Tag Archives: tough

WTA Charleston – Family Circle Cup: Serena Williams beats Venus Williams 6-1 6-2 in semi-final

Serena shows big sister Venus tough love with straight-sets thrashing in Charleston

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:18 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

Serena Williams demolished her older sister Venus 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

At times it was painful to watch, with Serena appearing uncomfortable with how she dismantled her sister – at one point not even challenging a ball that was called in when clearly wide – and the whole affair was over in 54 minutes.

Venus was constantly troubled by her serve, producing eight double faults, and it took until the third game of the second set for the former world No 1 to hold. Serena led applause for Venus after the match and chose to speak of her sister's return after a back injury which forced her withdrawal from March's Sony Open.

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

She said: 'It's really exciting…it's hard on our bodies. We're doing great and we were just excited that one of us was going to the final.'

It was the first time the sisters had faced each other since 2009 and while Serena has been in the ascendancy for some years, the first game gave no hint of the steamrollering to come.

Instead, Serena seemed to be going through the motions and her serve was not its usual formidable weapon, although the world number one held. A fierce cross-court shot gave Serena break point in the following game which had set the tone for the match with regards to Venus' serve, a double fault bringing up 2-0.

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

The younger sister was getting into her stride, a 110mph serve produced en route to 3-0 in contrast to Venus. Serena was quicker to everything and she moved to a 4-0 lead by passing Venus as she came into the net with a looping shot.

Venus finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth game when a fearsome forehand down the line gave Serena no chance.

However, Serena immediately broke back when Venus produced two successive double faults and she went on to win the set to love.

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

The crowd were urging Venus on but initially it had little effect as Serena took a 2-0 lead in the second. Venus held to the delight of the stands and she was certainly moving her sister around the court more, but the match was moving towards an inevitable conclusion.

The decisive break came in the seventh game as Venus netted with Serena going 5-2 up, and a long return saw her win to love.

Serena said: 'I felt great. I am really looking forward not only to tomorrow but the rest of the clay court season.'

Serena will meet Jelena Jankovic in the final after the Serbian beat unseeded Stefanie Voegele 6-4 6-7 (6/8) 6-2 in a match lasting two hours eight minutes.

Jermain Defoe injured: Ruled out of Tottenham"s next three matches

Defoe blow for Tottenham as injury rules striker out of next three matches

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:39 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:03 GMT, 3 April 2013

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has suffered a muscle injury which will keep him out of the club's next three matches.

It's a massive blow for Andre Villas-Boas's side who are fighting for a place in next season's Champions League and face FC Basle on Thursday night in the Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Defoe – who has 14 goals for Spurs this season – will miss the home-and-away legs against Basle and a crunch Barclays Premier League match with Everton at White Hart Lane.

No go Defoe: The Spurs striker has been ruled out of the next three matches

No go Defoe: The Spurs striker has been ruled out of the next three matches

Next up for Tottenham…

FC Basle (home, tomorrow, Europa League)
Everton ( home, Sunday, Premier League)
FC Basle (away, April 11, Europa League)
Man City (home, April 21, Premier League)

The north London club have a tough run-in of fixtures, but Villas-Boas is hopeful Defoe will return in time for the clash with defending champions Manchester City on April 21.

The Spurs boss said: 'Jermain has a
muscle injury and that’s probably going to take him out for the next two
games and maybe Basle away.

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

Coming to Spurs' Ade: The Togolese striker is one option to lead the line

'If he can’t make Basle away he should be fit for the week that we prepare to play Manchester City. It’s a big blow. It’s the same muscle he had a small tear in last month, but it’s the other side (pelvic injury).

'It’s a big miss for us because he’s a player who represents a lot for us and he’s showed tremendous quality this season.

'You’ve seen us play with (Clint) Dempsey and (Gareth) Bale up front. We have been in periods where are strikers have been injured and we’ve coped with it – sometimes less successfully, sometimes more so.

