Sheffield United

Sheffield United slideshow

Harry Maguire says England are ready for the physical battle of facing Panama and will draw on his bruising experience of playing in League One if he has to. The central defender has also highlighted the importance of set-pieces at this World Cup, with England having scored both their opening Group G fixture against Tunisia from corners, and half of all the goals so far in the tournament coming from dead-ball situations. “Against Tunisia we knew they would be quite aggressive in their pressing around the box and we knew we would draw quite a lot of fouls from them,” Maguire explained. “Panama will be the same. Against Belgium, they were also quite aggressive around the box. I am sure we will get quite a few free-kicks and hopefully put dangerous balls into the box. “They are a big part of the World Cup. You see teams sat back, 11-men behind the ball and the main weapon you have to get that opening goal especially is from set-plays. Obviously, we would like to do it in other ways as well and create numerous chances like we did in the first-half against Tunisia. But if it is a set-play, we will take a set-play. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game “It’s a big weapon , If you look at the goals scored at the start of the tournament, it is incredible really. Over 50 per cent of the goals have been from set-plays.” In fact Harry Kane’s first goal against Tunisia - with Maguire then setting up the injury-time winner - was the first time England had scored from a corner in 73 attempts and was testimony to the hard work they have done on the training ground and the importance of having someone such as the Leicester City defender in the team. Gareth Southgate has already spoken about the different route the 25-year-old has taken into the England team from starting his career in League One with Sheffield United. “I grew up playing in lots of physical battles against lots of players,” he said. “And the Premier League is a physical league if you want to compare it to other leagues...if they (Panama) want to be physical we will be well-prepared for it.” At the same time Maguire acknowledged the need to stay disciplined against the lowest-ranked nation in the group who frustrated Belgium for 47 minutes before eventually losing 3-0 with a superb strike from Dries Mertens breaking the deadlock. “They might want to frustrate us, make people angry, but we've got to keep our cool and keep calm,” Maguire said ahead of Sunday's encounter in Nizhny Novgorod. “If they are continuously fouling us we can't react in a bad way.” The manner in which England beat Tunisia, not losing their cool after being pegged back, should stand them in good stead. “We showed great resilience,” Maguire said. “In previous tournaments we have found it tough to get over the line....We’ve got to take great belief from the performance. “You watch the World Cup games. You could turn a big team on and I have not seen a team create as many clear-cut chances as we created in that game.” Maguire said that Kane “was the perfect example” of remaining calm despite being grappled to the ground on several occasions. “At every corner he seemed to be getting grabbed and wrestled but he's got away from his man twice, stuck two in the back of the net and won us the game,” Maguire said. “If we can all react like that it would be a perfect scenario. We're fully prepared for a battle on Sunday. They're going to want it physical but we're more than capable of adapting to that.” One threat posed by Panama, who are direct and counter-attacking and also seasoned, is the booming long throw - from defender Adolfo Machado - the danger of which England need no reminder after their horrific exit to Iceland at Euro 2016. “It got brought up today in training about the long throw in terms of what threat they have got with it,” Maguire said. “Against Iceland, we didn’t look the best equipped to deal with it. But I have played against it numerous times and there are ways you can deal with it and the staff here will, as they have done throughout the tournament, study really hard and definitely come up with the best solution. "Hopefully, on the day, it is down to the players to execute that plan, stick their head on the ball and clear it out of the box. That is the main thing.”
Harry Maguire: England are ready for physical battle against Panama
Harry Maguire says England are ready for the physical battle of facing Panama and will draw on his bruising experience of playing in League One if he has to. The central defender has also highlighted the importance of set-pieces at this World Cup, with England having scored both their opening Group G fixture against Tunisia from corners, and half of all the goals so far in the tournament coming from dead-ball situations. “Against Tunisia we knew they would be quite aggressive in their pressing around the box and we knew we would draw quite a lot of fouls from them,” Maguire explained. “Panama will be the same. Against Belgium, they were also quite aggressive around the box. I am sure we will get quite a few free-kicks and hopefully put dangerous balls into the box. “They are a big part of the World Cup. You see teams sat back, 11-men behind the ball and the main weapon you have to get that opening goal especially is from set-plays. Obviously, we would like to do it in other ways as well and create numerous chances like we did in the first-half against Tunisia. But if it is a set-play, we will take a set-play. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game “It’s a big weapon , If you look at the goals scored at the start of the tournament, it is incredible really. Over 50 per cent of the goals have been from set-plays.” In fact Harry Kane’s first goal against Tunisia - with Maguire then setting up the injury-time winner - was the first time England had scored from a corner in 73 attempts and was testimony to the hard work they have done on the training ground and the importance of having someone such as the Leicester City defender in the team. Gareth Southgate has already spoken about the different route the 25-year-old has taken into the England team from starting his career in League One with Sheffield United. “I grew up playing in lots of physical battles against lots of players,” he said. “And the Premier League is a physical league if you want to compare it to other leagues...if they (Panama) want to be physical we will be well-prepared for it.” At the same time Maguire acknowledged the need to stay disciplined against the lowest-ranked nation in the group who frustrated Belgium for 47 minutes before eventually losing 3-0 with a superb strike from Dries Mertens breaking the deadlock. “They might want to frustrate us, make people angry, but we've got to keep our cool and keep calm,” Maguire said ahead of Sunday's encounter in Nizhny Novgorod. “If they are continuously fouling us we can't react in a bad way.” The manner in which England beat Tunisia, not losing their cool after being pegged back, should stand them in good stead. “We showed great resilience,” Maguire said. “In previous tournaments we have found it tough to get over the line....We’ve got to take great belief from the performance. “You watch the World Cup games. You could turn a big team on and I have not seen a team create as many clear-cut chances as we created in that game.” Maguire said that Kane “was the perfect example” of remaining calm despite being grappled to the ground on several occasions. “At every corner he seemed to be getting grabbed and wrestled but he's got away from his man twice, stuck two in the back of the net and won us the game,” Maguire said. “If we can all react like that it would be a perfect scenario. We're fully prepared for a battle on Sunday. They're going to want it physical but we're more than capable of adapting to that.” One threat posed by Panama, who are direct and counter-attacking and also seasoned, is the booming long throw - from defender Adolfo Machado - the danger of which England need no reminder after their horrific exit to Iceland at Euro 2016. “It got brought up today in training about the long throw in terms of what threat they have got with it,” Maguire said. “Against Iceland, we didn’t look the best equipped to deal with it. But I have played against it numerous times and there are ways you can deal with it and the staff here will, as they have done throughout the tournament, study really hard and definitely come up with the best solution. "Hopefully, on the day, it is down to the players to execute that plan, stick their head on the ball and clear it out of the box. That is the main thing.”
Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
Football League fixtures 2018/19: Frank Lampard starts Championship campaign as Derby manager against Reading
Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
Football League fixtures 2018/19: Frank Lampard starts Championship campaign as Derby manager against Reading
Frank Lampard's first competitive game as Derby manager will kick-off the Championship campaign. Former England midfielder Lampard, who took over as boss of the Rams three weeks ago, takes his team to Reading on Friday, August 3. Derby also figured in the opening game of the 2017-18 campaign, drawing 1-1 at Sunderland. They went on to finish sixth but lost out to promoted Fulham in the play-offs, with Gary Rowett since leaving to join Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League. The opening round of Championship matches, revealed by the EFL on Thursday morning, will be spread over four days. There is an intriguing contest at Elland Road on Sunday, August 5, with Leeds hosting Stoke in what will represent the first competitive match with their new clubs for respective managers Marcelo Bielsa and Rowett. Marcelo Bielsa is the new Leeds coach Credit: afp Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa side - beaten play-off finalists last month - to former club Hull on Monday, August 6, with the remaining nine Championship games taking place on the Saturday. Relegated West Brom, who confirmed Darren Moore as their permanent boss following an impressive stint as caretaker, open at home to Bolton while Graham Potter's Swansea - the other team bidding for an instant top flight return - have an evening game at Sheffield United. Of the promoted trio, League One champions Wigan start at home to Sheffield Wednesday, runners-up Blackburn are at Ipswich and play-off winners Rotherham go to Brentford. Elsewhere, Birmingham host Norwich, Middlesbrough are at Millwall, Bristol City face Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate and Preston welcome QPR. There is deja vu among the final round of fixtures. Bolton ensured survival last month with a final-day home win over Nottingham Forest and the two teams meet again in their final game of next season, albeit at Forest. Lampard's Rams host West Brom in the most eye-catching May 5 fixture. Stoke finish at home to Sheffield United and Swansea are at Blackburn. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article In League One, Joey Barton starts his management career at Fleetwood with a home match against AFC Wimbledon. Sunderland, playing in the third tier of English football for only the second time after finishing bottom of last season's Championship, open with a home match against Charlton at 1230 on August 4. There are home games too for the other relegated sides, with Barnsley hosting Oxford and Burton taking on Rochdale. League Two champions Accrington open at home to Gillingham, Wycombe face Blackpool and play-off winners Coventry tackle Scunthorpe, with the other team to move up - Luton - away to Portsmouth. Beaten play-off finalists Shrewsbury - now under the leadership of John Askey - start at home to Bradford, Peterborough face Bristol Rovers, Southend host Doncaster and Plymouth go to Walsall. Macclesfield and Tranmere, back in the EFL after promotion last season, both start their League Two campaigns away from home. test - do not delete National League champions Macclesfield, with Mark Yates now at the helm following Askey's departure, open at Swindon. Tranmere - Wembley conquerors of Boreham Wood - begin at Stevenage. Bury, Northampton and Oldham all start with home games as they bid for an instant return to League One, with Yeovil, Lincoln and MK Dons - the other relegated team - the respective opponents. Carlisle have a near 700-mile round trip to beaten play-off finalists Exeter on the opening day, Notts County host Colchester and Mansfield are at home to Newport. Grimsby begin at home to Forest Green, Cheltenham host Crawley, Cambridge travel to Port Vale and Morecambe are at Crewe.
There was a time when Harry Maguire felt like one of those well-kept secrets in football, first at Sheffield United and then Hull City, the sort of player you could not help noticing as he carried the ball out of defence twice as far as might be expected for a big English centre-half. Come injury-time at close to 11pm in Volgograd on Monday he went up for yet another corner fully expecting to be wrestled, tugged and shoved into submission although this one was different. He got a connection on the ball, and Tunisian heads swivelled to see its destination - straight to the other Harry, the man who never misses. Once Kane had dispatched the second header in succession it was really was all over. Maguire is no longer just that defender who comes barrelling out of defence with the ball at his feet and the opposition backing off - which is to say that he still does all that, but there is a lot more to him too. He is an international defender now who is proving his value in a World Cup finals, just two years after he won promotion to the Premier League with Hull City in the same summer that England went out of Euro 2016 with a whimper. Maguire is the last addition to this 2018 team, a man who would probably have been sat on the bench swatting away the midges with the rest of the squad if Joe Gomez had not broken down with a season-ending injury after ten minutes against Holland in Amsterdam in March. Maguire came on then and played the only 79 minutes of his England career in a three-man back-line with John Stones and Kyle Walker before this Monday - the trio Gareth Southgate has now adopted as his first choice. The 25-year-old’s selection is emblematic of the risk-taking that is at the heart of the Southgate project. So much of this England team has been put together at short notice - a manager appointed after a scandal, a new formation only adopted after qualification was secured, and a defence thrown together at the last minute. If England were something of a half-packed suitcase and a dash to the airport then performances like this, of players like Maguire, was the reward. Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men Anyone who watched his early years, and his first steps in the Premier League, could not fail to be intrigued at how he stood out - powerful in the air in the old way of English centre-halves but also confident with his feet. Like Stones and Walker, Maguire does not play in a three-man defence at club level but he went with it, embraced the challenge magnificently, and even without the reassurance of a full-back outside him kept on carrying the ball forward. “I think his potential is huge,” Southgate said later of his Leicester City centre-back. “He’s probably the one player – him and [Jordan] Pickford – who hasn’t played in cup finals or on big stage in Champions League games. Maybe it was more a voyage of discovery for him than some of the others. He has great composure and defensive qualities. Most things land on his bonce in both penalty areas. I hope tonight gives him a lot of belief.” Of everything Southgate has done with this England team - encouraging them to take risks, to ignore the usual fears and hang-ups - his autumn change to a 3-5-2 formation once qualification was over was the fundamental to the whole plan. It was late but he felt it was the right thing to do and the idea was never going to be fully formed in time for June 18 - the question being just what parts of it would work best. This was the England of 2018, a young and fluid team trying out a new way of working that pinched a little here and gaped a little there with the overwhelming sense that they had better start running before they had the chance to see what walking felt like. It was not a night when the team was likely to be tested defensively, but still, Southgate had set his defence up this way in order that his team might attack better. Of the three newly-acquainted defenders at the back Maguire is the least experienced and yet as this game went on his influence spiked. First there was Stones’ corking header that forced the save from Mouez Hassen that presented the ball at Kane’s feet for his first goal. Then there was the penalty which Walker conceded, an unthinking flailing arm into the face of Fakhreddine Ben Youssef on 33 minutes. Finally there was Maguire’s decisive header from Kieran Trippier’s header to direct the ball to the matchwinner Kane. If England had taken all their first half chances that had come their way, then Walker’s misjudgement would scarcely have mattered but there were always likely to be mistakes. As Tunisia tired in the second half, so Maguire could embark on some of those famous runs deep into opposition territory, before finally he got a connection from a corner, and whatever risks Southgate had taken had proved well worth it.
Harry Maguire's selection for England against Tunisia emblematic of Gareth Southgate's risk-taking project
There was a time when Harry Maguire felt like one of those well-kept secrets in football, first at Sheffield United and then Hull City, the sort of player you could not help noticing as he carried the ball out of defence twice as far as might be expected for a big English centre-half. Come injury-time at close to 11pm in Volgograd on Monday he went up for yet another corner fully expecting to be wrestled, tugged and shoved into submission although this one was different. He got a connection on the ball, and Tunisian heads swivelled to see its destination - straight to the other Harry, the man who never misses. Once Kane had dispatched the second header in succession it was really was all over. Maguire is no longer just that defender who comes barrelling out of defence with the ball at his feet and the opposition backing off - which is to say that he still does all that, but there is a lot more to him too. He is an international defender now who is proving his value in a World Cup finals, just two years after he won promotion to the Premier League with Hull City in the same summer that England went out of Euro 2016 with a whimper. Maguire is the last addition to this 2018 team, a man who would probably have been sat on the bench swatting away the midges with the rest of the squad if Joe Gomez had not broken down with a season-ending injury after ten minutes against Holland in Amsterdam in March. Maguire came on then and played the only 79 minutes of his England career in a three-man back-line with John Stones and Kyle Walker before this Monday - the trio Gareth Southgate has now adopted as his first choice. The 25-year-old’s selection is emblematic of the risk-taking that is at the heart of the Southgate project. So much of this England team has been put together at short notice - a manager appointed after a scandal, a new formation only adopted after qualification was secured, and a defence thrown together at the last minute. If England were something of a half-packed suitcase and a dash to the airport then performances like this, of players like Maguire, was the reward. Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men Anyone who watched his early years, and his first steps in the Premier League, could not fail to be intrigued at how he stood out - powerful in the air in the old way of English centre-halves but also confident with his feet. Like Stones and Walker, Maguire does not play in a three-man defence at club level but he went with it, embraced the challenge magnificently, and even without the reassurance of a full-back outside him kept on carrying the ball forward. “I think his potential is huge,” Southgate said later of his Leicester City centre-back. “He’s probably the one player – him and [Jordan] Pickford – who hasn’t played in cup finals or on big stage in Champions League games. Maybe it was more a voyage of discovery for him than some of the others. He has great composure and defensive qualities. Most things land on his bonce in both penalty areas. I hope tonight gives him a lot of belief.” Of everything Southgate has done with this England team - encouraging them to take risks, to ignore the usual fears and hang-ups - his autumn change to a 3-5-2 formation once qualification was over was the fundamental to the whole plan. It was late but he felt it was the right thing to do and the idea was never going to be fully formed in time for June 18 - the question being just what parts of it would work best. This was the England of 2018, a young and fluid team trying out a new way of working that pinched a little here and gaped a little there with the overwhelming sense that they had better start running before they had the chance to see what walking felt like. It was not a night when the team was likely to be tested defensively, but still, Southgate had set his defence up this way in order that his team might attack better. Of the three newly-acquainted defenders at the back Maguire is the least experienced and yet as this game went on his influence spiked. First there was Stones’ corking header that forced the save from Mouez Hassen that presented the ball at Kane’s feet for his first goal. Then there was the penalty which Walker conceded, an unthinking flailing arm into the face of Fakhreddine Ben Youssef on 33 minutes. Finally there was Maguire’s decisive header from Kieran Trippier’s header to direct the ball to the matchwinner Kane. If England had taken all their first half chances that had come their way, then Walker’s misjudgement would scarcely have mattered but there were always likely to be mistakes. As Tunisia tired in the second half, so Maguire could embark on some of those famous runs deep into opposition territory, before finally he got a connection from a corner, and whatever risks Southgate had taken had proved well worth it.
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Portugal coach Fernando Santos on how English pioneer shaped his ideas
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Portugal coach Fernando Santos on how English pioneer shaped his ideas
Few would associate Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, or their prospects at this World Cup, with a former Sheffield United inside-forward from County Durham who played a part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp towards the end of the Second World War. Yet for all the onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s hopes of prevailing in Russia are underpinned by a work ethic and spirit instilled by their coach Fernando Santos and derived from a man whose name, even now, will be lost on many in England. Jimmy Hagan won one cap for England in 1948, 16 more for the wartime team that were not officially recognised and went on to manage Peterborough United and West Bromwich Albion after an illustrious 20-year playing career for Sheffield United, which was commemorated with a statue at Bramall Lane in 2001, three years after his death aged 80. But it was a move to Portugal to manage Benfica in 1970 that would change not only his life but that of an unsuspecting Santos, a youth team player at the club at the time. “He was a father figure, the first coach I had and I think he was one of the first coaches anywhere in the world to work on physical condition, tactics and technique all the same time in one single training session,” Santos told The Daily Telegraph ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Spain in Sochi this evening. “This was revolutionary at that time and really impressed me. I had a strong connection with him because he emphasised a way of life – the demands of training and the need to work.” Jimmy Hagan was a father figure to Fernando Santos Credit: Rex The job had come out of the blue. Benfica had reached a crossroads two years after losing to Manchester United in the European Cup final. Too many players were in a comfort zone and, although Eusebio was still a driving force, the club wanted someone who could shake things up. Hagan had not worked for three years after being sacked by West Brom. “The former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom called him up and said, ‘Benfica have asked for a recommendation and you fit the bill, are you interested?’” Hagan’s son, David, 71, recalled. “It went from there.” They would prove the perfect marriage. Benfica won the title in each of Hagan’s three seasons in charge and went unbeaten in his final league campaign. The changes he made were sweeping and resonated across Portugal. “There was a habit at Benfica of separating the training exercises according to the status of the players,” Santos said. “Jimmy scratched that tradition and had all the players doing exactly the same things, showing that everyone could have a fair chance to play if they showed quality and worked hard. I kept that as a one of my principles when I became a coach.” A rather grizzled looking 63-year-old these days, many of Santos’ core values – commitment, courage, self-sacrifice, traits evident in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and which he expects to see in Russia – stem from watching Hagan at work. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game At West Brom, Don Howe, who would go on to manage Arsenal, had once led a players’ strike after Hagan ordered them to train in shorts in the winter snow. But as uncompromising as Hagan could be – it was his principled stubbornness that ultimately cost him the Benfica job – Santos also paints a very human picture. As a soldier, Hagan had been deeply affected by what he witnessed at Bergen-Belsen, where almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 50,000 other inmates died. Portugal World Cup tactics Santos was playing for Estoril when Hagan arrived as coach in 1981, the sixth and final club he managed in Portugal after stints at Sporting Lisbon, Boavista, Vitoria Setubal and Belenenses. “He was relentless in getting the best out of players and his training sessions were very intense but at the same time he did things that touched everyone profoundly,” Santos explained. “For example, in Estoril, right after the democratic revolution in Portugal, the unstable political situation led to the freezing of the club president’s bank accounts so the players were not being paid for quite a while. “Jimmy was known for being an austere man but, one day, he came to the dressing room with a suitcase full of money and paid the players. Also, when he realised that the club could only afford to have one masseur, he ended up massaging the players himself. That kind of attitude was incredible for us. The players would give everything for him.” Portugal vs Spain, World Cup 2018 | How long until kick-off? Hagan was also working for Estoril for free. “He had a lawsuit pending against Benfica for unfair dismissal and didn’t want to jeopardise that so he coached free of charge,” his son, David, said. “The club was walking distance from where he lived and he used to go down to the casino with my mum, Iris. Two of the lads on the door used to play for them so they said, ‘Why don’t come you down and train us?’ That’s how the attachment to Estoril began.” Hagan ended up dropping the lawsuit against Benfica, which he had launched after he was sacked for dropping several seniors for Eusebio’s testimonial, amid concerns they were holding back in training in preparation for a European Cup semi-final against Ajax the next week. The club’s owner had tried to talk him out of it but Hagan would not back down. “Matters of principle were absolutely paramount to my dad,” David said. Pick your Portugal XI for World Cup 2018 They are to Santos, too. “I’ve never met Fernando but my sister Jackie has and the last time we were there together she tried to track him down,” David added. Hagan may be an unfamiliar name to many in England but not Portugal. It was Eusebio who unveiled Hagan’s statue at Bramall Lane. “He’s an absolute legend there. Every time I go someone looks at my name and says, ‘Not Jimmy Hagan?’” David explains. “I went into a ceramic shop once and left with this massive plate which must have been worth a bit just as a token of thanks.” If Santos’s Portugal triumph in Russia, the coach will be the first to acknowledge the debt of gratitude the country owes Hagan. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The picture could have been of any group of eight lads among the thousands of England fans at Euro 2016, but look carefully and the unassuming face at the back is that of the man who is hoping to start his country’s first World Cup game in Russia. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne for England’s game against Slovakia and soak up the atmosphere of a major tournament from the fans’ perspective. It is just another demonstration of how far Maguire has come in such a short amount of time that he was able to go largely unnoticed as he sat among the England supporters and sang along with their chants. Two years on and Maguire is aiming to line up alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker in England’s back three for the first Group G game against Tunisia next Monday, and his mates will once again be in the stands with the flag he was carrying. Should he ever lose his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad in the future, then Maguire insists he will travel with the fans to another major tournament. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne Credit: Instagram Recalling his Euro 2016 trip, following promotion to the Premier League with Hull City, Maguire said: “My friends were out there, they actually went out there for a couple of games. I had a few days spare in the summer so I thought there’s nothing better than to go out there, see the atmosphere, it was a great few days. See the passion of the fans. It was a great experience and one I’d definitely do again. “It went pretty smoothly to be honest. Thankfully, the person who organised it was pretty good. We went to Paris for a couple of nights and we stayed where the game was (Saint Etienne) a couple of nights, it wasn’t anything plush and posh. It was what the England fans do. “I can’t remember my rooms. I know the lads did it really cheap, I just jumped on it at the end. I just jumped in their hotels. It definitely wasn’t an expensive trip. England Formation Builder “There were a few who recognised me. Mainly Hull fans or Sheffield United fans. Not really too many to put me off going, though. It was nice to interact and be part of it and mingle in with the fans without getting too much recognition. “I really was over there acting like a fan. Chanting away and enjoying myself with my mates. It was a great time. A great experience. Probably I’ll be doing again in the future. I’m sure I’ll be over there one time with my mates whether it’s in a near future or further away.” All of Maguire’s family and close friends are heading to Russia, and the 25-year-old had first-hand experience of the effort and expense involved in following England. World Cup whatsapp promo “It’s a trip that costs a lot of money,” he said. “It’s good to know I’ve experienced it, I’ve seen the passion the fans show. I know what it means to everyone. We’re going to go there and try to give it everything we can to be a success. “You do see it from a different side once you’re involved. I was playing at Hull in the Championship. I was a fan. I was watching games, been to one, watching games round at people’s houses. I was a fan, I still am a fan and if I wasn’t selected to be in the England squad this time I’d be there, I’d be a fan, I’d be watching it on TV, gearing up for games, still getting nervous for games. I’m passionate about England, I’ve always been growing up, now I’m looking forward to the tournament.” Asked what his mates who were with him in France thought of his selection for England’s World Cup squad, Maguire said: “I’m sure they think it’s as surreal as what it is to me when I first found out. It’s a great occasion for myself. They’ll go there as big fans and supporting myself as well. They’ve still got the flags and I’m sure they will be taking them to Russia.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Harry Maguire hoping to take centre stage for England after watching from the stands as fan at Euro 2016
