACE

England also need some pace. It was alarming that Umesh Yadav was comfortably the quickest bowler on show in the first Test. Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan are all capable of bowling close to 90mph, but they were barely above 80mph in Ahmedabad. England need Steven Finn, who consistently hits 90mph. If he has to replace Stuart Broad, who is vice-captain, then so be it

England's cricketer Samit Patel bats during a warm-up match against India A in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012

England's Tim Bresnan jumps over a rope during a cricket training session at Lord's Cricket Ground, in London, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012.

In the slow lane: Samit Patel (left) deserves another crack after two shoddy LBW decisions, but Tim Bresnan (right) and his fellow seamers have not been testing the speed gun enough (FILE IMAGES)

ENGLAND TEST SERIES

Second Test
Mumbai, begins Friday (4,30am)

Third Test
Kolkata, December 5-9

Fourth Test
Nagpur, December 13-17

WIN TOSS, BAT FIRST, SCORE BIG. SIMPLE

If England are to get back on level terms
in this series, they also need a bit of luck. We spoke to former India
captain Sourav Ganguly after the Test and he said it is imperative that
Alastair Cook wins the toss. Then England must bat first and bat big.
Get at least 400, preferably 500, and then you are controlling the game.
They say India’s batsmen play spin very well but let’s see how good
they are when they are playing catch-up…

BUMBLE DOES THE FULL MONTY (TWICE)

I’m not sure these early starts are doing much for my waistline. I had a fry-up in the studio at 5.30am…then another on the train home at 11am!

Full english breakfast, fried egg, sausages,tomatoes,fried bread, baked beans, scrambled egg, black pudding,

Full English breakfast with tea and white bread toasted

Breakfasts of a champion: Bumble has been wading his way through two full English breakfasts

Arsene Wenger says referee cost Arsenal win in Schalke

Referee cost us, claims Wenger after Arsenal draw in Schalke

Gunners throw away two-goal lead in Germany

Arsenal were denied clear goal-scoring opportunity, says Wenger

Contract rebel Walcott scores on rare start

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UPDATED:

01:31 GMT, 7 November 2012

Arsene Wenger criticised referee Nicola Rizzoli after his side lost a two-goal lead to Schalke.

The Arsenal manager felt Ibrahim Afellay had fouled Theo Walcott in the build-up to the Germans' first goal and were denied a clear chance when the Italian official blew instead of playing on, with Marco Hoger falling as Lukas Podolski was clear on goal.

On target: Walcott opened the scoring in Germany

On target: Walcott opened the scoring in Germany

'There was a foul on Walcott and he gave a foul against Walcott. It is a foul from Afellay on Walcott, 100 per cent. There was another decision that was amazing, the first time I've seen anything like that, to stop the game when a player has rolled over on his ankle. I never seen that when you have a goal chance.'

But, despite losing a two-goal lead, Wenger was happy.

Yellow peril: Podolski was booked for showing descent after the referee halted an Arsenal attack

Yellow peril: Podolski was booked for showing descent after the referee halted an Arsenal attack

'It was important not to lose and, if possible, to win. We managed the first part, not the second one. Overall, we played reasonably well, we dropped physically in the second half. The regret we have is we conceded the goal before half-time and we missed the chance (from Walcott) at the end.'

Wenger handed Walcott a rare start, and he praised the contract rebel, saying: 'Theo did very well. A positive attitude, and he was fresh as well. He was the one you could feel that could always make a difference and score goals. It's not a coincidence he had the chance to score in the last minute.'

Content: Wenger was pleased with his side's response following their defeat at Manchester United on Saturday

Content: Wenger was pleased with his side's response following their defeat at Manchester United on Saturday

Walcott added: 'It was a good point in the end. It would have been a fantastic victory, but Schalke are a tough side. We are just trying to win our last couple of games and that is all you can do. I just want to play – hopefully now I can get a run in the team because I feel I fully deserve it.'

When asked if his contract is why he has been on the bench, he said: 'You have to ask the manager that question, I can't answer it.'

Schalke v Arsenal: In-focus, by Andrew Magee

Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar

Dutch ace drilled home Schalke’s first goal clinically but really should have put Arsenal away when he missed chances in second half.

Jermaine Jones

Schalke’s central midfielder was lucky not to be penalised when he caught Olivier Giroud on the thigh with his studs as the two clashed in mid air.

