Rosler backs City for more silverware

30 October 2012 22:31

Former Manchester City forward Uwe Rosler is adamant manager Roberto Mancini will win more silverware at the club.

Having played 152 league games for Manchester City from 1994 to 1998, Rosler remains interested in the fortunes of the Etihad Stadium outfit and is convinced Mancini can bring more success, having won the English Premier League last season.

Mancini has been under some pressure this season as City have stuttered in the defence of their title but Rosler believes the 47-year-old Italian manager should remain at the helm.

“At the moment the club are in the top three, not firing on all cylinders but that is a great sign because sooner or later players will pick up form again and then the unit will be strong again then Manchester City can put themselves in a very strong position to retain their title,” Rosler said.

Rosler, who is the manager of League One side Brentford, was part of the Manchester City side that was relegated twice in three seasons.

The 43-year-old German left the club when it reached the third tier and is thrilled to see City among the best sides in the Premier League.

“I think it’s fantastic to see how this club has progressed, what has been put in place now, how the supporters are now in the position to celebrate winning titles over the last couple of years and in the future that will happen again,” Rosler said.

“I’m 100 percent sure of that.

“It’s just fantastic to see this club going places.”

Mitchell eager for Perth reunion

30 October 2012 22:05

Newcastle Jets defender Josh Mitchell believes his side needs to ‘get in the face’ of his former Perth Glory team-mates this weekend.

A Newcastle junior, Mitchell spent the past two seasons at the Glory before returning home to sign on with the Jets this season so he has some insider knowledge of how to win in Perth.

“I know through playing with them what they like and what they don’t like. What they don’t like is teams who come to them and really take it to them,” Mitchell said at Jets training on Tuesday.

“If we give them time and space they’ll punish us. If we get in their face and make a good battle out of it, it becomes an even game.”

Mitchell acknowledged that the Glory have a star-studded side but said Newcastle’s confidence from their best start to a season ever would give them the self-belief to score their first win in Perth in eight years.

“They have plenty of good players. Smeltz and Billy (Mehmet) up front, Steve McGarry is a smart player, Travis (Dodd) scored for the them on the weekend, Liam Miller, Jacob Burns and the list goes on,” Mitchell said.

“They have a good defence as well, so yeah, they have a strong side but they are by no means unbeatable.”

The central defender rejected the idea that the long haul to Perth is the reason why sides find it difficult to win in the west.

“I think it’s more a mental thing,” Mitchell said.

“You just have to go out there with the same attitude as any other game. The time difference and all that doesn’t really matter in my opinion.

“You probably just have to concentrate a little bit more and not be worried about any of the other changing conditions that we deal with.”

The 28-year-old said he is looking forward to seeing some old acquaintances and playing at nib Stadium.

“It’s going to be good to play in front of the Shed again and some friends over there,” Mitchell said.

“It’ll be good to see a lot of my old team-mates over there, and hopefully even better if we win.”

Sermanni quits Australia post

30 October 2012 21:05

Tom Sermanni has brought his eight-year stint as Australia’s women’s coach to an end and taken over the USA’s women’s national team.

Having led the Australian women’s team to the quarter-finals at the past two women’s World Cups, as well as winning the Asian Cup in 2010, Sermanni has made a huge difference to the Matildas since becoming head coach in 2005.

Sermanni has claimed the Matildas are in a good position to build into the future but argued it is the right time for him to take on a new challenge.

“From a personal perspective, this was definitely not an easy decision to make and, in the end, it became quite an emotional one for me,” Sermanni said.

“In football, and in life, it’s all about timing, and with Australian women’s football quite settled at the moment with the national teams and the Westfield W-League, the timing of this challenge to coach the number one women’s football team in the world was at the right time for me to accept.

“There is plenty of great talent coming through the Australian women’s football system and in the coming years I am confident that Australia will be a world force.

“But eight years is a long time for any coach to be in a position and now seems to be a good time to bring in some new ideas and energy into the Matildas set-up.”

Sermanni has been a central figure to the growth of the Matildas over the past two decades.

The 58-year-old Scot coached the Matildas from 1994 to 1996 before re-joining the team in 2005, leading them to the final of the Asian Cup in 2006.

But the opportunity to coach the best women’s team in the world is not something Sermanni could ignore and Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley accepted the decision.

“When Tom tendered his resignation our immediate reaction was sadness that he would no longer be coaching the Matildas but we understand the motivation behind his decision and wish him all the best for his new challenge ahead with the US women’s national team,” Buckley said.

“Tom’s legacy for women’s football in Australia will be felt for many years to come as he has helped transform our women’s national team to a very professional and competitive group of players.”

Stramaccioni: Inter focused on Sampdoria

30 October 2012 19:58

Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni says Sampdoria’s losing streak counts for little ahead of Wednesday’s Serie A clash.

Sampdoria have lost their past four matches, with the most recent defeat coming at home to Cagliari at the weekend.

Inter, on the other hand, have won their past five league outings and sit third on the table, four points behind leaders Juventus.

“Sampdoria opened the season well and they’ve now slowed more in the results than in the actual performances they’ve put in,” Stramaccioni said.

“I’ve watched and analysed some of the matches they’ve played recently and I think they didn’t deserve to lose.”

While Sampdoria occupy 11th, they sit just three points above the relegation zone ahead of the journey to Milan.

“I think we will be facing a team that will be absolutely determined to upturn their negative form and gain some points at the San Siro,” Stramaccioni said.

“I also think they have the structural characteristics to create us some trouble, in attack in particular, so it will be a very difficult match for us.”

Rodgers: Suarez loves Liverpool

30 October 2012 19:40

Brendan Rodgers has dismissed claims Luis Suarez has become disillusioned with English football.

Former Anfield star John Aldridge made the suggestion that the Uruguayan may seek a new adventure if he becomes frustrated by the media coverage surrounding his ban for racism or diving, in light of recent refereeing decisions against him.

But manager Rodgers believes the striker is enjoying life on Merseyside and relishes the task of improving Liverpool’s fortunes.

“Luis loves playing in English football. I speak with him regularly and he loves the passion and excitement of the game over here,” Rodgers told reporters.

“He is a player who’s mentally very strong, as you can see from his time here with the amount of stick he’s taken.

“It’s actually a driver for him. It really motivates him.

“He loves being at Liverpool. He loves the city, he loves the club and he loves the supporters, so I can’t see that happening.”

Suarez was at the centre of the action once again on Sunday as he played a starring role in the 2-2 derby draw with rivals Everton.

The striker’s cross-cum-shot was turned into his own net by Leighton Baines to open the scoring, leading to him celebrating by feigning a dive in front of David Moyes following the Everton manager’s pre-match comments regarding simulation, before adding a goal of his own from a Steven Gerrard free kick.

Rodgers is full of praise for Suarez, and would rather concentrate on his fantastic exploits on the pitch rather than negative conceptions of him off it.

He added: “I thought he was outstanding. He’s just a breath of fresh air, his enthusiasm. He’s our only fit striker here.

“He was tireless against Reading, we had to play a strong team in order to get a result against Anzhi, and I think many people thought the condition of the team and him in particular up front would maybe waver a bit, but the condition of the group and him in particular was amazing.

“He’s a wonderful talent. He’ll always provoke comments both positive and negative but the bottom line is he’s a fantastic player. He scores goals, his goals to games ratio this season is fantastic.”