The picture could have been of any group of eight lads among the thousands of England fans at Euro 2016, but look carefully and the unassuming face at the back is that of the man who is hoping to start his country’s first World Cup game in Russia. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne for England’s game against Slovakia and soak up the atmosphere of a major tournament from the fans’ perspective. It is just another demonstration of how far Maguire has come in such a short amount of time that he was able to go largely unnoticed as he sat among the England supporters and sang along with their chants. Two years on and Maguire is aiming to line up alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker in England’s back three for the first Group G game against Tunisia next Monday, and his mates will once again be in the stands with the flag he was carrying. Should he ever lose his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad in the future, then Maguire insists he will travel with the fans to another major tournament. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne Credit: Instagram Recalling his Euro 2016 trip, following promotion to the Premier League with Hull City, Maguire said: “My friends were out there, they actually went out there for a couple of games. I had a few days spare in the summer so I thought there’s nothing better than to go out there, see the atmosphere, it was a great few days. See the passion of the fans. It was a great experience and one I’d definitely do again. “It went pretty smoothly to be honest. Thankfully, the person who organised it was pretty good. We went to Paris for a couple of nights and we stayed where the game was (Saint Etienne) a couple of nights, it wasn’t anything plush and posh. It was what the England fans do. “I can’t remember my rooms. I know the lads did it really cheap, I just jumped on it at the end. I just jumped in their hotels. It definitely wasn’t an expensive trip. England Formation Builder “There were a few who recognised me. Mainly Hull fans or Sheffield United fans. Not really too many to put me off going, though. It was nice to interact and be part of it and mingle in with the fans without getting too much recognition. “I really was over there acting like a fan. Chanting away and enjoying myself with my mates. It was a great time. A great experience. Probably I’ll be doing again in the future. I’m sure I’ll be over there one time with my mates whether it’s in a near future or further away.” All of Maguire’s family and close friends are heading to Russia, and the 25-year-old had first-hand experience of the effort and expense involved in following England. World Cup whatsapp promo “It’s a trip that costs a lot of money,” he said. “It’s good to know I’ve experienced it, I’ve seen the passion the fans show. I know what it means to everyone. We’re going to go there and try to give it everything we can to be a success. “You do see it from a different side once you’re involved. I was playing at Hull in the Championship. I was a fan. I was watching games, been to one, watching games round at people’s houses. I was a fan, I still am a fan and if I wasn’t selected to be in the England squad this time I’d be there, I’d be a fan, I’d be watching it on TV, gearing up for games, still getting nervous for games. I’m passionate about England, I’ve always been growing up, now I’m looking forward to the tournament.” Asked what his mates who were with him in France thought of his selection for England’s World Cup squad, Maguire said: “I’m sure they think it’s as surreal as what it is to me when I first found out. It’s a great occasion for myself. They’ll go there as big fans and supporting myself as well. They’ve still got the flags and I’m sure they will be taking them to Russia.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The picture could have been of any group of eight lads among the thousands of England fans at Euro 2016, but look carefully and the unassuming face at the back is that of the man who is hoping to start his country’s first World Cup game in Russia. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne for England’s game against Slovakia and soak up the atmosphere of a major tournament from the fans’ perspective. It is just another demonstration of how far Maguire has come in such a short amount of time that he was able to go largely unnoticed as he sat among the England supporters and sang along with their chants. Two years on and Maguire is aiming to line up alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker in England’s back three for the first Group G game against Tunisia next Monday, and his mates will once again be in the stands with the flag he was carrying. Should he ever lose his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad in the future, then Maguire insists he will travel with the fans to another major tournament. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne Credit: Instagram Recalling his Euro 2016 trip, following promotion to the Premier League with Hull City, Maguire said: “My friends were out there, they actually went out there for a couple of games. I had a few days spare in the summer so I thought there’s nothing better than to go out there, see the atmosphere, it was a great few days. See the passion of the fans. It was a great experience and one I’d definitely do again. “It went pretty smoothly to be honest. Thankfully, the person who organised it was pretty good. We went to Paris for a couple of nights and we stayed where the game was (Saint Etienne) a couple of nights, it wasn’t anything plush and posh. It was what the England fans do. “I can’t remember my rooms. I know the lads did it really cheap, I just jumped on it at the end. I just jumped in their hotels. It definitely wasn’t an expensive trip. England Formation Builder “There were a few who recognised me. Mainly Hull fans or Sheffield United fans. Not really too many to put me off going, though. It was nice to interact and be part of it and mingle in with the fans without getting too much recognition. “I really was over there acting like a fan. Chanting away and enjoying myself with my mates. It was a great time. A great experience. Probably I’ll be doing again in the future. I’m sure I’ll be over there one time with my mates whether it’s in a near future or further away.” All of Maguire’s family and close friends are heading to Russia, and the 25-year-old had first-hand experience of the effort and expense involved in following England. World Cup whatsapp promo “It’s a trip that costs a lot of money,” he said. “It’s good to know I’ve experienced it, I’ve seen the passion the fans show. I know what it means to everyone. We’re going to go there and try to give it everything we can to be a success. “You do see it from a different side once you’re involved. I was playing at Hull in the Championship. I was a fan. I was watching games, been to one, watching games round at people’s houses. I was a fan, I still am a fan and if I wasn’t selected to be in the England squad this time I’d be there, I’d be a fan, I’d be watching it on TV, gearing up for games, still getting nervous for games. I’m passionate about England, I’ve always been growing up, now I’m looking forward to the tournament.” Asked what his mates who were with him in France thought of his selection for England’s World Cup squad, Maguire said: “I’m sure they think it’s as surreal as what it is to me when I first found out. It’s a great occasion for myself. They’ll go there as big fans and supporting myself as well. They’ve still got the flags and I’m sure they will be taking them to Russia.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Harry Maguire hoping to take centre stage for England after watching from the stands as fan at Euro 2016
The picture could have been of any group of eight lads among the thousands of England fans at Euro 2016, but look carefully and the unassuming face at the back is that of the man who is hoping to start his country’s first World Cup game in Russia. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne for England’s game against Slovakia and soak up the atmosphere of a major tournament from the fans’ perspective. It is just another demonstration of how far Maguire has come in such a short amount of time that he was able to go largely unnoticed as he sat among the England supporters and sang along with their chants. Two years on and Maguire is aiming to line up alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker in England’s back three for the first Group G game against Tunisia next Monday, and his mates will once again be in the stands with the flag he was carrying. Should he ever lose his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad in the future, then Maguire insists he will travel with the fans to another major tournament. Harry Maguire travelled to France to join his friends in Saint Etienne Credit: Instagram Recalling his Euro 2016 trip, following promotion to the Premier League with Hull City, Maguire said: “My friends were out there, they actually went out there for a couple of games. I had a few days spare in the summer so I thought there’s nothing better than to go out there, see the atmosphere, it was a great few days. See the passion of the fans. It was a great experience and one I’d definitely do again. “It went pretty smoothly to be honest. Thankfully, the person who organised it was pretty good. We went to Paris for a couple of nights and we stayed where the game was (Saint Etienne) a couple of nights, it wasn’t anything plush and posh. It was what the England fans do. “I can’t remember my rooms. I know the lads did it really cheap, I just jumped on it at the end. I just jumped in their hotels. It definitely wasn’t an expensive trip. England Formation Builder “There were a few who recognised me. Mainly Hull fans or Sheffield United fans. Not really too many to put me off going, though. It was nice to interact and be part of it and mingle in with the fans without getting too much recognition. “I really was over there acting like a fan. Chanting away and enjoying myself with my mates. It was a great time. A great experience. Probably I’ll be doing again in the future. I’m sure I’ll be over there one time with my mates whether it’s in a near future or further away.” All of Maguire’s family and close friends are heading to Russia, and the 25-year-old had first-hand experience of the effort and expense involved in following England. World Cup whatsapp promo “It’s a trip that costs a lot of money,” he said. “It’s good to know I’ve experienced it, I’ve seen the passion the fans show. I know what it means to everyone. We’re going to go there and try to give it everything we can to be a success. “You do see it from a different side once you’re involved. I was playing at Hull in the Championship. I was a fan. I was watching games, been to one, watching games round at people’s houses. I was a fan, I still am a fan and if I wasn’t selected to be in the England squad this time I’d be there, I’d be a fan, I’d be watching it on TV, gearing up for games, still getting nervous for games. I’m passionate about England, I’ve always been growing up, now I’m looking forward to the tournament.” Asked what his mates who were with him in France thought of his selection for England’s World Cup squad, Maguire said: “I’m sure they think it’s as surreal as what it is to me when I first found out. It’s a great occasion for myself. They’ll go there as big fans and supporting myself as well. They’ve still got the flags and I’m sure they will be taking them to Russia.” WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Manchester United have been awarded a place in the restructured Women’s Super League after launching their first professional female team, but there was anger in the North East after Sunderland were kicked out of the top two divisions. Former England defender, Casey Stoney, is expected to be confirmed as Manchester United women’s first manager, leaving her current role as assistant to former Red Devils defender Phil Neville with the national team in the next few days. Stoney played more than 100 times for England and is widely regarded as one of the brightest coaching prospects in the women’s game after being head-hunted by Neville when he became England manager in February. United, who will start in the second tier, have been heavily criticised in the past for failing to embrace the women’s game, even though they have run a successful academy which has produced several international players. The decision to apply for a place in the WSL was made by Manchester United’s Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward after watching Manchester City turn into one of the main players in the women’s game. How the divisions shape up for 2018/19 | Man Utd feature in the second tier City, along with Chelsea, who won the double last season, have been the dominant forces in women’s football in recent years, but United are determined to challenge their duopoly and will look to recruit some high-profile players over the summer with a competitive budget, thought to be in the region of £5m. “The board is delighted that the FA has approved the application,” Woodward told the club’s official website. “The new women’s team will build on the success of the Girls’ Regional Talent Club and have the same philosophy as all Manchester United sides, creating a pathway from academy to first team. “We will be making some exciting announcements in the coming days and weeks. Starting a professional team from scratch is challenging but rewarding and we will make every effort to provide the support and experience for the new women’s team to be successful and to uphold the fine traditions of our great club.” However, the creation of the new two tier Premier League structure has not been without controversy after Sunderland Ladies, who finished seventh in the top division last season, were denied a place in either of the two restructured leagues, despite applying to continue in the second tier. Sunderland’s place in the Premier League has been given to West Ham, who along with Brighton, are the new arrivals into the 11 team elite group. That means there will be no teams located north of Manchester in the Premier League next season, with just two, Durham Women and Doncaster Belles, in the Championship. “Sunderland have been offered a place in tier 3 and we are waiting to hear back from them as to whether they will be accepting that offer,” said Katie Brazier, the FA’s Head of Women’s Leagues and Competitions. “There are clubs who will be disappointed with the decisions that have been made and they have 14 days to appeal if they want to challenge it. “Sunderland were given the first opportunity, as an existing WSL1 club to apply for a place last year, but they were one of three clubs who declined to do so, which meant they no longer had preferred bidder status. “I think that was down to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the ownership of the club. They did subsequently apply in the open bidding process, but they were up against a number of other clubs who have a firm commitment, both in terms of investment and resources, to grow the women’s game. Unfortunately, there were stronger bids.” Casey Stoney is expected to take over as Manchester United Women's manager Credit: Getty Images Sources have told Telegraph Sport that Sunderland are likely to appeal before they decide whether to accept a place in the third division. The decision to reject Sunderland’s application for a place in the tier two looks even stranger when Yeovil, who finished bottom, scoring just two goals, will remain in the elite group after raising £350,000 last year to stand on a firm financial footing. Economic security has played a big part in the FA’s decision-making process and is also believed to have been the reason why Brighton were named in the top division ahead of Doncaster Belles, even though the Yorkshire club finished above them last season. Crystal Palace, who had also applied for a place in the expanded, two division set up, are also likely to appeal, although it is Sunderland who appear to have the best chances of success. Seven of Neville’s Lionesses, including star player Lucy Bronze and captain Steph Houghton, began their careers at Sunderland, but they have been in trouble since ties were severed with the men’s club. They are no longer allowed to train at the Academy of Light and were forced to play their home games at South Shields FC last season. Nevertheless, Sunderland had still hoped to at least secure a place in the Championship, which has grown from 10 to 12 sides, welcoming Sheffield United, who will compete with their already established city neighbours Sheffield FC. Other newcomers include Charlton, who beat Blackburn in Sunday’s third-tier promotion play-off final, Leicester City, Lewes, as well as Manchester United. Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s head of women’s football, said: “The revised competition structure will positively impact on the delivery of the women’s game across all levels, both on and off the pitch.”
Manchester United awarded place in the restructured Women’s Super League - but Sunderland's omission sparks anger
Manchester United have been awarded a place in the restructured Women’s Super League after launching their first professional female team, but there was anger in the North East after Sunderland were kicked out of the top two divisions. Former England defender, Casey Stoney, is expected to be confirmed as Manchester United women’s first manager, leaving her current role as assistant to former Red Devils defender Phil Neville with the national team in the next few days. Stoney played more than 100 times for England and is widely regarded as one of the brightest coaching prospects in the women’s game after being head-hunted by Neville when he became England manager in February. United, who will start in the second tier, have been heavily criticised in the past for failing to embrace the women’s game, even though they have run a successful academy which has produced several international players. The decision to apply for a place in the WSL was made by Manchester United’s Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward after watching Manchester City turn into one of the main players in the women’s game. How the divisions shape up for 2018/19 | Man Utd feature in the second tier City, along with Chelsea, who won the double last season, have been the dominant forces in women’s football in recent years, but United are determined to challenge their duopoly and will look to recruit some high-profile players over the summer with a competitive budget, thought to be in the region of £5m. “The board is delighted that the FA has approved the application,” Woodward told the club’s official website. “The new women’s team will build on the success of the Girls’ Regional Talent Club and have the same philosophy as all Manchester United sides, creating a pathway from academy to first team. “We will be making some exciting announcements in the coming days and weeks. Starting a professional team from scratch is challenging but rewarding and we will make every effort to provide the support and experience for the new women’s team to be successful and to uphold the fine traditions of our great club.” However, the creation of the new two tier Premier League structure has not been without controversy after Sunderland Ladies, who finished seventh in the top division last season, were denied a place in either of the two restructured leagues, despite applying to continue in the second tier. Sunderland’s place in the Premier League has been given to West Ham, who along with Brighton, are the new arrivals into the 11 team elite group. That means there will be no teams located north of Manchester in the Premier League next season, with just two, Durham Women and Doncaster Belles, in the Championship. “Sunderland have been offered a place in tier 3 and we are waiting to hear back from them as to whether they will be accepting that offer,” said Katie Brazier, the FA’s Head of Women’s Leagues and Competitions. “There are clubs who will be disappointed with the decisions that have been made and they have 14 days to appeal if they want to challenge it. “Sunderland were given the first opportunity, as an existing WSL1 club to apply for a place last year, but they were one of three clubs who declined to do so, which meant they no longer had preferred bidder status. “I think that was down to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the ownership of the club. They did subsequently apply in the open bidding process, but they were up against a number of other clubs who have a firm commitment, both in terms of investment and resources, to grow the women’s game. Unfortunately, there were stronger bids.” Casey Stoney is expected to take over as Manchester United Women's manager Credit: Getty Images Sources have told Telegraph Sport that Sunderland are likely to appeal before they decide whether to accept a place in the third division. The decision to reject Sunderland’s application for a place in the tier two looks even stranger when Yeovil, who finished bottom, scoring just two goals, will remain in the elite group after raising £350,000 last year to stand on a firm financial footing. Economic security has played a big part in the FA’s decision-making process and is also believed to have been the reason why Brighton were named in the top division ahead of Doncaster Belles, even though the Yorkshire club finished above them last season. Crystal Palace, who had also applied for a place in the expanded, two division set up, are also likely to appeal, although it is Sunderland who appear to have the best chances of success. Seven of Neville’s Lionesses, including star player Lucy Bronze and captain Steph Houghton, began their careers at Sunderland, but they have been in trouble since ties were severed with the men’s club. They are no longer allowed to train at the Academy of Light and were forced to play their home games at South Shields FC last season. Nevertheless, Sunderland had still hoped to at least secure a place in the Championship, which has grown from 10 to 12 sides, welcoming Sheffield United, who will compete with their already established city neighbours Sheffield FC. Other newcomers include Charlton, who beat Blackburn in Sunday’s third-tier promotion play-off final, Leicester City, Lewes, as well as Manchester United. Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s head of women’s football, said: “The revised competition structure will positively impact on the delivery of the women’s game across all levels, both on and off the pitch.”
Manchester United have been awarded a place in the restructured Women’s Super League after launching their first professional female team, but there was anger in the North East after Sunderland were kicked out of the top two divisions. Former England defender, Casey Stoney, is expected to be confirmed as Manchester United women’s first manager, leaving her current role as assistant to former Red Devils defender Phil Neville with the national team in the next few days. Stoney played more than 100 times for England and is widely regarded as one of the brightest coaching prospects in the women’s game after being head-hunted by Neville when he became England manager in February. United, who will start in the second tier, have been heavily criticised in the past for failing to embrace the women’s game, even though they have run a successful academy which has produced several international players. The decision to apply for a place in the WSL was made by Manchester United’s Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward after watching Manchester City turn into one of the main players in the women’s game. How the divisions shape up for 2018/19 | Man Utd feature in the second tier City, along with Chelsea, who won the double last season, have been the dominant forces in women’s football in recent years, but United are determined to challenge their duopoly and will look to recruit some high-profile players over the summer with a competitive budget, thought to be in the region of £5m. “The board is delighted that the FA has approved the application,” Woodward told the club’s official website. “The new women’s team will build on the success of the Girls’ Regional Talent Club and have the same philosophy as all Manchester United sides, creating a pathway from academy to first team. “We will be making some exciting announcements in the coming days and weeks. Starting a professional team from scratch is challenging but rewarding and we will make every effort to provide the support and experience for the new women’s team to be successful and to uphold the fine traditions of our great club.” However, the creation of the new two tier Premier League structure has not been without controversy after Sunderland Ladies, who finished seventh in the top division last season, were denied a place in either of the two restructured leagues, despite applying to continue in the second tier. Sunderland’s place in the Premier League has been given to West Ham, who along with Brighton, are the new arrivals into the 11 team elite group. That means there will be no teams located north of Manchester in the Premier League next season, with just two, Durham Women and Doncaster Belles, in the Championship. “Sunderland have been offered a place in tier 3 and we are waiting to hear back from them as to whether they will be accepting that offer,” said Katie Brazier, the FA’s Head of Women’s Leagues and Competitions. “There are clubs who will be disappointed with the decisions that have been made and they have 14 days to appeal if they want to challenge it. “Sunderland were given the first opportunity, as an existing WSL1 club to apply for a place last year, but they were one of three clubs who declined to do so, which meant they no longer had preferred bidder status. “I think that was down to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the ownership of the club. They did subsequently apply in the open bidding process, but they were up against a number of other clubs who have a firm commitment, both in terms of investment and resources, to grow the women’s game. Unfortunately, there were stronger bids.” Casey Stoney is expected to take over as Manchester United Women's manager Credit: Getty Images Sources have told Telegraph Sport that Sunderland are likely to appeal before they decide whether to accept a place in the third division. The decision to reject Sunderland’s application for a place in the tier two looks even stranger when Yeovil, who finished bottom, scoring just two goals, will remain in the elite group after raising £350,000 last year to stand on a firm financial footing. Economic security has played a big part in the FA’s decision-making process and is also believed to have been the reason why Brighton were named in the top division ahead of Doncaster Belles, even though the Yorkshire club finished above them last season. Crystal Palace, who had also applied for a place in the expanded, two division set up, are also likely to appeal, although it is Sunderland who appear to have the best chances of success. Seven of Neville’s Lionesses, including star player Lucy Bronze and captain Steph Houghton, began their careers at Sunderland, but they have been in trouble since ties were severed with the men’s club. They are no longer allowed to train at the Academy of Light and were forced to play their home games at South Shields FC last season. Nevertheless, Sunderland had still hoped to at least secure a place in the Championship, which has grown from 10 to 12 sides, welcoming Sheffield United, who will compete with their already established city neighbours Sheffield FC. Other newcomers include Charlton, who beat Blackburn in Sunday’s third-tier promotion play-off final, Leicester City, Lewes, as well as Manchester United. Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s head of women’s football, said: “The revised competition structure will positively impact on the delivery of the women’s game across all levels, both on and off the pitch.”
Manchester United awarded place in the restructured Women’s Super League - but Sunderland's omission sparks anger
Manchester United have been awarded a place in the restructured Women’s Super League after launching their first professional female team, but there was anger in the North East after Sunderland were kicked out of the top two divisions. Former England defender, Casey Stoney, is expected to be confirmed as Manchester United women’s first manager, leaving her current role as assistant to former Red Devils defender Phil Neville with the national team in the next few days. Stoney played more than 100 times for England and is widely regarded as one of the brightest coaching prospects in the women’s game after being head-hunted by Neville when he became England manager in February. United, who will start in the second tier, have been heavily criticised in the past for failing to embrace the women’s game, even though they have run a successful academy which has produced several international players. The decision to apply for a place in the WSL was made by Manchester United’s Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward after watching Manchester City turn into one of the main players in the women’s game. How the divisions shape up for 2018/19 | Man Utd feature in the second tier City, along with Chelsea, who won the double last season, have been the dominant forces in women’s football in recent years, but United are determined to challenge their duopoly and will look to recruit some high-profile players over the summer with a competitive budget, thought to be in the region of £5m. “The board is delighted that the FA has approved the application,” Woodward told the club’s official website. “The new women’s team will build on the success of the Girls’ Regional Talent Club and have the same philosophy as all Manchester United sides, creating a pathway from academy to first team. “We will be making some exciting announcements in the coming days and weeks. Starting a professional team from scratch is challenging but rewarding and we will make every effort to provide the support and experience for the new women’s team to be successful and to uphold the fine traditions of our great club.” However, the creation of the new two tier Premier League structure has not been without controversy after Sunderland Ladies, who finished seventh in the top division last season, were denied a place in either of the two restructured leagues, despite applying to continue in the second tier. Sunderland’s place in the Premier League has been given to West Ham, who along with Brighton, are the new arrivals into the 11 team elite group. That means there will be no teams located north of Manchester in the Premier League next season, with just two, Durham Women and Doncaster Belles, in the Championship. “Sunderland have been offered a place in tier 3 and we are waiting to hear back from them as to whether they will be accepting that offer,” said Katie Brazier, the FA’s Head of Women’s Leagues and Competitions. “There are clubs who will be disappointed with the decisions that have been made and they have 14 days to appeal if they want to challenge it. “Sunderland were given the first opportunity, as an existing WSL1 club to apply for a place last year, but they were one of three clubs who declined to do so, which meant they no longer had preferred bidder status. “I think that was down to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the ownership of the club. They did subsequently apply in the open bidding process, but they were up against a number of other clubs who have a firm commitment, both in terms of investment and resources, to grow the women’s game. Unfortunately, there were stronger bids.” Casey Stoney is expected to take over as Manchester United Women's manager Credit: Getty Images Sources have told Telegraph Sport that Sunderland are likely to appeal before they decide whether to accept a place in the third division. The decision to reject Sunderland’s application for a place in the tier two looks even stranger when Yeovil, who finished bottom, scoring just two goals, will remain in the elite group after raising £350,000 last year to stand on a firm financial footing. Economic security has played a big part in the FA’s decision-making process and is also believed to have been the reason why Brighton were named in the top division ahead of Doncaster Belles, even though the Yorkshire club finished above them last season. Crystal Palace, who had also applied for a place in the expanded, two division set up, are also likely to appeal, although it is Sunderland who appear to have the best chances of success. Seven of Neville’s Lionesses, including star player Lucy Bronze and captain Steph Houghton, began their careers at Sunderland, but they have been in trouble since ties were severed with the men’s club. They are no longer allowed to train at the Academy of Light and were forced to play their home games at South Shields FC last season. Nevertheless, Sunderland had still hoped to at least secure a place in the Championship, which has grown from 10 to 12 sides, welcoming Sheffield United, who will compete with their already established city neighbours Sheffield FC. Other newcomers include Charlton, who beat Blackburn in Sunday’s third-tier promotion play-off final, Leicester City, Lewes, as well as Manchester United. Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s head of women’s football, said: “The revised competition structure will positively impact on the delivery of the women’s game across all levels, both on and off the pitch.”
When a nervous Kyle Walker hit the M1 heading for Northampton in 2008 with his parents leading the way, he cannot have imagined that a decade later he would feature in his own son’s World Cup sticker album. A journey that began with a timid motorway drive from Sheffield has taken Walker all the way to the world’s biggest tournament via an oft-criticised £54m transfer and a Premier League title triumph. As he prepares to head for Russia with England as one of Gareth Southgate’s senior players, Walker knows he has come a long way, although he still has a distance to go as a footballer in the eyes of Roman, his six-year-old son. “When I’m at home I’m his dad, not a professional footballer,” said the 27-year-old father of three boys. “I think he’d love me regardless of what I did but I definitely know I’m not his favourite player. He says I don’t score enough! Kyle Walker shares a joke with Gareth Southgate Credit: Getty Images “He gives me a token gesture, saying ‘Daddy, you’re the best right back.’ But I know he likes Sergio Aguero and Kevin (De Bruyne).” Sitting at St George’s Park as England prepare for their campaign in Russia, Walker speaks with the relaxed air of a man content with the progress of his career. It was not always the case for a man who often, in the past, gave media duties wide berth, but having won the Premier League title in his first season with Manchester City after a furore over the transfer fee received by Tottenham, Walker believes he has answered the skeptics with his performances before reinforcing the point with his words. “As players you don’t put a price tag on your head and say ‘I’m worth that much’,” he said. “It was completely out of my hands. “There was a little bit of proving people wrong because we all can see the transfer market did go a little bit crazy in the end. Kyle Walker won the Premier League title in his first season at City Credit: AP “But for me it was just about proving to myself and proving to the manager who had invested all that money in me, and proving to my family that I can go out and play for Manchester City and achieve what they wanted to achieve. “It’s good coming here knowing you’ve won the Premier League, you feel on top of the world because from a little boy I have been dreaming to win that, so to finally put my hands on it and lift it was fantastic. “I’ve come a long way from the area where I grew up in Sheffield, to the loan spell at Northampton, which was my first taste of real professional football, to sitting here. “It’s been a journey but I’ve fully enjoyed it.” It was a journey that had an unconventional start when, having agreed his loan move from Sheffield United to Northampton Town, Walker encountered an unexpected problem and leaned on his parents for help. “I can remember driving down with my mum and dad,” he smiled “They were in the front car and I had to follow them down because I’d never driven on a motorway before. “So it was strange. They came in and watched me train and I was thinking ‘these guys are going to think I’m a kid with my mum and dad.’ “I think I only played nine games there but some of those players depend on winning games. “That can pay their mortgage so it was a fantastic opportunity for me and a really massive learning curve to go down there and train with the players.” England Formation Builder From there, Walker established his talents with the Blades before signing for Tottenham in 2009 and, a year ago, commanding a monumental transfer fee to join City and Pep Guardiola, who he credits with improving his game in just one season.. “He’s worked with Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm, two of my idols, two completely different players who I’ve tried to not mould myself on but take little bits from,” said Walker. “He has taught me so much about football. He’s quite happy to sit down and talk you about everything. “I probably don’t get forward as much now as I did when I was at Tottenham when we played different formations. “But just the understanding of the game, when to go forwards and when not, when to keep the ball and I think we do that fantastically well at City.” Now, though, Walker is Gareth Southgate’s player and heading for his first World Cup two years after playing in the England side that crashed embarrassingly out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, losing 2-1 having taken an early lead. It is an experience on which he has no desire to dwell, yet he claims those players involved will learn lessons and he is urging Southgate’s younger squad members not to be daunted by the prospect of a global tournament. England squad: A bold selection with a clear sense of direction “My feeling in the Euros when we went 1-0 up was, not that we’ve gone through, but that ‘this has gone to plan’,” he admitted. “I think if we went into half-time at 0-0, it would have been a completely different game and we would have gone on to win 2-0 or 3-0 possibly. “But scoring the early goal put us off our guard where we thought ‘this is easy’. At this World Cup, teams have got there by merit and playing well and collecting the points they need to. “We cannot underestimate anyone. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know “It was a negative. But I feel this England team has made huge steps in the right direction to be where we want to be for Russia. “I think the whole vibe around the place now is completely different. “Hopefully the English nation will be behind us. I’m sure it will be. And we just need positive energy around us, and let us go and express ourselves, because a number of the lads do that at club level. “When they come to England they shy away. So is that the pressure, is that a mental state? “I don’t know, but let them just go and play football like they do in the park.”
