Hughton hopes hammering hits home

first_img “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 Associationlast_img read more

Tyus Battle keeps Syracuse within striking distance of Duke in 69-65 loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 24, 2018 at 3:58 am Contact Charlie: | @charliedisturco OMAHA, Neb. — Seven seconds remained on the clock as Tyus Battle stepped to the free-throw line. The Orange trailed by three, its season quickly falling out of reach.In that moment, Battle had an opportunity to pull the Orange within one against conference rival and brute Duke. The sophomore had kept SU within striking distance all game on the back of his 3-point shooting and passing. Now, here he was, possibly taking his last pair of free throws in an Orange uniform.Battle released his first free throw. It bounced off the rim and to the floor. He dropped his head, knowing the game was over. Though he made the second free throw, Duke would extend its lead to two possessions on the following play. And six seconds later, the buzzer sounded as No. 11 seed Syracuse’s (23-14, 8-10)  run came to an end against No. 2 seed Duke (29-7, 13-5), 69-65, on Friday night at CenturyLink Stadium. When SU had trailed by seven at the half, the margin was single digits because of Battle. And as the comeback ensued, it was Battle again.“Battle is one of the best players in the country,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “And I thought he really kept them in the game in the first half. And he’s poised. He’s a big-time player.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerAll season long, Battle has been the leader on a Syracuse team that’s had a turbulent season, one that led to the Orange being the last team in. He’s played 39 or more minutes in all but two games since December and has taken the bulk of the shots, especially down the wire. Just last game, he scored 16 second-half points and had the step back jumper and a pair of free throws to lift the Orange to a 55-53 upset over No. 3 seed Michigan State. But in the two games prior to Duke, Battle struggled to heat up in the first half. He shot a combined 1-for-11 before using a strong second half to lead SU in back-to-back upsets. That changed Friday night.Two minutes in, Frank Howard caught a pass in the high post. He quickly found Battle who drilled the 3. In the previous 40 first-half minutes, he had just three points. All it took was one shot to tie that skid.Over the next 18 minutes, Battle added two more 3s, a floater and found Paschal Chukwu for an alley-oop over Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr. Unlike the last two games, Battle said he was releasing the ball higher, which resulted in a better shooting performance — 50 percent from the field. He also credited freshman Marek Dolezaj, whose screens helped open up enough room for a pair of 3s. It was a much-needed performance for Battle, especially with his two main counterparts, Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett, struggling. The two combined for four points on 1-of-12 shooting and four turnovers. “That’s our main scorer on the team. We want him to take those shots and get over our offensive slumps,” Brissett said. “… Today he was hot so we just kept on giving him the ball, kept on letting him do his thing.”Battle’s success carried over into the second half. On one play, he spun between a collapsing Trevon Duval and Marvin Bagley III before letting off a floater that went over the outstretched arms of Carter Jr. The ball swished through the net as the referees blew their whistle to call a foul.Though he only scored eight points in that half, he distributed the ball into the paint often. Battle continuously worked the ball to Dolezaj who consistently made turnaround jumpers. As the final buzzer sounded, Battle hunched over. His team-high 19 points and five assists helped Syracuse keep the game within one possession until the final seconds. But he couldn’t lift SU over Duke like he had over the previous three opponents. After the initial press conference, Battle walked into the locker room and was swarmed by reporters. A few questions were asked before one reporter brought up Battle’s plans for the future. The sophomore’s stock had jumped since the Tournament’s start and he had been featured in mock drafts.Battle shook his head and said he has yet to consider it. But he wouldn’t confirm that he’d return, like his teammate Brissett had. “I don’t even know,” he said. “It’s so early to even decide what I’m gonna do.”At least for now, Battle is still Syracuse’s leader. The one that has carried the team through the highest highs like upsetting Michigan State, and the lowest low like losing to a Matt Farrell-and Bonzie Colson-less Notre Dame team. He’s one of the main reasons Syracuse got this far. And a big factor in why Orange had a chance to upset the Blue Devils. But the magic had run out. Commentslast_img read more

Shorunmu Throws His Weight Behind Uzoho As Eagles No. 1

first_imgFormer Super Eagles goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu has thrown his support behind Francis Uzoho as Nigeria’s number one at next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper Uzoho won a lot of plaudits for his performance as an halftime substitute during Nigeria’s 4-2 win over Argentina earlier this month.In his words via Punch, the former Eagles goalkeeper trainer said: “With what I saw him do against Argentina, I believe Uzoho is good enough to be Eagles number one at the World Cup if the coaches find him fit for the role.”“As a former keeper, I saw the qualities of a good keeper in him. He has a good command of his area and communicates well with his defenders. He also positioned himself well so that he could make some good saves. He is a young keeper and has many more years ahead of him, so he will learn with more matches and improve as he gets the playing time.”On the calls for the return of Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, Shorunmu said the former Enyimba man should be allowed to make a decision on the matter.The former 3SC goalkeeper said: “Enyeama should be allowed to make a public decision on his intention to either return to the Eagles, where he left of his own will, or to remain out of it. The team have been on a good run in his absence so, if he stays out, it will not affect their performance.“If he is forced by the coaches and fans to return to the team – against his own free will – it may spell doom for the team. The keepers in the team are battling to do well and I believe they will get better with more matches before the World Cup.” he concluded.RelatedUzoho Admits Okoye Fears, Dismisses Akpeyi, Ezenwa Challenge (AUDIO)August 8, 2020In “Featured”Current Eagles Goalkeepers Are Good Enough – DosuApril 4, 2018In “National Team””I’m No Age Cheat” – Francis Uzoho Fires Back At CriticsMay 4, 2020In “Featured”last_img read more