“What I would like to say that Pellegrini was talking about the money we’ve spent,” he said. “I think he’s a fantastic coach, and I respect that a lot, and on top of that, outside his football career, he’s an engineer by academic formation. “I don’t think an engineer needs a calculator to do (Juan) Mata £37million and (Kevin) De Bruyne £18million, so that’s £55million. “(Nemanja) Matic is £21million and (Mohamed) Salah is £11million. That’s £32million. 55 minus 32 is 23. So Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated £23million. It’s easy to understand that this is working with financial fair play, fair financial fair play. “There are no arguments against that. This is what we’re doing. Others aren’t doing the same. We are building a team for the next decade, if possible. They have a team to win now because they don’t have a team for 10 years. “They have a team for now, for the next three or four. So experience, potential, power, not worried about Financial Fair Play because, in the summer, they just spend… We don’t need a calculator for this. It’s easy. Plus 23. “He has a fantastic team, fantastic players, is a good manager. Has lots of experience, so it’s not a problem for him. 13 matches are 39 points, and that’s an eternity in a league. “He’s been speaking about winning four competitions, so there’s no reason to change the speech. But the only thing that is funny that he keeps saying he never responds to Mourinho, he never comments about Mourinho. He said that in Spain, too. So, he’s changed.” Jose Mourinho believes Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is getting his sums wrong as the war of words between the two managers continues to develop. After Mourinho had suggested City were the beneficiaries of refereeing decisions his counterpart hit back about the amount of money the Blues had spent in January. But, with Chelsea moving top of the Barclays Premier League table over the weekend as they easily saw off Newcastle 3-0 while City laboured to a goalless draw at Norwich, Mourinho turned the tables on Pellegrini’s comments – hinting that the Chilean should know better given his background as a civil engineer. Press Association
Press Association Having won the first match with a six-wicket victory on Wednesday, Ireland looked on course for a record-breaking triumph when they limited the reigning World T20 champions to 96 for nine at Sabina Park. Seamer Alex Cusack claimed superb figures of four for 11 – including a rare maiden over in this format – as six Windies batsmen got into double figures but none of whom managed to get into the 20s. However, with history within their sights, Ireland could not get over the finishing line, making only 85 for eight in reply as the Windies bowlers held their nerve in a nail-biting run chase to secure an 11-run win and tie the two-match series 1-1. Ireland never recovered after slumping to 29 for five with captain William Porterfield, Ed Joyce and the big-hitting Kevin O’Brien among those out. Wicketkeeper Gary Wilson gave Ireland a glimmer of hope with 35 off 39 balls to edge his side closer to their target, but when he was the seventh wicket to fall in the 18th over, caught and bowled by Dwayne Bravo, the tourists’ bid was all but over. Captain Darren Sammy took three for 22 for the hosts while Krishmar Santokie, Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine all bowled miserly spells to save the Windies from embarrassment. That did not look like being the case earlier in the evening as they failed to reach three figures after being send into bat, with Andre Fletcher top-scoring with only 19. Ireland were denied an historic first series victory over full member opposition after falling short when chasing just 97 to win the second Twenty20 international against the West Indies in Jamaica.