Kyle Walker on career journey from Sheffield to Russia and how England 'vibe' is now completely different
When a nervous Kyle Walker hit the M1 heading for Northampton in 2008 with his parents leading the way, he cannot have imagined that a decade later he would feature in his own son’s World Cup sticker album. A journey that began with a timid motorway drive from Sheffield has taken Walker all the way to the world’s biggest tournament via an oft-criticised £54m transfer and a Premier League title triumph. As he prepares to head for Russia with England as one of Gareth Southgate’s senior players, Walker knows he has come a long way, although he still has a distance to go as a footballer in the eyes of Roman, his six-year-old son. “When I’m at home I’m his dad, not a professional footballer,” said the 27-year-old father of three boys. “I think he’d love me regardless of what I did but I definitely know I’m not his favourite player. He says I don’t score enough! Kyle Walker shares a joke with Gareth Southgate Credit: Getty Images “He gives me a token gesture, saying ‘Daddy, you’re the best right back.’ But I know he likes Sergio Aguero and Kevin (De Bruyne).” Sitting at St George’s Park as England prepare for their campaign in Russia, Walker speaks with the relaxed air of a man content with the progress of his career. It was not always the case for a man who often, in the past, gave media duties wide berth, but having won the Premier League title in his first season with Manchester City after a furore over the transfer fee received by Tottenham, Walker believes he has answered the skeptics with his performances before reinforcing the point with his words. “As players you don’t put a price tag on your head and say ‘I’m worth that much’,” he said. “It was completely out of my hands. “There was a little bit of proving people wrong because we all can see the transfer market did go a little bit crazy in the end. Kyle Walker won the Premier League title in his first season at City Credit: AP “But for me it was just about proving to myself and proving to the manager who had invested all that money in me, and proving to my family that I can go out and play for Manchester City and achieve what they wanted to achieve. “It’s good coming here knowing you’ve won the Premier League, you feel on top of the world because from a little boy I have been dreaming to win that, so to finally put my hands on it and lift it was fantastic. “I’ve come a long way from the area where I grew up in Sheffield, to the loan spell at Northampton, which was my first taste of real professional football, to sitting here. “It’s been a journey but I’ve fully enjoyed it.” It was a journey that had an unconventional start when, having agreed his loan move from Sheffield United to Northampton Town, Walker encountered an unexpected problem and leaned on his parents for help. “I can remember driving down with my mum and dad,” he smiled “They were in the front car and I had to follow them down because I’d never driven on a motorway before. “So it was strange. They came in and watched me train and I was thinking ‘these guys are going to think I’m a kid with my mum and dad.’ “I think I only played nine games there but some of those players depend on winning games. “That can pay their mortgage so it was a fantastic opportunity for me and a really massive learning curve to go down there and train with the players.” England Formation Builder From there, Walker established his talents with the Blades before signing for Tottenham in 2009 and, a year ago, commanding a monumental transfer fee to join City and Pep Guardiola, who he credits with improving his game in just one season.. “He’s worked with Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm, two of my idols, two completely different players who I’ve tried to not mould myself on but take little bits from,” said Walker. “He has taught me so much about football. He’s quite happy to sit down and talk you about everything. “I probably don’t get forward as much now as I did when I was at Tottenham when we played different formations. “But just the understanding of the game, when to go forwards and when not, when to keep the ball and I think we do that fantastically well at City.” Now, though, Walker is Gareth Southgate’s player and heading for his first World Cup two years after playing in the England side that crashed embarrassingly out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, losing 2-1 having taken an early lead. It is an experience on which he has no desire to dwell, yet he claims those players involved will learn lessons and he is urging Southgate’s younger squad members not to be daunted by the prospect of a global tournament. England squad: A bold selection with a clear sense of direction “My feeling in the Euros when we went 1-0 up was, not that we’ve gone through, but that ‘this has gone to plan’,” he admitted. “I think if we went into half-time at 0-0, it would have been a completely different game and we would have gone on to win 2-0 or 3-0 possibly. “But scoring the early goal put us off our guard where we thought ‘this is easy’. At this World Cup, teams have got there by merit and playing well and collecting the points they need to. “We cannot underestimate anyone. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know “It was a negative. But I feel this England team has made huge steps in the right direction to be where we want to be for Russia. “I think the whole vibe around the place now is completely different. “Hopefully the English nation will be behind us. I’m sure it will be. And we just need positive energy around us, and let us go and express ourselves, because a number of the lads do that at club level. “When they come to England they shy away. So is that the pressure, is that a mental state? “I don’t know, but let them just go and play football like they do in the park.”
When a nervous Kyle Walker hit the M1 heading for Northampton in 2008 with his parents leading the way, he cannot have imagined that a decade later he would feature in his own son’s World Cup sticker album. A journey that began with a timid motorway drive from Sheffield has taken Walker all the way to the world’s biggest tournament via an oft-criticised £54m transfer and a Premier League title triumph. As he prepares to head for Russia with England as one of Gareth Southgate’s senior players, Walker knows he has come a long way, although he still has a distance to go as a footballer in the eyes of Roman, his six-year-old son. “When I’m at home I’m his dad, not a professional footballer,” said the 27-year-old father of three boys. “I think he’d love me regardless of what I did but I definitely know I’m not his favourite player. He says I don’t score enough! Kyle Walker shares a joke with Gareth Southgate Credit: Getty Images “He gives me a token gesture, saying ‘Daddy, you’re the best right back.’ But I know he likes Sergio Aguero and Kevin (De Bruyne).” Sitting at St George’s Park as England prepare for their campaign in Russia, Walker speaks with the relaxed air of a man content with the progress of his career. It was not always the case for a man who often, in the past, gave media duties wide berth, but having won the Premier League title in his first season with Manchester City after a furore over the transfer fee received by Tottenham, Walker believes he has answered the skeptics with his performances before reinforcing the point with his words. “As players you don’t put a price tag on your head and say ‘I’m worth that much’,” he said. “It was completely out of my hands. “There was a little bit of proving people wrong because we all can see the transfer market did go a little bit crazy in the end. Kyle Walker won the Premier League title in his first season at City Credit: AP “But for me it was just about proving to myself and proving to the manager who had invested all that money in me, and proving to my family that I can go out and play for Manchester City and achieve what they wanted to achieve. “It’s good coming here knowing you’ve won the Premier League, you feel on top of the world because from a little boy I have been dreaming to win that, so to finally put my hands on it and lift it was fantastic. “I’ve come a long way from the area where I grew up in Sheffield, to the loan spell at Northampton, which was my first taste of real professional football, to sitting here. “It’s been a journey but I’ve fully enjoyed it.” It was a journey that had an unconventional start when, having agreed his loan move from Sheffield United to Northampton Town, Walker encountered an unexpected problem and leaned on his parents for help. “I can remember driving down with my mum and dad,” he smiled “They were in the front car and I had to follow them down because I’d never driven on a motorway before. “So it was strange. They came in and watched me train and I was thinking ‘these guys are going to think I’m a kid with my mum and dad.’ “I think I only played nine games there but some of those players depend on winning games. “That can pay their mortgage so it was a fantastic opportunity for me and a really massive learning curve to go down there and train with the players.” England Formation Builder From there, Walker established his talents with the Blades before signing for Tottenham in 2009 and, a year ago, commanding a monumental transfer fee to join City and Pep Guardiola, who he credits with improving his game in just one season.. “He’s worked with Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm, two of my idols, two completely different players who I’ve tried to not mould myself on but take little bits from,” said Walker. “He has taught me so much about football. He’s quite happy to sit down and talk you about everything. “I probably don’t get forward as much now as I did when I was at Tottenham when we played different formations. “But just the understanding of the game, when to go forwards and when not, when to keep the ball and I think we do that fantastically well at City.” Now, though, Walker is Gareth Southgate’s player and heading for his first World Cup two years after playing in the England side that crashed embarrassingly out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, losing 2-1 having taken an early lead. It is an experience on which he has no desire to dwell, yet he claims those players involved will learn lessons and he is urging Southgate’s younger squad members not to be daunted by the prospect of a global tournament. England squad: A bold selection with a clear sense of direction “My feeling in the Euros when we went 1-0 up was, not that we’ve gone through, but that ‘this has gone to plan’,” he admitted. “I think if we went into half-time at 0-0, it would have been a completely different game and we would have gone on to win 2-0 or 3-0 possibly. “But scoring the early goal put us off our guard where we thought ‘this is easy’. At this World Cup, teams have got there by merit and playing well and collecting the points they need to. “We cannot underestimate anyone. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know “It was a negative. But I feel this England team has made huge steps in the right direction to be where we want to be for Russia. “I think the whole vibe around the place now is completely different. “Hopefully the English nation will be behind us. I’m sure it will be. And we just need positive energy around us, and let us go and express ourselves, because a number of the lads do that at club level. “When they come to England they shy away. So is that the pressure, is that a mental state? “I don’t know, but let them just go and play football like they do in the park.”
Kyle Walker on career journey from Sheffield to Russia and how England 'vibe' is now completely different
When a nervous Kyle Walker hit the M1 heading for Northampton in 2008 with his parents leading the way, he cannot have imagined that a decade later he would feature in his own son’s World Cup sticker album. A journey that began with a timid motorway drive from Sheffield has taken Walker all the way to the world’s biggest tournament via an oft-criticised £54m transfer and a Premier League title triumph. As he prepares to head for Russia with England as one of Gareth Southgate’s senior players, Walker knows he has come a long way, although he still has a distance to go as a footballer in the eyes of Roman, his six-year-old son. “When I’m at home I’m his dad, not a professional footballer,” said the 27-year-old father of three boys. “I think he’d love me regardless of what I did but I definitely know I’m not his favourite player. He says I don’t score enough! Kyle Walker shares a joke with Gareth Southgate Credit: Getty Images “He gives me a token gesture, saying ‘Daddy, you’re the best right back.’ But I know he likes Sergio Aguero and Kevin (De Bruyne).” Sitting at St George’s Park as England prepare for their campaign in Russia, Walker speaks with the relaxed air of a man content with the progress of his career. It was not always the case for a man who often, in the past, gave media duties wide berth, but having won the Premier League title in his first season with Manchester City after a furore over the transfer fee received by Tottenham, Walker believes he has answered the skeptics with his performances before reinforcing the point with his words. “As players you don’t put a price tag on your head and say ‘I’m worth that much’,” he said. “It was completely out of my hands. “There was a little bit of proving people wrong because we all can see the transfer market did go a little bit crazy in the end. Kyle Walker won the Premier League title in his first season at City Credit: AP “But for me it was just about proving to myself and proving to the manager who had invested all that money in me, and proving to my family that I can go out and play for Manchester City and achieve what they wanted to achieve. “It’s good coming here knowing you’ve won the Premier League, you feel on top of the world because from a little boy I have been dreaming to win that, so to finally put my hands on it and lift it was fantastic. “I’ve come a long way from the area where I grew up in Sheffield, to the loan spell at Northampton, which was my first taste of real professional football, to sitting here. “It’s been a journey but I’ve fully enjoyed it.” It was a journey that had an unconventional start when, having agreed his loan move from Sheffield United to Northampton Town, Walker encountered an unexpected problem and leaned on his parents for help. “I can remember driving down with my mum and dad,” he smiled “They were in the front car and I had to follow them down because I’d never driven on a motorway before. “So it was strange. They came in and watched me train and I was thinking ‘these guys are going to think I’m a kid with my mum and dad.’ “I think I only played nine games there but some of those players depend on winning games. “That can pay their mortgage so it was a fantastic opportunity for me and a really massive learning curve to go down there and train with the players.” England Formation Builder From there, Walker established his talents with the Blades before signing for Tottenham in 2009 and, a year ago, commanding a monumental transfer fee to join City and Pep Guardiola, who he credits with improving his game in just one season.. “He’s worked with Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm, two of my idols, two completely different players who I’ve tried to not mould myself on but take little bits from,” said Walker. “He has taught me so much about football. He’s quite happy to sit down and talk you about everything. “I probably don’t get forward as much now as I did when I was at Tottenham when we played different formations. “But just the understanding of the game, when to go forwards and when not, when to keep the ball and I think we do that fantastically well at City.” Now, though, Walker is Gareth Southgate’s player and heading for his first World Cup two years after playing in the England side that crashed embarrassingly out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, losing 2-1 having taken an early lead. It is an experience on which he has no desire to dwell, yet he claims those players involved will learn lessons and he is urging Southgate’s younger squad members not to be daunted by the prospect of a global tournament. England squad: A bold selection with a clear sense of direction “My feeling in the Euros when we went 1-0 up was, not that we’ve gone through, but that ‘this has gone to plan’,” he admitted. “I think if we went into half-time at 0-0, it would have been a completely different game and we would have gone on to win 2-0 or 3-0 possibly. “But scoring the early goal put us off our guard where we thought ‘this is easy’. At this World Cup, teams have got there by merit and playing well and collecting the points they need to. “We cannot underestimate anyone. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know “It was a negative. But I feel this England team has made huge steps in the right direction to be where we want to be for Russia. “I think the whole vibe around the place now is completely different. “Hopefully the English nation will be behind us. I’m sure it will be. And we just need positive energy around us, and let us go and express ourselves, because a number of the lads do that at club level. “When they come to England they shy away. So is that the pressure, is that a mental state? “I don’t know, but let them just go and play football like they do in the park.”
When a nervous Kyle Walker hit the M1 heading for Northampton in 2008 with his parents leading the way, he cannot have imagined that a decade later he would feature in his own son’s World Cup sticker album. A journey that began with a timid motorway drive from Sheffield has taken Walker all the way to the world’s biggest tournament via an oft-criticised £54m transfer and a Premier League title triumph. As he prepares to head for Russia with England as one of Gareth Southgate’s senior players, Walker knows he has come a long way, although he still has a distance to go as a footballer in the eyes of Roman, his six-year-old son. “When I’m at home I’m his dad, not a professional footballer,” said the 27-year-old father of three boys. “I think he’d love me regardless of what I did but I definitely know I’m not his favourite player. He says I don’t score enough! Kyle Walker shares a joke with Gareth Southgate Credit: Getty Images “He gives me a token gesture, saying ‘Daddy, you’re the best right back.’ But I know he likes Sergio Aguero and Kevin (De Bruyne).” Sitting at St George’s Park as England prepare for their campaign in Russia, Walker speaks with the relaxed air of a man content with the progress of his career. It was not always the case for a man who often, in the past, gave media duties wide berth, but having won the Premier League title in his first season with Manchester City after a furore over the transfer fee received by Tottenham, Walker believes he has answered the skeptics with his performances before reinforcing the point with his words. “As players you don’t put a price tag on your head and say ‘I’m worth that much’,” he said. “It was completely out of my hands. “There was a little bit of proving people wrong because we all can see the transfer market did go a little bit crazy in the end. Kyle Walker won the Premier League title in his first season at City Credit: AP “But for me it was just about proving to myself and proving to the manager who had invested all that money in me, and proving to my family that I can go out and play for Manchester City and achieve what they wanted to achieve. “It’s good coming here knowing you’ve won the Premier League, you feel on top of the world because from a little boy I have been dreaming to win that, so to finally put my hands on it and lift it was fantastic. “I’ve come a long way from the area where I grew up in Sheffield, to the loan spell at Northampton, which was my first taste of real professional football, to sitting here. “It’s been a journey but I’ve fully enjoyed it.” It was a journey that had an unconventional start when, having agreed his loan move from Sheffield United to Northampton Town, Walker encountered an unexpected problem and leaned on his parents for help. “I can remember driving down with my mum and dad,” he smiled “They were in the front car and I had to follow them down because I’d never driven on a motorway before. “So it was strange. They came in and watched me train and I was thinking ‘these guys are going to think I’m a kid with my mum and dad.’ “I think I only played nine games there but some of those players depend on winning games. “That can pay their mortgage so it was a fantastic opportunity for me and a really massive learning curve to go down there and train with the players.” England Formation Builder From there, Walker established his talents with the Blades before signing for Tottenham in 2009 and, a year ago, commanding a monumental transfer fee to join City and Pep Guardiola, who he credits with improving his game in just one season.. “He’s worked with Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm, two of my idols, two completely different players who I’ve tried to not mould myself on but take little bits from,” said Walker. “He has taught me so much about football. He’s quite happy to sit down and talk you about everything. “I probably don’t get forward as much now as I did when I was at Tottenham when we played different formations. “But just the understanding of the game, when to go forwards and when not, when to keep the ball and I think we do that fantastically well at City.” Now, though, Walker is Gareth Southgate’s player and heading for his first World Cup two years after playing in the England side that crashed embarrassingly out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, losing 2-1 having taken an early lead. It is an experience on which he has no desire to dwell, yet he claims those players involved will learn lessons and he is urging Southgate’s younger squad members not to be daunted by the prospect of a global tournament. England squad: A bold selection with a clear sense of direction “My feeling in the Euros when we went 1-0 up was, not that we’ve gone through, but that ‘this has gone to plan’,” he admitted. “I think if we went into half-time at 0-0, it would have been a completely different game and we would have gone on to win 2-0 or 3-0 possibly. “But scoring the early goal put us off our guard where we thought ‘this is easy’. At this World Cup, teams have got there by merit and playing well and collecting the points they need to. “We cannot underestimate anyone. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know “It was a negative. But I feel this England team has made huge steps in the right direction to be where we want to be for Russia. “I think the whole vibe around the place now is completely different. “Hopefully the English nation will be behind us. I’m sure it will be. And we just need positive energy around us, and let us go and express ourselves, because a number of the lads do that at club level. “When they come to England they shy away. So is that the pressure, is that a mental state? “I don’t know, but let them just go and play football like they do in the park.”
Kyle Walker on career journey from Sheffield to Russia and how England 'vibe' is now completely different
When a nervous Kyle Walker hit the M1 heading for Northampton in 2008 with his parents leading the way, he cannot have imagined that a decade later he would feature in his own son’s World Cup sticker album. A journey that began with a timid motorway drive from Sheffield has taken Walker all the way to the world’s biggest tournament via an oft-criticised £54m transfer and a Premier League title triumph. As he prepares to head for Russia with England as one of Gareth Southgate’s senior players, Walker knows he has come a long way, although he still has a distance to go as a footballer in the eyes of Roman, his six-year-old son. “When I’m at home I’m his dad, not a professional footballer,” said the 27-year-old father of three boys. “I think he’d love me regardless of what I did but I definitely know I’m not his favourite player. He says I don’t score enough! Kyle Walker shares a joke with Gareth Southgate Credit: Getty Images “He gives me a token gesture, saying ‘Daddy, you’re the best right back.’ But I know he likes Sergio Aguero and Kevin (De Bruyne).” Sitting at St George’s Park as England prepare for their campaign in Russia, Walker speaks with the relaxed air of a man content with the progress of his career. It was not always the case for a man who often, in the past, gave media duties wide berth, but having won the Premier League title in his first season with Manchester City after a furore over the transfer fee received by Tottenham, Walker believes he has answered the skeptics with his performances before reinforcing the point with his words. “As players you don’t put a price tag on your head and say ‘I’m worth that much’,” he said. “It was completely out of my hands. “There was a little bit of proving people wrong because we all can see the transfer market did go a little bit crazy in the end. Kyle Walker won the Premier League title in his first season at City Credit: AP “But for me it was just about proving to myself and proving to the manager who had invested all that money in me, and proving to my family that I can go out and play for Manchester City and achieve what they wanted to achieve. “It’s good coming here knowing you’ve won the Premier League, you feel on top of the world because from a little boy I have been dreaming to win that, so to finally put my hands on it and lift it was fantastic. “I’ve come a long way from the area where I grew up in Sheffield, to the loan spell at Northampton, which was my first taste of real professional football, to sitting here. “It’s been a journey but I’ve fully enjoyed it.” It was a journey that had an unconventional start when, having agreed his loan move from Sheffield United to Northampton Town, Walker encountered an unexpected problem and leaned on his parents for help. “I can remember driving down with my mum and dad,” he smiled “They were in the front car and I had to follow them down because I’d never driven on a motorway before. “So it was strange. They came in and watched me train and I was thinking ‘these guys are going to think I’m a kid with my mum and dad.’ “I think I only played nine games there but some of those players depend on winning games. “That can pay their mortgage so it was a fantastic opportunity for me and a really massive learning curve to go down there and train with the players.” England Formation Builder From there, Walker established his talents with the Blades before signing for Tottenham in 2009 and, a year ago, commanding a monumental transfer fee to join City and Pep Guardiola, who he credits with improving his game in just one season.. “He’s worked with Dani Alves and Philipp Lahm, two of my idols, two completely different players who I’ve tried to not mould myself on but take little bits from,” said Walker. “He has taught me so much about football. He’s quite happy to sit down and talk you about everything. “I probably don’t get forward as much now as I did when I was at Tottenham when we played different formations. “But just the understanding of the game, when to go forwards and when not, when to keep the ball and I think we do that fantastically well at City.” Now, though, Walker is Gareth Southgate’s player and heading for his first World Cup two years after playing in the England side that crashed embarrassingly out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland, losing 2-1 having taken an early lead. It is an experience on which he has no desire to dwell, yet he claims those players involved will learn lessons and he is urging Southgate’s younger squad members not to be daunted by the prospect of a global tournament. England squad: A bold selection with a clear sense of direction “My feeling in the Euros when we went 1-0 up was, not that we’ve gone through, but that ‘this has gone to plan’,” he admitted. “I think if we went into half-time at 0-0, it would have been a completely different game and we would have gone on to win 2-0 or 3-0 possibly. “But scoring the early goal put us off our guard where we thought ‘this is easy’. At this World Cup, teams have got there by merit and playing well and collecting the points they need to. “We cannot underestimate anyone. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know “It was a negative. But I feel this England team has made huge steps in the right direction to be where we want to be for Russia. “I think the whole vibe around the place now is completely different. “Hopefully the English nation will be behind us. I’m sure it will be. And we just need positive energy around us, and let us go and express ourselves, because a number of the lads do that at club level. “When they come to England they shy away. So is that the pressure, is that a mental state? “I don’t know, but let them just go and play football like they do in the park.”
