Borini delight at racing back
Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:29:00
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy insists he is staying put at Portman Road after guiding Town to Championship safety.
McCarthy took the reins in November with Ipswich bottom of the table and boasting just seven points from their first 13 games of the season.
But Saturday's 3-1 victory over Birmingham moved the Suffolk club into the top half of the table for the first time since August and finally secured their second-tier survival amid what has been a fiercely-contested relegation scrap.
And with Championship status now assured, McCarthy has confirmed his future lies with Town.
"I'm staying. The agreement was I'd stay if we stayed up, I'd go if we went down," McCarthy told the Green'Un. "Relegation would have been a disaster for this club and there would have been a whole host of changes.
"If somebody had said to me when I arrived that it would need 60 points to stay up when we had seven I would have said 'do me a favour, we won't get anywhere near it'. It's just been remarkable this league."
Meanwhile, Ipswich defender Tommy Smith has spoken of his pride at being named as the club's Player of the Year.
The New Zealand international told Town's official website: "It's a proud moment for me to receive this award.
"The fans have always backed me from when I was in the youth team and it's nice to get accolades like this but it's been a real team effort this season."
The former Bristol City boss has taken Yeovil to their highest ever finish and they will do battle with Sheffield United over the next seven days for a place at the League One play-off final at Wembley.
Johnson's current deal expires in the summer but Starnes is hopeful he will sign an extension.
"We had talks in the week and the club is amenable to what Gary is looking for," Starnes told BBC Somerset.
"Talks have been going on between Gary and the owners. We've got everything on the table.
"If a one-year rolling contract is something Gary would be interested in then we'd talk seriously about that. If he wants a fixed-term then we'll look at that as well.
"That dialogue is continuing but there are a lot of distractions at the moment."
That first distraction comes at Bramall Lane on Friday night as Yeovil, who won 2-0 on that ground earlier this season, take on Sheffield United in the first leg of their play-off semi final.
QPR were demoted to the npower Championship on Sunday following a 0-0 draw at Reading, which also saw the Royals drop down to the second tier of English football.
Rangers owner Tony Fernandes announced on Monday morning that he would meet Redknapp to discuss various aspects of the team's future, prompting speculation that Redknapp could leave, but the Malaysian confirmed the 66-year-old former Tottenham boss will stay on as manager.
Fernandes told QPR's website: "I have had a positive meeting with Harry.
"I don't think there was any point where he was thinking of not being with us and continuing this project he has embarked upon with a third of the season through.
Redknapp replaced Mark Hughes as manager last November, but despite yet more investment in the transfer window at the turn of the year, the west London club will be playing in the Championship next season.
Redknapp said: "We're all very sorry with the way this season has ended.
"It's been a disaster really, a really disappointing season for everyone - the owners, the staff, the fans; everyone associated to the club.
"We're going to give it a real good go next season though and hopefully get this club back to where it belongs."
Midfielder Richards surprisingly finds himself heading out of the exit door at the Greenhous Meadow having made 43 appearances this season, scoring seven goals in the process.
He tops Town's scoring chart this term alongside striker Marvin Morgan, who has also been released by boss Graham Turner as he wastes little time shaping his squad for next season after Town avoided relegation from League One.
The pair depart along with midfielders Mark Wright and Rob Purdie as well as striker Ryan Doble.
Meanwhile, Turner has offered contracts to six players also out of contract at the the Shropshire club.
It is hoped Jon Taylor, Aaron Wildig, Connor Goldson, Jermaine Grandison, Tom Bradshaw and Ryan Woods will each accept the terms on the table.
The 29-year-old has confirmed he will be leaving Bootham Crescent this summer at the end of his contract and would welcome a switch to New York Stadium.
The Millers, who ended a six-year stay in League Two by winning promotion on Saturday, are reportedly interested in the front man.
Walker said: "I leave things like that to my agent but there are a few clubs interested so we'll see what happens. I'm definitely ready for a new challenge.
"Who wouldn't be interested in a move to Rotherham? I've got a lot of time for Steve Evans and their set-up is fantastic.
"It's a great stadium, big crowds and they've definitely got another promotion in them.
"But as far as I'm aware there hasn't been any contact yet."
On Saturday the Toffees ground out a 1-0 win over Fulham to record their fifth clean sheet in seven matches.
They are only three points behind fifth-placed Tottenham, who do have a match in hand, but with goals not easy to come by Baines is grateful for their strength at the back.
"We have not been conceding many goals at all lately, apart from the one last week (the 1-0 defeat at Sunderland)," said the England international.
"We've kept a few clean sheets on the bounce at Goodison and we probably could have got another couple of goals against Fulham.
"We didn't put them away but in the end we only needed the one but we created some chances.
"We have been playing well and there was good build-up to the goal and we had a couple of other moves which were similar which didn't quite have the finish."
Steven Pienaar scored the goal against the Cottagers, his seventh of the season but only the second in the league in 2013.
"We rely on him so much and some players, if they are not seen to be carrying the team forward, then it can show because he is so important to us," added Baines.
"He has got a few goals this season so that shows he has added to his game and he is a massive plus for us being in the team."
