Scholes: Reds still fierce rivals

Scholes: Reds still fierce rivals

Published Jan. 8, 2013 7:15 a.m. ET

Sporting Lisbon have looked to Jesualdo Ferreira to turn around their poor form after sacking coach Franky Vercauteren less than three months into his tenure.

Belgian Vercauteren, who replaced Ricardo Sa Pinto in October, was dismissed on Monday after guiding the side to just two competitive wins during his time at the club.

The new man in charge is much-travelled former Porto, Benfica, Malaga and Panathinaikos boss Ferreira, who takes over a Sporting side that are 12th in the 16-team Primeira Liga, one point above the relegation zone.

The 66-year-old Ferreira was appointed as the Portuguese club's sporting director last month.


A statement on Sporting's official website read: "The board of directors have announced that Franky Vercauteren will no longer be the coach of the club's first team.

"Sporting would like to thank Franky Vercauteren for his effort and professionalism during his time with the club.

"Furthermore, Jesualdo Ferreira will now become the coach of the Sporting first team, in conjunction with his position as sporting director."

Redknapp said the England midfielder, who has made just four starts and four substitute appearances since joining the R's in 2011, was not involved in his future plans and no longer required at Loftus Road.

Speaking to the club's official website following the decision which takes immediate effect, Redknapp said: "I'd like to thank Kieron for his services to QPR.

"If he can stay clear of injuries I'm sure there's clubs out there that will offer him the chance to play football.

"He wasn't in my plans and I think he's got something to offer someone, so we wish him all the best."

Dyer scored his first QPR goal in their 1-1 draw with West Brom in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

Hollands will stay with the Robins until February 2nd when they travel to Broadfield Stadium to play Crawley Town, which will be screened live on Sky Sports.

Hollands moved to the County Ground in mid-November and has been part of the side which has bagged 16 points from a possible 24 in that time.

Paolo Di Canio's men have been in a rich vein of form in recently winning their previous four matches and scoring 16 times while not conceding a single goal.

The midfielder has played in every minute of the run, which has lifted the Wiltshire side into the League One play-off places, and found the net in the 5-0 victories over Tranmere Rovers and Portsmouth.

Di Canio told the club's official website: "He has done well for us since he has been with the club and we know what he can do. He has scored a couple of goals and made a big impact."

Hollands has extended his temporary switch in time to travel to AFC Bournemouth, his former club, on Saturday.

With the clubs being the two most successful in the history of English football, clashes between them have traditionally been major fixtures in the season.

Liverpool have not featured in the Premier League title race for the last few years, though, and ahead of Sunday's meeting at Old Trafford, the gap between them in eighth place and Sir Alex Ferguson's troops is 21 points.

However, as far as veteran United midfielder Scholes is concerned, the rivalry between the North-West outfits remains fierce.

Asked where Liverpool currently feature among the Red Devils' biggest rivalries, Scholes told Inside United: "I think it was the top one for quite some while. Liverpool probably haven't done as well as they'd have liked over the last few years - and they'd probably admit that.

"But it's definitely still right up there, it'll always be right up there."

While it has been Manchester City - the reigning champions - and Chelsea battling United for the league title in recent campaigns, Scholes has no doubt Liverpool "historically are our biggest rivals".

He said: "Whether Manchester City have overtaken Liverpool now (as United's biggest rivals), I don't'll probably take years for City to create what Liverpool have done.

"But Liverpool historically are our biggest rivals, they're always the biggest games and the best atmospheres. But I'm sure City will run them close."

Meanwhile, Scholes has spoken of how glad he is that he decided to come out of retirement, with a year having now passed since his comeback appearance against City.

"I just wanted to come back playing, and I'm glad I did," the 38-year-old said.

"At the time there were a lot of injuries and I thought maybe I could help, so I tried to.

"The second half of last season I played quite often. Unfortunately we just fell short of winning the league; that was disappointing, but I'm glad I came back."