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Year of the underdog: Every single promoted team in English football's top four divisions avoids relegation
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Year of the underdog: Every single promoted team in English football's top four divisions avoids relegation
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Year of the underdog: Every single promoted team in English football's top four divisions avoids relegation
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Year of the underdog: Every single promoted team in English football's top four divisions avoids relegation
Huddersfield's battling draw with Chelsea completed a remarkable season in which every team that won promotion to English football's top leagues remain in the division. David Wagner's side earned a vital point at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to guarantee their Premier League safety for another season. The result meant that Huddersfield joined fellow promoted sides Brighton and Newcastle in safely avoiding a return the Championship as Stoke, West Brom and - barring a miracle - Swansea all dropped out of the top flight. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton defied the odds, every single team that earned promotion to one of English football's top four leagues avoided relegation. Alan Alger, PR manager at bookmakers Betway, said the odds on such an outcome would have been bigger than Leicester City's Premier League title triumph in 2016. Stoke City lost to Crystal Palace last weekend to end their 10-year stay in the Premier League Credit: Getty Images In the Championship, Burton Albion and Barnsley were relegated on a dramatic final day after Sunderland's fate had been sealed a week earlier. Below the top-flight, Championship new-boys Sheffield United and Millwall both enjoyed top-half finishes while Bolton Wanderers escaped the drop on the final day. In League One, Portsmouth, Plymouth Argyle, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool all stayed well clear of the bottom four as Bury, MK Dons, Northampton Town, and Oldham Athletic were relegated to the fourth tier. League Two's Forest Green narrowly avoided an immediate return to the Vanarama National League while fellow promoted side Lincoln enjoyed a seventh-place finish, booking their place in the play-offs. Bolton Wanderers came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the final day and avoid an instant return to League One Credit: Getty Images In fact, the trend extends beyond the Football League, with Maidenhead United, Ebbsfleet United, Halifax Town and Fylde all securing safety after earning promotion to National League One last season. Huddersfield manager David Wagner was last night quick to praise his players for the "incredible achievement" of defying Premier League relegation. “This is an absolute over-achievement,” said Wagner. Huddersfield came up via the Championship play-offs Credit: PA “It's a bigger achievement than the promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted. This season we were predicted to be a team relegated by miles and I understand it. “We work under circumstances which are not even Championship circumstances. But part of our DNA, the Huddersfield Town DNA, is to try it. "To have passion, desire... how big you are doesn't count. It's about trying everything. We are humble. We are ambitious, too. We search a chance in every game. Today we were chance-less, more or less. It's an incredible achievement for us. It feels like another trophy.” Promoted teams avoid relegation | English football's top five leagues
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
England U17s continue winning start to European Championship with victory over Italy
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
England U17s continue winning start to European Championship with victory over Italy
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
England U17s continue winning start to European Championship with victory over Italy
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
England U17s continue winning start to European Championship with victory over Italy
Gareth Southgate watched on as England came from behind to ­deservedly beat Italy Under-17s 2-1 in the European Under-17 Championship. Steve Cooper’s side scored twice in nine second-half minutes to continue their winning start to top Group A after Alessio Riccardi put the Italians ahead at Walsall. England will qualify for the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat against Switzerland on Thursday at Rotherham United. The wide men were the source of England’s main threat, with Arsenal winger Xavier Amaechi threatening on three occasions and Arvin Appiah from Nottingham Forest equalising, while Rayhaan Tulloch, the substitute and from West Brom, won the penalty for the winner. Last year, the England Under-17s group won the World Cup and their successors in the age group showed they have similar tenacity. Arvin Appiah levels things up just after an hour for England Credit: Getty Images Doyle converts to seal the win Credit: Getty Images Italy took the lead in the 13th minute when Riccardi, the attacking midfielder from Roma, buried a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards. England spurned chances through Matthew Daly, the Huddersfield Town striker, Amaechi and Bobby Duncan, the cousin of Steven Gerrard. They equalised in the 63rd minute when Appiah lashed home from just inside the box and Tommy Doyle, the midfielder from Manchester City who is the grandson of City legends Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe, sealed it from the spot after Tulloch was tripped by right-back Alberto Barazzetta. Senior manager Southgate must have been impressed by the dominant wide players and England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper was delighted with their impact. England are on the cusp of the quarter-finals Credit: Getty Images “Arvin came inside and scored and Rayhaan won the penalty – that’s what you want from your attacking players,” said Cooper. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata claimed Arsenal midfielder Vontae Daley-Campbell should have been sent off after his tackle on Jean Freddi Pascal Greco led to him being substituted after 25 minutes. The midfielder went to hospital for an x-ray on his leg. But Cooper said: “That would have been harsh.” Tulloch is suspended for the Switzerland game after picking up two bookings. England (4-2-3-1) L Ashby-Hammond (Fulham); V Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), E Laird (Manchester Utd), N Ogbeta (Manchester City), B Saka (Arsenal); T Doyle (Manchester City), J Garner (Manchester Utd); X Amaechi (Arsenal), M Daly (Huddersfield), A Appiah (Nottingham Forest); T John-Jules (Arsenal). Subs D Crowe (Ipswich) for Daley-Campbell 40; 40 mins), B Duncan (Unnattached) for John-Jules 50. R Tulloch (West Brom) for Daly 55). Not used M Dewhurst (gk, Sheffield United), A-J Alese (West Ham United), E Dixon-Bonner, T Coyle (Arsenal), F Balogun (Arsenal). Italy (4-3-3) A Russo (Fiorentina); A Barazzetta (AC Milan), N Armini (Lazio), P Gozzi Iweru (Juventus), G Brogni (Atalanta); G Leone (Juventus), M E Gyabuaa (Atalanta), J F Pascal Greco (Roma); N Fagioli (Juventus), A Riccardi (Roma), E Vergani (Inter Milan). Substitutes N Rovella (Genoa) for Pascal Greco 25, L Colombo (AC Milan) for Fagioli 73, A Cortinovis (Atalanta( for Riccardi 76). Not used L Gelmi (gk) (Atalanta), A Mattioli (Sassuolo), F Ponsi (Fiorentina), S Vaghi (Inter Milan), F Semeraro (Roma). Referee: V Thorarinsson (Iceland).
Neil Warnock has been through too much and suffered too many final-day heartaches to count any chickens before they are on the open-top bus. But the veteran manager believes that should Cardiff City advance to the Premier League either tomorrow or through the play-offs, it would be a different and more rewarding experience – both for him and the club. It has been well trailed that Warnock would set a Football League record with an eighth promotion if they hang on to their one-point advantage over Fulham in tomorrow lunchtime’s Championship conclusion and while that, naturally, would be an incredibly proud moment for the 69-year-old, the theory is that there would be a sense of foreboding in his celebrations. After all, Warnock said only last year, “I don’t like the Premier League” and his record highlights that, for him, the achievement has always resulted in huge let-down. Three times he has taken sides up and three times that season has ended with him being jobless. There was also a fourth sojourn in a Premier League hot seat – when appointed to Crystal Palace in 2015 – and he lasted all of four months on that occasion. In light of all this, it is perfectly understandable to believe that, for Warnock, the thrill of getting to the promised land is infinitely more enjoyable than the realities on arrival. “Yeah, I would have said that in the past,” Warnock agreed, as he took time out on Friday for the preparations for the home decider against Reading. Warnock has won promotion numerous times in the Football League, including with Queens Park Rangers in 2010/2011 Credit: ACTION IMAGES “But if Cardiff got to the Premier League, it would be a different ball game. If you look at my previous attempts in the top division, I don’t think I had much of a chance in any of them. At QPR, they sold the club and it meant I couldn’t sign a player from the day we went up in April, to the last week of August, and you can’t do that. And, without getting into too many details, Sheffield United was also disappointing. It was the same at Notts County. “I’m not saying we would stay up if we get there, but I just think I would want to go into the Premier League, enjoying every minute of it. Cardiff is a stable club, with good people. Mehmet [Dalman, the chairman] has been fantastic with me and we are well organised now. And, more importantly, the club is together now.” That seemed an implausible, if not impossible, scenario when Warnock arrived in the Welsh capital 18 months ago. Second from bottom in the Championship, the club who had tasted their own bitter single season in the Premier League three years before, appeared to be on a course of self-destruction. Telegraph Sport's Premier League goals of the season “Every department was looking after itself, really; all pulling in different directions,” Warnock said. “I went around them all and asked them what problems they had. I know that’s not really the manager’s business, but I made it my business because I believed unless we brought it all together we had no chance. I talked to Mehmet and Vincent [Tan, the owner] and they were quite happy with me doing it.” Internally, the bonding operation began, but, externally, the glue would take rather longer to stick. Granted, Tan had relented and reverted to blue after his hated red rebrand but, as Vince Alm, the supporters’ club spokesman, recalls, the place reeked of despondency. The Bluebirds rollercoaster | Cardiff City's highs and lows “There was a huge disconnect between club and fans,” Alm said. “The goodwill of the rebrand being scrapped had all but disappeared. We weren’t happy with the previous management appointments [Russell Slade and Paul Trollope], the football wasn’t great and the results were obviously terrible. “There was a real concern we were on the slide down the divisions. We were selling all our best players and there hadn’t been much investment, if any, in the playing staff or around the club. It had dried up and it looked as if the ownership was selling the assets and was ready to run.” Warnock’s appointment transformed the mood. “There was an immediate surge,” Alm said. “We realised Neil didn’t come cheaply and that showed the owner and board were still serious. From that point forward it got better and better. Cardiff City are on the verge of a return to the top flight Credit: pa “Yeah, Warnock has had to do it under financial restraints, but he appears happy with that. Certainly the fans are. There are supporters who will never forgive Tan, but I think the majority see it as he made a bad mistake that he has tried to rectify. “It’s funny, but whether we do it or not, this season has felt more joyful to the promotion under Malky [Mackay in 2012-13], despite the fact that was our first time in 50-odd years. “When we scored under Malky, it was a reserved joy, a static jubilation. Now, when we score it is so much more passionate. That’s because we are playing in blue, sure, but also because of what Neil has done. It all feels right now.”
Neil Warnock vows Premier League life with Cardiff City would be a 'different ball game' to past promotions
Neil Warnock has been through too much and suffered too many final-day heartaches to count any chickens before they are on the open-top bus. But the veteran manager believes that should Cardiff City advance to the Premier League either tomorrow or through the play-offs, it would be a different and more rewarding experience – both for him and the club. It has been well trailed that Warnock would set a Football League record with an eighth promotion if they hang on to their one-point advantage over Fulham in tomorrow lunchtime’s Championship conclusion and while that, naturally, would be an incredibly proud moment for the 69-year-old, the theory is that there would be a sense of foreboding in his celebrations. After all, Warnock said only last year, “I don’t like the Premier League” and his record highlights that, for him, the achievement has always resulted in huge let-down. Three times he has taken sides up and three times that season has ended with him being jobless. There was also a fourth sojourn in a Premier League hot seat – when appointed to Crystal Palace in 2015 – and he lasted all of four months on that occasion. In light of all this, it is perfectly understandable to believe that, for Warnock, the thrill of getting to the promised land is infinitely more enjoyable than the realities on arrival. “Yeah, I would have said that in the past,” Warnock agreed, as he took time out on Friday for the preparations for the home decider against Reading. Warnock has won promotion numerous times in the Football League, including with Queens Park Rangers in 2010/2011 Credit: ACTION IMAGES “But if Cardiff got to the Premier League, it would be a different ball game. If you look at my previous attempts in the top division, I don’t think I had much of a chance in any of them. At QPR, they sold the club and it meant I couldn’t sign a player from the day we went up in April, to the last week of August, and you can’t do that. And, without getting into too many details, Sheffield United was also disappointing. It was the same at Notts County. “I’m not saying we would stay up if we get there, but I just think I would want to go into the Premier League, enjoying every minute of it. Cardiff is a stable club, with good people. Mehmet [Dalman, the chairman] has been fantastic with me and we are well organised now. And, more importantly, the club is together now.” That seemed an implausible, if not impossible, scenario when Warnock arrived in the Welsh capital 18 months ago. Second from bottom in the Championship, the club who had tasted their own bitter single season in the Premier League three years before, appeared to be on a course of self-destruction. Telegraph Sport's Premier League goals of the season “Every department was looking after itself, really; all pulling in different directions,” Warnock said. “I went around them all and asked them what problems they had. I know that’s not really the manager’s business, but I made it my business because I believed unless we brought it all together we had no chance. I talked to Mehmet and Vincent [Tan, the owner] and they were quite happy with me doing it.” Internally, the bonding operation began, but, externally, the glue would take rather longer to stick. Granted, Tan had relented and reverted to blue after his hated red rebrand but, as Vince Alm, the supporters’ club spokesman, recalls, the place reeked of despondency. The Bluebirds rollercoaster | Cardiff City's highs and lows “There was a huge disconnect between club and fans,” Alm said. “The goodwill of the rebrand being scrapped had all but disappeared. We weren’t happy with the previous management appointments [Russell Slade and Paul Trollope], the football wasn’t great and the results were obviously terrible. “There was a real concern we were on the slide down the divisions. We were selling all our best players and there hadn’t been much investment, if any, in the playing staff or around the club. It had dried up and it looked as if the ownership was selling the assets and was ready to run.” Warnock’s appointment transformed the mood. “There was an immediate surge,” Alm said. “We realised Neil didn’t come cheaply and that showed the owner and board were still serious. From that point forward it got better and better. Cardiff City are on the verge of a return to the top flight Credit: pa “Yeah, Warnock has had to do it under financial restraints, but he appears happy with that. Certainly the fans are. There are supporters who will never forgive Tan, but I think the majority see it as he made a bad mistake that he has tried to rectify. “It’s funny, but whether we do it or not, this season has felt more joyful to the promotion under Malky [Mackay in 2012-13], despite the fact that was our first time in 50-odd years. “When we scored under Malky, it was a reserved joy, a static jubilation. Now, when we score it is so much more passionate. That’s because we are playing in blue, sure, but also because of what Neil has done. It all feels right now.”
Neil Warnock has been through too much and suffered too many final-day heartaches to count any chickens before they are on the open-top bus. But the veteran manager believes that should Cardiff City advance to the Premier League either tomorrow or through the play-offs, it would be a different and more rewarding experience – both for him and the club. It has been well trailed that Warnock would set a Football League record with an eighth promotion if they hang on to their one-point advantage over Fulham in tomorrow lunchtime’s Championship conclusion and while that, naturally, would be an incredibly proud moment for the 69-year-old, the theory is that there would be a sense of foreboding in his celebrations. After all, Warnock said only last year, “I don’t like the Premier League” and his record highlights that, for him, the achievement has always resulted in huge let-down. Three times he has taken sides up and three times that season has ended with him being jobless. There was also a fourth sojourn in a Premier League hot seat – when appointed to Crystal Palace in 2015 – and he lasted all of four months on that occasion. In light of all this, it is perfectly understandable to believe that, for Warnock, the thrill of getting to the promised land is infinitely more enjoyable than the realities on arrival. “Yeah, I would have said that in the past,” Warnock agreed, as he took time out on Friday for the preparations for the home decider against Reading. Warnock has won promotion numerous times in the Football League, including with Queens Park Rangers in 2010/2011 Credit: ACTION IMAGES “But if Cardiff got to the Premier League, it would be a different ball game. If you look at my previous attempts in the top division, I don’t think I had much of a chance in any of them. At QPR, they sold the club and it meant I couldn’t sign a player from the day we went up in April, to the last week of August, and you can’t do that. And, without getting into too many details, Sheffield United was also disappointing. It was the same at Notts County. “I’m not saying we would stay up if we get there, but I just think I would want to go into the Premier League, enjoying every minute of it. Cardiff is a stable club, with good people. Mehmet [Dalman, the chairman] has been fantastic with me and we are well organised now. And, more importantly, the club is together now.” That seemed an implausible, if not impossible, scenario when Warnock arrived in the Welsh capital 18 months ago. Second from bottom in the Championship, the club who had tasted their own bitter single season in the Premier League three years before, appeared to be on a course of self-destruction. Telegraph Sport's Premier League goals of the season “Every department was looking after itself, really; all pulling in different directions,” Warnock said. “I went around them all and asked them what problems they had. I know that’s not really the manager’s business, but I made it my business because I believed unless we brought it all together we had no chance. I talked to Mehmet and Vincent [Tan, the owner] and they were quite happy with me doing it.” Internally, the bonding operation began, but, externally, the glue would take rather longer to stick. Granted, Tan had relented and reverted to blue after his hated red rebrand but, as Vince Alm, the supporters’ club spokesman, recalls, the place reeked of despondency. The Bluebirds rollercoaster | Cardiff City's highs and lows “There was a huge disconnect between club and fans,” Alm said. “The goodwill of the rebrand being scrapped had all but disappeared. We weren’t happy with the previous management appointments [Russell Slade and Paul Trollope], the football wasn’t great and the results were obviously terrible. “There was a real concern we were on the slide down the divisions. We were selling all our best players and there hadn’t been much investment, if any, in the playing staff or around the club. It had dried up and it looked as if the ownership was selling the assets and was ready to run.” Warnock’s appointment transformed the mood. “There was an immediate surge,” Alm said. “We realised Neil didn’t come cheaply and that showed the owner and board were still serious. From that point forward it got better and better. Cardiff City are on the verge of a return to the top flight Credit: pa “Yeah, Warnock has had to do it under financial restraints, but he appears happy with that. Certainly the fans are. There are supporters who will never forgive Tan, but I think the majority see it as he made a bad mistake that he has tried to rectify. “It’s funny, but whether we do it or not, this season has felt more joyful to the promotion under Malky [Mackay in 2012-13], despite the fact that was our first time in 50-odd years. “When we scored under Malky, it was a reserved joy, a static jubilation. Now, when we score it is so much more passionate. That’s because we are playing in blue, sure, but also because of what Neil has done. It all feels right now.”
Neil Warnock vows Premier League life with Cardiff City would be a 'different ball game' to past promotions
Neil Warnock has been through too much and suffered too many final-day heartaches to count any chickens before they are on the open-top bus. But the veteran manager believes that should Cardiff City advance to the Premier League either tomorrow or through the play-offs, it would be a different and more rewarding experience – both for him and the club. It has been well trailed that Warnock would set a Football League record with an eighth promotion if they hang on to their one-point advantage over Fulham in tomorrow lunchtime’s Championship conclusion and while that, naturally, would be an incredibly proud moment for the 69-year-old, the theory is that there would be a sense of foreboding in his celebrations. After all, Warnock said only last year, “I don’t like the Premier League” and his record highlights that, for him, the achievement has always resulted in huge let-down. Three times he has taken sides up and three times that season has ended with him being jobless. There was also a fourth sojourn in a Premier League hot seat – when appointed to Crystal Palace in 2015 – and he lasted all of four months on that occasion. In light of all this, it is perfectly understandable to believe that, for Warnock, the thrill of getting to the promised land is infinitely more enjoyable than the realities on arrival. “Yeah, I would have said that in the past,” Warnock agreed, as he took time out on Friday for the preparations for the home decider against Reading. Warnock has won promotion numerous times in the Football League, including with Queens Park Rangers in 2010/2011 Credit: ACTION IMAGES “But if Cardiff got to the Premier League, it would be a different ball game. If you look at my previous attempts in the top division, I don’t think I had much of a chance in any of them. At QPR, they sold the club and it meant I couldn’t sign a player from the day we went up in April, to the last week of August, and you can’t do that. And, without getting into too many details, Sheffield United was also disappointing. It was the same at Notts County. “I’m not saying we would stay up if we get there, but I just think I would want to go into the Premier League, enjoying every minute of it. Cardiff is a stable club, with good people. Mehmet [Dalman, the chairman] has been fantastic with me and we are well organised now. And, more importantly, the club is together now.” That seemed an implausible, if not impossible, scenario when Warnock arrived in the Welsh capital 18 months ago. Second from bottom in the Championship, the club who had tasted their own bitter single season in the Premier League three years before, appeared to be on a course of self-destruction. Telegraph Sport's Premier League goals of the season “Every department was looking after itself, really; all pulling in different directions,” Warnock said. “I went around them all and asked them what problems they had. I know that’s not really the manager’s business, but I made it my business because I believed unless we brought it all together we had no chance. I talked to Mehmet and Vincent [Tan, the owner] and they were quite happy with me doing it.” Internally, the bonding operation began, but, externally, the glue would take rather longer to stick. Granted, Tan had relented and reverted to blue after his hated red rebrand but, as Vince Alm, the supporters’ club spokesman, recalls, the place reeked of despondency. The Bluebirds rollercoaster | Cardiff City's highs and lows “There was a huge disconnect between club and fans,” Alm said. “The goodwill of the rebrand being scrapped had all but disappeared. We weren’t happy with the previous management appointments [Russell Slade and Paul Trollope], the football wasn’t great and the results were obviously terrible. “There was a real concern we were on the slide down the divisions. We were selling all our best players and there hadn’t been much investment, if any, in the playing staff or around the club. It had dried up and it looked as if the ownership was selling the assets and was ready to run.” Warnock’s appointment transformed the mood. “There was an immediate surge,” Alm said. “We realised Neil didn’t come cheaply and that showed the owner and board were still serious. From that point forward it got better and better. Cardiff City are on the verge of a return to the top flight Credit: pa “Yeah, Warnock has had to do it under financial restraints, but he appears happy with that. Certainly the fans are. There are supporters who will never forgive Tan, but I think the majority see it as he made a bad mistake that he has tried to rectify. “It’s funny, but whether we do it or not, this season has felt more joyful to the promotion under Malky [Mackay in 2012-13], despite the fact that was our first time in 50-odd years. “When we scored under Malky, it was a reserved joy, a static jubilation. Now, when we score it is so much more passionate. That’s because we are playing in blue, sure, but also because of what Neil has done. It all feels right now.”
Neil Warnock has been through too much and suffered too many final-day heartaches to count any chickens before they are on the open-top bus. But the veteran manager believes that should Cardiff City advance to the Premier League either tomorrow or through the play-offs, it would be a different and more rewarding experience – both for him and the club. It has been well trailed that Warnock would set a Football League record with an eighth promotion if they hang on to their one-point advantage over Fulham in tomorrow lunchtime’s Championship conclusion and while that, naturally, would be an incredibly proud moment for the 69-year-old, the theory is that there would be a sense of foreboding in his celebrations. After all, Warnock said only last year, “I don’t like the Premier League” and his record highlights that, for him, the achievement has always resulted in huge let-down. Three times he has taken sides up and three times that season has ended with him being jobless. There was also a fourth sojourn in a Premier League hot seat – when appointed to Crystal Palace in 2015 – and he lasted all of four months on that occasion. In light of all this, it is perfectly understandable to believe that, for Warnock, the thrill of getting to the promised land is infinitely more enjoyable than the realities on arrival. “Yeah, I would have said that in the past,” Warnock agreed, as he took time out on Friday for the preparations for the home decider against Reading. Warnock has won promotion numerous times in the Football League, including with Queens Park Rangers in 2010/2011 Credit: ACTION IMAGES “But if Cardiff got to the Premier League, it would be a different ball game. If you look at my previous attempts in the top division, I don’t think I had much of a chance in any of them. At QPR, they sold the club and it meant I couldn’t sign a player from the day we went up in April, to the last week of August, and you can’t do that. And, without getting into too many details, Sheffield United was also disappointing. It was the same at Notts County. “I’m not saying we would stay up if we get there, but I just think I would want to go into the Premier League, enjoying every minute of it. Cardiff is a stable club, with good people. Mehmet [Dalman, the chairman] has been fantastic with me and we are well organised now. And, more importantly, the club is together now.” That seemed an implausible, if not impossible, scenario when Warnock arrived in the Welsh capital 18 months ago. Second from bottom in the Championship, the club who had tasted their own bitter single season in the Premier League three years before, appeared to be on a course of self-destruction. Telegraph Sport's Premier League goals of the season “Every department was looking after itself, really; all pulling in different directions,” Warnock said. “I went around them all and asked them what problems they had. I know that’s not really the manager’s business, but I made it my business because I believed unless we brought it all together we had no chance. I talked to Mehmet and Vincent [Tan, the owner] and they were quite happy with me doing it.” Internally, the bonding operation began, but, externally, the glue would take rather longer to stick. Granted, Tan had relented and reverted to blue after his hated red rebrand but, as Vince Alm, the supporters’ club spokesman, recalls, the place reeked of despondency. The Bluebirds rollercoaster | Cardiff City's highs and lows “There was a huge disconnect between club and fans,” Alm said. “The goodwill of the rebrand being scrapped had all but disappeared. We weren’t happy with the previous management appointments [Russell Slade and Paul Trollope], the football wasn’t great and the results were obviously terrible. “There was a real concern we were on the slide down the divisions. We were selling all our best players and there hadn’t been much investment, if any, in the playing staff or around the club. It had dried up and it looked as if the ownership was selling the assets and was ready to run.” Warnock’s appointment transformed the mood. “There was an immediate surge,” Alm said. “We realised Neil didn’t come cheaply and that showed the owner and board were still serious. From that point forward it got better and better. Cardiff City are on the verge of a return to the top flight Credit: pa “Yeah, Warnock has had to do it under financial restraints, but he appears happy with that. Certainly the fans are. There are supporters who will never forgive Tan, but I think the majority see it as he made a bad mistake that he has tried to rectify. “It’s funny, but whether we do it or not, this season has felt more joyful to the promotion under Malky [Mackay in 2012-13], despite the fact that was our first time in 50-odd years. “When we scored under Malky, it was a reserved joy, a static jubilation. Now, when we score it is so much more passionate. That’s because we are playing in blue, sure, but also because of what Neil has done. It all feels right now.”
Neil Warnock vows Premier League life with Cardiff City would be a 'different ball game' to past promotions
Neil Warnock has been through too much and suffered too many final-day heartaches to count any chickens before they are on the open-top bus. But the veteran manager believes that should Cardiff City advance to the Premier League either tomorrow or through the play-offs, it would be a different and more rewarding experience – both for him and the club. It has been well trailed that Warnock would set a Football League record with an eighth promotion if they hang on to their one-point advantage over Fulham in tomorrow lunchtime’s Championship conclusion and while that, naturally, would be an incredibly proud moment for the 69-year-old, the theory is that there would be a sense of foreboding in his celebrations. After all, Warnock said only last year, “I don’t like the Premier League” and his record highlights that, for him, the achievement has always resulted in huge let-down. Three times he has taken sides up and three times that season has ended with him being jobless. There was also a fourth sojourn in a Premier League hot seat – when appointed to Crystal Palace in 2015 – and he lasted all of four months on that occasion. In light of all this, it is perfectly understandable to believe that, for Warnock, the thrill of getting to the promised land is infinitely more enjoyable than the realities on arrival. “Yeah, I would have said that in the past,” Warnock agreed, as he took time out on Friday for the preparations for the home decider against Reading. Warnock has won promotion numerous times in the Football League, including with Queens Park Rangers in 2010/2011 Credit: ACTION IMAGES “But if Cardiff got to the Premier League, it would be a different ball game. If you look at my previous attempts in the top division, I don’t think I had much of a chance in any of them. At QPR, they sold the club and it meant I couldn’t sign a player from the day we went up in April, to the last week of August, and you can’t do that. And, without getting into too many details, Sheffield United was also disappointing. It was the same at Notts County. “I’m not saying we would stay up if we get there, but I just think I would want to go into the Premier League, enjoying every minute of it. Cardiff is a stable club, with good people. Mehmet [Dalman, the chairman] has been fantastic with me and we are well organised now. And, more importantly, the club is together now.” That seemed an implausible, if not impossible, scenario when Warnock arrived in the Welsh capital 18 months ago. Second from bottom in the Championship, the club who had tasted their own bitter single season in the Premier League three years before, appeared to be on a course of self-destruction. Telegraph Sport's Premier League goals of the season “Every department was looking after itself, really; all pulling in different directions,” Warnock said. “I went around them all and asked them what problems they had. I know that’s not really the manager’s business, but I made it my business because I believed unless we brought it all together we had no chance. I talked to Mehmet and Vincent [Tan, the owner] and they were quite happy with me doing it.” Internally, the bonding operation began, but, externally, the glue would take rather longer to stick. Granted, Tan had relented and reverted to blue after his hated red rebrand but, as Vince Alm, the supporters’ club spokesman, recalls, the place reeked of despondency. The Bluebirds rollercoaster | Cardiff City's highs and lows “There was a huge disconnect between club and fans,” Alm said. “The goodwill of the rebrand being scrapped had all but disappeared. We weren’t happy with the previous management appointments [Russell Slade and Paul Trollope], the football wasn’t great and the results were obviously terrible. “There was a real concern we were on the slide down the divisions. We were selling all our best players and there hadn’t been much investment, if any, in the playing staff or around the club. It had dried up and it looked as if the ownership was selling the assets and was ready to run.” Warnock’s appointment transformed the mood. “There was an immediate surge,” Alm said. “We realised Neil didn’t come cheaply and that showed the owner and board were still serious. From that point forward it got better and better. Cardiff City are on the verge of a return to the top flight Credit: pa “Yeah, Warnock has had to do it under financial restraints, but he appears happy with that. Certainly the fans are. There are supporters who will never forgive Tan, but I think the majority see it as he made a bad mistake that he has tried to rectify. “It’s funny, but whether we do it or not, this season has felt more joyful to the promotion under Malky [Mackay in 2012-13], despite the fact that was our first time in 50-odd years. “When we scored under Malky, it was a reserved joy, a static jubilation. Now, when we score it is so much more passionate. That’s because we are playing in blue, sure, but also because of what Neil has done. It all feels right now.”
