Sunday 19 January 2020

Dundalk look to Staunton

The former Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton will be interviewed by Dundalk for the vacant manager's job tomorrow.

Staunton, a native of the town, has been working as a scout for Sunderland since last August. Previously, he was assistant manager to Gary McAllister at Leeds United and had an unsuccessful period in charge of Darlington.

The border club appeared to be verging towards selecting Eddie Gormley to replace Ian Foster until Staunton made his interest clear last week.

Ireland duo in mix for Rovers

Former Irish internationals Jason McAteer and David Kelly have added their names to the flood of applicants for the vacant manager's job at Shamrock Rovers, writes Cathal Dervan.

Former Derry City striker Kelly is keen to start his own managerial career with the League of Ireland champions.

World Cup hero McAteer and former Ireland striker Kelly are just two of the big names who have expressed an interest in succeeding Michael O'Neill as boss.

A fully licensed coach with a UEFA 'A' badge, Kelly has served his time as number two to Billy Davies with Sheffield United, Preston, Derby and also Nottingham Forest.

"Billy and I have been a team for some time but he knows that I have managerial ambitions and I am confident my ambitions could match those of Rovers," he said.

McAteer is also keen to talk to the Rovers board as he looks to move into management in his own right.

"I worked for a brief spell as John Barnes' number two at Tranmere and I coached there with Brian Little, but I want to be a manager in my own right," said McAteer, who could also interest Bohemians.

Villa in Barca's final thoughts

Barcelona are determined to win the FIFA Club World Cup for injured striker David Villa. The Spain forward broke the shinbone in his left leg in their 4-0 semi-final victory over Al-Sadd, ruling him out for up to five months.

The 30-year-old has returned to Catalonia for surgery and Cesc Fabregas revealed his team-mates are desperate to win today's final against Santos in Yokohama to help boost his spirits.

"We want to dedicate the World Club Cup to Tito Vilanova and Villa," the midfielder said. Assistant coach Vilanova had an operation on his parotid gland last month.

"This final is exciting because you never know when we'll be able to play it again," he said. "We want to wear the badge that identifies the champions of the world."

Barcelona v Santos,

ESPN 10.30am

Andrews helps Town triumph

Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews got the only goal as Ipswich claimed a 1-0 win at home to Derby.

The Rams thought they had cleared the header by Andrews just 29 seconds into the second half, but the goal was awarded after referee David Webb consulted his assistant.

Meanwhile, a rare goal from Papa Bouba Diop sent West Ham joint top of the Championship with a 1-0 home victory over Barnsley. Finally, Faris Haroun scored a 76th-minute winner as Middlesbrough leapt above Cardiff and into third place after a 3-2 victory.

Fenlon lashes out at referee

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon was left fuming with the referee Craig Thomson after a Scott Vernon penalty saw 10-man Aberdeen beat Hibs 1-0 at Pittodrie.

The Dons opened the scoring after 59 minutes when Peter Pawlett was adjudged to have been brought down by Ivan Sproule and Vernon slotted home from the spot.

But the former Bohemians boss was unhappy with the decision. "I thought it wasn't a penalty when I saw it for the first time and I have since watched it again and it wasn't a penalty kick," he said.

"I don't think there was any contact. There was a coming together but there was no connection as such."

It's a decision that has gone against us, and at the moment things seem to be going that way. Hopefully we will get one ourselves shortly."

Elsewhere, a dramatic late strike by substitute Kyle Lafferty gave Rangers a 2-1 victory over Inverness to take them seven points clear of Celtic at the top of the SPL.

Lennon puts focus on team

Neil Lennon insists his Celtic players will be focused for the trip to St Johnstone today despite the furore that has followed their Europa League game against Udinese on Thursday night.

The Celtic boss, along with chief executive Peter Lawwell and chairman Ian Bankier, hit out at fans who, before the 1-1 draw in midfield, unfurled a two-part banner which was insulting towards UEFA.

But Lennon has to get his players concentrated on today's game. "We are fully focused," said Lennon. "The players will be feeling good about themselves."

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