“But you have to give them credit because on his day Benteke is as good as any striker, and on their day Villa can counter attack as well as anybody. “We have to make sure come Thursday morning when we have everybody together again (after international duty) we put ourselves in the best possible position to win a home game next Saturday. “We’ve a side that has generally been able to pick itself up after a difficult period or result and to churn out a better result. “Now it’s how we respond, and we’ve a group of lads that generally responds very well.” With 10 matches of the campaign still to run, City remain four points above the bottom three and in the thick of the dogfight for survival. Hughton does not see that scenario changing, adding: “It’s still competitive. “If we win our home game on Saturday and other results go our way then it changes things again. It is very much like that. “It is very competitive, probably as competitive as I have seen the bottom half of the division, and I would imagine it will continue to be that way.” The surprise result had come off the back of a fine 1-0 home victory over Tottenham the previous weekend, and it is at Carrow Road where City will have to find comfort again. After a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal earlier this season, Norwich at least kept a clean sheet in their next game as they drew 0-0 with Cardiff on home soil. Following respective 4-0 and 7-0 hammerings at Manchester United and Manchester City over a five-day period, Hughton’s side responded with a 3-1 win over West Ham in front of their own fans. A 5-1 humbling at Liverpool preceded a 2-0 victory over West Brom, that one on the road, while an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Fulham was followed by a 1-0 success over Hull at Carrow Road. So Hughton knows his players are capable of picking themselves up, dusting themselves down and bouncing back yet again, with Stoke the visitors on Saturday. “This result is a concern because our form has been good,” said Hughton. “Certainly on the back of some defensive displays where we have been better than we were earlier in the season, and after our performance against Tottenham. “So it’s a real body blow for us because that is not how we have been in recent weeks. After taking an early lead in their Barclays Premier League match at Aston Villa on Sunday, the Canaries were blitzed by a four-goal salvo from the home side over a 16-minute period in the first half, sparked by two goals in three minutes from Christian Benteke. As Hughton conceded after the game it was “a hammer blow” he “didn’t see coming”, and one that left him feeling particularly “sore”. Norwich boss Chris Hughton is fully expecting City’s latest thrashing to have another galvanising effect on his shell-shocked players. Press Association
Fabio Borini was denied a priceless winner by the crossbar as Sunderland were held to a costly 0-0 draw by fellow strugglers Crystal Palace. They were the kind of chances he dispatched with aplomb during his early months on Wearside, but it is simply not happening for him in front of goal when his team needs it most. Full-back Marcos Alonso had earlier thumped a long-range effort into Speroni’s midriff and Borini volleyed acrobatically wide from Tom Ince’s miscued clearance two minutes before the break. For their part, Palace, who had full-backs Adrian Mariappa and Joel Ward both booked inside the opening 13 minutes, offered little going forward, and their only real opening came courtesy of a slip by Mannone. The Italian stumbled as he attempted to clear and bundled the ball to Ince, but he recovered in time to claim the midfielder’s tame 31st-minute shot. Fletcher was put out of his misery at the break when he was replaced by Altidore, who might have made his mark within six minutes. The United States international miscontrolled Brown’s ball over the top, which looked to have put him in on goal, but recovered his composure to spin and fire in a left-foot shot which Speroni managed to tip over. Borini volleyed high over from Bridcutt’s cross four minutes later with Sunderland continuing to dominate, although they were served warning of the visitors’ threat on the break within seconds when Yannick Bolasie forced a save from Mannone. However, there was little or no quality from either side in the final third as Speroni and Mannone were virtual spectators. Cameron Jerome might have caught out Mannone with a clever near-post flick from Ward’s 75th-minute corner, but the Italian was well placed to pluck the ball from underneath his crossbar. Borini might have snatched victory with seven minutes remaining when he ran on to Ki Sung-yueng’s through-ball only to crash a rising drive against the bar with his follow-up flying inches wide, but Dikgacoi blazed inches wide with a minute remaining when he might have done better. The Italian rattled the woodwork with seven minutes remaining in a game which ultimately ended in a stalemate after Palace keeper Julian Speroni made a vital 51st-minute save from substitute Jozy Altidore. Victory would have taken Sunderland above the Eagles on goal difference, but the home side passed up a series of chances to make their dominance tell with Steven Fletcher particularly guilty before he was replaced at the break. Press Association The Black Cats have won just one of their last eight home league games, and might have left empty-handed had Kagisho Dikgacoi not wasted a glorious late chance to win it for the visitors. Sunderland boss Gus Poyet was stung by criticism of his team selection for last Sunday’s FA Cup sixth-round defeat at Hull, but insisted in advance that would have little bearing on the decision-making for a fixture he had dubbed the most important of the campaign. In the event, he made seven changes as the likes of Vito Mannone, Wes Brown and Liam Bridcutt returned, although Capital One Cup final starters Lee Cattermole and Jack Colback found themselves sitting on the bench. It was a game Sunderland really had to win if they are to launch a successful fight against the drop, and they made a fist of it in the opening 45 minutes as they took the game to Palace without ever looking like conceding. However, they rarely looked like scoring either as the problem which has hampered them for much of the campaign to date showed little sign of abating. Poyet has been searching since his arrival in October for a man to spearhead his attack with either Fletcher or Altidore usually employed in the loan striking role which was handed, with some success, to Borini in the Capital One Cup final. It was Scotland international Fletcher who got the nod once again on Saturday, but opportunities – admittedly half-chances – came and went. The former Wolves frontman failed to connect properly with Adam Johnson’s first-minute cross and then under-achieved with two audacious back-heeled attempts from deliveries from Borini and Johnson.