Lewis Holtby

Showed some sublime technique to set up Huntelaar for the first goal, but clipped Jack Wilshere with a clumsy challenge in the second half.

Lukas Podolski

Was furious with referee Rizzoli after he stopped play for an injury with Arsenal in a promising
attacking position. The Germany forward was booked for his troubles.

Chuck Pagano speech: Leukaemia coach talks to Indianapolis Colts

NFL coach suffering with leukaemia gives team emotional speech after returning from hospital

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UPDATED:

18:35 GMT, 6 November 2012

American football coach Chuck Pagano gave the Indianapolis Colts an emotional and rousing post-match speech after attending his first game since being diagnosed with leukaemia.

The coach has been receiving chemotherapy treatment since September 26, when he discovered he had the cancer.

Scroll down for video

Emotional: Chuck Pagano raises his fist at the end of the speech he gave his side after their victory at the weekend

Emotional: Chuck Pagano raises his fist at the end of the speech he gave his side after their victory at the weekend

Get well soon: Pagano was diagnosed with leukaemia (pictured before undergoing chemotherapy)

Get well soon: Pagano was diagnosed with leukaemia (pictured before undergoing chemotherapy)

Support: Fans and players alike are backing Pagano to come back and put up this #chuckstrong banner in support of him

Support: Fans and players alike are backing Pagano to come back and put up this #chuckstrong banner in support of him

But he turned up at the Lucas Oil Stadium
on November 4 and saw his side beat the Miami Dolphins 23-20 before
heading down to the locker room to deliver his moving team-talk.

Pagano spoke to his men about the
power of positive thinking and visualisation, how they visualised what
they wanted and achieved it in the game – the Colts came back from
behind.

He told them about how because he was visualising overcoming the cancer 'it was already beat'.

Pagano talked of seeing two more of
his daughters get married – he has three, Taylor, Tori and Tara who is
married with two children.

Backed to the hilt: The entire Indianapolis Colts team is behind their coach

Backed to the hilt: The entire Indianapolis Colts team is behind their coach

Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne

A fan holds up a banner in support

Come on Chuck! Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne takes off his helmet while a fan holds up a message of support (right)

Pagano was released from the Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Centre two weeks beforehand.

Colts owner, Jim Irsay, announced Pagano would be watching two days before the game took place.

The game was notable itself for a
record breaking performance from quarterback Andrew Luck, in which he
threw for 433 passing yards – beating the previous record of 432 yards
set by Cam Newton.

Pagano's side are now 5-3 and will travel to Jacksonville in Week 10.

PAGANO'S SPEECH IN FULL

'I mentioned before the game that you guys were living in a vision and you weren't living in circumstances. Because you know where they had us in the beginning. Every last one of them.

'But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously, as a team, and as a family, to live in a vision. And that's why you bring things home like you brought home today. That's why you're already champions, and well on your way.

'I got circumstances. You guys understand it. I understand it. It's already beat. It's already beat. My vision that I'm living, see two more daughters getting married, dancing at their weddings, and then hoisting that Lombardi several times and watch that confetti fall on this f****** group right here.

'Several times, we're going to hoist that baby. I'm dancing at two more weddings. And we're hoisting that trophy together man. Congratulations.'

Good news came with doctors saying his leukaemia is in 'remission', but treatment must continue over two years.

His form of the cancer is acute promyelocytic leukaemia which in over 80 per cent of cases can be cured.

When the news broke at the end of September the team were distraught.

Ryan Grigson took over as general
manager but hopes Pagano will be able to return and coach from the press
box later in the season.

Offensive co-ordinator Bruce Arians was nearly in tears when he heard the news.

Arians fought prostate cancer in 2007 and backed his colleague to emerge on top.

'I know him. He's a fighter. He's
survived tough times already in his life,' said Arians. 'As a cancer
survivor myself, I know that these first few days are really hard on you
but as he and I talked yesterday, it's just a matter of time.'

He spoke of a tribute to Pagano which is taking place.

Arians said: 'I asked Mr. Irsay if we
would leave the light on in his office permanently till he comes back
and we are going to do that.'