'We’ll definitely have him back for the Man City game, so the negative of having an injury is not that bad.

'We’ll have the player back for the decisive moments of the season.

'He probably did it through a shooting exercise we set out prior to playing Swansea.’

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tottenham face FC Basle in the Europa League on Thursday night

Hair we go: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Tottenham face FC Basle in the Europa League on Thursday night

Kevin Nolan broken foot: West Ham captain faces to months out

Hammer blow! Crocked skipper Nolan faces eight weeks out with broken toe

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

08:40 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:14 GMT, 28 February 2013

West Ham have been dealt a huge blow with the news that captain Kevin Nolan faces two months on the sidelines after suffering a broken toe.

The midfielder, 30, limped off after just 35 minutes during Monday night's 3-2 London derby defeat by Tottenham at Upton Park following a clash with Mousa Dembele.

Nolan now faces an agonising wait to discover his fate after Hammers assistant boss Neil McDonald confirmed this morning that the club have not yet learned the results of his scan.

Tough luck: Kevin Nolan (left) tackles Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham before going off injured

Tough luck: Kevin Nolan (left) tackles Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham before going off injured

The former Bolton and Newcastle star will definitely miss this
weekend's Barclays Premier League trip to Stoke and it is reported, by
The Sun, that he may have to wait for two weeks to find out if he can
make it through the rest of the campaign with
pain-killing injections.

McDonald said: 'We're still waiting for the results to come back, his toe is very, very sore.

'He's had problems in the past with it, all season really. And he got a real good kick on it.

'So I'd imagine he won't be available for Saturday and then we'll see how the results come back and see where he's at.

'As I said, he has had problems with his foot all season, and he has been playing through the pain barrier. It's probably worse than it has been with him having the kick right on it.'

Despite a fine start to the season,
the east London club's form has suffered an alarming slump with just one
win in their last seven league games.

Sam Allardyce's side, who promotion
from the Championship at the first time of asking last season, have
slipped to 14th in the table and are just six points clear from the drop
zone.

But defender James Collins insists relegation has not been mentioned.

We are looking up and onwards,' the Wales centre half told the club's official website.

'There are more tough matches coming
up, but we have a great squad and great team spirit. We have to go to
Stoke and give it a good go and I feel we have more than enough in the
team to do that.

'The way we started the season showed
what we are capable of. We are training hard, we want to win every game
and that is no different against Stoke, who we know will be tough on
their own ground.

'But I strongly believe if we keep playing the way we are playing, the results will come.'

Getting involved: Nolan is an important player for the Hammers and now faces missing many of their remaining fixtures

Getting involved: Nolan is an important player for the Hammers and now faces missing many of their remaining fixtures

Jose Mourinho allegedly kicks fan as Ronaldo backs boss

Mourinho allegedly kicks fan up backside… hours after Ronaldo pleads with supporters to stop abusing Madrid boss

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

11:10 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:11 GMT, 12 January 2013

Jose Mourinho is being investigate by police after allegedly kicking a fan up the backside – but Cristiano Ronaldo has called on supporters to stop abusing the Real Madrid boss.

The Portuguese was reportedly approached for a photograph when out shopping on Thursday but responded by lashing out at the fan while his bodyguard allegedly threw the man's mobile phone to the ground.

Mourinho has denied the claims which come as he struggles at the helm of the Spanish giants.

Tough times: Jose Mourinho has come under pressure at Real Madrid

Tough times: Jose Mourinho has come under pressure at Real Madrid

Madrid are languishing 16 points behind bitter rivals Barcelona in La Liga and face Manchester United in the Champions League next month.

And the Bernabeau crowd have turned on Mourinho in recent weeks, particularly after he dropped Iker Cassilas.

But Ronaldo has pleaded with the supporters to back the boss.

Main man: Cristiano Ronaldo has called on Madrid fans to back Mourinho

Main man: Cristiano Ronaldo has called on Madrid fans to back Mourinho

'I have to ask that they stop this now,' Ronaldo told reporters after Madrid's 5-2 aggregate victory over Celta Vigo in the King's Cup .