Joe Schmidt is “quietly confident” tighthead prop Mike Ross will be fit in time to ease Ireland’s front-row injury crisis against South Africa. Press Association Ireland will launch their three-Test Guinness series against South Africa at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, November 8, without at least 15 regulars missing through injury. James Cronin will miss the entire series with ankle trouble, compounding loosehead prop resources and adding to Jack McGrath’s workload with Cian Healy a long-term absentee. Schmidt admitted he had to resist the temptation to pull the likes of Ah You and Archer out of club action this weekend, believing they must sharpen up ahead of potential Test action. “Obviously Rodney Ah You is playing for Connacht against the Ospreys, and Stephen Archer will have some time at Munster,” he said. “Tadhg Furlong will play for Leinster and Declan Fitzpatrick for Ulster, those are our other options. “It’s a catch-22, because Nathan White was the starting prop at Connacht and has really dominated the starting time (and) Rodney needs the game time. “Tadhg Furlong certainly needs to play; he’s been sat behind Michael Bent. “Declan Fitzpatrick has been massively underplayed because he’s had a succession of injuries and Stephen Archer the same. “So it’s not a lot of rugby for those guys in the last two weeks to then have a week off and go into a Test match, it would be pretty difficult. “So we’re just going to hold our breath and hope that those guys come through okay and that we’ll have some options live from that group.” Stephen Archer and Rodney Ah You are standing by to cover Ross from the bench, but the duo boast just three caps and no Test starts between them. Schmidt lamented the “catch-22” of sending undercooked Archer, Ah You and further tightheads Declan Fitzpatrick and Tadhg Furlong into provincial action this weekend just a week away from facing the Springboks. “Nathan White sustained some tendon damage in his biceps in an incredibly innocuous event, but a frustrating one for both him and us,” said Schmidt of the Connacht prop now sidelined for 16 weeks. “He just caught a player running past him, and it was just the angle, just the way it happened; it’s just one of those things. “Mike Ross is progressing pretty well, so we are quietly confident. He’s taken part in some of the more static aspects of training. And he involves himself in some of the more static aspects of the game, so hopefully he comes through and can be involved in some of those. “Absolutely it’s a concern (that Ross has not played for a month). But Mike has been working really hard, in his defence. “There’s nothing like game conditions though, to bring game awareness. You want guys to have had that; you want it to be second nature, what they are doing. “If it was a perfect world things might different but you work in the world that’s available to you, and I’d still say it’s an incredibly exciting challenge to play one of the form teams in the world, and certainly one of the top-ranked.” Ireland boss Schmidt conceded it is a worry Ross has not featured in a month through groin trouble, but still backed the 34-year-old to cope against the Springboks next weekend. Connacht tighthead Nathan White had been lined up for his Test debut against South Africa, but suffered biceps tendon damage in a training clash on Thursday.
Salters cashed in just four seconds into Robby Sandrock’s delay of game penalty and with Kyle Jones turning away all 36 shots he faced for the shutout, the Scottish side held on to claim both points. Mathieu Roy took his goal tally for the season to 27 with a pair as Sheffield Steelers climbed into second thanks to a 4-2 victory over rivals Nottingham Panthers. Press Association Greg Jacina had given the Panthers the lead on the powerplay 8:31 into the opening period but Jeff Legue tied things up and Roy’s first of the evening with the man advantage sent the Steelers into the first break 2-1 up. Charles Landry levelled early in the second session before Mike Forney’s league-leading 33rd goal of the season restored the advantage and Roy’s empty-netter provided the insurance. Vladimir Nikiforov and Cale Tanaka scored to give Coventry Blaze a 2-1 victory over Dundee Stars, while a hat-trick for Rene Jarolin enabled Edinburgh Capitals to gain revenge for a 9-3 defeat to Fife Flyers last month with a 5-2 win. Leigh Salters scored the only goal of the game as Braehead Clan stretched their advantage at the top of the Elite League standings to three points with a 1-0 win over Belfast Giants.
