Koeman not concerned by Saints’ run

first_imgSouthampton are in the midst of their worst losing run of the 21st century yet remain fifth in the Premier League – a situation Ronald Koeman would have snapped your hand off for at the start of the season. Press Association It makes Roberto Martinez wary of a backlash from Saints, with the Toffees manager judging them on this season’s displays rather than their recent defeats – a wise assessment in Koeman’s view. “Always you have to look until now,” the Saints boss said. “If somebody said to me in the pre-season ‘after the middle of December you are the fifth in the list’ I would have said ‘give me the paper and I will sign it now’. “I understand the defeats because that’s always the difference with players. They need confidence and sometimes now you see that. “I know my players, how they can play football, and it’s difficult because of maybe freshness, maybe about more changes in the team. “Confidence you can show them, you can tell them, The answer in always on the pitch Saturday at three o’clock and then you have to show it. “There are always ways to lose a game but not how we lost last Tuesday.” That defeat to Sheffield United was comfortably the worst of Koeman’s reign, given the manner in which they bombed out of the Capital One Cup to League One opposition. “I was very disappointed but it all is the past and sometimes that’s the nicest part in football,” the Dutchman said about the 1-0 loss. “You get always the next game and can change a lot of things. “Looking back to last Tuesday, we have to change our teamwork, our belief, our spirit and that’s the key in my opinion for the Saturday game.” Koeman will also have to make changes himself as injury and suspension has decimated the Saints squad. Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Florin Gardos are all banned for the visit of Everton, while long-term absentees Jay Rodriguez, Jack Cork and Sam Gallagher are joined on the sidelines by Jake Hesketh and Dusan Tadic. Furthermore, Steven Davis and Graziano Pelle are doubts for a match which Koeman will have to blood in some of Southampton’s young talents. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard insists Ross Barkley has no problem handling expectations as his team-mates are always on hand to bring him back down to earth. The 21-year-old midfielder enhanced his reputation further with a brilliant opening goal in Monday’s 3-1 win over QPR. He has regularly been likened to Paul Gascoigne and touted as the most gifted footballer of his generation. Howard believes he has more in common with former Everton prodigy Wayne Rooney, now Barkley’s international captain, and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard. The Toffees goalkeeper is confident the youngster can handle the pressure of such comparisons but admits the Everton dressing room ensures he remains grounded. “He is special. He has a lot to learn but the thing I love about Ross – which I have not seen in a ton of other players, and I think that is why he gets named with some of the best – is he is fearless,” said the United States international. “In this country Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, those guys were ‘throwing fire’ in their teens and early 20s, and they flourished and that is why Ross is special. “He wants the big moments, he wants the ball and he doesn’t shy away from it – when I was his age I wanted nothing to do with being near the pitch or the spotlight because it was too daunting but he is special in that regard. “I think Ross can handle it. He enjoys that pressure, he is not afraid of it. “His football education has been here and it continues to be here and he has guys around him. “As special as he is, we don’t let him drift off with his head in the cloud. We keep him grounded.” Gareth Barry returns from suspension but fellow midfielders Darron Gibson (knee) and James McCarthy (hamstring) are both rated 50-50 to be fit for the trip to Southampton. Forward Kevin Mirallas will be missing after sustaining ankle ligament damage on Monday while Leon Osman (ankle) is unlikely to return this weekend. Saints’ impressive start to the campaign made a mockery of those predicting a season of woe in the wake of the unparalleled summer talent drain from St Mary’s. However, Saints’ best-ever top-flight start has gone off kilter in recent weeks and they enter Saturday’s match against Everton looking to end a run of five successive defeats in all competitions. last_img read more