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock on verge of record eighth career promotion as Cardiff move into pole position to join Premier League
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock on verge of record eighth career promotion as Cardiff move into pole position to join Premier League
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
Neil Warnock on verge of record eighth career promotion as Cardiff move into pole position to join Premier League
Neil Warnock stands on the verge of a record eighth career promotion after Cardiff put themselves in pole position to accompany Wolverhampton Wanderers automatically into the Premier League thanks to a nerveless display which leaves them, tantalisingly, just a single victory away from a return to the top flight. Sean Morrison proved to be the unlikely goal hero, the Cardiff skipper finding the net in each half to ensure Warnock's side go into to the final day of the season as favourites to avoid recourse to the play-offs after reclaiming second place. Victory at home to struggling Reading next Sunday will confirm their place back in the top flight after a four-year absence. Anything less leaves the way open for Fulham, who trail them by a single point and who travel to Birmingham City on the back of a 23-game unbeaten run stretching back to before Christmas. "It's in our own hands now and we can't ask for any more than that," said an elated Warnock. "It wasn't pretty at times, but at this stage of the season it's all about the result. Everyone has kept expecting us to fall away, and we've had setbacks along the way, but this set of lads don't know when they're beaten. We're like a rash, we just won't go away. "Next Sunday will be massive for everyone. I don't think it's sunk in yet what will be at stake, but both us and Fulham have got hard games because Birmingham and Reading each need a point to be safe so they'll be scrapping for their lives." Fulham were a distant 18 points behind the Welshmen at the outset of their impressive sequence of results, which saw them momentarily climb into the top two on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over already-relegated Sunderland. Despite a recent stutter, Cardiff have maintained a consistent run of their own since the turn of the year, and replaced their promotion rivals as the best of the rest behind Nuno Espirito Santo's Champions thanks to another typically robust, character-filled display against a Hull side with little to play for after averting the threat of dropping two divisions in as many seasons earlier in the month. Warnock took charge 18 months ago with Cardiff second bottom in the Championship, but such has been their transformation under the 69-year-old, they sit on the verge of a promotion he concedes will top any of the previous seven he has achieved - twice with Notts County and once each with Scarborough, Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR. As they have done all season, Cardiff displayed commendable resolve to see out a victory which finally extinguished Aston Villa's lingering hopes of avoiding the play-offs in order to seal a Premier League return, although they had shown little in terms of attacking threat before Morrison put them in front. The centre-back's deadlock-breaking goal owed more to desire as any great skill as he appeared to simply want the ball more than any of his would-be markers when rising highest among a melee of players to head home an inviting Joe Ralls corner in the 32nd minute. In a contest of few clear-cut chances, they almost doubled the advantage in the eight minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first period that saw both sides forced into early changes as Hull defender Angus MacDonald, with a dislocated shoulder, and Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, with a knee injury, departed. Gunnarsson's exit casts doubt on the Iceland international's participation in the World Cup this summer. Aron Gunnarsson picks up an injury which could rule him out of the World Cup Credit: PA "It was innocuous with Aron," Warnock added. "We knew it was bad because he doesn't usually go down." The lively Junio Hoilett was the beneficiary of a fine run and cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, and although the forward struck his angled drive well, Allan McGregor produced a reaction save to maintain the deficit at a single goal. Fraizer Campbell, who was part of the Cardiff squad to last clinch promotion to the top flight in 2013, should have done better with an early chance, but was denied by a meaty block from Sol Bamba, who atoned for an initial mistake which presented the Hull forward with a clear shot on goal from a dozen yards. Other than half-hearted penalty appeals when Liverpool loan midfielder Harry Wilson went down under challenge from Joe Bennett, Hull lacked a cutting edge, and were increasingly pushed onto the back foot. McGregor saved well at his near post immediately after the break to deny Mendez-Laing's follow-up from a narrow angle, after initially blocking a header from Callum Paterson, as Cardiff pressed for a nerve-soothing second. "Allan made some great saves," added Warnock." I asked him why he didn't do more like that when he played for us." Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's first goal Credit: PA Hull belatedly pressed for an equaliser, but were unable to find a way past a well-drilled and utterly-resilient back line where Bamba and Morison again led by example. Kamil Grosicki saw a late effort blocked by Lee Peltier as, not for the first time, a player clad in blue selflessly threw his body on the line in aid of the greater cause. Victory was sealed 10 minutes from time, the ubiquitous Morrison somewhat implausibly finding himself unmarked in the area at the culmination of a swift Mendez-Laing-inspired counter-attack to find the corner with his seventh goal of the season as Hull's protestations for offside were ignored, to leave Cardiff on the cusp of promotion, and Warnock contemplating his own small place in EFL history. As the heavens opened and the KCOM Stadium swiftly emptied, Hull's post-match lap of appreciation proved a rather sombre, if not a little damp, affair, given that apart from the occasional high, this has largely been a campaign to forget. "It's just a real disappointment," manager Nigel Adkins conceded, his side a modest seven points above the relegation zone ahead of their final game, at Brentford. "We didn't pass the ball well enough and didn't do ourselves justice. It's well done to Cardiff, they've put themselves in the box seat to make it into the Premier League and that would be a fantastic achievement for Neil and his players."
In the summer of 2015 two former Millwall team-mates met up at the Aquashow Water Park in the Algarve. As their families played in the sunshine Steve Morison and Neil Harris slipped away for a quiet beer and a chat about what had happened to their beloved club. Millwall had just been relegated to League One and the place was, according to Morison, “a shambles”. If there was hope it existed solely in Harris - Millwall’s record scorer and a true club legend - having just accepted the daunting post of manager. Harris had a plan, and central to it was a new centre-forward and dressing room leader - and he wanted Morison to fill both those roles. “I remember rejoining Millwall that summer, walking through the door and the club was just back,” remembers Morison. “It was different suddenly. We were back to where we needed to be. Now we are reaping our rewards.” And those rewards could, to wide-spread astonishment, include promotion to the Premier League. Millwall go into Friday night’s game with Fulham on the back of a 17-game unbeaten run that has taken them from 19th to sixth in the Championship, with the final play-off spot in their hands. Despite having one of the smallest budgets and average gates in the division, no star players, and the lingering threat of losing their stadium, Millwall are in with a shot at the big time. “This is a free shot at promotion for us, 100 per cent” says Morison. “If other teams don’t make it their manager will lose their job. They’ll release their players or sell them because they’re not good enough and spend £20million-£30m to try and do it next year. That’s where the pressure is - it ain’t on us. Steve Morison and Neil Harris celebrate promotion through the play-offs Credit: Getty images “If we make the play-offs we’d think: ‘We might as well go to Wembley now’. And if we do that we’d be in the huddle before the game and I’ll say: ‘Shall we go Prem?’ We just want to see how far we can take this rollercoaster.” But the question everyone is asking is quite how Millwall got here in the first place, having only been promoted after sneaking into the League One play-offs on the final day of last season. “How has this happened? Hard work,” Morison says. “We run further than the other teams. We want it more than other teams. We’ve found our way of playing and I think lots of teams look at it and go - ‘We’re playing Millwall today, we’ll beat them as we’re better than them and get paid more than them’. “They turn up, we give them a whack after 10 minutes and they’re moaning because you shouldn’t be able to do that to them, it’s not in the script. “Then we’ve added a bit of quality and as a team we defend manfully all over the pitch. There’s a real sense that if we play to our potential nobody can beat us. In the dressing room the other day someone said ‘Fulham will be a tough game on Friday’ and someone else came out with ‘Nah, they can’t beat us’. “We are an underdog team that work incredibly hard. Apart from Tim Cahill every single player in that dressing room, me included, if we stopped tomorrow we would have to work. This is our work now so we come in, work hard and enjoy being here. “We play the same team every game and the same way every game, and we just keep having moments. We aren’t searching for an ingredient - we keep making the same cake.” That means unapologetically direct football, utter commitment and a rock-solid team spirit, with Harris’ background checks on every potential signing paying dividends. No one player is paid significantly more than any other, with Morison’s weekly ‘Thursday Club’ nights out keeping the squad tight-knit. Off the field the club has also won a battle with Lewisham Council over the compulsary purchase of land around the New Den which could have left them homeless. That galvanised the fanbase while Harris worked wonders with the team. Key to that was finding a settled side - he has made just three changes to his starting XI in as many games - as they became the form team in the division with the exception of Friday's opponents, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run of their own. But as expectations start to alter those central to Millwall’s success are adamant promotion would not change them. “If we get there we’ll live the dream but this club won’t start paying stupid money,” says Morison. “I look at teams that go up to the Premier League, pay players a fortune, come down and are still paying them a fortune. I can’t believe how many players get paid not to play football. I look at the geezer [Jack] Rodwell up at Sunderland, he gets paid £70,000 a week not to play. Where’s their drive, where’s their ambition to get to the next level? Morison insists there is no pressure on Millwall Credit: Pa “This club won’t lose its’ values or workmanlike class. And Millwall, honestly, it’s a nice club. People think it’s a horrible place to come and play but it’s actually a really nice place to come and play - as long as you’re willing to work hard.” Nice is not often a word associated with Millwall and their supporters, though. There is every chance Millwall may soon be ready for the Premier League, but will the Premier League be ready for Millwall? “I don’t think the police will be,” laughs Morison. “Look, we get hardly any tickets away from home now. We went to Sheffield United and got 1200 tickets. Preston went there the weekend after and got 2500. It’s crazy. “I think it speaks volumes that no one wants us to get there, apart from people within the football club and our immediate supporters. The other day Sky didn’t even put us in their promotion graphic. People aren’t paying attention to us, aren’t giving us that respect. I don’t know who does the voting for Manager of the Season, or who gives the player awards out - but they haven’t got a scooby.” He shrugs, as relaxed as at the water park three years ago. “But as the motto says - we’re Millwall and we don’t care.” They may not, but soon the Premier League might.
How Millwall became the Championship's surprise package
In the summer of 2015 two former Millwall team-mates met up at the Aquashow Water Park in the Algarve. As their families played in the sunshine Steve Morison and Neil Harris slipped away for a quiet beer and a chat about what had happened to their beloved club. Millwall had just been relegated to League One and the place was, according to Morison, “a shambles”. If there was hope it existed solely in Harris - Millwall’s record scorer and a true club legend - having just accepted the daunting post of manager. Harris had a plan, and central to it was a new centre-forward and dressing room leader - and he wanted Morison to fill both those roles. “I remember rejoining Millwall that summer, walking through the door and the club was just back,” remembers Morison. “It was different suddenly. We were back to where we needed to be. Now we are reaping our rewards.” And those rewards could, to wide-spread astonishment, include promotion to the Premier League. Millwall go into Friday night’s game with Fulham on the back of a 17-game unbeaten run that has taken them from 19th to sixth in the Championship, with the final play-off spot in their hands. Despite having one of the smallest budgets and average gates in the division, no star players, and the lingering threat of losing their stadium, Millwall are in with a shot at the big time. “This is a free shot at promotion for us, 100 per cent” says Morison. “If other teams don’t make it their manager will lose their job. They’ll release their players or sell them because they’re not good enough and spend £20million-£30m to try and do it next year. That’s where the pressure is - it ain’t on us. Steve Morison and Neil Harris celebrate promotion through the play-offs Credit: Getty images “If we make the play-offs we’d think: ‘We might as well go to Wembley now’. And if we do that we’d be in the huddle before the game and I’ll say: ‘Shall we go Prem?’ We just want to see how far we can take this rollercoaster.” But the question everyone is asking is quite how Millwall got here in the first place, having only been promoted after sneaking into the League One play-offs on the final day of last season. “How has this happened? Hard work,” Morison says. “We run further than the other teams. We want it more than other teams. We’ve found our way of playing and I think lots of teams look at it and go - ‘We’re playing Millwall today, we’ll beat them as we’re better than them and get paid more than them’. “They turn up, we give them a whack after 10 minutes and they’re moaning because you shouldn’t be able to do that to them, it’s not in the script. “Then we’ve added a bit of quality and as a team we defend manfully all over the pitch. There’s a real sense that if we play to our potential nobody can beat us. In the dressing room the other day someone said ‘Fulham will be a tough game on Friday’ and someone else came out with ‘Nah, they can’t beat us’. “We are an underdog team that work incredibly hard. Apart from Tim Cahill every single player in that dressing room, me included, if we stopped tomorrow we would have to work. This is our work now so we come in, work hard and enjoy being here. “We play the same team every game and the same way every game, and we just keep having moments. We aren’t searching for an ingredient - we keep making the same cake.” That means unapologetically direct football, utter commitment and a rock-solid team spirit, with Harris’ background checks on every potential signing paying dividends. No one player is paid significantly more than any other, with Morison’s weekly ‘Thursday Club’ nights out keeping the squad tight-knit. Off the field the club has also won a battle with Lewisham Council over the compulsary purchase of land around the New Den which could have left them homeless. That galvanised the fanbase while Harris worked wonders with the team. Key to that was finding a settled side - he has made just three changes to his starting XI in as many games - as they became the form team in the division with the exception of Friday's opponents, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run of their own. But as expectations start to alter those central to Millwall’s success are adamant promotion would not change them. “If we get there we’ll live the dream but this club won’t start paying stupid money,” says Morison. “I look at teams that go up to the Premier League, pay players a fortune, come down and are still paying them a fortune. I can’t believe how many players get paid not to play football. I look at the geezer [Jack] Rodwell up at Sunderland, he gets paid £70,000 a week not to play. Where’s their drive, where’s their ambition to get to the next level? Morison insists there is no pressure on Millwall Credit: Pa “This club won’t lose its’ values or workmanlike class. And Millwall, honestly, it’s a nice club. People think it’s a horrible place to come and play but it’s actually a really nice place to come and play - as long as you’re willing to work hard.” Nice is not often a word associated with Millwall and their supporters, though. There is every chance Millwall may soon be ready for the Premier League, but will the Premier League be ready for Millwall? “I don’t think the police will be,” laughs Morison. “Look, we get hardly any tickets away from home now. We went to Sheffield United and got 1200 tickets. Preston went there the weekend after and got 2500. It’s crazy. “I think it speaks volumes that no one wants us to get there, apart from people within the football club and our immediate supporters. The other day Sky didn’t even put us in their promotion graphic. People aren’t paying attention to us, aren’t giving us that respect. I don’t know who does the voting for Manager of the Season, or who gives the player awards out - but they haven’t got a scooby.” He shrugs, as relaxed as at the water park three years ago. “But as the motto says - we’re Millwall and we don’t care.” They may not, but soon the Premier League might.
In the summer of 2015 two former Millwall team-mates met up at the Aquashow Water Park in the Algarve. As their families played in the sunshine Steve Morison and Neil Harris slipped away for a quiet beer and a chat about what had happened to their beloved club. Millwall had just been relegated to League One and the place was, according to Morison, “a shambles”. If there was hope it existed solely in Harris - Millwall’s record scorer and a true club legend - having just accepted the daunting post of manager. Harris had a plan, and central to it was a new centre-forward and dressing room leader - and he wanted Morison to fill both those roles. “I remember rejoining Millwall that summer, walking through the door and the club was just back,” remembers Morison. “It was different suddenly. We were back to where we needed to be. Now we are reaping our rewards.” And those rewards could, to wide-spread astonishment, include promotion to the Premier League. Millwall go into Friday night’s game with Fulham on the back of a 17-game unbeaten run that has taken them from 19th to sixth in the Championship, with the final play-off spot in their hands. Despite having one of the smallest budgets and average gates in the division, no star players, and the lingering threat of losing their stadium, Millwall are in with a shot at the big time. “This is a free shot at promotion for us, 100 per cent” says Morison. “If other teams don’t make it their manager will lose their job. They’ll release their players or sell them because they’re not good enough and spend £20million-£30m to try and do it next year. That’s where the pressure is - it ain’t on us. Steve Morison and Neil Harris celebrate promotion through the play-offs Credit: Getty images “If we make the play-offs we’d think: ‘We might as well go to Wembley now’. And if we do that we’d be in the huddle before the game and I’ll say: ‘Shall we go Prem?’ We just want to see how far we can take this rollercoaster.” But the question everyone is asking is quite how Millwall got here in the first place, having only been promoted after sneaking into the League One play-offs on the final day of last season. “How has this happened? Hard work,” Morison says. “We run further than the other teams. We want it more than other teams. We’ve found our way of playing and I think lots of teams look at it and go - ‘We’re playing Millwall today, we’ll beat them as we’re better than them and get paid more than them’. “They turn up, we give them a whack after 10 minutes and they’re moaning because you shouldn’t be able to do that to them, it’s not in the script. “Then we’ve added a bit of quality and as a team we defend manfully all over the pitch. There’s a real sense that if we play to our potential nobody can beat us. In the dressing room the other day someone said ‘Fulham will be a tough game on Friday’ and someone else came out with ‘Nah, they can’t beat us’. “We are an underdog team that work incredibly hard. Apart from Tim Cahill every single player in that dressing room, me included, if we stopped tomorrow we would have to work. This is our work now so we come in, work hard and enjoy being here. “We play the same team every game and the same way every game, and we just keep having moments. We aren’t searching for an ingredient - we keep making the same cake.” That means unapologetically direct football, utter commitment and a rock-solid team spirit, with Harris’ background checks on every potential signing paying dividends. No one player is paid significantly more than any other, with Morison’s weekly ‘Thursday Club’ nights out keeping the squad tight-knit. Off the field the club has also won a battle with Lewisham Council over the compulsary purchase of land around the New Den which could have left them homeless. That galvanised the fanbase while Harris worked wonders with the team. Key to that was finding a settled side - he has made just three changes to his starting XI in as many games - as they became the form team in the division with the exception of Friday's opponents, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run of their own. But as expectations start to alter those central to Millwall’s success are adamant promotion would not change them. “If we get there we’ll live the dream but this club won’t start paying stupid money,” says Morison. “I look at teams that go up to the Premier League, pay players a fortune, come down and are still paying them a fortune. I can’t believe how many players get paid not to play football. I look at the geezer [Jack] Rodwell up at Sunderland, he gets paid £70,000 a week not to play. Where’s their drive, where’s their ambition to get to the next level? Morison insists there is no pressure on Millwall Credit: Pa “This club won’t lose its’ values or workmanlike class. And Millwall, honestly, it’s a nice club. People think it’s a horrible place to come and play but it’s actually a really nice place to come and play - as long as you’re willing to work hard.” Nice is not often a word associated with Millwall and their supporters, though. There is every chance Millwall may soon be ready for the Premier League, but will the Premier League be ready for Millwall? “I don’t think the police will be,” laughs Morison. “Look, we get hardly any tickets away from home now. We went to Sheffield United and got 1200 tickets. Preston went there the weekend after and got 2500. It’s crazy. “I think it speaks volumes that no one wants us to get there, apart from people within the football club and our immediate supporters. The other day Sky didn’t even put us in their promotion graphic. People aren’t paying attention to us, aren’t giving us that respect. I don’t know who does the voting for Manager of the Season, or who gives the player awards out - but they haven’t got a scooby.” He shrugs, as relaxed as at the water park three years ago. “But as the motto says - we’re Millwall and we don’t care.” They may not, but soon the Premier League might.
How Millwall became the Championship's surprise package
In the summer of 2015 two former Millwall team-mates met up at the Aquashow Water Park in the Algarve. As their families played in the sunshine Steve Morison and Neil Harris slipped away for a quiet beer and a chat about what had happened to their beloved club. Millwall had just been relegated to League One and the place was, according to Morison, “a shambles”. If there was hope it existed solely in Harris - Millwall’s record scorer and a true club legend - having just accepted the daunting post of manager. Harris had a plan, and central to it was a new centre-forward and dressing room leader - and he wanted Morison to fill both those roles. “I remember rejoining Millwall that summer, walking through the door and the club was just back,” remembers Morison. “It was different suddenly. We were back to where we needed to be. Now we are reaping our rewards.” And those rewards could, to wide-spread astonishment, include promotion to the Premier League. Millwall go into Friday night’s game with Fulham on the back of a 17-game unbeaten run that has taken them from 19th to sixth in the Championship, with the final play-off spot in their hands. Despite having one of the smallest budgets and average gates in the division, no star players, and the lingering threat of losing their stadium, Millwall are in with a shot at the big time. “This is a free shot at promotion for us, 100 per cent” says Morison. “If other teams don’t make it their manager will lose their job. They’ll release their players or sell them because they’re not good enough and spend £20million-£30m to try and do it next year. That’s where the pressure is - it ain’t on us. Steve Morison and Neil Harris celebrate promotion through the play-offs Credit: Getty images “If we make the play-offs we’d think: ‘We might as well go to Wembley now’. And if we do that we’d be in the huddle before the game and I’ll say: ‘Shall we go Prem?’ We just want to see how far we can take this rollercoaster.” But the question everyone is asking is quite how Millwall got here in the first place, having only been promoted after sneaking into the League One play-offs on the final day of last season. “How has this happened? Hard work,” Morison says. “We run further than the other teams. We want it more than other teams. We’ve found our way of playing and I think lots of teams look at it and go - ‘We’re playing Millwall today, we’ll beat them as we’re better than them and get paid more than them’. “They turn up, we give them a whack after 10 minutes and they’re moaning because you shouldn’t be able to do that to them, it’s not in the script. “Then we’ve added a bit of quality and as a team we defend manfully all over the pitch. There’s a real sense that if we play to our potential nobody can beat us. In the dressing room the other day someone said ‘Fulham will be a tough game on Friday’ and someone else came out with ‘Nah, they can’t beat us’. “We are an underdog team that work incredibly hard. Apart from Tim Cahill every single player in that dressing room, me included, if we stopped tomorrow we would have to work. This is our work now so we come in, work hard and enjoy being here. “We play the same team every game and the same way every game, and we just keep having moments. We aren’t searching for an ingredient - we keep making the same cake.” That means unapologetically direct football, utter commitment and a rock-solid team spirit, with Harris’ background checks on every potential signing paying dividends. No one player is paid significantly more than any other, with Morison’s weekly ‘Thursday Club’ nights out keeping the squad tight-knit. Off the field the club has also won a battle with Lewisham Council over the compulsary purchase of land around the New Den which could have left them homeless. That galvanised the fanbase while Harris worked wonders with the team. Key to that was finding a settled side - he has made just three changes to his starting XI in as many games - as they became the form team in the division with the exception of Friday's opponents, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run of their own. But as expectations start to alter those central to Millwall’s success are adamant promotion would not change them. “If we get there we’ll live the dream but this club won’t start paying stupid money,” says Morison. “I look at teams that go up to the Premier League, pay players a fortune, come down and are still paying them a fortune. I can’t believe how many players get paid not to play football. I look at the geezer [Jack] Rodwell up at Sunderland, he gets paid £70,000 a week not to play. Where’s their drive, where’s their ambition to get to the next level? Morison insists there is no pressure on Millwall Credit: Pa “This club won’t lose its’ values or workmanlike class. And Millwall, honestly, it’s a nice club. People think it’s a horrible place to come and play but it’s actually a really nice place to come and play - as long as you’re willing to work hard.” Nice is not often a word associated with Millwall and their supporters, though. There is every chance Millwall may soon be ready for the Premier League, but will the Premier League be ready for Millwall? “I don’t think the police will be,” laughs Morison. “Look, we get hardly any tickets away from home now. We went to Sheffield United and got 1200 tickets. Preston went there the weekend after and got 2500. It’s crazy. “I think it speaks volumes that no one wants us to get there, apart from people within the football club and our immediate supporters. The other day Sky didn’t even put us in their promotion graphic. People aren’t paying attention to us, aren’t giving us that respect. I don’t know who does the voting for Manager of the Season, or who gives the player awards out - but they haven’t got a scooby.” He shrugs, as relaxed as at the water park three years ago. “But as the motto says - we’re Millwall and we don’t care.” They may not, but soon the Premier League might.
