Sport Soccer

Sunday 18 March 2018

Tangerines set to inspect pitch Leonardo shock choice for Inter Kean gears up for busy January

Blackpool will hold a pitch inspection three hours before their scheduled 3.0 kick-off against Liverpool this afternoon to see if the match can go ahead.

The Seasiders do not have undersoil heating at Bloomfield Road and, despite covering the pitch, there is still some doubt over whether the surface will be playable.

"Ground staff at Bloomfield Road have been working throughout the night and will continue to work round the clock to try to ensure that the fixture takes place," a statement on said.

"While it has been well documented that the club does not have undersoil heating, several industrial hot air blowers have been sourced along with additional frost protection covers.

"The timing of the pitch inspection has been made in consultation with the Premier League, match referee Mike Oliver and officials from Liverpool.

"Club officials remain in regular contact with all parties and will continue to monitor the weather forecasts over the next 48 hours."

Leonardo shock choice for Inter

FORMER AC Milan manager Leonardo is the new Inter Milan boss. The Brazilian was named on Christmas Eve as successor to Rafa Benitez in a move which has stunned the soccer world.

Benitez left the world, European and Italian champions on Thursday after just six months in charge following a poor domestic spell and a public attack on Inter for not investing in new players.

"Welcome, Leonardo is the coach of Inter," a statement said on Inter's website ( just hours after president Massimo Moratti had said there would be no announcement until tomorrow at the earliest. "A few minutes ago an agreement was signed which will tie him to the club until June 30, 2012."

Leonardo failed to shine in his only season in management with Milan last term, leading the Rossoneri to third place in Serie A and the Champions League last 16.

The 41-year-old also played for Milan before becoming technical director there and has no prior links to Inter, making the decision to appoint him all the more strange to the hordes of baffled Tweeters and newspaper columnists.

Kean gears up for busy January

New manager Steve Kean insists Blackburn will be a buying club not a selling club after receiving assurances about the future from owners Venky's.

Kean was given the job until the end of the season after a meeting with Venky's executives in India, and he has set his sights on at least three new signings in January to counter Blackburn's injury problems.

"All the discussions I had with them were positive," he said. "There was nothing to do with selling players. They wanted to draw a line under selling any of our crop of young players.

"Even more than that, they wanted to encourage, if there were young players at other clubs that we could bring in to put in amongst this fine crop that's coming through and develop them, that would be something they would definitely want to do."

Kean, who was promoted from first-team coach, has also been given the go-ahead to add to his resources off the pitch if necessary.

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