Morgan hopeful of regular role

15 December 2012 07:01

Liverpool striker Adam Morgan is eyeing a starting spot in Brendan Rodgers’ side and believes he is good enough to have an impact.

The 18-year-old watched on from the bench as an unused substitute as his team came from behind to edge West Ham United 3-2 in their last outing.

Despite not being given an opportunity in a Liverpool side which had Jonjo Shelvey playing up front, Morgan said he was pleased to be in the squad.

“It was still nice to be involved in the squad,” Morgan told Singapore.

“Shelvey’s one of the players I looks up to, he’s a good friend of mine and I’ve seen him come a long way from his younger days at Charlton (Athletic). It didn’t bother me that he was playing up front.”

Morgan is a proven goalscorer at every level he has played at so far and he believes he has what it takes to stake a claim for a regular spot.

“In my own opinion, I wouldn’t say I’m not good enough for the first team,” he said.

“I always welcome the challenge to play in the Premier League with Liverpool. Hopefully the manager has faith in me, and I wish in a couple of months or years, I can be playing regularly in the first team.”

Despite Liverpool’s poor form in the first half of the campaign – they sit 10th in the league – Morgan is adamant they can finish in the top four.

“We all know we should be back in the Champions League, everyone in the team is working really hard now to make sure the club get back on the right track,” he said.

“There are a lot of young players installed in the team this season and if those lads can gel with the older players, I see no reason why we can’t get back into Europe this season.”

Luiz happy to play his part

15 December 2012 06:07

Chelsea’s David Luiz has spoken about his willingness to play anywhere after being deployed in midfield for Thursday’s win over Monterrey.

The 25-year-old started alongside John Obi Mikel in the middle as Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners against the Mexican side to seal their place in the Club World Cup final.

And, despite playing the majority of his career at centre-back, Luiz underlined his happiness to adapt for the club.

“Since he (Rafa Benitez) arrived he’s been talking about playing me there if the opportunity arose,” he told the FIFA website.

“He spoke to me in the team talk and we decided to do it for that game. I was happy with the result, about getting through to a big final, and with my performance as well.

“It was Rafa’s decision to make the change for this game. He wanted me to play in a more advanced position and I was delighted with my contribution to the team and with our overall performance too.

“I’ve been working in training every day on other aspects of my game so I can help out in different ways.

“They’re things we’ve been practising, and the coach has a gift for seeing when a player can make a positive contribution in a certain position.

“Getting up there in attack is not my main job. All I want to do is help the team, no matter what my position is. I love playing for Chelsea. I love playing. And I hope we can take the title.”

Luiz insisted there would be no conflict of interest when he faces fellow Brazilian side Corinthians in the tournament’s final.

“It’s another final, and that’s always special for me, whoever we play,” he said.

“Everyone tries to help. And when they’ve got some information to give they’ve got the freedom to come out and tell the team about it.

“We’ve been talking a lot this week about the importance that we attach to the (Club) World Cup in South America and especially in Brazil.

“I’ve always made it clear that it’s been a dream of mine to play in a (Club) World Cup and that I’d give anything to win it.”

Bradley glad to play with Totti

15 December 2012 05:55

Roma midfielder Michael Bradley says it is an honour to play with Francesco Totti, describing him as ‘one of the best players in history’.

The United States international earned a transfer to Roma following an impressive 2011/12 campaign with Chievo.

He has since become a regular starter under Zdenek Zeman, making 10 Serie A appearances for the capital club, and Bradley believes the opportunity of working alongside Totti each day has been a rewarding experience.

“Everything has gone well so far,” Bradley told “I feel great, even if I have to improve my distribution and usage of the ball.

“I also appreciate the presence of a leader like Totti. He is one of the best players in history. I feel lucky to play alongside him.”

After an inconsistent start to the season, which culminated in a derby defeat to Lazio in early November, Roma have strung together a run of five straight victories, including a 4-2 win over league rivals Fiorentina last weekend.

And Bradley believes his side have hit form at the right time, as the fight for a Champions League finish prepares to heat up.