Local college athletes to get added year of eligibility after lost season

first_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Latest Posts Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 ELLSWORTH — This is not how the 2019-20 college sports season was supposed to end.As is always the case, the flip of the calendar from February to March raised the stakes for athletes at universities across the country. For winter athletes, it meant the chance to compete for championships; for those competing in spring athletics, it marked the start of conference play and the first full month of the season.Instead, that season came to a grinding halt with a series of cancellations stemming from the novel coronavirus. From the NCAA canceling March Madness and other championship events to individual conferences calling off their winter tournaments, athletes who are used to seeing their seasons end on the courts, fields and tracks instead saw them end in conference rooms.With winter sports nearing the end, the season’s conclusion was a finality for those athletes; for the underclassmen, a year they would never get back, and for the seniors, the end of the line. Yet with spring sports still in their early stages, those involved in baseball, softball, tennis, outdoor track and more earned a major reprieve: an added season of eligibility.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“It feels good to know that we have that opportunity,” said Conner Wagstaff, who graduated from Ellsworth High School last year and now plays baseball at Southern New Hampshire University. “We’re obviously bummed out with the season being over, but at least we know we have that option going forward.”The eligibility relief came after the NCAA Board of Governors instructed all three divisions of competition to grant an additional year to affected athletes. Administrative committees for each division announced March 13 that they would be providing said relief, though details are still being sorted out at the Division I level.Bucksport softball’s Mikayla Tripp pitches during the fourth inning of the Golden Bucks’ 2019 season opener against MDI at Bucksport High School. Tripp, now a freshman on the Husson University softball team, appeared in four of the Eagles’ 12 games prior to the cancellation of the 2020 season. FILE PHOTOWhereas Wagstaff and Southern New Hampshire had already played 16 games by the time the season was canceled, other teams had yet to begin when the dominoes began to fall. Such was the case with the Thomas College baseball team, which features three Ellsworth graduates (Nick Bagley, Devin Grindle and Brad Smith) and was less than a week away from its first game.“It’s really hard because we should be down in Florida playing right now,” Grindle said Tuesday. “We had been practicing since January and had even started some of our outdoor practices, so it’s tough.”Among the issues to be addressed is the effect eligibility relief will have on roster sizes. The NCAA places strict limitations on the number of scholarships (except at the Division III level, which has no scholarships) and overall roster spots teams are allotted for each sport, and with schools also bringing in incoming recruiting classes, there’s a chance many programs could be stretched thin.“I think that’s going to be an issue that varies from school to school,” said Steve Peed, the athletic director and head women’s lacrosse coach at Maine Maritime Academy. “There might be a little bit of a downward push in terms of recruiting, and that could really shake things up.”Getting an additional year is a positive development for many athletes, but exercising that option isn’t always affordable for the seniors set to graduate. Although seniors on scholarships might revel in the opportunity to return for one more year, doing so would mean an extra year of tuition for non-scholarship athletes.Such is the dilemma for seniors such as Bagley, who is still deciding between returning to Thomas and accepting a job offer, and fellow 2016 Ellsworth graduate Kate Whitney, who has elected to forgo an extra year with the St. Joseph’s College softball team. It’s also the case at MMA, where Peed said his two seniors aren’t about to put their prospective careers on hold.“They’re both pretty deep into the job process already,” Peed said. “One has a six-figure job locked down, and the other is interviewing. They’re not going to give that up for a year of lacrosse.”Even for those who will return, the restoration of eligibility won’t reverse the heartbreak of the 2020 season’s early end. Yet in a situation with few alternatives, the chance to play four full years isn’t something that will be lost on those athletes.“We wanted to play, obviously, but to know we’re not losing that year is a very, very good feeling,” Wagstaff said. “It’s awesome to know we have the chance to come back with some of the seniors who helped us through this season.” Biolast_img read more

Cricket News Mayank Agarwal Blasts 2nd Century, India On Top Vs South Africa In Pune Test

first_imgNew Delhi: Mayank Agarwal continued his great form in the ongoing series against South Africa as he notched up his second century on day one of the Pune Test against South Africa. Agarwal had gotten his series off to a great start by slamming his maiden double ton in the Vizag Test. Agarwal was on 86 at the end of the tea break and following the resumption, he neared his century in grand style as he blasted two consecutive sixes off Keshav Maharaj to move to 99. Agarwal notched up his century by steering a short and wide ball from Vernon Philander past the gully fielder for a boundary to notch up his milestone. Agarwal had scored over 2000 runs across formats in the Indian domestic circuit in 2017, he had admitted that Virender Sehwag is his idol. After such a magnificent season, Agarwal still did not have the key to get into the Indian Test team. An injury to Prithvi Shaw during the series in Australia, combined with hte loss in form of KL Rahul at the top, got Agarwal to open during the Melbourne Test against Australia and he ended the tour with two fifties. In Vizag, Agarwal went one better and notched up his maiden double century to help India win by over 200 runs against South Africa. Also Read | Mayank Agarwal Blasts Maiden Double Ton, India On Top Vs South AfricaThe knock included six sixes and this prompted former India skipper VVS Laxman to say that Agarwal played fearlessly just like Sehwag. “He is a solid batsman and has approached this game like a domestic cricket match. Players usually change the way they play in domestic and international cricket, but he managed to maintain his style in both forms of cricket. Mental toughness and stability are his strengths and he plays fearlessly just like his favourite, Virender Sehwag,” Laxman said. Also Read | Is Mayank Agarwal best available option? His current form says YES!Agarwal got a chance to feature in the Indian cricket team during the series against Australia. Agarwal weathered the new ball on a sluggish pitch in Melbourne and smashed 76. His knock gave India the platform for a famous win after 37 years at the MCG. In the following Test in Sydney, Agarwal hammered 77 and looked good for a century but he played a poor shot and holed out to long on. However, India won the series 2-1. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Syracuse women’s basketball stays at No. 20 in AP poll

first_imgBack-to-back victories last week helped Syracuse stay inside the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the fifth straight week of the season. The No. 20 Orange beat previously-ranked Michigan State last Wednesday before cruising past Central Connecticut State, 95-63, on Sunday afternoon.The Orange (6-3) has won two straight for the first time since the season’s opening two contests, when SU reached the No. 14 ranking. In Week 3, after a 3-0 start, SU moved up to No. 11, the highest rank in program history.Three losses in four games followed, bumping Syracuse to No. 20, where it has now sat the last two weeks. Senior guard and Naismith watch list honoree Alexis Peterson leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring with 23.1 points per game. Brittney Sykes averages 17.8 points per game and Briana Day 12.9 to lead SU.Seven ACC teams placed in the Top 25. Notre Dame lost the top spot it held for four weeks to four-time defending national champion Connecticut. No. 7 Florida State, No. 8 Louisville, No. 14 Miami, No. 20 Syracuse, No. 21 Duke and No. 25 Virginia Tech round out the ranking.Syracuse hosts two teams this week: Coppin State (0-7) on Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Niagara (3-4) on Saturday at 3 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more