'The boss is going to stay, we still have a lot we can win this year. He is in charge and he takes the decisions, the fans and the players should help him.

'People have shown they are unhappy but that's enough now. They have to get behind the boss and the team. It affects the players out on the pitch. If we win the Cup and the Champions League it will have been a good year.'

Amir Khan beats Carlos Molina

Khan gets career back on track after stopping Molina in Los Angeles but British star 'fractures' both hands in emphatic win

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UPDATED:

14:52 GMT, 16 December 2012

Amir Khan took the first step towards regaining a world title with a stoppage win over previously unbeaten Carlos Molina in a fight he had admitted was 'make or break' following two devastating defeats.

Bolton native Khan knew nothing less than victory would do after losing against Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia over the last 12 months.

There was no such upset at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena but Khan was left with two fractured hands after a dominant performance.

Scroll down for video

Flush: Amir Khan was on top from the first bell as Carlos Molina found himself overwhelmed

Flush: Amir Khan was on top from the first bell as Carlos Molina found himself overwhelmed

Amir Khan connects with Carlos Molina

Saj Mohamed, a member of Khan's team, tweeted: 'Ouch @AmirKingKhan Both hands Fractured! Molina was one tough cookie.'

Khan's 26-3 (18KOs) record bore the scars of a turbulent year which the fighter himself admitted was the worst of his professional life.

Molina, meanwhile, was unbeaten – with 17 wins and a draw – but also untested, having campaigned mainly at the lower lightweight division.

The form book suggested the apparently light-punching Californian was the perfect opponent in this 12-round fight for the vulnerable Khan, who still bristles at suggestions his punch resistance is weak.

Price of success: Khan was reported to have fractured both hands during his victory over Molina

Price of success: Khan was reported to have fractured both hands during his victory over Molina

Through the gate: Molina did manage to land on Khan but the Bolton boxer withstood the punches

Through the gate: Molina did manage to land on Khan but the Bolton boxer withstood the punches

Carlos Molina sits in his corner after the ninth round

Amir Khan

Sore one: A cut opened around Molina's left eye early in the fight which caused him problems throughout

After being given a largely hostile welcome by the largely Latin American crowd, Khan stayed true to his pre-fight vow that he would be more patient.

The Briton moved forward in measured bursts, landing shots before coming out of the way. He cut Molina with his best shot of the round, a straight, driven right hand which looked responsible for cutting Molina over the left eye. A right to the body then closed the first round nicely for Khan.

A jab and left hook early in the second worked well for Khan as he started well – as he had done against Peterson and Garcia too.

Relentless: Khan used his jab effectively to keep Molina at bay and launch his combinations

Relentless: Khan used his jab effectively to keep Molina at bay and launch his combinations

Sore one: A cut opened beneath Molina's left eye early in the fight

Sore one: A cut opened beneath Molina's left eye early in the fight

A left-right landed hard but Molina finally countered with shots of his own, forcing his attacker to think twice for a moment. The local man thudded in two jabs and a right hand which Khan shook off well before the bell.

Molina was beginning to look a little more aggressive by the third and caught Khan on the ropes for the first time. Khan was winning the rounds and left hooks to head then body represented decent success in the fourth.

The crowd were excited by the burst of action that followed as Khan fired at will before swallowing a left hook from the American.

Over and out: The fight was stopped when Molina's corner felt he had suffered enough

Over and out: The fight was stopped when Molina's corner felt he had suffered enough

Referee Jack Reiss stops the fight between Amir Khan and Carlos Molina

The former champion landed a jab, straight right and right uppercut as referee Jack Reiss had a quick look at Molina's wound.

A three-punch combination culminating in a reaching uppercut was Khan's best work in a quieter fifth. Molina landed a crude but hard left hook and wild right in the sixth while Khan produced another flurry to back his man up.