“We are a young team, but players like Totti and (Pablo) Osvaldo enable us to learn a lot,” he said.

“Napoli, Lazio and Fiorentina are very strong, but we plan to fight with them for a place in the Champions League.”

Kosmina keeping expectations in check

15 December 2012 04:24

Adelaide United coach John Kosmina says his side’s expectations have not changed despite their 4-2 win over Melbourne Victory.

Adelaide romped to just their ninth win in 29 meetings with the Victory last Friday in front of a sell-out crowd at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Although United sit comfortably in second and have already topped the table for a number of weeks this season, the derby victory has shone the spotlight on the club as genuine contenders for an elusive A-League championship.

Kosmina felt the stunning win over Melbourne had caught the competition’s attention, but more importantly reaffirmed his belief in the squad’s ability.

However, the former Sydney FC coach said the Reds would not get ahead of themselves as they sit on the cusp of returning to top spot.

“The opposition is aware of the quality of players we have here and type of football we can play, and that does change their perspective, but it shouldn’t change ours,” Kosmina said.

“Things are ticking over nicely, but that doesn’t mean you make any drastic changes or approach things differently.

“Games like that should just reinforce the belief in ourselves and each other … reinforce what we are capable of.”

Kosmina admitted the mood within his camp had lifted this week and hoped that the heightened morale would translate to another three points against Sunday’s opponents Wellington in front of home support.

“The mood in camp has been pretty good. Last week was a good buzz and a good win for them – an important win,” Kosmina said.

“There’s a lot more in this team and we need a good frame of mind to be able to bring that out of the players, which is where they seem to be at the moment.

“Central Coast got a win last night and we need to get a win to stay in touch with them.

“We are at home and Hindmarsh is turning back into a fortress for us, so we need to make the most of those opportunities when we have them.”

While Adelaide will attempt to defeat the Phoenix for the second time at Hindmarsh this season, attention may shift to Argentine import Jeronimo Neumann.

Jeronimo was embroiled in controversy when the two sides met earlier in October after being accused of diving for an overzealous tumble that saw Wellington defender Ben Sigmund shown a red card.

Kosmina said it was not something he had touched on with Jeronimo in the lead up to Sunday’s game and didn’t expect the creative forward to be concerned by the incident.

“It doesn’t need to be revisited. It’s not a positive thing you can motivate somebody with. It’s history and it’s done and dusted,” Kosmina said.

“I don’t know if he will be that fussed about what happened before, but I know he likes to win and score goals.”

Adelaide remain unchanged from the side that defeated Melbourne Victory.

Redknapp desperate for three points

15 December 2012 03:42

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has issued a rallying cry to his players ahead of their meeting with London rivals Fulham on Saturday.

Redknapp’s side sit bottom of the Premier League after 16 games but could vacate that position with a victory at Loftus Road.

And the former Spurs manager knows that there is far more than just local bragging rights at stake.

“I think about winning tomorrow,” Redknapp told the club’s official website. “That’s all that enters my mind. It’s a big game, bigger than anything.

“We’re at home in a London derby, we’ve got to give everything we’ve got. We’ve got to give blood, sweat and tears tomorrow to see if we can get that win.

“The fans will be with us. It will be a really good game with two teams wanting to win hopefully. We’ve got to want it more than they do and, if we do that, we’ve got a chance.”

Despite his side’s three-match unbeaten run, Redknapp conceded he faces a big task in keeping the club in the top flight.

He added: “You only have to look at the league table to see there’s a lot to do. The players have trained well again this week, I couldn’t ask for any more of them.

“If they continue to do that then the wins will come, we’ve got to keep believing. We have had three draws since I’ve been here, we’ve done very well in the games so that’s a positive.

“We’re unbeaten so we need to keep that run going. Three points will make all the difference to us.

“We’re close to getting that first win, hopefully it will come tomorrow but it won’t be easy. Fulham have done well and they’re a tough team to beat.

“(Fulham manager) Martin Jol has done a great job with them so it will be a difficult game.”