Since his return after a six-and-a-half-year absence, Mourinho has often spoken of his desire to stay as long as owner Roman Abramovich wishes to keep him. The Blues boss repeated that after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat of Crystal Palace, which secured Chelsea’s first title since 2009-10 and the eighth of his prolific career. “As I was saying since the beginning of the season, I stay here until Mr Abramovich wants me to stay. The day he tells me to go, I go,” said Mourinho, who has led something of a nomadic existence since leaving Porto for London in June 2004. Mourinho left Chelsea in September 2007 and spent two seasons as Inter Milan boss, before in 2010 moving to Real Madrid for three seasons and then rejoining the Blues. Prior to the Capital One Cup final victory over Tottenham on March 1, Mourinho revealed he would consider moving to another English club if he left Chelsea, where he wishes to stay for the remainder of his career. “I don’t want to go away. I will stay here in this chair until Mr Abramovich tells me ‘Jose, it’s enough’,” Mourinho said on February 27. “If one day he tells me ‘Jose it’s enough’ I will go to my house in London and I wait for another English club. “When I left the first time I had lots of countries to go to and lots of clubs to go to. The 52-year-old Portuguese manager is halfway through a four-year contract signed on his return to Stamford Bridge in June 2013 and has verbally agreed a two-year extension, according to reports. Mourinho won two Premier League titles in his first spell – including in 2005 Chelsea’s first championship in 50 years – before departing after little more than three years as manager. Press Association Jose Mourinho is to be rewarded for guiding Chelsea to a first Premier League title in five years with a new contract. “In this moment when I leave I have another 19 clubs in the Premier League and 22 clubs in the Championship. So the options are not so much. “But I repeat I am in Mr Abramovich’s hands. Until he wants me to stay, I will stay – and that is what I want. “I am not thinking about leaving, I want to stay at Chelsea for the rest of my career.” Mourinho was blocked from moving to Tottenham after his first departure from Chelsea. “I couldn’t go,” said Mourinho, after confirming the approach from Spurs. “I couldn’t train in England for two years.” It is same to assume a similar clause would be inserted were things to go wrong at Chelsea, as Mourinho would still be very much a man in demand after 22 trophies in his vaunted career. A third European Cup with a third club, after wins in 2004 with Porto and 2010 with Inter, will surely be on Mourinho’s agenda next term. Mourinho has spoken of strengthening his squad for next season and there could be some departures, including long-serving pair Petr Cech and Didier Drogba. One player who is keen to stay despite reported interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona is Cesar Azpilicueta, the right-footed Spain international who has impressed at left-back. Azpilicueta told RMC Radio: “I’m currently playing in the best team in England, I’m not thinking about another team.”
