Pardew targets win over Bordeaux

3 October 2012 19:40

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is expecting nothing less than three points from their home Europa League fixture against Bordeaux on Thursday.

Newcastle have not had the best of starts to the competition after being held to a goalless draw with Portuguese outfit Maritimo in their opening match, but Pardew feels playing in front of a home crowd will make the difference.

“They (Bordeaux) obviously put themselves as favourites to win the group with their win at Brugge, and a very fine victory it was too,” Pardew said. “They are a very good Ligue 1 side from France.

“They had a terrific win on Sunday too so they are in very good form.

“Nevertheless it is a home game and we have a good record at home, regardless of the opposition.

“We will be looking to win the game and it is the first time in the competition, at home, where our fans will be taking it seriously. That will be important for the atmosphere in the stadium and important for us to focus our minds.

“With European games the concentration level goes up a little and you need to be ready for this type of opposition. We respect them and we are looking forward to playing against them. But we expect to win.”

And France international Yohan Cabaye said the competition is a great experience for those not used to regular European football.

“Last season we worked really, really hard every game to try and play in a European competition,” Cabaye said.

“This season we are playing in the Europa League so it is very important to play properly in this competition.

“The Europa League is good experience for many players, so we have to focus on winning tomorrow’s game, so we have to try and win every game and play at the top of the league.”

Baldini content with Roma

3 October 2012 16:57

Roma general manager Franco Baldini will stay with the club despite Tottenham’s attempts to land the Italian in a technical director role.

Fabio Capello’s former deputy with England was a leading candidate to head a restructure of Spurs’ recruitment operation.

But, as expected, the 51-year-old has distanced himself from the role, though Spurs remain hopeful they can lure the Italian to North London next year.

“It is a ritual that every two-three months I have to come here to explain things that do not need to be explained,” Baldini said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“There are continuous rumours regarding my departure and other things. This is mortifying. I said when I arrived that I would stay in Rome until the end of this club path or when they would tell me to go away.

“And this has never happened, in fact the club always confirmed their confidence in me. I would leave in the event of physical exhaustion, but despite your efforts that is far from happening.

“I say again, this is humiliating. I have no disagreement with the club and we have built a pretty strong friendship, maybe because we spend 15 hours a day together.

“I want to reiterate that neither (Claudio) Fenucci, nor (Walter) Sabatini, nor (Mauro) Baldissoni nor myself have ever had any problems. All that has been said is completely false. Even with my last bit of strength I will defend this club.”

Vaz Te: Carroll can turn England around

3 October 2012 16:27

West Ham striker Ricardo Vaz Te believes Andy Carroll can turn England into world champions, if Roy Hodgson uses the 23-year-old properly.

The Liverpool loan signing made his comeback from a month-long hamstring injury against QPR on Monday night, and caused the home side problems in defence by winning numerous aerial battles.

Vaz Te feels it is up to Hodgson to decide whether Carroll is fit for a call-up for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, despite West Ham boss Sam Allardyce insisting the striker is ‘woefully, woefully’ short of fitness.

“(Carroll’s) great to have back. He’s such a handful. He is an England striker,” he told reporters.

“I’m not sure if he’s back in time (for San Marino and Poland) – that’s for Roy to prove. He proved for us that when he is fit he is ready. We have one more game, hopefully, that will show (it too).

“Give him a call – a player will know if he is ready.”

The Portuguese striker complimented his team-mate on his ability both in the air and with his feet, suggesting Carroll can take England to the next level.

“With Andy’s strength, England can do anything. Every time you play a ball to him, you know he is going to control it. He lets the team breathe, he lets you push on. He buys you time,” Vaz Te said.

“Normally, you get big players who are strong but not so good with their feet. Andy is an all-rounder. He is not fast – but not slow either. He showed that at QPR.

“He is a terrific player.”

Toure bracing for ´massive´ test

3 October 2012 16:00

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure says Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund is a must-win match.

The energetic Ivorian revealed that last season’s campaign – in which the Premier League champions failed to qualify from the group stages – was a ‘disaster’ for the club.

And despite disappointment in the opening game this year, which they lost 3-2 to Real Madrid, the 29-year-old former Barcelona player believes his side can follow in the footsteps of rivals Manchester United and Chelsea and win the European crown this season.

“Hopefully it is going to be a massive game for us. Borussia Dortmund are a fantastic team. They work very hard in attack and defence and we know it is going to be tough and we have to deliver,” he told reporters.

“Our last campaign was a disaster. We want to change that. Look at our rivals, Chelsea and Manchester United; they have appeared in a final and this year I hope we can go far and even win it.

“The first year was quite hard. This can be massive for us to get to the second round. We know we are in a tough group and we have to get a good result.”

City find themselves in Group G against a trio of domestic champions in Jose Mourinho’s Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund. However, Toure is eager to please the home fans by beating the Germans on Wednesday evening.

“In our life we know what we have to do but we understand the position we are in because we lost in Madrid,” Toure said.

“Now we are playing the first game in the Champions League at home and we want to show our fans what we can do and produce a good result. With a team like this we can go very far in the competition.”

CSL wrap: Beijing too strong for Henan

3 October 2012 15:51

Beijing Guoan brushed aside Henan Jianye, while Qingdao Jonoon accounted for Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League on Wednesday.

Shao Jiayi netted a brace as Beijing defeated lowly Henan 3-0 at the Workers Stadium.

The China international scored his first goal in the 26th minute before Zhang Xizhe doubled the hosts’ advantage on 63 minutes.

Shao had his second on 70 minutes, ensuring Beijing remain equal on 41 points with third-placed Guangzhou R&F, who boast a superior goal difference.

The loss leaves Henan rooted to the bottom of the table with just 25 points.

Elsewhere, defender Yao Jiangshan netted a rare goal in the 55th minute as Qingdao overcame Changchun 1-0 at Qingdao Tiantai Stadium.

The result saw Qingdao climb further away from the relegation zone into 12th, while Changchun occupy seventh.

In the other match, Hangzhou and Shandong Luneng played out a 0-0 draw.