Monday 19 February 2018

In Brief: Stevens new Sligo assistant

Former England international Gary Stevens has been confirmed as the new assistant manager at Ian Baraclough's Sligo Rovers.

Stevens, a UEFA Cup winner with Tottenham, has signed a one-year deal.

Rovers manager Ian Baraclough said he developed a good relationship with Stevens when they worked together on their Pro Licence course.

"You make contact with people over your career and Gary is a person that immediately I found easy to speak to and we share similar philosophies over a wide range of areas. I think he will be well-received," he said.

Stevens said he has been impressed by the club's ambitions.

"This is a great opportunity for me," he said. The team has won the league and it means Champions League qualifiers this year. It means we have a title to defend and that is something we have to try to go and do."

Rovers return to full pre-season training on January 21.

McCarthy hails team spirit

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy hailed his side's work ethic after they picked up a well-earned point at npower Championship leaders Cardiff.

The Tractor Boys became the first team to stop the Bluebirds scoring in a league match this season with a resolute display.

"It was probably a fair result overall,'' said McCarthy said. "I would have taken it before and I'm happy with it now. On reflection we might have got all three points.

The point leaves the Tractor Boys in 19th place, six points clear of the relegation zone, but despite his side's recent form McCarthy is aware they could easily slip back into danger.

"I'm still looking behind me. Whatever we've done so far it can change so quickly. We'd lost two on the bounce and I didn't want to lose three league games on the bounce. A revival is one thing but you don't want the patient to die!''

Andrews spot on for Bolton

Bolton midfielder Keith Andrews cancelled out Andy Keogh's early penalty with a spot-kick of his own as Millwall took a point from their first visit to the Reebok Stadium.

Lions forward Andy Keogh chipped his spot-kick down the middle after being brought down by Zat Knight in the ninth minute.

But fellow Republic of Ireland international Andrews ensured it finished all square when former Wanderers defender Danny Shittu fouled Lee Chung-Yong.

McLeish wants fresh faces

Alex McLeish claimed his first victory as Nottingham Forest manager with a 2-1 win against Peterborough but insisted he still needs to be more active in the January transfer window to put the club in the promotion frame.

Greg Halford headed the home side in front, but Scott Wootton levelled things up before Elliott Ward – one of two loan signings this week – powered home from a corner in the last 10 minutes to hand Forest victory.

"It's important that we bring players with the right DNA to play for Forest – and they must enhance the group not just add to the roster,'' said McLeish.

Ref in thick of the action

Referee Mark Haywood was in the thick of the action as lowly Sheffield Wednesday inflicted a first defeat on Hull in nine npower Championship outings in a thrilling encounter at the KC Stadium.

The Owls won it 3-1 thanks to a goalkeeping howler from the Tiger's Eldin Jakupovic, who inexplicably dropped Miguel Llera's corner over the line and then had to leave the field wearing a neck brace after Reda Johnson had clattered into him.

Hull wanted a foul for Johnson's challenge, which led to a 10-minute stoppage, but Haywood waved away appeals and Wednesday made sure of the points in the seventh minute of injury time when Michail Antonio raced clear and rolled home.

Wednesday's second goal had come just four minutes after Hull had drawn level thanks to Robert Koren's header, which cancelled out Johnson's first-half opener for Wednesday.

Bristol City sack McInnes

Bristol City manager Derek McInnes has been relieved of his duties.

The Robins slumped to the foot of the npower Championship table following a 4-0 home defeat to Leicester.

Kaka sent off as Real held

Real Madrid's faint hopes of retaining their La Liga title receded further when they had Kaka sent off – his first since joining Real from AC Milan in 2009 – and were held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Osasuna.

Jose Mourinho's side appeared lost without inspirational top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, suspended for the game in Pamplona, and unbeaten leaders Barcelona can go 18 points clear of their arch rivals with a win at fourth-placed Malaga this evening.

Real stay third on 37 points, four behind Atletico Madrid, who meet Real Zaragoza later today.

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