Moyes won´t sell to buy

15 December 2012 01:28

Everton manager David Moyes has insisted he will not need to sell players in order to reinforce his squad in the January transfer window.

The Scot has revealed he is keen to bolster his ranks if the opportunity arises, but says it will not be at the cost of losing a player.

“We wouldn’t be letting anyone go, but we would like to add to it if we can,” Moyes told BBC Sport.

“But we can only do that if the players were available and it was the right deal for us. I’d like to (strengthen), but we know I’ve got a very small amount I could do anything with.”

Moyes will be without injured duo Kevin Mirallas and Tony Hibbert over the Christmas period but is not looking to replace the pair.

He continued: “We will probably look and see if there is anything out there but I don’t think the situation with Mirallas and Hibbo would change that.”

Petkovic calls for extra effort

15 December 2012 00:58

Lazio head coach Vladimir Petkovic has called on his players to give ‘at least 10 percent more’ than in other games to defeat Inter Milan.

Inter, who are second in Serie A, will travel to Rome to take on Lazio on Saturday with a four point lead over the home side.

Lazio have had mixed results against the other top-six sides this season with defeats away to Napoli and Fiorentina followed by a win over Roma and a draw with leaders Juventus.

Petkovic wants his players to show they have improved against the leading teams in Italy.

“In this moment of the championship, this match can give us some certainties and we can also prove that we can compete against top teams, such as Inter Milan, and we can even aim to something more,” Petkovic said.

Petkovic’s team sit fourth in Serie A and have not lost in five league matches, while Inter have picked up wins in their past two games after ending November in a slump that included three defeats and a draw across all competitions.

Despite that run, Inter remain second and Petkovic does not believe the Milan giants have any glaring weaknesses to exploit.

“Well, there is no recipe to win against Inter Milan,” Petkovic said.

“We surely have to make what Lazio has made in the important moments of this season.

“We should try to make even a better performance, everyone should give at least 10 percent more to defeat Inter Milan and prove our value.”

In the corresponding fixture at the Stadio Olimpico last season, Lazio came from behind to defeat Inter 3-1.

Salihovic predicts Dortmund defeat

14 December 2012 13:28

Hoffenheim midfielder Sejad Salihovic has claimed his team will defeat reigning German champions Borussia Dortmund 3-0 on Sunday.

The Sinsheim outfit, who find themselves in fight to stave off relegation and have lost their past five league games, have suffered defeat in the Bundesliga at the hands of Dortmund just twice, and the Bosnian believes their record speaks for itself.

“If we concede a goal, we will win. I say that we will win 3-0. We have lost only once to them at our own stadium,” Salihovic told Bild.

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc quickly responded to the bold prediction, insisting his team are gunning for the three points at the weekend.

“It’s nice that they are so optimistic at Hoffenheum. We have a slightly different view and goal. We want to enter the winter break with a victory.”

Benitez endorses Guardiola for Chelsea

14 December 2012 13:28

Rafael Benitez says he would be happy for Pep Guardiola to take over as Chelsea manager if the London club wins trophies this season.

Benitez was brought in to replace the sacked Roberto Di Matteo last month but has received a frosty reception from the Chelsea faithful, who continue to chant the Italian’s name during matches.

“Guardiola has a fantastic record,” Benitez told BBC Sport.

“If he comes and we’ve won a lot of trophies, I’ll be very pleased.”

“When I decided to come, I knew I was signing a contract for six or seven months so I was not thinking about more after these seven months.”

Benitez, who guided Liverpool to the Champions League title in 2005, believes the disgruntled element of Chelsea supporters will regret their initial displeasure at his appointment.

“I understand the feelings of the fans because of the rivalry between both clubs (Liverpool and Chelsea),” he said.

“After the improvement of the team, the way I will play (and) the style I will have, I think a lot of fans will say ‘maybe we were too hard and we have to give him the chance to bring the confidence back to the team and the fans’.”

Benitez will have his first shot at silverware at the helm of Chelsea when they meet Corinthians in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup on Sunday.

Rodgers tips Aston Villa for success

14 December 2012 13:25

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed Paul Lambert to bring sustained success to Aston Villa.

The end of the 2010-11 season saw Rodgers lead Swansea to promotion to the Premier League from the Championship along with the Scot at Norwich.

The Northern Irishman is expecting the latest in some ‘terrific battles’ between them in recent years, and also hailed Villa’s young players.

“You’re starting to see the fruits of his labour in the last few weeks. It’s a very difficult job to go into,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.

“He was at Norwich and we had some terrific battles over a couple of years, and we speak reasonably regularly. We shared the same upbringing – coming through the Championship and then strides into the Premier League, where we both want to stay.

“He’s done a terrific job. He’s trying to recreate and build something there based on hard work and honesty.

“The young players that I’ve seen come through – like Barry Bannan, Chris Herd and Ciaran Clark, players that have come through the system – he’s trying to give them an opportunity and you’ll see them get better as the season goes on.”

Liverpool host Villa on the back of both sides winning in their previous outings, with Liverpool triumphing at West Ham last week and Lambert leading Villa to League Cup success against former club Norwich on Tuesday and Rodgers sees similarities between himself and the former Celtic midfielder.

“It’s going to be a difficult game. He and I like to have a work-rate and intensity in our teams so that the worst case scenario you get is effort and commitment if you’re not quite at your best with the ball,” he said.

“They have changed their system over the last few games to 3-5-2 and that seems to have worked well for them. But we’re at home and we’ve got possibilities now in our home games, we’ve got confidence. We know it will be tight but it’s a game we look forward to and hopefully win.”

He added: “Paul is a fantastic manager but it takes time. He came in after Alex [McLeish], who had gone there and kept them in the league.

“They have moved out players and are reliant on a lot of the younger players – that’s not easy. Everyone talks about young players but even top young players can struggle.

“It was always going to take time for him to put his methods across and create the culture that he wanted. Sometimes that can take up to six months when you’re trying to build, especially if you don’t feel it’s there.

“But you’re starting to see that the young players are starting to have the ethos that Paul wants. In the second half of the season they’ll push on and he’ll do very well with them in his time there.”