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Hangzhou turn to Troussier

2 December 2014 11:46

Hangzhou have appointed Philippe Troussier as their head coach in an attempt to turn their Chinese Super League fortunes around next season.

Under former boss Ji Yang, Hangzhou finished 12th in the table and, after six games without a win at the end of the campaign, only avoided relegation by three points.

They have now turned to 59-year-old former Japan coach Troussier to insitigate a revival in 2015.

“After investigation and study…Hangzhou Greentown Football Club and French national coach Philippe Troussier signed a working agreement,” a statement read.

“Troussier will lead the 2015 expedition of Hangzhou Greentown.”

Troussier has previous experience in China having already managed Shenzhen Ruby for two seasons from 2011, but he suffered relegation with the club and they have yet to return to the top flight.

Marseille and Sfaxien are among the other club sides he has taken charge of, while he has also managed at international level with the likes of South Africa and Morocco. 

 
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Mihajlovic confident Sampdoria can compete with top sides

2 December 2014 11:40

​Sinisa Mihajlovic claims Sampdoria have shown they are ready to compete with the top sides in Italian football after their draw with Napoli.

Sampdoria were denied a major scalp on Monday when Duvan Zapata rescued a point for Rafael Benitez’s men in a 1-1 draw, with Mihajlovic’s charges having also held Roma and Milan this season.

Indeed, Sampdoria have only lost once in their opening 13 Serie A games, leaving them sixth in the table and only two points adrift of third.

Mihajlovic, who took charge just over a year ago, guided the club away from relegation last season and is delighted with their progress.

“Once again we proved that we can play on a par with anyone,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “We are missing that little something to beat a big club. 

“It’s disappointing for the lads, but if we keep playing like this and improve our mentality away from home, then we can go far.

“We drew with Roma, Milan and now Napoli, so we are just missing that something extra.”

Sampdoria host Brescia in the Coppa Italia on Thursday before back-to-back away league matches at Verona and defending champions Juventus.

 
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Chelsea defeat spurred Tottenham on – Kane

2 December 2014 10:57

​Harry Kane says Tottenham can show how far they have come under Mauricio Pochettino when they travel to Chelsea on Wednesday.

Tottenham were beaten 4-0 on their last visit to Stamford Bridge, when Tim Sherwood was at the helm, and Kane – an unused substitute in that game - is determined to set the record straight.

Unbeaten Chelsea top the Premier League by six points after 13 matches, while Tottenham are slowly climbing the table after a stuttering start under Pochettino.

Back-to-back league victories have lifted them to seventh heading into the midweek fixutres and Kane pointed out that his side have all the motivation they need to get one over on their London rivals.

“Obviously it is never nice when you get beat, especially by that sort of margin,” he said of March’s loss. “We had to look at each other, dust ourselves down and really push on. I think since then we’ve done well.

“This is a new season now, we’ve got a great bunch of lads and I think we’re all together and we’ll take that into the game on Wednesday.

“This season we have stuck together in games and in pre-season, we get on well and we have shown that on the pitch.

“We were honest with each other that day – and we had to be at that stage. Sometimes you have to do that in football when results don’t go your way.

“You need to look at yourself and dust yourself down and stick together and push on.”

Tottenham have not won at Chelsea since 1990, when Gary Lineker struck the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

 
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Wenger ´certain´ of Henry return

2 December 2014 10:48

Arsene Wenger is certain Thierry Henry will return to Arsenal “one day” after the striker announced his departure from New York Red Bulls.

Henry’s Red Bulls’ stay came to an end after they lost the MLS Eastern Conference final to New England Revolution at the weekend.

The 37-year-old is yet to reveal his next move, but French compatriot Wenger is confident an Emirates Stadium return is one the cards at some stage.

“I understand that he wants to reflect for a while on what he wants to do,” Wenger said on Tuesday.

“Certainly one day he will come back here. In what capacity, I don’t know.”

Henry initially moved to Arsenal in 1999 and became a huge hit at the London club, going on to become their record goalscorer with over 200 in all competitions.

He left for Barcelona in 2007 before his move to New York, whom he left on loan to join up with Arsenal briefly in 2012 – scoring on his second debut.

 
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Benitez ´optimistic´ over Napoli progress

2 December 2014 10:10

​Rafael Benitez is confident Napoli are primed for a strong second half of the season after extending their unbeaten run to 10 league games.

A 90th-minute header from Duvan Zapata rescued a point for 10-man Napoli against Sampdoria after they had fallen behind to Eder’s third goal of the season and seen Kalidou Koulibaly sent off.

The point keeps Benitez’s side in third place in the Serie A table, eight points adrift of Juventus and Roma after 13 games.

Benitez acknowledged there are still areas his side must improve, but he was delighted with the battling qualities on show at the Luigi Ferraris, and is optimistic about their chances of holding onto the final UEFA Champions League place.

“We knew from the start this could be a difficult season,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia. “We know our strengths and where we have to improve. 

“I am optimistic for the future, but the team has to look at individual objectives in every game and not look forward to other fixtures or the table.

“The team is unbeaten in 10 games, so in the circumstances I’d call that positive.”

 

 
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