Khan worked his way in with shots on the inside and caught the eye with a number of spiteful left hooks broken up by another uppercut. Again, though, he failed to put a dent in his man but even the pro-Molina crowd were enjoying much of his work.

Khan mixed things up somewhat in the ninth, a right to the body preceding a pause and then a superb left hook from range. A left-right jolted Molina late in the round.

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win in Los Angeles

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win in Los Angeles

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win

Even Molina was arguably still in with a puncher's chance but after another round of one-way traffic in the 10th, the American was spared further futile punishment and the win was Khan's.

Khan said: 'I thought I stuck to my gameplan and was keeping faith in my jab. Carlos took some really good shots but was still coming forward, so I thought to myself, “I'd better stick to this gameplan”.

'Virgil Hunter is a great trainer and I'm getting better at boxing, being a complete fighter. He's teaching me things, like speed, patience, picking the right shots and when to throw them.

'Sometimes I'm too brave for my own good but now I know it is better to stick to a gameplan.'

VIDEO: Amir Khan: 'trainer changed me…'

Play Video

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Martin O"Neill sure of himself at Sunderland despite form

I've only doubted myself once… and that was before my 11-plus! Under-fire O'Neill insists he's right man for Sunderland job

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UPDATED:

21:08 GMT, 10 December 2012

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has insisted he is still the right man, and the only man, to lead the club away from trouble.

O'Neill's men face Reading at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night knowing victory will take them three places up the Barclays Premier League table.

But after plunging into the bottom three with Saturday's 3-1 home defeat by Chelsea, a loss would leave Sunderland in serious trouble.

Tough times: Martin O'Neill needs to pull Sunderland out of the mire

Tough times: Martin O'Neill needs to pull Sunderland out of the mire

Former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer
has joined O'Neill's critics but the Irishman has the full support of
owner Ellis Short and the board.

O'Neill said: 'I don't want to sound boastful, but not only am I the best man for the job but the only one.

'I once really doubted myself before
I sat my 11-plus – honestly. I didn't know whether I was going to pass
it or not, but then I was only seven at the time. And I did pass it.

'Criticism is part of the game. I
think it's an easy thing to point to, so what do you do Put someone
else in charge, give him 12-13 games and he can't win any matches We
will steer it through, get calmer waters ahead and then we will see what
sort of job I have done.

Improvement: Adam Johnson scored on Saturday, with Steven Fletcher absent

Improvement: Adam Johnson scored on Saturday, with Steven Fletcher absent

'We have to win some games. I have
said it before. I came in last season and we won some games, some of
which I probably didn't have any right to, and some things may level
themselves out.'

O'Neill added: 'I used to hate
managers talking about a project that will take five years. I don't want
that. You would get bored to death if we were in the same position for
the next four or five years.

'Just give me time. I have signed two
players for money. I think Adam Johnson will start to produce the form
he is capable of and Steven Fletcher has done really well.

Fitness: Fletcher's condition is improving but he is not likely to feature on Tuesday

Fitness: Fletcher's condition is improving but he is not likely to feature on Tuesday

'So wait until we get a few people in
and I will try to pull this whole thing together. I don't want four
years. I would want to do it in doubly quick time, but not as quick as
this.'

O'Neill, meanwhile, laughed off the
assessment of Shearer, a former BBC colleague, who has said Sunderland
were a team who looked doomed to stay in the relegation zone.

O'Neill said: 'It really doesn't
worry me what Alan says. You lose games and you get fired at. He is a
pundit. I have been there myself during European evenings and given a
trivial amount back. I usually try to give someone criticism that I will
never see again in my life – such as somebody playing for Inner
Mongolia.'

Justin Rose in contention at Australian Open

Rose in contention in Sydney but blows chance to share lead with Senden

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UPDATED:

11:28 GMT, 8 December 2012

Justin Rose will head into the final round of the Australian Open two strokes off the lead after a late stumble cost him a share of the overnight lead at The Lakes in Sydney.

