Leam Richardson: Takes Accrington reins Richardson had been serving as caretaker boss at the Crown Ground since Paul Cook’s decision to join Chesterfield last week and led Stanley to a 1-0 weekend win at Bristol Rovers, ending a four-game losing run.
The 32-year-old former Stanley defender fulfilled a similar role when John Coleman departed to Rochdale last season but takes the reins on a full-time basis from Saturday’s FA Cup first-round clash at AFC Fylde.
“It’s a bit surreal to be honest,” said Richardson in a club statement.
“The conversations that we’ve had this week have gone really well and I’d like to thank the chairman Peter Marsden and Rob Heys, the board, the players, all of the staff and of course the fans for giving me this opportunity.
“This is fantastic and I’d like to think I could repay everyone with hard work and get some success at the club.” Managing director Heys made it clear Richardson was Accrington’s number one choice in the wake of Cook’s departure and the appointment comes despite speculation that he might have resumed duties as his predecessor’s number two at the Proact Stadium.
“As soon as Paul made the decision to leave Leam was always our first choice to make the step up and take over as the manager,” Heys said.
“Over the last eight months as Paul’s assistant he has demonstrated all the qualities that we were looking for and I have no doubt that he will do a great job in his new role.” Richardson was part of the Accrington team that won promotion to the Football League in 2006 and went on to play almost 150 times for the club.
David Solomona: Has expressed his sadness at calling time on his career with Warrington Warrington Wolves’ David Solomona has expressed his sadness at retiring from rugby league following a 13-year career in the game.
The former Bradford Bulls man played for the likes of the Sydney Roosters, Parramatta Eels and Wakefield Wildcats before making the move to Odsal in 2007.
The 34-year-old enjoyed two Challenge Cup final successes with the Wolves and with Tony Smith at the helm the ex-New Zealand international knows there are more good times ahead at Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Solomona did not play in last weekend’s Grand Final defeat to the Leeds Rhinos, but despite their failure at Old Trafford he still believes it has been a season to remember.
“It’s nice to know you are part of something special and it is something I can take with me regardless of where I am, to know I’ve got a bit of history here at Warrington means a lot to me,” he told the club’s official website.
“That’s part of why it’s so hard for me to retire now and think about leaving.
It would be nice if I was a 22-year-old coming onto the scene signing here for four years as I can definitely see the club improving a lot more.
“There’s probably only one more step to make to get better and that’s winning the Grand Final.
The club’s won the Challenge Cup Final a few times, won the League Leaders Shield and narrowly lost in the Grand Final, there aren’t too many accolades they haven’t received and I’m pretty sure they’ll go a lot further in the future.
“It would have been nice to have the boys win at the weekend in the Final but saying that to get into the Challenge Cup final and win that, and then get to the Super League Grand Final, there’s only two teams in the whole competition that can say they’ve done that.
It’s been a special year.”
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert defended his decision not to start with Darren Bent following the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham.
The England striker, who came off the bench to grab an equaliser against West Brom last week, was kept out of the starting line-up by Christian Benteke.
To make matters worse, the Belgian, signed from Genk in the summer, missed a free header in the second half.
“That was a big moment,” Lambert admitted.
“When you have chances like that at a place like this you have to put them away.” But he stood by his decision to leave Bent on the bench, saying: “Christian gives you a different option.
“Darren’s threat is going in behind.
That was the only reason why we did it.
“Tottenham’s full-backs are going to bomb on at every opportunity so that’s why I went with that decision.
Darren has been fine about it.”
Sky Bet Formula 1 Betting Retrieving latest SkyBet odds Formula 1 Betting 10 Free Bet McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted that Lewis Hamilton was more confident of securing victory in the Hungarian GP as the 2008 World Champion just managed to rebuff the pursuit of Kimi Raikkonen at the Hungaroring.
Having repulsed Romain Grosjean during the first-half of the race, Hamilton was then required to run the final thirty laps as a single stint with Raikkonen’s Lotus in hot pursuit.
The Finn spent almost twenty laps tucked up within one second of Hamilton’s McLaren but a faultless display kept the Englishman in front for a much-needed victory.
Reflecting on the “difficulty” of the win, Whitmarsh eulogised: “Lewis drove a great race.
Obviously looking after the tyres was tough and he just drove superbly, made no mistakes, looked after the tyres and was more confident than we were for most of that race.
“I think we had the quickest car.
Looking after the tyres was difficult for both drivers, so maybe we need to look a little bit at tyre durability, but, it was quick enough to cross the line first and that is quick enough for me today.” Yet while it certainly appeared as if the Lotuses were able to maintain their tyres better than the McLaren, Hamilton’s ability to avoid falling off F1′s proverbial cliff offered a convincing retort to the critics who have previously disparaged him as being a tyre eater.
It was a performance that also drew effusive praise from former World Champ Damon Hill.
“He absolutely dominated the whole weekend and he did the complete job,” enthused the Sky Sports F1 pundit.
“He withstood the pressure from Kimi Raikkonen and he is looking stronger and stronger all the time.
“He’s the pick of the bunch.
Only Fernando Alonso is driving at the same level.”
Roy Hodgson: Wants his England players to be more clinical going forward against Sweden than they were against France England manager Roy Hodgson wants his side to provide a greater attacking threat against Sweden in Kiev on Friday.
The Three Lions began their Group D campaign with a battling 1-1 draw with France in Donetsk on Monday.
They were widely praised for their resilient defensive display against the group favourites, spending much of the game defending deep inside their own half.
They offered precious little at the other end though, mustering just one shot on target in the entire 90 minutes.
Hodgson revealed he was satisfied with the France result and the platform it provides England in the group.
However, the 64-year-old admits he wants his players to be more clinical going forward against the Swedes.
“I was happy with the start.
We played quite well, certain aspects of our game were good,” said the former West Brom boss.
Attacking “We must maintain that and, if we are going to win matches, we’ve got to continue to work hard on the attacking side of the game.
“We have to try to make certain when we do get these good counter-attacking opportunities that we maximise them and take advantage to the full.
“When we win the ball back and break out, we’ve got to make certain the last pass, cross or actual finish is very clinical.
“It is hard to get good goal chances at this level of football.
You are not going to get many during the course of a game and you have to be very effective when the chances come your way.
“I am not talking about the clear-cut one versus ones with the goalkeeper but the situations where you’ve got behind the defence and it’s a question of making sure the last pass gives someone the chance to score a goal.
“That is something we’ve been working on consistently.” Set-pieces England’s opening goal by Joleon Lescott on Monday stemmed from a free-kick by Steven Gerrard and Hodgson acknowledges set-pieces are one of his side’s greatest attacking weapons.
Their opponents, Sweden, are also noted for their dangerous set-piece deliveries and the England boss revealed it has been one of his priorities in preparing for this game.
“We all agree, in today’s football, set-pieces are very important and it is rare not to have respect or concern over the quality of the opponents’ set-plays,” he added.
“I’m also fortunate we have some good set-play specialists of our own and we scored against France not least thanks to Steven Gerrard’s wonderful delivery from a free-kick.
“All you can do is prepare in the best possible way and make it clear to your team what threat the opponents pose.
“France posed a lot of threats from their set-plays and Sweden will be the same.”