Watch the rousing speech here:

Sex with Madonna would not be as good as beating Aston Villa, says Paolo Di Canio

In bed with Di Canio! Passionate Paolo says Swindon beating Villa would be better than sex with Madonna

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UPDATED:

09:58 GMT, 30 October 2012

Paolo Di Canio reckons a Swindon win over Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup would be better than having sex with Madonna.

Di Canio welcomes Villa to the County Ground on Tuesday night and the Robins boss cannot wait to get stuck in to Premier League opposition.

Like Material Girl singer Madonna, Villa produced their best work in the 1980s and Di Canio fancies his chances of an upset.

She shoots, she scores: Madonna or victory over Aston Villa - it's a tough choice

She shoots, she scores: Madonna or victory over Aston Villa – it's a tough choice

The Italian scored the winner for West Ham against Manchester United in the FA Cup in 2001 and is looking forward to being the underdog once more.

He said: 'When I scored against United it was very exciting to look around and see 9,000 people celebrating away from home.

'Sending Manchester United out was amazing. It was like having sex with Madonna and beating Villa as a manager would be just as good.

'Better than having sex with Madonna Let me try it and I will give you an honest answer.'

Di Canio has been basking in 'positive energy' ahead of the game.

The Robins head into the fourth-round tie on the back of a convincing 4-0 victory at Stevenage and Di Canio insists he is calmness personified.

'You can't wait to start when you have time to wait and I don't know why but I feel positive, I feel happy, I have a positive energy,' he said.

Up for the cup: Paolo Di Canio is looking forward to facing Aston Villa

Up for the cup: Paolo Di Canio is looking forward to facing Aston Villa

'I was thinking more about it (at the weekend) but I am getting close to the match and I am more relaxed.

'If we can do something more it would be a dream but I don't feel the pressure. I think there would be more pressure if there were some details I could use to prepare my players better.

'What we have done already is fantastic and there will be a fantastic atmosphere at the County Ground.'

Di Canio's Wiltshire side are not short of confidence for the sold-out visit of Villa, who have only won one league match this season.

Swindon have already eliminated Championship sides Brighton and Burnley as well as Stoke at the Britannia Stadium – their best run in the League Cup since reaching the semi-finals 17 years ago.

Tester: Aston Villa head for Swindon on the back of a 1-1 draw with Norwich

Tester: Aston Villa head for Swindon on the back of a 1-1 draw with Norwich

And despite scoring three goals or more in every Capital One Cup tie so far this season Di Canio is well aware chances will be at a premium at a ground where Swindon have lost just twice since August 2011.

'Even if we have one chance to win the game, we will try to make the one chance a big chance,' Di Canio said.

'The first half hour is crucial, every first half-hour is crucial. This kind of game is really important tactically but if you stay one versus one and if you cut out silly mistakes in the middle of midfield, then the players can make a difference.

'It's easy to prepare for this game because the players have 200 per cent commitment to prove their quality. If you are not an intelligent manager you can fall in a trap because you can make mistakes because there is too much enthusiasm.'

The Robins will be without one of their star performers in the victory over Stevenage on Saturday after on-loan Tottenham playmaker John Bostock hobbled off with a groin injury.

The Italian's options could be boosted by a return to the squad for striker Andy Williams, who has not featured since October 6 because of a calf injury.

Gervinho injured for Arsenal v Manchester United

Gervinho to miss Arsenal's clash with United after suffering ankle injury

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 29 October 2012

Arsenal forward Gervinho underwent a scan on Monday to determine the extent of an ankle injury.

The Ivory Coast international was stretchered off during the 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Gervinho will be hoping for positive news, particularly with the Africa Cup of Nations on the horizon.

Knock: Gervinho picked up an ankle injury against QPR last weekend

Knock: Gervinho picked up an ankle injury against QPR last weekend

The forward will definitely miss Tuesday 's Capital One Cup clash against Reading and Saturday's
mouthwatering encounter against Manchester United.

Gervinho's absence has forced Wenger
into delaying Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's return from a hip injury as a
precaution ahead of Saturday's trip to Old Trafford.

United calling: Alex Olxlade-Chamberlain should return on Saturday

United calling: Alex Olxlade-Chamberlain should return on Saturday

The youngster missed last week's defeat against Schalke and the weekend victory over Mark Hughes' side due to the problem.

Wenger hoped to hand the England
international a return at the Madjeski Stadium, but will now
save Oxlade-Chamberlain for the game against Sir Alex Ferguson's side.