Premier League

Luque backing 'good guy' Suarez

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Tue, 23 Apr 2013 17:21:00

Manchester City defender Maicon insists he has no plans to leave the club this summer.

Reports have suggested the Brazilian could be set for a return to his homeland with Atletico Mineiro credited with an interest in the full-back's services.

However, Maicon, who joined City from Inter Milan last summer, has pledged his future to Roberto Mancini's side.

"I can completely guarantee you that I'll not leave," Maicon told Lancenet. "I'm calm and I don't care about what they wrote about me.

"My only objective is to help the team and don't have any more injuries, as my goal is to return to the national team."

Maicon has only made 11 appearances for City in the Premier League so far this season and he concedes his campaign has not been his best after struggling with a series of injuries.

"I didn't have one of my best seasons, I had physical problems that prevented me from playing all the games as I used to," added Maicon.

"It was a complicated season, but I recovered in the last part of the season and I'm prepared to help the team."

Having helped Southampton secure back-to-back promotions, the 23-year-old has earned rave reviews in his first season as a Premier League player.

Schneiderlin has previously spoken of his desire to impress national team manager Didier Deschamps and midfield partner Cork believes he deserves to be given a shot by France.

"Definitely. He's played every game in the Premier League this year and not been outdone by anyone," he said.

"He's looked a great player, he's not looked out of place at all, and it's really suiting him the Premier League.

"I don't see why they shouldn't look at him for an international, because he's been brilliant."

Robinson, 32, had guided the Dons to two successive top-six finishes but has been unable to improve this season, with the club currently sitting ninth in League One.

The manager is now preparing for a complete overhaul of the set-up at stadium:MK, following in the footsteps of Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.

He told the Milton Keynes Citizen: "I feel like I have let the fans down, my family and the chairman down too. It has left a sour taste in my mouth.

"I've not been good enough and I have to take responsibility for that.

"We're good enough to go up this season, but the buck ultimately stops with me."

Robinson also told MK News: "I'm changing an awful lot at the football club.

"There will be changes to the backroom staff. It will be based on a continental system.

"Barcelona have heads of sports science, heads of recruitment, heads of medicine, heads of coaching and then the manager oversees that. Dortmund are a shining light when it comes to youth development."

The Liverpool striker has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association over the shocking incident in Sunday's Premier League match.

Luque played with Suarez at Ajax and the pair were involved in an on-field confrontation in a match against Feyenoord.

A dispute between the pair over taking a free-kick led to them coming to blows in the dressing room at half-time and they had to be separated by team-mates. They were both substituted at the break and hit with heavy fines by Ajax.

But Luque reckons Suarez is a "good guy".

He said: "We were good friends before and after this incident and it was the only time I ever had a problem with him.

"After that game he admitted he was wrong and said sorry because that's the type of guy he is. He is a good guy, and we all make mistakes.

"He was quiet in the dressing room and kept to himself, but when he gets onto the pitch he is transformed.

"He fights for everything, he's very physical, and what happened with Ivanovic was unfortunate, but I'm sure he didn't do it with any bad intentions or in bad faith.

"Luis is a player who lives football 100 per cent. He plays with a lot of intensity and right to the limit. We know Luis is capable of doing anything to win a game and sometimes he does things in the heat of the moment, but he is the type of player I'd always want in my team."

Luque, a former Spain international who spent two years at Newcastle, claimed the incident was being blown out of proportion, even though Suarez was banned for seven matches while at Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal.

"In the Premier League everything is exaggerated a lot and perhaps this is getting more coverage because it's not the first time something like this has happened to Luis," he added.

"There's no need to give more importance to it. He has said sorry and that's for the better. It is just an anecdote."

He urged Liverpool to keep hold of the player, adding: "If he left Liverpool they would find it tough to find someone of the same quality as him."

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