A spokesman for the Football Association of Ireland said: “The Republic of Ireland squad trained today at Gannon Park, Malahide. Players who did not play the full match yesterday evening took part. “Following training, Robbie Keane has been released to return to his club. Darron Gibson has also been released to assist recovery to a minor knock to the knee. ” Ireland face the USA in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium in their final fixture of 2014, and will look to end on a high note after suffering the first defeat of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in Glasgow. Keane, who was used only as a substitute in Friday night’s 1-0 Euro 2016 defeat in Scotland, has been allowed to return to club LA Galaxy, who face Seattle Sounders in the MLS play-offs next Sunday. Everton midfielder Gibson, who only returned to action from a 10-month injury lay-off in September, is heading back to Merseyside with a minor knee problem. Press Association Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has released skipper Robbie Keane and midfielder Darron Gibson from his squad ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against the United States.
Fernandes said his target was “not what anyone thinks”, but admitted the appointment was likely to “take a while”. Laudrup, sacked by Swansea last February, emerged as the new bookmakers’ favourite, but his agent quickly responded by saying there were several hurdles to be cleared. And the 50-year-old spoke himself, via an e-mail to Danish newspaper E kstra Bladet, saying he was currently happy with Qatari side Lekhwiya. “It is always positive to be mentioned in connection with large or larger jobs, and coach in one of the largest countries in Asia (Japan) or manager in the Premier League are big jobs,” he wrote. “That being said, I must also say that I have no intention to leave Lekhwiya at this time. We are number one in the league, starting group stage of the Champions League in two weeks and also have a cup waiting. “So the next three and a half months will be exciting and intense.” Laudrup’s comments came after representative Bayram Tutumlu indicated there would be several obstacles to be cleared before Laudrup could be lined up for a move back to England. “Laudrup is under contract with Qatari club Lekhwiya. Out of respect anyone interested in him should contact the club,” Tutumlu said to Sky Sports News HQ. The Hoops, who recorded a first away Barclays Premier League win of the season at Sunderland on Tuesday evening, appear close to appointing Harry Redknapp’s successor after chairman Tony Fernandes suggested he has landed his preferred choice. Chris Ramsey has been filling the void on a caretaker basis, with former Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood the heavy favourite for the position – although Fernandes’ comment on Twitter seemed to distance the club from the 46-year-old. Michael Laudrup has no intention of leaving Lekhwiya “at this time”, which appears to make it difficult for QPR to make him their “dream manager”. “I don’t think they would let him go because the team are in so many tournaments and competitions.” Ramsey has refused to rule himself out of contention to become the club’s new manager on a permanent basis, and has seen his odds shorten after Tuesday’s victory, but continues to stress he will do whatever job is asked of him by the board. QPR are out of the bottom three following the 2-0 win at The Stadium of Light. Bobby Zamora, who scored the second goal on the stroke of half-time, feels the west London club can now build some momentum, with a trip to fellow relegation-battlers Hull ahead on Saturday. “It was a massive boost and has been a long time coming, we have been working so hard,” he said on the club’s official YouTube channel. “It was a great work ethic. We have had a lot of good performances this season and probably lost a few points which we did not deserve to. “We will now be looking to keep this going and to get some more points on the board.” Laudrup, who guided Swansea to victory in the 2013 Capital One Cup final, remains keen on a return to the Premier League, but only when the timing is right. Tutumlu added in an interview with the London Evening Standard: ” Michael has taken (Lekhwiya) to first place in the league and he is regarded as the most important person in the club right now. “I don’t think it is the right thing for Michael to leave now and go because he has agreed a contract with these people. I don’t think it’s possible. “I don’t want to speak about whether QPR have been in contact, that’s private. I can only say he loves English football and the Premier League. It’s just not possible right now. “In June his contract will finish and he will be free. I’m not sure if they will want compensation to let him go now, first QPR have to talk to them. “You can never say never and he could return to the Premier League. If the right club comes, the right project – why not?” QPR will have to cope without Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer for the next two months. Former Norwich player Fer scored but was later carried off in the 2-0 win at Sunderland on Tuesday. QPR defined his problem on Wednesday evening as ” a medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee”, in a statement on their website. The club said they expect him to be out of action for eight to 10 weeks. Press Association