With three matches of the campaign remaining it is understandable players start looking towards the summer, but with a Merseyside derby at Anfield this weekend there is no danger of that at Everton.
"The summer is always welcome, especially when you get to the end of the season and you have been involved heavily," said the England left-back.
"But you try and put it to the back of your mind, especially when you have got big games on the horizon as we have.
"You keep plugging away, giving what you have got left."
Fellow full-back Seamus Coleman said the lure of Europa League football was pushing them on.
"There is still plenty to play for, we have to just win our games and hope the teams above slip-up," he told evertontv.
"It's going to be a big week. Derbies mean a lot to the fans but it means just as much to us.
"We will be going all out to win at Anfield."
Burnett, formerly first-team coach at Victoria Road, was handed the reins on an interim basis in late February after John Still opted to swap the Daggers for non-league Luton, ending his nine-year tenure with Dagenham 16th in League Two and eight points off the drop zone.
Burnett recorded two wins, four draws and six defeats in his 12 games at the helm, narrowly avoiding a bottom two finish merely on goal difference despite Saturday's final-day 1-0 loss at home to York as fellow strugglers Barnet also went down 2-0 at Northampton.
And the 41-year-old now wants to hold talks with the powers that be at Dagenham in a bid to land the job full-time.
"Everyone has been really supportive and the board have been brilliant," Burnett told BBC London 94.9. "We'll sit down and hopefully have a chat and see where we go from there.
"I have made it quite open and hopefully I will be here next year and we can do better than we have done in the last two seasons.
"Pre-season has been scheduled already and we'll be looking to bring one or two in.
"If it all works out like we hope for next season we might see a slightly different way of doing things."
Meanwhile, Daggers defender Luke Wilkinson scooped the club's Player of the Year award ahead of second-placed Femi Ilesanmi and Scott Doe, in third.
The 29-year-old, who joined the Minstermen in 2011, is out of contract at Bootham Crescent and will now look for a new club.
Walker scored 18 goals last season as York returned to the Football League and added a further nine this year as they secured final-day survival with a 1-0 win at Dagenham.
The striker leaves the club with a heavy heart but is relishing a new challenge.
"I've needed a change of scenery for a while now," he said. "I enjoyed my time at the club but I've known for the past few months I'd be moving on. I was not offered a new deal as such, but I think it was down to finances.
"I'm obviously pleased we stayed in the division and wish the club all the best for the future."
Walker, who was signed by Gary Mills, was impressed by the job Nigel Worthington did, but feels he did not fit into his style of play.
"Nigel Worthington obviously had a positive effect on the lads and came in with his own ideas and organised us slightly differently," he added. "But Gary Mills had a good style too, it was a sad time when he left especially bearing in mind what he did during his time at the club.
"It's been on the cards for a while and to be honest, I'm not sure that my game fits in with they way Nigel Worthington is looking to play. But I'm sure they'll do well and I'll be looking out for all their results with interest."
Meanwhile Press Association Sport understands that Blair has been released.
And, having now scored his first Premier League goal for the club, he hopes he can not only help fill the gap left by Luis Suarez's 10-match ban but still contribute when the Uruguay international eventually comes back.
Borini returned from 10 weeks on the sidelines to come off the bench and score in the weekend's 6-0 hammering of Newcastle.
Having previously sat out three months with a broken ankle, the 22-year-old has endured a difficult maiden campaign at Anfield having joined for ?10million from Roma in the summer.
His goal at St James' Park was only his second since his arrival but after his injuries he is determined to make up for lost time.
"It had been a long injury for me and a long wait to score in the Premier League," he said.
"It's been hard. When I hurt my shoulder they said my season could be over but I fought back as I really needed to come back earlier.
"I took the minimum possible to get back training which was eight weeks instead of 12. Some people probably didn't think I could make it but I fought back.
"I can play a big part now not because Luis is suspended but because I am back fit.
"Whether Luis is available or not, we all need to focus on doing our jobs."
Next up for Liverpool is the Merseyside derby at Anfield and although injury robbed Borini the chance of appearing at Goodison Park in October, he is well aware of what to expect.
"Next weekend will be my first derby here," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"But I've played in big derbies in Italy (Roma v Lazio) so I know the feeling.
"The atmosphere in those games was always very hot and I am sure here will be the same."
Borini was only on the pitch for 11 minutes with man of the match Philippe Coutinho on Saturday, but having also watched the Brazilian from the touchline he was impressed with the 20-year-old's best performance for the club since joining from Inter Milan in January.
"Coutinho is such a great player," he added.
"He's very clever and you can see he has played in Italy. He may be young but tactically he knows the game very well.
"You can see his intelligence when he's on the ball and he's exactly what we need."
Off the field, Qatari telecomms giant Ooredoo appear to have distanced themselves from reported comments by an unnamed company director at the weekend which suggested they were looking to make a major investment in Liverpool.
"There is no basis for the current speculation linking us to the sponsorship of a Premier League Football Club," a spokesman told Arabian Business.
"If the situation changes, we will - as always - be open and transparent in our communication with the media and with our customers."
No-one from Ooredoo was available for comment when contacted.