In the summer of 2015 two former Millwall team-mates met up at the Aquashow Water Park in the Algarve. As their families played in the sunshine Steve Morison and Neil Harris slipped away for a quiet beer and a chat about what had happened to their beloved club. Millwall had just been relegated to League One and the place was, according to Morison, “a shambles”. If there was hope it existed solely in Harris - Millwall’s record scorer and a true club legend - having just accepted the daunting post of manager. Harris had a plan, and central to it was a new centre-forward and dressing room leader - and he wanted Morison to fill both those roles. “I remember rejoining Millwall that summer, walking through the door and the club was just back,” remembers Morison. “It was different suddenly. We were back to where we needed to be. Now we are reaping our rewards.” And those rewards could, to wide-spread astonishment, include promotion to the Premier League. Millwall go into Friday night’s game with Fulham on the back of a 17-game unbeaten run that has taken them from 19th to sixth in the Championship, with the final play-off spot in their hands. Despite having one of the smallest budgets and average gates in the division, no star players, and the lingering threat of losing their stadium, Millwall are in with a shot at the big time. “This is a free shot at promotion for us, 100 per cent” says Morison. “If other teams don’t make it their manager will lose their job. They’ll release their players or sell them because they’re not good enough and spend £20million-£30m to try and do it next year. That’s where the pressure is - it ain’t on us. Steve Morison and Neil Harris celebrate promotion through the play-offs Credit: Getty images “If we make the play-offs we’d think: ‘We might as well go to Wembley now’. And if we do that we’d be in the huddle before the game and I’ll say: ‘Shall we go Prem?’ We just want to see how far we can take this rollercoaster.” But the question everyone is asking is quite how Millwall got here in the first place, having only been promoted after sneaking into the League One play-offs on the final day of last season. “How has this happened? Hard work,” Morison says. “We run further than the other teams. We want it more than other teams. We’ve found our way of playing and I think lots of teams look at it and go - ‘We’re playing Millwall today, we’ll beat them as we’re better than them and get paid more than them’. “They turn up, we give them a whack after 10 minutes and they’re moaning because you shouldn’t be able to do that to them, it’s not in the script. “Then we’ve added a bit of quality and as a team we defend manfully all over the pitch. There’s a real sense that if we play to our potential nobody can beat us. In the dressing room the other day someone said ‘Fulham will be a tough game on Friday’ and someone else came out with ‘Nah, they can’t beat us’. “We are an underdog team that work incredibly hard. Apart from Tim Cahill every single player in that dressing room, me included, if we stopped tomorrow we would have to work. This is our work now so we come in, work hard and enjoy being here. “We play the same team every game and the same way every game, and we just keep having moments. We aren’t searching for an ingredient - we keep making the same cake.” That means unapologetically direct football, utter commitment and a rock-solid team spirit, with Harris’ background checks on every potential signing paying dividends. No one player is paid significantly more than any other, with Morison’s weekly ‘Thursday Club’ nights out keeping the squad tight-knit. Off the field the club has also won a battle with Lewisham Council over the compulsary purchase of land around the New Den which could have left them homeless. That galvanised the fanbase while Harris worked wonders with the team. Key to that was finding a settled side - he has made just three changes to his starting XI in as many games - as they became the form team in the division with the exception of Friday's opponents, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run of their own. But as expectations start to alter those central to Millwall’s success are adamant promotion would not change them. “If we get there we’ll live the dream but this club won’t start paying stupid money,” says Morison. “I look at teams that go up to the Premier League, pay players a fortune, come down and are still paying them a fortune. I can’t believe how many players get paid not to play football. I look at the geezer [Jack] Rodwell up at Sunderland, he gets paid £70,000 a week not to play. Where’s their drive, where’s their ambition to get to the next level? Morison insists there is no pressure on Millwall Credit: Pa “This club won’t lose its’ values or workmanlike class. And Millwall, honestly, it’s a nice club. People think it’s a horrible place to come and play but it’s actually a really nice place to come and play - as long as you’re willing to work hard.” Nice is not often a word associated with Millwall and their supporters, though. There is every chance Millwall may soon be ready for the Premier League, but will the Premier League be ready for Millwall? “I don’t think the police will be,” laughs Morison. “Look, we get hardly any tickets away from home now. We went to Sheffield United and got 1200 tickets. Preston went there the weekend after and got 2500. It’s crazy. “I think it speaks volumes that no one wants us to get there, apart from people within the football club and our immediate supporters. The other day Sky didn’t even put us in their promotion graphic. People aren’t paying attention to us, aren’t giving us that respect. I don’t know who does the voting for Manager of the Season, or who gives the player awards out - but they haven’t got a scooby.” He shrugs, as relaxed as at the water park three years ago. “But as the motto says - we’re Millwall and we don’t care.” They may not, but soon the Premier League might.
How Millwall became the Championship's surprise package
In the summer of 2015 two former Millwall team-mates met up at the Aquashow Water Park in the Algarve. As their families played in the sunshine Steve Morison and Neil Harris slipped away for a quiet beer and a chat about what had happened to their beloved club. Millwall had just been relegated to League One and the place was, according to Morison, “a shambles”. If there was hope it existed solely in Harris - Millwall’s record scorer and a true club legend - having just accepted the daunting post of manager. Harris had a plan, and central to it was a new centre-forward and dressing room leader - and he wanted Morison to fill both those roles. “I remember rejoining Millwall that summer, walking through the door and the club was just back,” remembers Morison. “It was different suddenly. We were back to where we needed to be. Now we are reaping our rewards.” And those rewards could, to wide-spread astonishment, include promotion to the Premier League. Millwall go into Friday night’s game with Fulham on the back of a 17-game unbeaten run that has taken them from 19th to sixth in the Championship, with the final play-off spot in their hands. Despite having one of the smallest budgets and average gates in the division, no star players, and the lingering threat of losing their stadium, Millwall are in with a shot at the big time. “This is a free shot at promotion for us, 100 per cent” says Morison. “If other teams don’t make it their manager will lose their job. They’ll release their players or sell them because they’re not good enough and spend £20million-£30m to try and do it next year. That’s where the pressure is - it ain’t on us. Steve Morison and Neil Harris celebrate promotion through the play-offs Credit: Getty images “If we make the play-offs we’d think: ‘We might as well go to Wembley now’. And if we do that we’d be in the huddle before the game and I’ll say: ‘Shall we go Prem?’ We just want to see how far we can take this rollercoaster.” But the question everyone is asking is quite how Millwall got here in the first place, having only been promoted after sneaking into the League One play-offs on the final day of last season. “How has this happened? Hard work,” Morison says. “We run further than the other teams. We want it more than other teams. We’ve found our way of playing and I think lots of teams look at it and go - ‘We’re playing Millwall today, we’ll beat them as we’re better than them and get paid more than them’. “They turn up, we give them a whack after 10 minutes and they’re moaning because you shouldn’t be able to do that to them, it’s not in the script. “Then we’ve added a bit of quality and as a team we defend manfully all over the pitch. There’s a real sense that if we play to our potential nobody can beat us. In the dressing room the other day someone said ‘Fulham will be a tough game on Friday’ and someone else came out with ‘Nah, they can’t beat us’. “We are an underdog team that work incredibly hard. Apart from Tim Cahill every single player in that dressing room, me included, if we stopped tomorrow we would have to work. This is our work now so we come in, work hard and enjoy being here. “We play the same team every game and the same way every game, and we just keep having moments. We aren’t searching for an ingredient - we keep making the same cake.” That means unapologetically direct football, utter commitment and a rock-solid team spirit, with Harris’ background checks on every potential signing paying dividends. No one player is paid significantly more than any other, with Morison’s weekly ‘Thursday Club’ nights out keeping the squad tight-knit. Off the field the club has also won a battle with Lewisham Council over the compulsary purchase of land around the New Den which could have left them homeless. That galvanised the fanbase while Harris worked wonders with the team. Key to that was finding a settled side - he has made just three changes to his starting XI in as many games - as they became the form team in the division with the exception of Friday's opponents, who are on a 21-game unbeaten run of their own. But as expectations start to alter those central to Millwall’s success are adamant promotion would not change them. “If we get there we’ll live the dream but this club won’t start paying stupid money,” says Morison. “I look at teams that go up to the Premier League, pay players a fortune, come down and are still paying them a fortune. I can’t believe how many players get paid not to play football. I look at the geezer [Jack] Rodwell up at Sunderland, he gets paid £70,000 a week not to play. Where’s their drive, where’s their ambition to get to the next level? Morison insists there is no pressure on Millwall Credit: Pa “This club won’t lose its’ values or workmanlike class. And Millwall, honestly, it’s a nice club. People think it’s a horrible place to come and play but it’s actually a really nice place to come and play - as long as you’re willing to work hard.” Nice is not often a word associated with Millwall and their supporters, though. There is every chance Millwall may soon be ready for the Premier League, but will the Premier League be ready for Millwall? “I don’t think the police will be,” laughs Morison. “Look, we get hardly any tickets away from home now. We went to Sheffield United and got 1200 tickets. Preston went there the weekend after and got 2500. It’s crazy. “I think it speaks volumes that no one wants us to get there, apart from people within the football club and our immediate supporters. The other day Sky didn’t even put us in their promotion graphic. People aren’t paying attention to us, aren’t giving us that respect. I don’t know who does the voting for Manager of the Season, or who gives the player awards out - but they haven’t got a scooby.” He shrugs, as relaxed as at the water park three years ago. “But as the motto says - we’re Millwall and we don’t care.” They may not, but soon the Premier League might.
We're into the final month of the season across England's top four tiers, and there is still plenty to play for. The Premier League title is wrapped up, and the bottom three clubs are looking increasingly to be relegated, but lower down the footballing pyramid there is plenty still at stake. Here, we round-up who can still finish where in the Premier League and Football League. Premier League Every team has either four or five games remaining, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if everyone finished in exactly the position they currently find themselves - or at least in the positions that truly matter. Manchester City are champions, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are looking good to finish in the top four, barring a significant late collapse coupled with a Chelsea recovery. Arsenal and Burnley are battling it out for sixth place (though Arsenal can technically still finish in the top four), with the losers of that race to go into the Europa League at the second qualifying stage - which starts on July 26. Everyone from Leicester in eighth and below can - mathematically - still be relegated, but it would take something dramatic for any of the teams above West Ham to be pulled back in to the dogfight. Southampton, Stoke and West Brom, all at least five points adrift of safety, are in real trouble. Premier League | Who can still get what? Championship Wolves are all but secure of the Championship title, 12 points clear of Cardiff, who have four games left and a vastly inferior goal difference. Cardiff are battling it out with Fulham and Aston Villa for the second remaining automatic play-off spot, though the Welsh side are in the best position to secure promotion. Two of those sides will go into the play-offs, joined by two more of Middlesbrough, Millwall, Derby, Preston, Sheffield United, Brentford and Bristol City, though the final four of those sides face an uphill task to sneak in. At the other end of the table, Sunderland are on the brink of a second successive relegation and last position, rooted to the foot of the Championship. Burton and Barnsley currently make up the bottom three, though Barnsley have a game in hand on Birmingham and Bolton, two points above them, just outside the relegation zone. Every side up to Nottingham Forest can still technically go down, but everyone from Reading and up should survive. Championship | What can still happen? League One Wigan and Blackburn look like they have won the race for the two automatic promotion spots, though Shrewsbury could technically still catch either. Whichever of those teams does not get into the top two will go into the play-offs, and with many sides still having to play five more games, the race for the three remaining play-off places is very, very open. Every team between Rotherham in fourth and Southend in 15th (apart from Fleetwood, due to the combination of other teams' games) can still make it into the play-offs, though realistically, it is unlikely that anyone below ninth will. At the bottom, Bury are down, while everyone up to Bradford in 10th could feasibly get sucked into the relegation battle. Given only eight points separate Rochdale in 21st and Doncaster in 12th, there is an awful lot still to play for. League One | What can still happen? League Two Accrington Stanley have sealed promotion to League One, and Luton will join them with one more win. Wycombe are in pole position to secure the third and final automatic promotion slot, but every side currently in the play-off places is still in contention. The play-off berths will be filled by four teams from those currently between second and 14th (apart from Crawley, who have too few games remaining to make it into seventh). Relegation from the Football League is looking perilously likely for both Chesterfield and Barnet, though everyone up to Crewe in 17th could still be dragged into the drop zone, however unlikely that actually is. League Two | What can still happen?
Premier League and Football League relegation, promotion and play-offs: who can still finish where?
We're into the final month of the season across England's top four tiers, and there is still plenty to play for. The Premier League title is wrapped up, and the bottom three clubs are looking increasingly to be relegated, but lower down the footballing pyramid there is plenty still at stake. Here, we round-up who can still finish where in the Premier League and Football League. Premier League Every team has either four or five games remaining, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if everyone finished in exactly the position they currently find themselves - or at least in the positions that truly matter. Manchester City are champions, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are looking good to finish in the top four, barring a significant late collapse coupled with a Chelsea recovery. Arsenal and Burnley are battling it out for sixth place (though Arsenal can technically still finish in the top four), with the losers of that race to go into the Europa League at the second qualifying stage - which starts on July 26. Everyone from Leicester in eighth and below can - mathematically - still be relegated, but it would take something dramatic for any of the teams above West Ham to be pulled back in to the dogfight. Southampton, Stoke and West Brom, all at least five points adrift of safety, are in real trouble. Premier League | Who can still get what? Championship Wolves are all but secure of the Championship title, 12 points clear of Cardiff, who have four games left and a vastly inferior goal difference. Cardiff are battling it out with Fulham and Aston Villa for the second remaining automatic play-off spot, though the Welsh side are in the best position to secure promotion. Two of those sides will go into the play-offs, joined by two more of Middlesbrough, Millwall, Derby, Preston, Sheffield United, Brentford and Bristol City, though the final four of those sides face an uphill task to sneak in. At the other end of the table, Sunderland are on the brink of a second successive relegation and last position, rooted to the foot of the Championship. Burton and Barnsley currently make up the bottom three, though Barnsley have a game in hand on Birmingham and Bolton, two points above them, just outside the relegation zone. Every side up to Nottingham Forest can still technically go down, but everyone from Reading and up should survive. Championship | What can still happen? League One Wigan and Blackburn look like they have won the race for the two automatic promotion spots, though Shrewsbury could technically still catch either. Whichever of those teams does not get into the top two will go into the play-offs, and with many sides still having to play five more games, the race for the three remaining play-off places is very, very open. Every team between Rotherham in fourth and Southend in 15th (apart from Fleetwood, due to the combination of other teams' games) can still make it into the play-offs, though realistically, it is unlikely that anyone below ninth will. At the bottom, Bury are down, while everyone up to Bradford in 10th could feasibly get sucked into the relegation battle. Given only eight points separate Rochdale in 21st and Doncaster in 12th, there is an awful lot still to play for. League One | What can still happen? League Two Accrington Stanley have sealed promotion to League One, and Luton will join them with one more win. Wycombe are in pole position to secure the third and final automatic promotion slot, but every side currently in the play-off places is still in contention. The play-off berths will be filled by four teams from those currently between second and 14th (apart from Crawley, who have too few games remaining to make it into seventh). Relegation from the Football League is looking perilously likely for both Chesterfield and Barnet, though everyone up to Crewe in 17th could still be dragged into the drop zone, however unlikely that actually is. League Two | What can still happen?
The PFA's Premier League Team of the Year has been announced ahead of the 45th PFA Awards this Sunday and while Manchester City and Tottenham are, unsurprisingly, well represented, Liverpool - currently third in the league and through to the Champions League semi-finals - have just one man in the XI. That man is Mohamed Salah, who has scored 30 goals in the league so far this season and is many people's favourite to win the Player of the Year award, although he faces stiff competition from Man City's Kevin De Bruyne, who also make the PFA's line-up. In a 4-3-3 formation, Man Utd shot-stopper David De Gea is in goal with Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Alonso - the sole player from dethroned champions Chelsea - across the back line. In the middle of the park there's David Silva, De Bruyne and Christian Eriksen, while, up front, Salah, Sergio Aguero - amazingly the first time he has ever made this list - and Harry Kane finish off the line-up. Champions Man City make up almost half of the Premier League team of the year, but the list of players missing certainly raises an eyebrow. No Roberto Firmino, no Leroy Sane, no Mousa Dembele, no Andrew Robertson. PFA Premier League Team of the Year Salah has already said helping Liverpool win the Champions League is more important than any individual award he could receive this season. The Egyptian reached the 40-goal mark across all competitions this season in Liverpool's 3-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Saturday and is leading the race for the European Golden Shoe. And Liverpool beat Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate this month to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they will face AS Roma. "To win the Champions League," Salah said, when asked if he preferred to win the competition or an individual award. "If you had a choice, then of course the Champions League. "... To win the Champions League is huge for everyone. I don't care about the rest." The 25 year-old has scored 30 goals in 32 league appearances for Liverpool in his debut season at the club and is now as short as 1-3 to be named the PFA Player of the Year. In a huge swing in the betting, De Bruyne is out to 9-4 in places. Wolves and Fulham dominate the PFA's Championship team of the year. Leaders Wolves, who have already secured promotion to the Premier League, and third-placed Fulham both boast three players each. Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy, centre-back Willy Bolly and midfielder Ruben Neves are among the XI, alongside Fulham's 17-year-old left-back Ryan Sessegnon, right-back Ryan Fredericks and midfielder Tom Cairney. The rest of the team is made up of Cardiff defender Sol Bamba, Norwich midfielder James Maddison and forwards, Bobby Reid, Leon Clarke and Matej Vydra of Bristol City, Sheffield United and Derby respectively.
PFA names its Premier League team of the year - and only one Liverpool player makes the grade
The PFA's Premier League Team of the Year has been announced ahead of the 45th PFA Awards this Sunday and while Manchester City and Tottenham are, unsurprisingly, well represented, Liverpool - currently third in the league and through to the Champions League semi-finals - have just one man in the XI. That man is Mohamed Salah, who has scored 30 goals in the league so far this season and is many people's favourite to win the Player of the Year award, although he faces stiff competition from Man City's Kevin De Bruyne, who also make the PFA's line-up. In a 4-3-3 formation, Man Utd shot-stopper David De Gea is in goal with Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Alonso - the sole player from dethroned champions Chelsea - across the back line. In the middle of the park there's David Silva, De Bruyne and Christian Eriksen, while, up front, Salah, Sergio Aguero - amazingly the first time he has ever made this list - and Harry Kane finish off the line-up. Champions Man City make up almost half of the Premier League team of the year, but the list of players missing certainly raises an eyebrow. No Roberto Firmino, no Leroy Sane, no Mousa Dembele, no Andrew Robertson. PFA Premier League Team of the Year Salah has already said helping Liverpool win the Champions League is more important than any individual award he could receive this season. The Egyptian reached the 40-goal mark across all competitions this season in Liverpool's 3-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Saturday and is leading the race for the European Golden Shoe. And Liverpool beat Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate this month to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they will face AS Roma. "To win the Champions League," Salah said, when asked if he preferred to win the competition or an individual award. "If you had a choice, then of course the Champions League. "... To win the Champions League is huge for everyone. I don't care about the rest." The 25 year-old has scored 30 goals in 32 league appearances for Liverpool in his debut season at the club and is now as short as 1-3 to be named the PFA Player of the Year. In a huge swing in the betting, De Bruyne is out to 9-4 in places. Wolves and Fulham dominate the PFA's Championship team of the year. Leaders Wolves, who have already secured promotion to the Premier League, and third-placed Fulham both boast three players each. Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy, centre-back Willy Bolly and midfielder Ruben Neves are among the XI, alongside Fulham's 17-year-old left-back Ryan Sessegnon, right-back Ryan Fredericks and midfielder Tom Cairney. The rest of the team is made up of Cardiff defender Sol Bamba, Norwich midfielder James Maddison and forwards, Bobby Reid, Leon Clarke and Matej Vydra of Bristol City, Sheffield United and Derby respectively.
Kyle Walker did not know Manchester City’s victory over his former club Tottenham Hotspur would officially make him a Premier League champion when he left Wembley a vindicated man on Saturday night. City had beaten Spurs thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, but the party was on ice until Manchester United had suffered a shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion less than 24 hours later. Walker was well aware, however, that he had one hand on the trophy, and a Carabao Cup winners’ medal already stashed away, when he described the grass as greener at City. He has got exactly what he wanted, but Walker was not in the mood to gloat. He left Tottenham’s temporary home clutching the shirt of his old team-mate Kieran Trippier and stressed how much he wants Spurs to beat Manchester United in next week’s FA Cup semi-final, and go on to win the trophy. The 27-year-old believes the current Tottenham squad “deserve” to win silverware and insisted he and Mauricio Pochettio still respect each other – even though there remains a clear difference of opinion over the details of his exit. Walker left Tottenham in the summer after eight years there Credit: PA Refusing to take anything for granted ahead of United’s result, Walker said: “We won the Carabao Cup, and that was a step in the right direction for me, but to be competing in the Premier League since I was 19 and to play all the games I played to not win the Premier League was a bit devastating. So to come here, and it’s in touching distance now in my first season, it’s fantastic for me. “You always ask is the grass greener on the other side, and it looks it this way. We need to continue. We can’t just stop at one Premier League title if we go on and do that. It needs to be a number of years before we can be regarded as one of the top teams ever to have played in the league. We have the youth in the squad, and the hunger to go on and do big things.” Pochettino revealed in his book, Brave New World, that Walker was late for an important team meeting and gave his account of why the former Sheffield United youngster left after losing his place to Trippier. Walker is loving life at City Credit: Reuters The Argentine wrote: “Walker came to my office after the Watford game. ‘Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for eight years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here any more, nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give.’” Pochettino said he replied, ‘Kyle, you have to stay professional. There’s a month and a half to go. We’re battling for the Premier League and FA Cup. We have to be focused and finish the campaign strongly.’ Walker’s alleged response was, ‘OK, gaffer, but it’s already decided’. The key men on Pep Guardiola's backroom staff | James Ducker On Saturday night, Walker said: “Whatever you read, I know what really happened. I know the truth behind it and so does he. “I won’t stand here and start slagging people off. That’s not what I’m about. I left because it was a time in my career that I needed to move on, and luckily it’s worked out.” City’s performance and result at Wembley was fitting of champions and provided the perfect response to a week in which they had blown up against United and been knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool. Man City player ratings for title-winning season “We’ve gone from doing so well in all competitions to take three losses,” added Walker, “but we put that right. That shows the character and the belief in the standard of players in the dressing room. “It’s disappointing to lose a game with the chance to go into the semi-finals of the Champions League. It was crushing. “I’m not going to say we didn’t deserve what happened. Liverpool beat us in two games, and congratulations to them. I wish them all the success in the Champions League because it would be fantastic for an English club to go and win it. You have to take your hat off to them.” While Walker will finish his first season at City with two trophies, he still hopes Pochettino and his players win their first piece of silverware with Tottenham in the FA Cup. “They’ve got Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is a big trophy for them,” he said. “So, please God, they go and win it because their lads deserve it. Every single one of them works hard every day. Not just the lads but the coaching staff as well. “For them to do that when it was a season when they were getting a lot of ifs and buts about Wembley would be very good for them.”
Kyle Walker in no mood to gloat at old Spurs mates and says Man City won't stop at one title
Kyle Walker did not know Manchester City’s victory over his former club Tottenham Hotspur would officially make him a Premier League champion when he left Wembley a vindicated man on Saturday night. City had beaten Spurs thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, but the party was on ice until Manchester United had suffered a shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion less than 24 hours later. Walker was well aware, however, that he had one hand on the trophy, and a Carabao Cup winners’ medal already stashed away, when he described the grass as greener at City. He has got exactly what he wanted, but Walker was not in the mood to gloat. He left Tottenham’s temporary home clutching the shirt of his old team-mate Kieran Trippier and stressed how much he wants Spurs to beat Manchester United in next week’s FA Cup semi-final, and go on to win the trophy. The 27-year-old believes the current Tottenham squad “deserve” to win silverware and insisted he and Mauricio Pochettio still respect each other – even though there remains a clear difference of opinion over the details of his exit. Walker left Tottenham in the summer after eight years there Credit: PA Refusing to take anything for granted ahead of United’s result, Walker said: “We won the Carabao Cup, and that was a step in the right direction for me, but to be competing in the Premier League since I was 19 and to play all the games I played to not win the Premier League was a bit devastating. So to come here, and it’s in touching distance now in my first season, it’s fantastic for me. “You always ask is the grass greener on the other side, and it looks it this way. We need to continue. We can’t just stop at one Premier League title if we go on and do that. It needs to be a number of years before we can be regarded as one of the top teams ever to have played in the league. We have the youth in the squad, and the hunger to go on and do big things.” Pochettino revealed in his book, Brave New World, that Walker was late for an important team meeting and gave his account of why the former Sheffield United youngster left after losing his place to Trippier. Walker is loving life at City Credit: Reuters The Argentine wrote: “Walker came to my office after the Watford game. ‘Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for eight years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here any more, nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give.’” Pochettino said he replied, ‘Kyle, you have to stay professional. There’s a month and a half to go. We’re battling for the Premier League and FA Cup. We have to be focused and finish the campaign strongly.’ Walker’s alleged response was, ‘OK, gaffer, but it’s already decided’. The key men on Pep Guardiola's backroom staff | James Ducker On Saturday night, Walker said: “Whatever you read, I know what really happened. I know the truth behind it and so does he. “I won’t stand here and start slagging people off. That’s not what I’m about. I left because it was a time in my career that I needed to move on, and luckily it’s worked out.” City’s performance and result at Wembley was fitting of champions and provided the perfect response to a week in which they had blown up against United and been knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool. Man City player ratings for title-winning season “We’ve gone from doing so well in all competitions to take three losses,” added Walker, “but we put that right. That shows the character and the belief in the standard of players in the dressing room. “It’s disappointing to lose a game with the chance to go into the semi-finals of the Champions League. It was crushing. “I’m not going to say we didn’t deserve what happened. Liverpool beat us in two games, and congratulations to them. I wish them all the success in the Champions League because it would be fantastic for an English club to go and win it. You have to take your hat off to them.” While Walker will finish his first season at City with two trophies, he still hopes Pochettino and his players win their first piece of silverware with Tottenham in the FA Cup. “They’ve got Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is a big trophy for them,” he said. “So, please God, they go and win it because their lads deserve it. Every single one of them works hard every day. Not just the lads but the coaching staff as well. “For them to do that when it was a season when they were getting a lot of ifs and buts about Wembley would be very good for them.”