Early in the innings, former England batsman Ed Joyce incredibly survived a delivery striking his off stump, when the bails bounced and shuffled but landed immaculately back in place in their groove. Left-hander Joyce was 16 not out and went on to make 37, crucial runs come the end of the game for Ireland as they made it two wins from two matches so far. Wilson said of his runs: “I was delighted. I hadn’t had too many coming into the game so it was nice to come back and make a good contribution. “I was confident. I told myself it was my day and luckily enough it worked out. “I’ve batted a lot with Kev over the years at county and international level and we dovetailed quite well together, it was great to have a partner like that.” He added on Sky Sports World Cup: “It was a little bit closer than we would have liked, but all we can ask for is that we came through at this stage of the tournament so we’re pretty pleased. “We’re ‘two from two’ and that’s all we can ask for.” Wilson had made just a single against the West Indies nine days ago, but the Surrey batsman was back in prime form as he collected his runs from just 69 balls, stepping up the pace late in the innings. Ireland were bailed out by a giant slice of fortune and big innings from Gary Wilson and Kevin O’Brien as they beat the United Arab Emirates in a thriller at the Gabba. After their stunning opening win over the West Indies in Pool B at the World Cup, Ireland looked to be deep in trouble this time against supposedly inferior opposition. But 80 from man of the match Wilson and a spectacular 25-ball innings of exactly 50 from the destructive O’Brien spurred Ireland to a two-wicket victory, reaching their target of 279 with four balls to spare. He was eventually caught out in the 48th over, held well by Amjad Javed at gully off Mohammad Naveed. The same combination accounted for O’Brien immediately after Ireland’s number seven brought up his half-century with two sixes in three balls. Amjad was the bowler who had seen the ball clattered over the ropes, but had his revenge by having O’Brien caught by Naveed at cover. Ireland had earlier lost Paul Sterling in just the second over and were plunged into deep trouble when Joyce, captain Will Porterfield and Niall O’Brien joined him in the dressing room. Joyce, on his second life, snicked a drive through to wicketkeeper Swapnil Patil, while Porterfield and Niall O’Brien both swept and missed to costly effect against off-spinner Mohammad Tauqir. From 97 for four, and behind on the run rate, Ireland were second favourites, but Andy Balbirnie, who made a handy 30, and Wilson began the rebuilding job. Kevin O’Brien set about savaging the UAE attack once he reached the crease, with 11.2 overs remaining and Ireland 108 runs short, batting in the vogue that brought him a 50-ball century against England in a winning cause at the 2011 World Cup. The work was incomplete when the key protagonists departed, but Alex Cusack and George Dockrell, who punched away the winning runs, scrambled the team over the winning line. Ireland’s dramatic revival meant the excellent century from UAE number six Shaiman Anwar, who plundered an aggressive 106 from 83 balls in a team total of 278 for nine, went unrewarded. The biggest test yet for Ireland comes next, on March 3, when they tackle South Africa in Canberra. There was a sting in the tail for Kevin O’Brien, who was fined 30 per cent of his match fee after admitting a Level 1 offence under the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct – “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during an international match”. O’Brien bowled a wide in the 48th over of the UAE innings, and then continued to question the umpire’s decision. Press Association
Ander Herrera never thought he had made a mistake by joining Manchester United. Press Association Although he started just six league games before the middle of February, the Spaniard, speaking to El Pais, was convinced he had made the right decision in moving to England. “Manchester United are the second wealthiest club in the world, and they continue looking for talent. Everyone takes time (to adjust),” the United midfielder said. “Now I am playing more, but when I wasn’t playing I always knew in my head that I came here to play five years minimum, not just a few months.” Herrera discussed many topics in the interview with the Spanish newspaper. The 25-year-old said David de Gea had told him there was less of a hierarchy in the squad with the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand having retired. Herrera also revealed Wayne Rooney has been picking up some of the language used by the Hispanic members of the squad. When asked about any jokers in the camp, Herrera said: “Rooney leads because he is very open and he insults us in Spanish.” Herrera poked fun at the United skipper for his shadow-boxing celebration against Spurs. “I’d rather talk to him about football because he likes boxing and could try with me,” he added. Herrera also gave his backing to Van Gaal, although he is wary of getting too close to the Dutchman. “I keep my distance with Van Gaal,” the midfielder said. “But he’s a good guy with a strong character. “He likes discipline and doesn’t believe in egos in the squad. “He loves possession and he doesn’t like risking losing the ball. “At