Vidosic axing shocks Roar players

20 December 2012 08:10

Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith says the decision to replace coach Rado Vidosic with Mike Mulvey came as a surprise to the players.

Mulvey was installed as interim coach of the Roar on Tuesday, charged with turning the club’s ailing on-field fortunes around.

The reigning A-League champions have slumped to second-last place on the table following a disastrous opening 11 rounds of the season, culminating in the demotion of Vidosic to the role of technical director.

“It came as a bit of a shock to be honest, but I think the players need to be a bit responsible as well,” Smith said of Mulvey’s appointment.

“But there’s no point looking back on what we’ve done, it’s all about looking forward to the future because we’re not in the position that we want to be.

“We (the players) have to be held accountable, but we have the opportunity to now turn it around,” he said.

Smith pointed out that although he and the other players felt for Vidosic, there was little time for them to focus on anything other than Friday’s match against Perth Glory.

“It’s the same with players, and the same with coaches; as a player if you’re no longer required, it’s tough, and we certainly feel for Rado but we don’t have much time to focus on other things now. We literally have a game tomorrow night so that’s the most important thing for us,” he said.

“These things are never nice no matter what time you do it; at the start of the year, at end of the year, during the year, but the decision was made, and that comes down from the club.

“Rado has been a massive part of Brisbane Roar and he always will be a massive part of Brisbane Roar.”

On new coach Mulvey, Smith said any changes he brought would begin to become apparent after a brief settling-in period.

“Mike’s come in and he’s been very enthusiastic and motivated and he’s certainly driven, and that’s definitely going to be portrayed within the playing group,” Smith said.

“We haven’t sat down too much. It’s all about focussing on a few things that Mike wants us to do for the game on Friday night and then implementing them over the next couple of the weeks.

“We’ll probably get a clearer picture or a more definitive style of football that Mike wants to play.”

Mulvey told reporters that Vidosic would not be involved with the first team initially, but said the two had already met to discuss football matters.

“We sat down and spoke for about 40 minutes,” Mulvey said.

“It was straight into football. We were discussing players, we were discussing videos and DVDs – he’s got a great knowledge with regards to that side of the game.

“He was a great gentleman and it was a great chat. One thing that stood out to me is that he’s absolutely determined for the club to be successful.”

Pachuca take Reyna on loan

20 December 2012 07:39

Monterrey attacker Angel Reyna’s move to Pachuca on loan topped the headlines to come out of the Mexican winter draft.

Ahead of the 2013 Clausura, set to kick off in January, the less-anticipated version of the biannual Mexican draft took place on Wednesday, with a few key figures switching teams.

There were 27 transfers that took place, and 41 loan stints were worked out at the event in Mexico City.

Among the most notable names, Rayados midfielder and El Tri international Reyna will go on loan to Pachuca for six months, and veteran striker Omar Bravo will join Atlas, in a bid to help save the struggling Guadalajara club from relegation.

Other moves, such as the transfer of striker Miguel Sabah from Morelia to Chivas and Nery Castillo from Pachuca to Leon, had already been announced but were formalised on Wednesday.

Chelsea draw Swansea in League Cup semis

20 December 2012 07:30

Chelsea will face Swansea City while Aston Villa will play Bradford City in the semi-finals of the League Cup.

The Blues enjoyed a convincing 5-1 win over Leeds in Wednesday’s quarter-final, with goals coming from Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres.

The game had been delayed due to Chelsea’s involvement in the Club World Cup, where the west London outfit lost 1-0 to Brazilian side Corinthians in the final on Sunday.

Their upcoming opponents Swansea scraped through to the final four thanks to a 1-0 win over Championship side Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium.

Bradford beat Arsenal on penalties at Valley Parade and will face Aston Villa, who took a convincing 4-1 win at manager Paul Lambert’s former club Norwich.

The first legs will be played on the week commencing January 7, with the second legs during the week commencing January 21.

Diaz doesn´t doubt Simeone

20 December 2012 06:19

Atletico Madrid defender Daniel Diaz said there should be no question marks over manager Diego Simeone’s future at the Vicente Calderon.

Sunday’s 4-1 defeat by Barcelona harmed the title chances of the club from the capital, and although a nine-point gap has opened up at the top of La Liga, the summer signing from Getafe claimed Simeone has the full backing of the dressing room.

“I do not think his renewal is in question (because) the team is well and the players believe in the project,” the 33-year-old told reporters.

Atletico have not won La Liga since 1996 but Simeone’s side impressed in winning the Europa League in May and then the European Super Cup in August.

Diaz believes the silverware his manager has already delivered, combined with the resolve the 42-year-old has instilled in the squad, shows his methods should not be questioned.

“I think Simeone has proved his worth with titles,” he said.

“He changed the mentality of all the players and it shows on the field and in the locker room.”

Atletico will next host Celta de Vigo in La Liga on Friday before the league’s winter break.

Victory determined to restore order

20 December 2012 05:38

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe says his side are eager to stamp their authority on Saturday’s derby clash with Melbourne Heart.

In seven meetings between the two teams, Victory have prevailed only once, with new boys Heart winning three times and the other three draws, surprising form given Victory are the more established club with two A-League titles to their name.

Victory were beaten by their city rivals 2-1 in their season opener and, ahead of his first Melbourne derby, the 28-year-old shot-stopper said his team were determined to redress the balance at AAMI Park.

“Anytime you lose a derby it’s not a fun thing,” Coe said after training at Gosch’s Paddock on Thursday.

“So this weekend’s a chance to change that and go forward and set it right.

“The ones in the past are in the past. What we can do is go out this weekend and move in the right direction and show who is the bigger club, I guess.

“Everyone’s been talking about it and telling me about it so I can’t wait to get out there. AAMI Park’s a fantastic atmosphere and so a derby’s going to even better.”

Coe said the match was an important one for both teams, with third-placed Victory looking to close the nine-point gap on leaders Central Coast, while the Heart are third from bottom.

“I think everyone’s looking forward to it, everyone’s been talking about it. It’s a pretty important time for both teams,” Coe said.

“We’re looking to win and close the gap on the top two.”

However, the goalkeeper insisted the team would not let derby fever take precedence over the development of their own game.

“We’ve been concentrating on ourselves and winning each game, winning each week and pushing forward and playing the football that we want to play,” he said.