Kyle Walker did not know Manchester City’s victory over his former club Tottenham Hotspur would officially make him a Premier League champion when he left Wembley a vindicated man on Saturday night. City had beaten Spurs thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, but the party was on ice until Manchester United had suffered a shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion less than 24 hours later. Walker was well aware, however, that he had one hand on the trophy, and a Carabao Cup winners’ medal already stashed away, when he described the grass as greener at City. He has got exactly what he wanted, but Walker was not in the mood to gloat. He left Tottenham’s temporary home clutching the shirt of his old team-mate Kieran Trippier and stressed how much he wants Spurs to beat Manchester United in next week’s FA Cup semi-final, and go on to win the trophy. The 27-year-old believes the current Tottenham squad “deserve” to win silverware and insisted he and Mauricio Pochettio still respect each other – even though there remains a clear difference of opinion over the details of his exit. Walker left Tottenham in the summer after eight years there Credit: PA Refusing to take anything for granted ahead of United’s result, Walker said: “We won the Carabao Cup, and that was a step in the right direction for me, but to be competing in the Premier League since I was 19 and to play all the games I played to not win the Premier League was a bit devastating. So to come here, and it’s in touching distance now in my first season, it’s fantastic for me. “You always ask is the grass greener on the other side, and it looks it this way. We need to continue. We can’t just stop at one Premier League title if we go on and do that. It needs to be a number of years before we can be regarded as one of the top teams ever to have played in the league. We have the youth in the squad, and the hunger to go on and do big things.” Pochettino revealed in his book, Brave New World, that Walker was late for an important team meeting and gave his account of why the former Sheffield United youngster left after losing his place to Trippier. Walker is loving life at City Credit: Reuters The Argentine wrote: “Walker came to my office after the Watford game. ‘Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for eight years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here any more, nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give.’” Pochettino said he replied, ‘Kyle, you have to stay professional. There’s a month and a half to go. We’re battling for the Premier League and FA Cup. We have to be focused and finish the campaign strongly.’ Walker’s alleged response was, ‘OK, gaffer, but it’s already decided’. The key men on Pep Guardiola's backroom staff | James Ducker On Saturday night, Walker said: “Whatever you read, I know what really happened. I know the truth behind it and so does he. “I won’t stand here and start slagging people off. That’s not what I’m about. I left because it was a time in my career that I needed to move on, and luckily it’s worked out.” City’s performance and result at Wembley was fitting of champions and provided the perfect response to a week in which they had blown up against United and been knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool. Man City player ratings for title-winning season “We’ve gone from doing so well in all competitions to take three losses,” added Walker, “but we put that right. That shows the character and the belief in the standard of players in the dressing room. “It’s disappointing to lose a game with the chance to go into the semi-finals of the Champions League. It was crushing. “I’m not going to say we didn’t deserve what happened. Liverpool beat us in two games, and congratulations to them. I wish them all the success in the Champions League because it would be fantastic for an English club to go and win it. You have to take your hat off to them.” While Walker will finish his first season at City with two trophies, he still hopes Pochettino and his players win their first piece of silverware with Tottenham in the FA Cup. “They’ve got Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is a big trophy for them,” he said. “So, please God, they go and win it because their lads deserve it. Every single one of them works hard every day. Not just the lads but the coaching staff as well. “For them to do that when it was a season when they were getting a lot of ifs and buts about Wembley would be very good for them.”
Kyle Walker in no mood to gloat at old Spurs mates and says Man City won't stop at one title
Kyle Walker did not know Manchester City’s victory over his former club Tottenham Hotspur would officially make him a Premier League champion when he left Wembley a vindicated man on Saturday night. City had beaten Spurs thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, but the party was on ice until Manchester United had suffered a shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion less than 24 hours later. Walker was well aware, however, that he had one hand on the trophy, and a Carabao Cup winners’ medal already stashed away, when he described the grass as greener at City. He has got exactly what he wanted, but Walker was not in the mood to gloat. He left Tottenham’s temporary home clutching the shirt of his old team-mate Kieran Trippier and stressed how much he wants Spurs to beat Manchester United in next week’s FA Cup semi-final, and go on to win the trophy. The 27-year-old believes the current Tottenham squad “deserve” to win silverware and insisted he and Mauricio Pochettio still respect each other – even though there remains a clear difference of opinion over the details of his exit. Walker left Tottenham in the summer after eight years there Credit: PA Refusing to take anything for granted ahead of United’s result, Walker said: “We won the Carabao Cup, and that was a step in the right direction for me, but to be competing in the Premier League since I was 19 and to play all the games I played to not win the Premier League was a bit devastating. So to come here, and it’s in touching distance now in my first season, it’s fantastic for me. “You always ask is the grass greener on the other side, and it looks it this way. We need to continue. We can’t just stop at one Premier League title if we go on and do that. It needs to be a number of years before we can be regarded as one of the top teams ever to have played in the league. We have the youth in the squad, and the hunger to go on and do big things.” Pochettino revealed in his book, Brave New World, that Walker was late for an important team meeting and gave his account of why the former Sheffield United youngster left after losing his place to Trippier. Walker is loving life at City Credit: Reuters The Argentine wrote: “Walker came to my office after the Watford game. ‘Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for eight years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here any more, nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give.’” Pochettino said he replied, ‘Kyle, you have to stay professional. There’s a month and a half to go. We’re battling for the Premier League and FA Cup. We have to be focused and finish the campaign strongly.’ Walker’s alleged response was, ‘OK, gaffer, but it’s already decided’. The key men on Pep Guardiola's backroom staff | James Ducker On Saturday night, Walker said: “Whatever you read, I know what really happened. I know the truth behind it and so does he. “I won’t stand here and start slagging people off. That’s not what I’m about. I left because it was a time in my career that I needed to move on, and luckily it’s worked out.” City’s performance and result at Wembley was fitting of champions and provided the perfect response to a week in which they had blown up against United and been knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool. Man City player ratings for title-winning season “We’ve gone from doing so well in all competitions to take three losses,” added Walker, “but we put that right. That shows the character and the belief in the standard of players in the dressing room. “It’s disappointing to lose a game with the chance to go into the semi-finals of the Champions League. It was crushing. “I’m not going to say we didn’t deserve what happened. Liverpool beat us in two games, and congratulations to them. I wish them all the success in the Champions League because it would be fantastic for an English club to go and win it. You have to take your hat off to them.” While Walker will finish his first season at City with two trophies, he still hopes Pochettino and his players win their first piece of silverware with Tottenham in the FA Cup. “They’ve got Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is a big trophy for them,” he said. “So, please God, they go and win it because their lads deserve it. Every single one of them works hard every day. Not just the lads but the coaching staff as well. “For them to do that when it was a season when they were getting a lot of ifs and buts about Wembley would be very good for them.”
Kyle Walker did not know Manchester City’s victory over his former club Tottenham Hotspur would officially make him a Premier League champion when he left Wembley a vindicated man on Saturday night. City had beaten Spurs thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, but the party was on ice until Manchester United had suffered a shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion less than 24 hours later. Walker was well aware, however, that he had one hand on the trophy, and a Carabao Cup winners’ medal already stashed away, when he described the grass as greener at City. He has got exactly what he wanted, but Walker was not in the mood to gloat. He left Tottenham’s temporary home clutching the shirt of his old team-mate Kieran Trippier and stressed how much he wants Spurs to beat Manchester United in next week’s FA Cup semi-final, and go on to win the trophy. The 27-year-old believes the current Tottenham squad “deserve” to win silverware and insisted he and Mauricio Pochettio still respect each other – even though there remains a clear difference of opinion over the details of his exit. Walker left Tottenham in the summer after eight years there Credit: PA Refusing to take anything for granted ahead of United’s result, Walker said: “We won the Carabao Cup, and that was a step in the right direction for me, but to be competing in the Premier League since I was 19 and to play all the games I played to not win the Premier League was a bit devastating. So to come here, and it’s in touching distance now in my first season, it’s fantastic for me. “You always ask is the grass greener on the other side, and it looks it this way. We need to continue. We can’t just stop at one Premier League title if we go on and do that. It needs to be a number of years before we can be regarded as one of the top teams ever to have played in the league. We have the youth in the squad, and the hunger to go on and do big things.” Pochettino revealed in his book, Brave New World, that Walker was late for an important team meeting and gave his account of why the former Sheffield United youngster left after losing his place to Trippier. Walker is loving life at City Credit: Reuters The Argentine wrote: “Walker came to my office after the Watford game. ‘Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for eight years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here any more, nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give.’” Pochettino said he replied, ‘Kyle, you have to stay professional. There’s a month and a half to go. We’re battling for the Premier League and FA Cup. We have to be focused and finish the campaign strongly.’ Walker’s alleged response was, ‘OK, gaffer, but it’s already decided’. The key men on Pep Guardiola's backroom staff | James Ducker On Saturday night, Walker said: “Whatever you read, I know what really happened. I know the truth behind it and so does he. “I won’t stand here and start slagging people off. That’s not what I’m about. I left because it was a time in my career that I needed to move on, and luckily it’s worked out.” City’s performance and result at Wembley was fitting of champions and provided the perfect response to a week in which they had blown up against United and been knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool. Man City player ratings for title-winning season “We’ve gone from doing so well in all competitions to take three losses,” added Walker, “but we put that right. That shows the character and the belief in the standard of players in the dressing room. “It’s disappointing to lose a game with the chance to go into the semi-finals of the Champions League. It was crushing. “I’m not going to say we didn’t deserve what happened. Liverpool beat us in two games, and congratulations to them. I wish them all the success in the Champions League because it would be fantastic for an English club to go and win it. You have to take your hat off to them.” While Walker will finish his first season at City with two trophies, he still hopes Pochettino and his players win their first piece of silverware with Tottenham in the FA Cup. “They’ve got Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is a big trophy for them,” he said. “So, please God, they go and win it because their lads deserve it. Every single one of them works hard every day. Not just the lads but the coaching staff as well. “For them to do that when it was a season when they were getting a lot of ifs and buts about Wembley would be very good for them.”
Kyle Walker in no mood to gloat at old Spurs mates and says Man City won't stop at one title
Kyle Walker did not know Manchester City’s victory over his former club Tottenham Hotspur would officially make him a Premier League champion when he left Wembley a vindicated man on Saturday night. City had beaten Spurs thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, but the party was on ice until Manchester United had suffered a shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion less than 24 hours later. Walker was well aware, however, that he had one hand on the trophy, and a Carabao Cup winners’ medal already stashed away, when he described the grass as greener at City. He has got exactly what he wanted, but Walker was not in the mood to gloat. He left Tottenham’s temporary home clutching the shirt of his old team-mate Kieran Trippier and stressed how much he wants Spurs to beat Manchester United in next week’s FA Cup semi-final, and go on to win the trophy. The 27-year-old believes the current Tottenham squad “deserve” to win silverware and insisted he and Mauricio Pochettio still respect each other – even though there remains a clear difference of opinion over the details of his exit. Walker left Tottenham in the summer after eight years there Credit: PA Refusing to take anything for granted ahead of United’s result, Walker said: “We won the Carabao Cup, and that was a step in the right direction for me, but to be competing in the Premier League since I was 19 and to play all the games I played to not win the Premier League was a bit devastating. So to come here, and it’s in touching distance now in my first season, it’s fantastic for me. “You always ask is the grass greener on the other side, and it looks it this way. We need to continue. We can’t just stop at one Premier League title if we go on and do that. It needs to be a number of years before we can be regarded as one of the top teams ever to have played in the league. We have the youth in the squad, and the hunger to go on and do big things.” Pochettino revealed in his book, Brave New World, that Walker was late for an important team meeting and gave his account of why the former Sheffield United youngster left after losing his place to Trippier. Walker is loving life at City Credit: Reuters The Argentine wrote: “Walker came to my office after the Watford game. ‘Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for eight years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here any more, nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give.’” Pochettino said he replied, ‘Kyle, you have to stay professional. There’s a month and a half to go. We’re battling for the Premier League and FA Cup. We have to be focused and finish the campaign strongly.’ Walker’s alleged response was, ‘OK, gaffer, but it’s already decided’. The key men on Pep Guardiola's backroom staff | James Ducker On Saturday night, Walker said: “Whatever you read, I know what really happened. I know the truth behind it and so does he. “I won’t stand here and start slagging people off. That’s not what I’m about. I left because it was a time in my career that I needed to move on, and luckily it’s worked out.” City’s performance and result at Wembley was fitting of champions and provided the perfect response to a week in which they had blown up against United and been knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool. Man City player ratings for title-winning season “We’ve gone from doing so well in all competitions to take three losses,” added Walker, “but we put that right. That shows the character and the belief in the standard of players in the dressing room. “It’s disappointing to lose a game with the chance to go into the semi-finals of the Champions League. It was crushing. “I’m not going to say we didn’t deserve what happened. Liverpool beat us in two games, and congratulations to them. I wish them all the success in the Champions League because it would be fantastic for an English club to go and win it. You have to take your hat off to them.” While Walker will finish his first season at City with two trophies, he still hopes Pochettino and his players win their first piece of silverware with Tottenham in the FA Cup. “They’ve got Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, which is a big trophy for them,” he said. “So, please God, they go and win it because their lads deserve it. Every single one of them works hard every day. Not just the lads but the coaching staff as well. “For them to do that when it was a season when they were getting a lot of ifs and buts about Wembley would be very good for them.”
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves seal promotion to Premier League as Fulham concede late goal
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves seal promotion to Premier League as Fulham concede late goal
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Wolves seal promotion to Premier League as Fulham concede late goal
Wolves secured a return to the Premier League without kicking a ball on Saturday after Brentford stole a dramatic 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Fulham. The Cottagers needed a win in the late kick-off to regain second place from Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship and to deny Wolves a top-flight spot for the first time since 2012. Aleksandar Mitrovic's 70th-minute goal had looked like putting Wolves' party on hold but Neal Maupay's last-gasp header for Brentford sent Nuno Espirito Santo's side up. Wolves can celebrate at home to Birmingham on Sunday, but third-placed Fulham will have to gather themselves after falling a point and a place behind Cardiff - who have a game in hand. The Bluebirds left it late but kept themselves on course for an automatic promotion place with a 2-0 win at Norwich. Neil Warnock's side know three wins from their remaining four games will be enough to join Wolves in the Premier League but they had to dig deep to earn a vital three points at Carrow Road. Kenneth Zohore squeezed the ball past Angus Gunn in the 86th minute before Junior Hoilett's goal in added time ensured Cardiff's two-game losing streak was brought to an end. Junior Hoilett celebrates his injury time goal in Cardiff City's 2-0 win over Norwich Credit: PA Middlesbrough stormed into the play-off places after coming from behind to beat Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. Milan Djuric volleyed the visitors into a 13th-minute lead before George Friend levelled for Boro five minutes later. Daniel Ayala then headed home the winner in the 68th minute, moving Middlesbrough up to fifth while also denting Bristol City's own top-six hopes. Veteran striker Steve Morison struck his fifth goal of the season for Millwall as they came back to draw 1-1 against fellow play-off hopefuls Sheffield United in the early kick-off. Leon Clarke opened the scoring for the Blades in the 74th minute, but Morison equalised instantly to grab his side a point. The sixth-placed Lions remain unbeaten in the league since New Year's Day and Sheffield United, who are ninth, have not lost at home since late January. Ryan Sessegnon (L) was unable to help Fulham get all three points against Brentford and Romaine Sawyers (R) Derby slipped out of the top six, but Burton moved off the bottom and to within five points of safety after a 3-1 victory over the Rams at the Pirelli Stadium. Liam Boyce tapped home from close range to put the hosts in front after 24 minutes, but their lead did not last long as David Nugent equalised moments later. Luke Murphy curled a beautiful effort past Scott Carson to restore the Brewers' lead just before the break and Lucas Akins added a third in the 68th minute. Oli McBurnie's added-time equaliser secured a vital 2-2 draw for Barnsley at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. Gary Gardner scored from 10 yards midway through the first half for the Tykes before Adam Le Fondre levelled from the spot after 82 minutes. Craig Noone thought he had won it for Bolton three minutes later, but McBurnie had the final say to keep Barnsley within two points of the 21st-placed Trotters. Sunderland slipped to the foot of the table and remain six points below Bolton after drawing 2-2 at Reading. Liam Kelly gave the Royals the lead from the penalty spot after Lee Camp brought down Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in the box after 20 minutes. Paddy McNair fired home a stunning equaliser for the Black Cats just after the break before Lee Cattermole's first goal since August 2014 put the visitors in front in the 66th minute. Yann Kermorgant restored parity for Reading with 11 minutes remaining to leave Chris Coleman's side on the brink with three games left. Ben Brereton's late penalty and Joe Lolley's goal in added time secured an unlikely 2-1 win for Nottingham Forest against Ipswich, who had led through Grant Ward's first-half header. Elsewhere, Callum Robinson's double sealed a 2-1 win for Preston against QPR, who had Matt Smith on the scoresheet, while Jordan
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall manager Neil Harris applauds their fans after the match Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall manager Neil Harris applauds their fans after the match Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Shaun Hutchinson in action with Sheffield United's Chris Basham Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Shaun Hutchinson in action with Sheffield United's Chris Basham Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Jed Wallace in action with Sheffield United's Chris Basham Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Jed Wallace in action with Sheffield United's Chris Basham Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans in action with Millwall's Jake Cooper Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans in action with Millwall's Jake Cooper Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal with George Saville and team mates Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal with George Saville and team mates Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison scores their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison scores their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Steve Morison celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Leon Clarke celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Leon Clarke celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Leon Clarke celebrates with George Baldock after scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Leon Clarke celebrates with George Baldock after scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Leon Clarke celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Leon Clarke celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's John Fleck in action with Millwall's Steve Morison Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's John Fleck in action with Millwall's Steve Morison Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's John Fleck in action with Millwall's Steve Morison Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's John Fleck in action with Millwall's Steve Morison Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Enda Stevens in action with Millwall's Mahlon Romeo Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Enda Stevens in action with Millwall's Mahlon Romeo Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall manager Neil Harris Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall manager Neil Harris Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Chris Basham in action with Millwall's Jed Wallace Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Chris Basham in action with Millwall's Jed Wallace Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Jake Cooper in action with Sheffield United's David Brooks Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Millwall's Jake Cooper in action with Sheffield United's David Brooks Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans in action with Millwall's James Meredith Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans in action with Millwall's James Meredith Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Chris Basham in action with Millwall's James Meredith Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's Chris Basham in action with Millwall's James Meredith Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's David Brooks in action with Millwall's Shaun Williams Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's David Brooks in action with Millwall's Shaun Williams Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's David Brooks in action with Millwall's Shaun Williams Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Millwall - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 14, 2018 Sheffield United's David Brooks in action with Millwall's Shaun Williams Action Images/Paul Burrows EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing and Sheffield United's David Brooks in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing and Sheffield United's David Brooks in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson looks dejected after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson looks dejected after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Chris Basham in action with Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Chris Basham in action with Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates with Lee Evans after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates with Lee Evans after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
The Duke of Cambridge was at Villa Park to witness the club’s own crown prince, Jack Grealish, spark Steve Bruce’s promotion bid back into life with an outrageous winning goal. Sitting next to former striker John Carew, Villa fan Prince William will have been out of his seat after Grealish’s brilliant volley five minutes from time settled this encounter between the Championship manager promotion experts. Grealish’s strike earned Villa only their second victory in six games, maintaining their slim hopes of automatic promotion, while Cardiff’s own aspirations of scrambling into the top two were damaged after Fulham’s win over Reading. Cardiff are now third, with a game in hand over Fulham, and were frustrated after an outstanding performance from Sam Johnstone, the goalkeeper on loan from Manchester United. Johnstone’s brilliance prevented Villa from a chastening defeat in front of His Royal Highness, with at least three excellent saves, before Grealish struck from outside the box with a breathtaking goal. Jack Grealish scored with a screamer of a volley Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside/Getty Images Warnock admitted there were many “broken hearts’ after the stormy defeat by Wolves on Friday, when Cardiff’s Gary Madine and Junior Hoilett both failed to score stoppage-time penalties. This will have felt even worse. It is currently Warnock 7 Bruce 4 in the promotion stakes but the Villa manager’s hopes of adding another to his collection were under serious threat. The Villa wobble has come at the worst possible time. Bruce witnessed one of the club’s most dismal performances of the season at Norwich last weekend and the ramifications for missing out on promotion do not bear thinking about. Neil Warnock has suffered back-to-back defeats which have allowed Fulham to sneak ahead in the race for automatic promotion Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside/Getty Images He has already conceded that his own future could be in doubt if Villa face another season in the Championship, while contract talks with senior players are on hold. Parachute payments will also be significantly lower if Villa have to stomach a third successive season in the second tier. With captain John Terry absent due to an ankle problem, the pressure was on the home team and they could have fallen behind in the 16th minute. Axel Tuanzebe was robbed of the ball on the halfway line and Kenneth Zohore released Nathaniel Mendez-Lang into the area. The Cardiff winger had only Sam Johnstone to beat but his angled shot came back off the post. It felt like a huge moment. Warnock had lost all six of his previous Football League meetings away against Bruce - with Bury, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Crystal Palace, Rotherham and finally Cardiff. The Duke of Cambridge watched his team alongside John Carew Credit: Paul Harding/PA But his team here were comfortable for long periods in the first-half, with Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson sticking to Grealish like a barnacle on a boat. Villa were slow and ponderous and the only threatening moment came 11 minutes before the break when Albert Adomah hooked a shot wide. And Cardiff should have taken the lead in first-half injury time, only for Villa to escape again. Ahmed Elmohamady first cleared Sean Morrison’s shot off the line and then Johnstone produced an outstanding double save, preventing Glenn Whelan from deflecting a shot into his own net before denying Callum Paterson. Villa required Johnstone again in the 57th minute, the goalkeeper stretching out a leg to block Zohore’s shot from finding the corner. Bruce introduced striker Jonathan Kodjia on the hour in a bid to wrestle control of the game and the £15m signing created a chance out of nothing, evading Morrison before shooting straight at Neil Etheridge. Johnstone was still proving the central figure, producing a fine save from Mendez-Laing as Cardiff cranked up the pressure. But Grealish grabbed the headlines in the 85th minute, crashing in a volley which whistled in off the post. Match details Villa (4-1-4-1) Johnstone, Elmohamady, Chester, Jedinak, Tuanzebe (Bree 26) ; Whelan; Snodgrass, Hourihane (Samba, 88), Grealish, Adomah (Kodjia, 60); Grabban. Substitutes Bunn (g), Lansbury, Onomah, Hogan. Booked Hourihane, Snodgrass, Johnstone, Kodjia. Cardiff (4-3-3) Etheridge; Peltier, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Gunnarsson, Grujic, Paterson; Mendez-Laing (Pilkington, 90), Zohore (Madine, 68), Hoilett (Ward, 88). Substitutes Murphy (g), Ecuele Manga, Bryson, Traore. Booked Paterson, Peltier, Bennett, Gunnarsson, Ward. Referee Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)
Jack Grealish keeps Villa's hopes alive with majestic strike