Rose had held a two-shot advantage in the afternoon but spoiled his round with consecutive bogeys on the final two holes to finish the day on five under overall.

Despite that the world No 4 remains firmly in contention to end 2012 on a high with his third-round two-under-par 70 leaving him in second place behind local hopeful John Senden.

In with a chance: Justin Rose is two shots behind the leader at the Australian Open

In with a chance: Justin Rose is two shots behind the leader at the Australian Open

It is the second consecutive year Senden has held the 54-hole lead at the tournament and Rose is expecting a tough battle when they are paired tomorrow with high winds expected.

'I hear the wind's going to switch and blow just as hard,' Rose said.

'Whoever literally stands up could win the golf tournament, it could be last man standing.

'I think it's going to be a battle – but I'm excited, as long as it doesn't get out of control and blow too hard, it's going to be a fun day to try and hit some shots.

'It's going to be my last round of the year and I'd like to go out on a high note.'

Senden, who had led after the opening round, had to withstand a shaky start today as he bogeyed his opening two holes to fall behind a cluster of seven players who briefly held the lead.

Leading the way: John Senden is top of the leaderboard going into the final round

Leading the way: John Senden is top of the leaderboard going into the final round

But the 2006 Stonehaven Cup winner made his charge on the back nine, producing an eagle on the par-five 11th and adding consecutive birdies from the 13th to card a two-under 70 and sit at seven under overall.

'It was a day of just trying to do my best to stay up there and it's nice to be leading the golf tournament,' Senden said.

'I thought the last two holes were pretty much close to the edge – it was so windy out there it was hard to hit the ball straight.'

Matt Jones (69), Peter Senior (69) and Kieran Pratt (70) are level in third place a shot behind Rose.

Pratt stole the outright lead with spectacular eagle at the 11th but his stint at the top of the leaderboard ended on the very next hole with a bogey.

Champion in 2001, Stuart Appleby and his American playing partner Kyle Stanley both posted two-under 70s to be three under for the tournament alongside Cameron Percy (72).

Home favourite: Adam Scott ponders his options during the third round

Home favourite: Adam Scott ponders his options during the third round

Pre-tournament favourite Adam Scott is a shot further back among a group of nine players in a share of ninth after posting his second straight 71.

Scott burst out of the blocks with consecutive birdies but had given both shots back by the fifth hole to make the turn in level par.

He mixed two bogeys and three birdies on the way home and will need something special on Sunday to claim his second Australian Open title, trailing by five shots.

Scott Gardiner fired the low round of the day, a four-under 68, to sit a further shot back alongside amateur Cameron Smith (69) and defending champion Greg Chalmers (69).

Geoff Ogilvy is also at one under after carding an adventurous 70 that included an eagle and a double bogey.

Struggling: Tom Watson had a round to forget in Sydney

Struggling: Tom Watson had a round to forget in Sydney

Meanwhile, veteran Tom Watson made a move in the wrong direction with a six-over 78.

'It was ugly out there today for me, very ugly,' Watson said immediately after his round.

'I struggled on the practice area warming up, I didn't have any feel for the club and didn't put the clubface on the ball.

'I'm not blaming anything but I woke up at 3 o'clock this morning and couldn't go back to sleep and I'm jetlagged pretty good coming back from South Africa.'

Alan Pardew suffers eight-year hitch at Newcastle after penning long-term deal

Pardew suffers eight-year hitch at Newcastle after penning long-term deal

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UPDATED:

23:09 GMT, 29 November 2012

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew must feel he has suffered a curse since signing his eight-year deal at the end of September.

His struggling side have won just one
of their nine Barclays Premier League matches since he penned the
extraordinary deal.

On top of that Newcastle, who have secured a place
in the knock-out stages of the Europa League with two wins and a draw,
have suffered horrendous injury problems.

Tough times: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Tough times: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Key players such as Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor are out until February, while playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa has been sorely missed in their last three matches, which have all ended in defeat.