Tamadhor returned to winning ways when producing an impressive display to land the feature race at Fairyhouse, the Book Tickets On-Line @ Fairyhouse.ie Race. Coming into this on the back of a promising sixth-placed finish in the 1000 Guineas at the Curragh, the daughter of Arcano was sent off the 9-10 favourite and duly justified those cramped odds, readily leaving her rivals behind at the two furlong marker on the way to a two length success from Slipper Orchid who finished well to pick up the silver medal. Trainer Kevin Prendergast is now targeting a return to Group One company: “They went no pace and it turned into a bit of a sprint from the top of the home straight. “She will go now for the Pretty Polly if the boss agrees. That was the plan we had for her, and after that we will see what happens. She is pretty smart and she wants a mile and a quarter.” Mick Halford looks to have another smart juvenile on his hands in Vitello who opened her account at the second time of asking in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden. The 1-1 favourite shaped with an abundance of promise when third on her introduction at the Curragh last month and had clearly benefited from that initial experience, breaking quickly from the gates before recording a cosy pillar-to-post half a length success. Halford said: “She jumped smart and Shane said she was idling a bit in front and he just kept her up to her job. “She likes the ground, is very straightforward, with a good temperament, and could go for the fillies Group 3 (Balanchine Stakes) at the Curragh on Derby weekend.” There was a cracking finish to the Whole Lotta Voltage @ Fairyhouse July 1st Handicap as long-time leader Madame Nobel just failed to deny late challenges from eventual neck winner Ishebayorgrey (7-2 fav) and Split The Atom while 2-1 market leader Stop And Linger continued a good night for favourite backers when running out a two and three quarter length winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden. Press Association
“It is a transition period for them, but Manchester United will never lose their aura,” Monk said. “Any side that loses someone like Sir Alex Ferguson is going to go through that, whoever came in after him was facing a difficult period. “The squad he left meant there were a lot of changes to be made for any manager who came in. You are expected to win everything straight away and that was the difficulty. “They have made another change to Van Gaal, he has had more time to change the squad and now they look a really strong outfit.” United are in third place having taken seven points from their first three games of the season, but largely unimpressive performances have led some pundits to suggest that Swansea are actually favourites to win this game. But Monk has rejected the favourites’ tag, even though he says last term’s eighth-placed finish and holding champions Chelsea to a 2-2 draw on the opening day of the season has raised expectations among Swansea supporters. “We have brought the extra expectation on ourselves with what we have done in the past and we are not looking for any excuses,” Monk said. “It’s important to keep raising the expectation levels, but we have to be realistic as well and manage those expectations in a good way. “We are the underdogs in this game, make no mistake. “This is Manchester United we are talking about. The squad they have, the money and power they have – they have to be favourites.” Press Association “I am sure it stung them, as it would be if you lost twice to any side,” Monk said. “You use it as motivation, I can think of a number of times where I have done that as a player and a manager against a side you may have lost to before. “You want to put it right and I am sure it will be part of their motivation. “We have to be ready for that but we can beat these teams. “We showed it against Chelsea we can compete against the bigger teams and really show what we can do. “We are at home, in front of our crowd and we need to make this a fortress, and if we are ready and focused we will give anyone a game here.” Swansea won both games 2-1 last season, spoiling Van Gaal’s first game at the United helm before repeating the scoreline at the Liberty Stadium in February. Yet despite those results and United struggling to recapture the glory days they enjoyed for so long under Sir Alex Ferguson, Monk feels the 20-times English champions remain special opposition. Swansea manager Garry Monk admits revenge will be high on Manchester United’s agenda at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday. Monk masterminded an amazing double over United last season as Swansea became the only opponents Louis van Gaal lost twice to in the Barclays Premier League during his first campaign at Old Trafford. And Monk accepts it is only human nature that Dutchman van Gaal, who will be in charge of United for the 50th time in South Wales, will be desperate to avenge those shock defeats.
The former Villa boss, sacked last month, insisted the club’s transfer committee discussed targets with owner Randy Lerner giving the green light to signings. Villa signed 12 first-team players in the summer but Sherwood won just once in the Barclays Premier League this season before he was axed after six straight defeats. He was replaced by Remi Garde last week and ex-Tottenham manager Sherwood felt his hands were tied during Villa’s summer dealings. “There was a committee, which I was part of – so I had a say in the players I wanted to bring into the football club,” he told Dubai-based TV station BeIN Sports. “We ended up signing 12 players, although there were a lot more players given to the committee than 12, and we ended up with what we ended up with. “I believe that those players in time will be good players for the football club, but when you bring in a lot of players from other countries that have not played and experienced the Premier League before, the competitive nature of it, it is going to take time. “I certainly had a say, but the final say? It was more of a combined collective decision and ultimately the man who puts his hand in his pocket is the one who has to make that decision. “Randy Lerner has spent an awful lot of his money at that football club for a long, long period of time.” Press Association Tim Sherwood has claimed he did not have the final say over transfers at Aston Villa.