the beginning he used to tell me off because I always looked for the ball, I wanted to have it, and I must wait for it.” Herrera also revealed he was nearly moved to tears by Lionel Messi’s performance against United’s local rivals Manchester City. “The last time I cried?” he said. “I almost cried watching Messi against Man City. He’s so good! But anyway, I get emotional very easily. “But hey, I get excited easily and not only with the major teams. I’m a classic man and I was delighted when we played vs Yeovil Town in front of 8,000 standing people yelling at me: “Who are you?”” Herrera has become a regular in Louis van Gaal’s team of late, starting the last seven games in all competitions. It was a different story earlier in the season though. Despite impressing on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, the £29million summer signing from Athletic Bilbao could not hold down a first-team place.
The 26-year-old – who recovered from a serious knee injury last season, but has yet to agree a new long-term deal – feels such strength in depth can only be positive for the squad, if sometimes frustrating for individuals. Fellow England internationals Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs also did not make the first XI against Chelsea. “There is a lot of competition for places so everyone seems to lift a gear and play extremely well. It makes it a bit more difficult for people to get into the team,” Walcott said, quoted on the club’s official website, www.arsenal.com. “I think, especially this season, not many people thought we would be challenging for the Premier League. “In this calendar year, we have been the best team in Europe. “It is the strongest the squad has been and everyone is staying fit as well. “There aren’t many injuries in the squad, which is important. If we had an injury-free season, I think we could lift the title.” Arsenal head to Hull on Bank Holiday Monday looking to keep pressure on Manchester City in the race for second place, and with it automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League. Captain Mikel Arteta is set to step up his training this week after an ankle problem hampered recovery from a calf injury, while midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another continuing rehabilitation from an inflamed groin which has seen him out since the FA Cup win at Manchester United last month. Press Association Theo Walcott understands just how difficult it is now to hold down a place in the Arsenal side, who he says have been the “best team in Europe” this year and could lift the title next season if everyone stays fit. The Gunners’ slim hopes of overhauling Chelsea’s 10-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League were all but extinguished following a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Walcott watched on from the bench again before a late substitute appearance, with the forward’s last club start having been back in March.
The six-year-old enjoyed the run of the race from the front and won unchallenged, with Thousand Stars staying on well from the rear to claim the runner-up spot in the hands of Katie Walsh. Sam Twiston-Davies steered Zarkandar into third place for trainer Paul Nicholls, with Dos Santos first of the home contingent in fourth. Un Temps Pour Tout’s stablemate Ballynagour was fifth. Pipe said: “It was a fantastic race. Horse and jockey were very brave and galloped all the way to the line. Ballynagour ran well and finished fifth, but the trip was probably better for Un Temps Pour Tout than it was for him.” Thousand Stars has become an Auteuil regular, winning four times on his various visits and running creditably on other occasions. Mullins’ son and assistant Patrick said: “He seems to keep his best form now for Auteuil in May and June. He’s a credit to the yard and he’s a remarkable horse at 11 years of age.” However, Mullins junior felt Hurricane Fly was never at home on the Paris course on his first run there for seven years. He added: “I thought you could tell after the first hurdle that he didn’t look comfortable. He finished sixth so he got some prize money. We’ll give him his holidays now and he’ll come back in training next year and we’ll see how he is then.” The Mullins yard was out of luck in the Prix Des Drags with Perfect Gentleman unseating Paul Townend in mid-race and On His Own never a factor, the prize going to Bel La Vie. Then Buiseness Sivola ran a respectable race in the Prix Alain Du Breil under Ruby Walsh, racing in second for most of the way before fading out of it on the long run-in, though Bryan Cooper-ridden stable companion Petite Parisienne was well beaten. Blue Dragon led all the way to win the Grade One contest in the hands of Vincent Cheminaud, who landed the French Derby on the Flat last weekend on New Bay. Press Association Willie Mullins’ superstar, the mount of Ruby Walsh, never threatened to get into the picture in the race officially known as the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil and it was the stable’s other runner, Thousand Stars, who shone as he finished a gallant second. But there was no catching the winner Un Temps Pour Tout, who made all the running under James Reveley to take Grade One glory for David Pipe. Hurricane Fly could finish only sixth in his attempt to add the French Champion Hurdle to his amazing CV at Auteuil.