The Duke of Cambridge was at Villa Park to witness the club’s own crown prince, Jack Grealish, spark Steve Bruce’s promotion bid back into life with an outrageous winning goal. Sitting next to former striker John Carew, Villa fan Prince William will have been out of his seat after Grealish’s brilliant volley five minutes from time settled this encounter between the Championship manager promotion experts. Grealish’s strike earned Villa only their second victory in six games, maintaining their slim hopes of automatic promotion, while Cardiff’s own aspirations of scrambling into the top two were damaged after Fulham’s win over Reading. Cardiff are now third, with a game in hand over Fulham, and were frustrated after an outstanding performance from Sam Johnstone, the goalkeeper on loan from Manchester United. Johnstone’s brilliance prevented Villa from a chastening defeat in front of His Royal Highness, with at least three excellent saves, before Grealish struck from outside the box with a breathtaking goal. Jack Grealish scored with a screamer of a volley Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside/Getty Images Warnock admitted there were many “broken hearts’ after the stormy defeat by Wolves on Friday, when Cardiff’s Gary Madine and Junior Hoilett both failed to score stoppage-time penalties. This will have felt even worse. It is currently Warnock 7 Bruce 4 in the promotion stakes but the Villa manager’s hopes of adding another to his collection were under serious threat. The Villa wobble has come at the worst possible time. Bruce witnessed one of the club’s most dismal performances of the season at Norwich last weekend and the ramifications for missing out on promotion do not bear thinking about. Neil Warnock has suffered back-to-back defeats which have allowed Fulham to sneak ahead in the race for automatic promotion Credit: Marc Atkins/Offside/Getty Images He has already conceded that his own future could be in doubt if Villa face another season in the Championship, while contract talks with senior players are on hold. Parachute payments will also be significantly lower if Villa have to stomach a third successive season in the second tier. With captain John Terry absent due to an ankle problem, the pressure was on the home team and they could have fallen behind in the 16th minute. Axel Tuanzebe was robbed of the ball on the halfway line and Kenneth Zohore released Nathaniel Mendez-Lang into the area. The Cardiff winger had only Sam Johnstone to beat but his angled shot came back off the post. It felt like a huge moment. Warnock had lost all six of his previous Football League meetings away against Bruce - with Bury, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Crystal Palace, Rotherham and finally Cardiff. The Duke of Cambridge watched his team alongside John Carew Credit: Paul Harding/PA But his team here were comfortable for long periods in the first-half, with Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson sticking to Grealish like a barnacle on a boat. Villa were slow and ponderous and the only threatening moment came 11 minutes before the break when Albert Adomah hooked a shot wide. And Cardiff should have taken the lead in first-half injury time, only for Villa to escape again. Ahmed Elmohamady first cleared Sean Morrison’s shot off the line and then Johnstone produced an outstanding double save, preventing Glenn Whelan from deflecting a shot into his own net before denying Callum Paterson. Villa required Johnstone again in the 57th minute, the goalkeeper stretching out a leg to block Zohore’s shot from finding the corner. Bruce introduced striker Jonathan Kodjia on the hour in a bid to wrestle control of the game and the £15m signing created a chance out of nothing, evading Morrison before shooting straight at Neil Etheridge. Johnstone was still proving the central figure, producing a fine save from Mendez-Laing as Cardiff cranked up the pressure. But Grealish grabbed the headlines in the 85th minute, crashing in a volley which whistled in off the post. Match details Villa (4-1-4-1) Johnstone, Elmohamady, Chester, Jedinak, Tuanzebe (Bree 26) ; Whelan; Snodgrass, Hourihane (Samba, 88), Grealish, Adomah (Kodjia, 60); Grabban. Substitutes Bunn (g), Lansbury, Onomah, Hogan. Booked Hourihane, Snodgrass, Johnstone, Kodjia. Cardiff (4-3-3) Etheridge; Peltier, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Gunnarsson, Grujic, Paterson; Mendez-Laing (Pilkington, 90), Zohore (Madine, 68), Hoilett (Ward, 88). Substitutes Murphy (g), Ecuele Manga, Bryson, Traore. Booked Paterson, Peltier, Bennett, Gunnarsson, Ward. Referee Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans scores their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans scores their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans scores their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans scores their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore, Daniel Ayala and Jonathan Howson look dejected after conceding the second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore, Daniel Ayala and Jonathan Howson look dejected after conceding the second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is sent off for a challenge on Sheffield United's John Fleck Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is sent off for a challenge on Sheffield United's John Fleck Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore in action with Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore in action with Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans scores their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans scores their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Sheffield United's Lee Evans celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is sent off for a challenge on Sheffield United's John Fleck Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is sent off for a challenge on Sheffield United's John Fleck Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter leaves the pitch after being sent off Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter leaves the pitch after being sent off Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is shown a red card by referee Darren Bond Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is shown a red card by referee Darren Bond Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is sent off for a challenge on Sheffield United's John Fleck Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter is sent off for a challenge on Sheffield United's John Fleck Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter with manager Tony Pulis after being sent off Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter with manager Tony Pulis after being sent off Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Middlesbrough - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 10, 2018 Middlesbrough's Adama Traore Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Neil Warnock’s comeback to his ­beloved Bramall Lane ended in a fairytale finish, as one of his Cardiff City substitutes – Anthony Pilkington – rescued a point in injury time. Although Warnock’s Cardiff endured their eight-game winning run ­being ended, the exuberant ­celebrations after the equaliser showed what this meant, as they demonstrated the fighting spirit that has muscled them into the top two. Warnock said his players looked like they had “won the World Cup” when they came into the dressing room at full-time. It was all so hard to take for ­play-off chasing Sheffield United – a club that Warnock famously both supported and managed – after their impressive display. Watching the late Cardiff joy clearly hurt them. United manager Chris Wilder said afterwards that his men had been accused of being “smug” by opposition staff, “but that wasn’t our attitude”, indicating some ­lingering ill-feeling. Ultimately, United were not ­clinical, while Cardiff were, and that is a key difference between the clubs. Warnock, beaming with pride when he came in to his press conference. “It could be the best point of the season that, in the ­circumstances,” he said. “You never say never with our lot. Cloughie [Brian Clough] used to say it only takes a second to score a goal.” Warnock also gave a reminder of old times by criticising the officials, adding: “I thought he might have booked a couple of ball boys, too [for slowing the game down] - but they learned from me maybe.” Anthony Pilkington grabs Cardiff's late equaliser Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Ball boys aside, nothing could dampen Warnock’s enthusiasm ­after a timely result – with Wolves and Aston Villa being Cardiff’s next opponents. Wilder’s men had automatic ­promotion dreams of their own in the first half of the season – until Leon Clarke stopped scoring goals so prolifically. Perhaps it is a ­promising omen that the striker ended his 10-game drought here. The problem was that Clarke’s strike was all that they had to show for their efforts. Wilder said: “We dominated a side that are heading for the Premier League. When you play well, you’ve got to win.” Warnock had not managed against United at Bramall Lane since August 2010. He was greeted on his return here by a boggy pitch after earlier heavy snow. On that tricky surface, it was a scrappy start. United adjusted ­better and deservedly went ahead. Leon Clarke puts the Blades ahead Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire A well-worked move ended in John Lundstram supplying Clarke to score, as the striker sent an ­untidy 12-yard shot bobbling ­beyond Neil Etheridge. A slight ­deflection on the way, off Cardiff’s Bruno Ecuele Manga, did not help the goalkeeper’s cause. Cardiff carried on looking ­second best for the remainder of the half – but proceedings were livened up at half-time when Warnock brought on Gary Madine. The former ­Sheffield Wednesday striker made his presence felt on United ­defender Richard Stearman, annoying the crowd. “We needed him,” said Warnock. “We were a bit soft before.” Still, United should have finished them off as the second half went on. Clayton Donaldson came close, in the 77th minute, but struck a post from eight yards. United’s Lee Evans was then brought down by Sol Bamba in the area. “I thought it was a penalty,” said Wilder. “You’re hoping they give it. The linesman is looking right down the barrel of the gun of it. But he didn’t and those are the cruel realities of sport.” Wilder’s men were left to rue it when Pilkington – making a rare appearance - fired in, inside the penalty area. “By gum, we’ve got big hearts,” beamed Warnock, as he exited. He had left his stamp of Yorkshire grit on Sheffield, a place close to his own heart. Match details Sheffield United (3-5-1-1) Moore; Basham, Stearman (Wright 69), O’Connell; Baldock, Evans (Leonard 88), Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens; Brooks (Donaldson 72); Clarke. Subs Eastwood (g), Sharp, Lafferty, Holmes. Cardiff City (4-3-3)Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Paterson, Grujic, Gunnarsson; Mendez-Laing (Madine 46), Zohore (Pilkington 78), Hoilett (Wildschut 78). Subs Murphy (g), Peltier, Bryson, Ward. Booked Bennett. Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Sheffield Utd 1 Cardiff City 1: Anthony Pilkington equaliser gives ebullient Neil Warnock the last laugh
Neil Warnock’s comeback to his ­beloved Bramall Lane ended in a fairytale finish, as one of his Cardiff City substitutes – Anthony Pilkington – rescued a point in injury time. Although Warnock’s Cardiff endured their eight-game winning run ­being ended, the exuberant ­celebrations after the equaliser showed what this meant, as they demonstrated the fighting spirit that has muscled them into the top two. Warnock said his players looked like they had “won the World Cup” when they came into the dressing room at full-time. It was all so hard to take for ­play-off chasing Sheffield United – a club that Warnock famously both supported and managed – after their impressive display. Watching the late Cardiff joy clearly hurt them. United manager Chris Wilder said afterwards that his men had been accused of being “smug” by opposition staff, “but that wasn’t our attitude”, indicating some ­lingering ill-feeling. Ultimately, United were not ­clinical, while Cardiff were, and that is a key difference between the clubs. Warnock, beaming with pride when he came in to his press conference. “It could be the best point of the season that, in the ­circumstances,” he said. “You never say never with our lot. Cloughie [Brian Clough] used to say it only takes a second to score a goal.” Warnock also gave a reminder of old times by criticising the officials, adding: “I thought he might have booked a couple of ball boys, too [for slowing the game down] - but they learned from me maybe.” Anthony Pilkington grabs Cardiff's late equaliser Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Ball boys aside, nothing could dampen Warnock’s enthusiasm ­after a timely result – with Wolves and Aston Villa being Cardiff’s next opponents. Wilder’s men had automatic ­promotion dreams of their own in the first half of the season – until Leon Clarke stopped scoring goals so prolifically. Perhaps it is a ­promising omen that the striker ended his 10-game drought here. The problem was that Clarke’s strike was all that they had to show for their efforts. Wilder said: “We dominated a side that are heading for the Premier League. When you play well, you’ve got to win.” Warnock had not managed against United at Bramall Lane since August 2010. He was greeted on his return here by a boggy pitch after earlier heavy snow. On that tricky surface, it was a scrappy start. United adjusted ­better and deservedly went ahead. Leon Clarke puts the Blades ahead Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire A well-worked move ended in John Lundstram supplying Clarke to score, as the striker sent an ­untidy 12-yard shot bobbling ­beyond Neil Etheridge. A slight ­deflection on the way, off Cardiff’s Bruno Ecuele Manga, did not help the goalkeeper’s cause. Cardiff carried on looking ­second best for the remainder of the half – but proceedings were livened up at half-time when Warnock brought on Gary Madine. The former ­Sheffield Wednesday striker made his presence felt on United ­defender Richard Stearman, annoying the crowd. “We needed him,” said Warnock. “We were a bit soft before.” Still, United should have finished them off as the second half went on. Clayton Donaldson came close, in the 77th minute, but struck a post from eight yards. United’s Lee Evans was then brought down by Sol Bamba in the area. “I thought it was a penalty,” said Wilder. “You’re hoping they give it. The linesman is looking right down the barrel of the gun of it. But he didn’t and those are the cruel realities of sport.” Wilder’s men were left to rue it when Pilkington – making a rare appearance - fired in, inside the penalty area. “By gum, we’ve got big hearts,” beamed Warnock, as he exited. He had left his stamp of Yorkshire grit on Sheffield, a place close to his own heart. Match details Sheffield United (3-5-1-1) Moore; Basham, Stearman (Wright 69), O’Connell; Baldock, Evans (Leonard 88), Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens; Brooks (Donaldson 72); Clarke. Subs Eastwood (g), Sharp, Lafferty, Holmes. Cardiff City (4-3-3)Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Paterson, Grujic, Gunnarsson; Mendez-Laing (Madine 46), Zohore (Pilkington 78), Hoilett (Wildschut 78). Subs Murphy (g), Peltier, Bryson, Ward. Booked Bennett. Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Neil Warnock’s comeback to his ­beloved Bramall Lane ended in a fairytale finish, as one of his Cardiff City substitutes – Anthony Pilkington – rescued a point in injury time. Although Warnock’s Cardiff endured their eight-game winning run ­being ended, the exuberant ­celebrations after the equaliser showed what this meant, as they demonstrated the fighting spirit that has muscled them into the top two. Warnock said his players looked like they had “won the World Cup” when they came into the dressing room at full-time. It was all so hard to take for ­play-off chasing Sheffield United – a club that Warnock famously both supported and managed – after their impressive display. Watching the late Cardiff joy clearly hurt them. United manager Chris Wilder said afterwards that his men had been accused of being “smug” by opposition staff, “but that wasn’t our attitude”, indicating some ­lingering ill-feeling. Ultimately, United were not ­clinical, while Cardiff were, and that is a key difference between the clubs. Warnock, beaming with pride when he came in to his press conference. “It could be the best point of the season that, in the ­circumstances,” he said. “You never say never with our lot. Cloughie [Brian Clough] used to say it only takes a second to score a goal.” Warnock also gave a reminder of old times by criticising the officials, adding: “I thought he might have booked a couple of ball boys, too [for slowing the game down] - but they learned from me maybe.” Anthony Pilkington grabs Cardiff's late equaliser Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Ball boys aside, nothing could dampen Warnock’s enthusiasm ­after a timely result – with Wolves and Aston Villa being Cardiff’s next opponents. Wilder’s men had automatic ­promotion dreams of their own in the first half of the season – until Leon Clarke stopped scoring goals so prolifically. Perhaps it is a ­promising omen that the striker ended his 10-game drought here. The problem was that Clarke’s strike was all that they had to show for their efforts. Wilder said: “We dominated a side that are heading for the Premier League. When you play well, you’ve got to win.” Warnock had not managed against United at Bramall Lane since August 2010. He was greeted on his return here by a boggy pitch after earlier heavy snow. On that tricky surface, it was a scrappy start. United adjusted ­better and deservedly went ahead. Leon Clarke puts the Blades ahead Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire A well-worked move ended in John Lundstram supplying Clarke to score, as the striker sent an ­untidy 12-yard shot bobbling ­beyond Neil Etheridge. A slight ­deflection on the way, off Cardiff’s Bruno Ecuele Manga, did not help the goalkeeper’s cause. Cardiff carried on looking ­second best for the remainder of the half – but proceedings were livened up at half-time when Warnock brought on Gary Madine. The former ­Sheffield Wednesday striker made his presence felt on United ­defender Richard Stearman, annoying the crowd. “We needed him,” said Warnock. “We were a bit soft before.” Still, United should have finished them off as the second half went on. Clayton Donaldson came close, in the 77th minute, but struck a post from eight yards. United’s Lee Evans was then brought down by Sol Bamba in the area. “I thought it was a penalty,” said Wilder. “You’re hoping they give it. The linesman is looking right down the barrel of the gun of it. But he didn’t and those are the cruel realities of sport.” Wilder’s men were left to rue it when Pilkington – making a rare appearance - fired in, inside the penalty area. “By gum, we’ve got big hearts,” beamed Warnock, as he exited. He had left his stamp of Yorkshire grit on Sheffield, a place close to his own heart. Match details Sheffield United (3-5-1-1) Moore; Basham, Stearman (Wright 69), O’Connell; Baldock, Evans (Leonard 88), Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens; Brooks (Donaldson 72); Clarke. Subs Eastwood (g), Sharp, Lafferty, Holmes. Cardiff City (4-3-3)Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Paterson, Grujic, Gunnarsson; Mendez-Laing (Madine 46), Zohore (Pilkington 78), Hoilett (Wildschut 78). Subs Murphy (g), Peltier, Bryson, Ward. Booked Bennett. Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Sheffield Utd 1 Cardiff City 1: Anthony Pilkington equaliser gives ebullient Neil Warnock the last laugh
Neil Warnock’s comeback to his ­beloved Bramall Lane ended in a fairytale finish, as one of his Cardiff City substitutes – Anthony Pilkington – rescued a point in injury time. Although Warnock’s Cardiff endured their eight-game winning run ­being ended, the exuberant ­celebrations after the equaliser showed what this meant, as they demonstrated the fighting spirit that has muscled them into the top two. Warnock said his players looked like they had “won the World Cup” when they came into the dressing room at full-time. It was all so hard to take for ­play-off chasing Sheffield United – a club that Warnock famously both supported and managed – after their impressive display. Watching the late Cardiff joy clearly hurt them. United manager Chris Wilder said afterwards that his men had been accused of being “smug” by opposition staff, “but that wasn’t our attitude”, indicating some ­lingering ill-feeling. Ultimately, United were not ­clinical, while Cardiff were, and that is a key difference between the clubs. Warnock, beaming with pride when he came in to his press conference. “It could be the best point of the season that, in the ­circumstances,” he said. “You never say never with our lot. Cloughie [Brian Clough] used to say it only takes a second to score a goal.” Warnock also gave a reminder of old times by criticising the officials, adding: “I thought he might have booked a couple of ball boys, too [for slowing the game down] - but they learned from me maybe.” Anthony Pilkington grabs Cardiff's late equaliser Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Ball boys aside, nothing could dampen Warnock’s enthusiasm ­after a timely result – with Wolves and Aston Villa being Cardiff’s next opponents. Wilder’s men had automatic ­promotion dreams of their own in the first half of the season – until Leon Clarke stopped scoring goals so prolifically. Perhaps it is a ­promising omen that the striker ended his 10-game drought here. The problem was that Clarke’s strike was all that they had to show for their efforts. Wilder said: “We dominated a side that are heading for the Premier League. When you play well, you’ve got to win.” Warnock had not managed against United at Bramall Lane since August 2010. He was greeted on his return here by a boggy pitch after earlier heavy snow. On that tricky surface, it was a scrappy start. United adjusted ­better and deservedly went ahead. Leon Clarke puts the Blades ahead Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire A well-worked move ended in John Lundstram supplying Clarke to score, as the striker sent an ­untidy 12-yard shot bobbling ­beyond Neil Etheridge. A slight ­deflection on the way, off Cardiff’s Bruno Ecuele Manga, did not help the goalkeeper’s cause. Cardiff carried on looking ­second best for the remainder of the half – but proceedings were livened up at half-time when Warnock brought on Gary Madine. The former ­Sheffield Wednesday striker made his presence felt on United ­defender Richard Stearman, annoying the crowd. “We needed him,” said Warnock. “We were a bit soft before.” Still, United should have finished them off as the second half went on. Clayton Donaldson came close, in the 77th minute, but struck a post from eight yards. United’s Lee Evans was then brought down by Sol Bamba in the area. “I thought it was a penalty,” said Wilder. “You’re hoping they give it. The linesman is looking right down the barrel of the gun of it. But he didn’t and those are the cruel realities of sport.” Wilder’s men were left to rue it when Pilkington – making a rare appearance - fired in, inside the penalty area. “By gum, we’ve got big hearts,” beamed Warnock, as he exited. He had left his stamp of Yorkshire grit on Sheffield, a place close to his own heart. Match details Sheffield United (3-5-1-1) Moore; Basham, Stearman (Wright 69), O’Connell; Baldock, Evans (Leonard 88), Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens; Brooks (Donaldson 72); Clarke. Subs Eastwood (g), Sharp, Lafferty, Holmes. Cardiff City (4-3-3)Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Paterson, Grujic, Gunnarsson; Mendez-Laing (Madine 46), Zohore (Pilkington 78), Hoilett (Wildschut 78). Subs Murphy (g), Peltier, Bryson, Ward. Booked Bennett. Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Neil Warnock’s comeback to his ­beloved Bramall Lane ended in a fairytale finish, as one of his Cardiff City substitutes – Anthony Pilkington – rescued a point in injury time. Although Warnock’s Cardiff endured their eight-game winning run ­being ended, the exuberant ­celebrations after the equaliser showed what this meant, as they demonstrated the fighting spirit that has muscled them into the top two. Warnock said his players looked like they had “won the World Cup” when they came into the dressing room at full-time. It was all so hard to take for ­play-off chasing Sheffield United – a club that Warnock famously both supported and managed – after their impressive display. Watching the late Cardiff joy clearly hurt them. United manager Chris Wilder said afterwards that his men had been accused of being “smug” by opposition staff, “but that wasn’t our attitude”, indicating some ­lingering ill-feeling. Ultimately, United were not ­clinical, while Cardiff were, and that is a key difference between the clubs. Warnock, beaming with pride when he came in to his press conference. “It could be the best point of the season that, in the ­circumstances,” he said. “You never say never with our lot. Cloughie [Brian Clough] used to say it only takes a second to score a goal.” Warnock also gave a reminder of old times by criticising the officials, adding: “I thought he might have booked a couple of ball boys, too [for slowing the game down] - but they learned from me maybe.” Anthony Pilkington grabs Cardiff's late equaliser Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Ball boys aside, nothing could dampen Warnock’s enthusiasm ­after a timely result – with Wolves and Aston Villa being Cardiff’s next opponents. Wilder’s men had automatic ­promotion dreams of their own in the first half of the season – until Leon Clarke stopped scoring goals so prolifically. Perhaps it is a ­promising omen that the striker ended his 10-game drought here. The problem was that Clarke’s strike was all that they had to show for their efforts. Wilder said: “We dominated a side that are heading for the Premier League. When you play well, you’ve got to win.” Warnock had not managed against United at Bramall Lane since August 2010. He was greeted on his return here by a boggy pitch after earlier heavy snow. On that tricky surface, it was a scrappy start. United adjusted ­better and deservedly went ahead. Leon Clarke puts the Blades ahead Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire A well-worked move ended in John Lundstram supplying Clarke to score, as the striker sent an ­untidy 12-yard shot bobbling ­beyond Neil Etheridge. A slight ­deflection on the way, off Cardiff’s Bruno Ecuele Manga, did not help the goalkeeper’s cause. Cardiff carried on looking ­second best for the remainder of the half – but proceedings were livened up at half-time when Warnock brought on Gary Madine. The former ­Sheffield Wednesday striker made his presence felt on United ­defender Richard Stearman, annoying the crowd. “We needed him,” said Warnock. “We were a bit soft before.” Still, United should have finished them off as the second half went on. Clayton Donaldson came close, in the 77th minute, but struck a post from eight yards. United’s Lee Evans was then brought down by Sol Bamba in the area. “I thought it was a penalty,” said Wilder. “You’re hoping they give it. The linesman is looking right down the barrel of the gun of it. But he didn’t and those are the cruel realities of sport.” Wilder’s men were left to rue it when Pilkington – making a rare appearance - fired in, inside the penalty area. “By gum, we’ve got big hearts,” beamed Warnock, as he exited. He had left his stamp of Yorkshire grit on Sheffield, a place close to his own heart. Match details Sheffield United (3-5-1-1) Moore; Basham, Stearman (Wright 69), O’Connell; Baldock, Evans (Leonard 88), Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens; Brooks (Donaldson 72); Clarke. Subs Eastwood (g), Sharp, Lafferty, Holmes. Cardiff City (4-3-3)Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Paterson, Grujic, Gunnarsson; Mendez-Laing (Madine 46), Zohore (Pilkington 78), Hoilett (Wildschut 78). Subs Murphy (g), Peltier, Bryson, Ward. Booked Bennett. Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Sheffield Utd 1 Cardiff City 1: Anthony Pilkington equaliser gives ebullient Neil Warnock the last laugh
Neil Warnock’s comeback to his ­beloved Bramall Lane ended in a fairytale finish, as one of his Cardiff City substitutes – Anthony Pilkington – rescued a point in injury time. Although Warnock’s Cardiff endured their eight-game winning run ­being ended, the exuberant ­celebrations after the equaliser showed what this meant, as they demonstrated the fighting spirit that has muscled them into the top two. Warnock said his players looked like they had “won the World Cup” when they came into the dressing room at full-time. It was all so hard to take for ­play-off chasing Sheffield United – a club that Warnock famously both supported and managed – after their impressive display. Watching the late Cardiff joy clearly hurt them. United manager Chris Wilder said afterwards that his men had been accused of being “smug” by opposition staff, “but that wasn’t our attitude”, indicating some ­lingering ill-feeling. Ultimately, United were not ­clinical, while Cardiff were, and that is a key difference between the clubs. Warnock, beaming with pride when he came in to his press conference. “It could be the best point of the season that, in the ­circumstances,” he said. “You never say never with our lot. Cloughie [Brian Clough] used to say it only takes a second to score a goal.” Warnock also gave a reminder of old times by criticising the officials, adding: “I thought he might have booked a couple of ball boys, too [for slowing the game down] - but they learned from me maybe.” Anthony Pilkington grabs Cardiff's late equaliser Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Ball boys aside, nothing could dampen Warnock’s enthusiasm ­after a timely result – with Wolves and Aston Villa being Cardiff’s next opponents. Wilder’s men had automatic ­promotion dreams of their own in the first half of the season – until Leon Clarke stopped scoring goals so prolifically. Perhaps it is a ­promising omen that the striker ended his 10-game drought here. The problem was that Clarke’s strike was all that they had to show for their efforts. Wilder said: “We dominated a side that are heading for the Premier League. When you play well, you’ve got to win.” Warnock had not managed against United at Bramall Lane since August 2010. He was greeted on his return here by a boggy pitch after earlier heavy snow. On that tricky surface, it was a scrappy start. United adjusted ­better and deservedly went ahead. Leon Clarke puts the Blades ahead Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire A well-worked move ended in John Lundstram supplying Clarke to score, as the striker sent an ­untidy 12-yard shot bobbling ­beyond Neil Etheridge. A slight ­deflection on the way, off Cardiff’s Bruno Ecuele Manga, did not help the goalkeeper’s cause. Cardiff carried on looking ­second best for the remainder of the half – but proceedings were livened up at half-time when Warnock brought on Gary Madine. The former ­Sheffield Wednesday striker made his presence felt on United ­defender Richard Stearman, annoying the crowd. “We needed him,” said Warnock. “We were a bit soft before.” Still, United should have finished them off as the second half went on. Clayton Donaldson came close, in the 77th minute, but struck a post from eight yards. United’s Lee Evans was then brought down by Sol Bamba in the area. “I thought it was a penalty,” said Wilder. “You’re hoping they give it. The linesman is looking right down the barrel of the gun of it. But he didn’t and those are the cruel realities of sport.” Wilder’s men were left to rue it when Pilkington – making a rare appearance - fired in, inside the penalty area. “By gum, we’ve got big hearts,” beamed Warnock, as he exited. He had left his stamp of Yorkshire grit on Sheffield, a place close to his own heart. Match details Sheffield United (3-5-1-1) Moore; Basham, Stearman (Wright 69), O’Connell; Baldock, Evans (Leonard 88), Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens; Brooks (Donaldson 72); Clarke. Subs Eastwood (g), Sharp, Lafferty, Holmes. Cardiff City (4-3-3)Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Paterson, Grujic, Gunnarsson; Mendez-Laing (Madine 46), Zohore (Pilkington 78), Hoilett (Wildschut 78). Subs Murphy (g), Peltier, Bryson, Ward. Booked Bennett. Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Anthony Pilkington celebrates as Sheffield United players react to his late equaliser.
Football League: Cardiff grab last-gasp draw, Northampton sack Hasselbaink
Anthony Pilkington celebrates as Sheffield United players react to his late equaliser.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Sheffield United players look dejected as Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Sheffield United players look dejected as Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock celebrates after the game Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington scores their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington scores their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington scores their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Anthony Pilkington scores their first goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Gary Marine and Sheffield United's Richard Stearman in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City
Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield United vs Cardiff City - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 2, 2018 Cardiff City's Gary Marine and Sheffield United's Richard Stearman in action Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

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