Newcastle have another gruelling week ahead. They face Wigan at St James' Park on Monday then travel to Bordeaux for their final European group match, which they need to win to top Group D.

Midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote, speaking after the 2-1 midweek defeat at Stoke, said: 'If you play well like we did, then you expect to win the game so, if we continue to play like this, we will get three points again very soon.'

Meanwhile, Newcastle have revived their interest in versatile Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate.

Anderlecht value the Senegalese at 8.5million, which may prove too expensive for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

Jose Enrique to fight for place at Liverpool

Enrique up for the fight after Rodgers gets tough with ultimatum

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UPDATED:

22:44 GMT, 26 November 2012

Jose Enrique will fight to save his Liverpool career after admitting he still has to convince Brendan Rodgers he can play a long-term role at Anfield.

The Spanish left-back, along with Stewart Downing, received an ultimatum from Liverpool’s manager that 'talent alone' would not be enough to convince Rodgers they should stay at the club.

While the 20million winger has
subsequently been told he can leave Liverpool in January if a suitable
offer arrives, Enrique has managed to work his way back into the
starting line-up, ironically in the position that should have been
reserved for Downing.

Tough times: Jose Enrique (right) faces a fight to save his Anfield future

Tough times: Jose Enrique (right) faces a fight to save his Anfield future

Enrique, however, is by no means safe and the likelihood is Liverpool would consider trading him if the opportunity arises but the former Newcastle man, who was signed by Kenny Dalglish in August 2011 for 7million, is determined to win his battle.

When asked how he felt to hear his place at Liverpool was in jeopardy, Enrique said: ‘To be honest, you cannot worry about it. I believe in myself. I always have done, no matter what team I have played for. This is the biggest club I have ever played for.

‘Every day you have to prove yourself. It doesn’t matter how well you have played in the past, it is what you are doing at the minute that counts. If you don’t play well, you are on the bench. There are players here waiting to come and take your place. I want to be here for a long time.

‘I had some problems with my knee at the start of this season. I had this pain but in the scan, everything was showing okay. Then, one day, the pain had just gone. Now I want to keep improving.’

Time up Stewart Downing looks set to leave Liverpool in January

Time up Stewart Downing looks set to leave Liverpool in January

Though Enrique, who had a ‘goal’
disallowed in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Swansea, made a blistering start to
his Liverpool career, he suffered an alarming drop in consistency in the
New Year and he recognised that the first six months of 2012 have left
him with everything to prove.

‘Last year, until December, I really
played well,’ said Enrique, who scored his first goals in the Barclays
Premier League during a 3-0 win against Wigan 10 days ago. ‘I don’t know
why my form dropped after that. But now I feel as if I am doing well
again.

‘You don’t live off what you have done before in football, you live in the now and I am trying to do my best.

‘He (Rodgers) is the best manager I
have had in terms of tactics and everything else. Tactically, he is very
Spanish. He reminds me of when I had (Manuel) Pellegrini at Villarreal.
He really likes Spanish players, those who give him 100 per cent every
game.’

Point to prove: Jordan Henderson (right) has failed to shine

Point to prove: Jordan Henderson (right) has failed to shine

Another player with everything to
prove is Jordan Henderson. He was offered to Fulham in August as Rodgers
tried to find a way of signing Clint Dempsey but the 16million
midfielder, who made his first Premier League start of the season at
Swansea, turned down the move.

Just as significantly, Henderson – England’s Under 21 captain – insists he is not looking to escape in January, either.

‘I was happy with the way things went
but I have to improve an awful lot of thing,’ said Henderson. ‘In the
final third, I need to get better. Defensively I have been sold and done
what the manager asked. The fee doesn’t bother me. People might talk
about it but that had nothing to do with me.

‘A move to Liverpool has to be for
life, not just for Christmas. When I signed, I definitely wanted it to
be for the long term. I want to make sure that when I am given my
opportunities, I work hard and try to take them.’

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