Preston have signed Crystal Palace defender Paddy McCarthy on loan. “It was a needs-must situation, but Paddy was a player we have looked at for a number of weeks and months. “He has great experience, is a leader, knows the game inside out and we feel his experience will help us with his knowledge of the game.” McCarthy has made over 250 league appearances for Palace and former clubs Charlton and Leicester. “I’m delighted to be here,” McCarthy said. “When I heard there was interest I jumped at the chance to come up here and I’m excited for the challenge ahead.” The 32-year-old has agreed a 93-day emergency loan deal and goes straight into Simon Grayson’s squad for Saturday’s game at Sheffield Wednesday. Grayson told the club’s official website: “It was a position we have been looking at, as we felt we were a bit vulnerable in the centre of defence in terms of numbers, highlighted by the suspension of Bailey Wright and injury to Paul Huntington. Press Association
The 37-year-old won his fourth title with the Blues last season but has watched his old club struggle since leaving to join Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact in the summer. Jose Mourinho’s men are just three places above the relegation zone after losing seven of their opening 13 games, with a 12-point gap to Arsenal in fourth. “They helped me to change my relationship with the fans, to focus more on my game and to save my energy for the football. “You need to be strong but you also need to be smart. Diego will learn that this might not be the best way for him to change things.” Drogba added: “When you listen to Jose you know he has the ability to change things. “It’s not easy for me to see Chelsea in this position but I know they have the players to change that situation. “It’s difficult when you are not used to being in the bottom half of the table but the results this week will give them a lot of confidence to come back.” “I don’t like to compare things to when I was there but there are some facts that you can’t hide,” Drogba was quoted as saying by The Sun at the launch of his new book, Commitment. “During my time at Chelsea we had a lot of leaders in the team, not only last year but during the previous seasons. “There was Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, John Terry, myself, Michael Ballack, Michael Essien, Andriy Shevchenko, Claude Makelele – big names, big players and big characters. “We could take responsibility for a result and change the situation in bad moments such as when there was a change of manager or when we had bad results. “There was always someone to step up and say, ‘Guys, we need to do something’ and everybody would follow. “JT is still there but on your own it is very difficult, so other players have to come up with this mentality. “But it’s not something you are born with – you build it within you. “You have to make sure that it is the right moment to talk and to take the lead and, most importantly, the rest of the team has to accept you as a leader. Didier Drogba has called on Chelsea’s leaders to stand up and drag the club away from the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League. “When you stand up and say, ‘Let’s go and win’ you have to make sure that you produce yourself – you can’t be a leader if you are not the first to show that you have the determination to want to win. “I think there are some leaders in this current squad and hopefully you will soon see that.” Chelsea have shown signs of a revival this week – following up a narrow victory over Norwich with a 4-0 success against Maccabi Tel Aviv – but frustration was evident during a half-time bust-up between striker Diego Costa and manager Mourinho in Israel. Drogba believes Costa will come to realise the need to keep his cool and has backed his former boss to reverse Chelsea’s fortunes. “I have also had some passionate moments in my career,” the Ivorian said. “It’s what football creates in difficult moments. “I was lucky to have players who helped me, who were always there to support me and give me advice. Press Association
Authorities in Miami-Dade have placed two schools on lock down after a woman was fatally shot in the area.The incident occurred just after 12:30 p.m on the 400 block of Northwest 152nd Street.Reporters in the area stated that the woman’s body was put under a yellow tarp just outside of a home, however, no other details were available.Both Biscayne Gardens Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Middle School have both been placed on lock down.The shooting is still under investigation.
