Thursday 23 November 2017

Bruce aware of pressure above

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits he cannot take his good relationship with the club's top brass for granted and his players must turn their season around.

Bruce says he is the current "whipping boy" among Premier League managers, with the Black Cats yet to win this season and having been on the end of a damaging home defeat by Newcastle already. But he insists club owner Ellis Short and chairman Niall Quinn know he needs more time to let the new-look squad settle down. "I was away with Niall and Ellis only two days ago and I know the relationship I have got with them I can't take for granted," said Bruce.

"They are disappointed with the results, of course they are. I need a little bit more time than just three or four games in." John O'Shea could return to bolster Sunderland's defence at home to Stoke today (3.0) and striker Connor Wickham could make his first start.

Pool greats set to play Bohs XI

Dalymount Park will be filled with football legends next Sunday when a selection of former Liverpool players take on a selection of former Bohemians players at a charity match for the Chernobyl Children's Trust (The Trust).

Due to tog out are ex-Liverpool stars and Irish internationals Phil Babb, Jason McAteer, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton. They will be joined by other Anfield heroes Bob Bolder, Rob Jones, Gary Gillespie, Alan Kennedy, Sammy Lee, Paul Walsh, Don Hutchinson and Jan Molby. The group of former Bohemians players will include the likes of Kevin Hunt.

The game kicks off at 3.0 and then later that evening both teams will attend a gala dinner at the Regency Hotel, Drumcondra.

McClaren feels heat at Forest

Derby piled pressure on Nottingham Forest manager Steve McClaren yesterday with a 2-1 victory over their East Midlands rivals -- despite playing almost the entire match at the City Ground with 10-men.

Rams teenager Jeff Hendrick hit the winning goal midway through the second half to leave former England boss McClaren still searching for his first home win in the Championship.

Frank Fielding's second-minute red card provided a dramatic start. Ishmael Miller latched on to a flick inside the Derby box and was clattered by the onrushing Fielding as he bore down on goal just six yards out. Referee Scott Mathieson had little choice but to send off the goalkeeper and Irishman Andy Reid scored the resulting penalty. Jamie Ward got the equaliser for Derby after 29 minutes before Hendrick scored the winner.

Elsewhere, David Bentley missed a sitter as West Ham dropped points on their travels for the first time this season after a 0-0 derby at Millwall.

Ross McCormack fired a late winner from close range as 10-man Leeds weathered a storm to deny Bristol City 2-1 at Elland Road and Kevin Phillips grabbed his fifth goal of the season as Blackpool drew 1-1 with Cardiff.

Barca thrash poor Osasuna

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona put recent disappointments behind them with a resounding 8-0 home win against Osasuna in La Liga.

The Catalans had drawn their last two matches against Real Sociedad and AC Milan but with Carles Puyol back in defence, Barca were simply unstoppable.

Messi opened the scoring when he scrambled the ball home at the far post after good work from Daniel Alves. Cesc Fabregas then made it 2-0 just seven minutes later after being set-up by a superb pass from Messi.

Barca were rampant as David Villa made it 3-0 after 33 minutes and they were four-up when Roversio scored an own goal before Messi added a fifth.

And it was exhibition stuff from Barcelona after that as Xavi added a sixth, Villa got his brace in the 76th minute before Messi secured his hat-trick late on.

O'Sullivan sees Ireland home

The Republic of Ireland women's senior side began their UEFA EURO 2013 campaign with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Wales in Newport.

Heroine of the FIFA under 17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago last year, Denise O'Sullivan, will grab all of the headlines as she marked her senior debut with two well-taken goals.

But Ireland's defence and goalkeeper Emma Byrne will take a lot of the credit for keeping a strong Wales outfit scoreless. Wilton striker O'Sullivan grabbed the opening goal in the 27th minute when she nipped between two defenders and showed great composure to slot it under the Welsh goalkeeper for a deserved lead.

Wales responded strongly but couldn't find a way past the Irish defence and then O'Sullivan capped her dream debut in the 70th minute with a great strike from 25 yards out to earn a fine victory for Ireland.

Sunday Indo Sport

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