The former student who killed 17 people and injured another 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was deemed such a threat that school officials searched him every morning for weapons, new testimony shows.That action came after another decision that barred Nikolas Cruz from bringing a backpack to campus, after he had talked of suicide and wrote “kill” in a notebook.The search procedure was detailed in a sworn deposition from Kelvin Greenleaf, the school security guard who searched Cruz.Greenleaf stated in his testimony on July 11, “Never found a weapon on him. I think we got concerned when, I think, we found out he drank bleach, tried to hurt himself or something like that, the kid. That’s when we started, like, having the kid come in every morning to be searched by me, but never found a weapon on the kid, never.”Administrators forced Cruz to withdraw from the school within six months, in February 2017, one year before he returned to the campus and went on his deadly rampage. He faces the death penalty.The deposition was taken as part of a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by the parents of one of the dead children, Meadow Pollack.Greenleaf continues, “I’ve seen kids who didn’t act like Nikolas Cruz shoot up schools. So it’s kind of — I don’t try to, like, label my kids. I know he was different. Yeah, we watched him and, you know, we knew we was going to get complaints on him. We knew that. And that’s why we kept such a close eye on him while he was there assigned to our school.”“But you’re not keeping an eye on him just because he’s different, correct?” Pollack’s attorney, David Brill, asked Greenleaf in the deposition.“Yes, sir, with some of the things he was doing, trying to frighten kids, jumping from behind, yes, we were —we were watching him,” Greenleaf responded.A threat-assessment team at the school banned Cruz from bringing a backpack to campus after he mentioned to a classmate in September 2016 that he was depressed and drank gasoline in an attempt to kill himself. Around the same time, a counselor became alarmed that he wrote “kill” in a notebook and said he wanted to buy a gun within days, when he turned 18.Greenleaf adds that Assistant Principal Jeff Morford instructed him to search Cruz every morning for weapons.According to Greenleaf, “We were watching him. But was there any — was there ever a time where I thought he would like hurt a kid on campus? No.”In related news, Marjory Stoneman Douglas administrators who are accused of failing to secure the campus, identify threats and respond properly during the massacre at the school will have new jobs this year.The Broward County School District has reassigned three assistant principals. Denise Reed will move to Deerfield Beach High, Winfred Porter will go to Boyd Anderson High in Lauderdale Lakes, and Jeff Morford will join the staff at Coconut Creek High.While Ty Thompson is keeping his job title of a principal, he is working at a district office job, assisting with athletics.Michelle Kefford, former principal at Charles Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines, is replacing Thompson. The assistant principals will also be replaced.Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, says the administrators felt the changes were needed.She adds, “I think given the level of trauma that these individuals, their own personal healing is critical. You can’t move on, but they’re trying to have a new normal, and have a fresh start, and a new location gives them the best opportunity for that.”It remains unclear whether any of them will be disciplined after the conclusion of the school district’s investigation.The district hired lawyer Jennifer Ruiz of the Miami law firm Cole Scott Kissane to investigate Greenleaf and the three assistant principals. Thompson was added to the list shortly after the beginning of the probe.The status of Greenleaf, remains unclear. He was renewed as a security specialist at MSD for the upcoming school year.Greenleaf is accused of allowing gates to be open too early, as well as failing to properly supervise campus security monitors or ensure they received proper training.Last summer, the district chose not to renew the positions of Andrew Medina and David Taylor, two security monitors who worked under Greenleaf, after police statements showed that they failed to protect the campus during the massacre.The three assistant principals are accused of allowing building exterior doors to be unlocked, while bathrooms where students could hide remained locked. In addition, it is alleged that they did not hold certain emergency drills or call for an emergency lockdown, and failed to ensure that employees were trained and supplied with proper two-way communications, district records show.