Cowboys overpower Souths in Cairns

first_imgIt was the first time the club has won three straight games without their inspirational playmaker, and suggests their premiership chances aren’t over yet despite losing both Thurston and co-captain Matt Scott to season-ending injuries.The win came despite a second-half breakdown in discipline and ball-handling from the Cowboys, with their completion rate dropping from 85 per cent to 76 per cent by the end of the game. They also appeared to have continued their unlucky run of injuries, with winger Antonio Winterstein sidelined with a calf injury while Scott Bolton and John Asiata both had scares but returned to the field.An opening salvo penalties saw both teams given perfect attacking opportunities, with the Cowboys denied by a fast hand on Jake Granville’s arm at dummy-half before Lachlan Coote defused Adam Reynold’s grubber, only to be tackled high and earn a penalty.It was the Rabbitohs who scored first, when an error followed by a penalty from the Cowboys gave Souths the attacking field position. Two right-foot steps from Adam Reynolds close to the line created some space on his inside and the halfback sent Cody Walker through to dive over between the posts.The Cowboys immediately struck back, with Jason Taumalolo taking a short ball from Granville to crash over and post North Queensland’s first points.Despite several penalties going against them the Cowboys managed to take some form of control of the game, and they took the lead when a cut-out ball from Lachlan Coote found Kyle Feldt unmarked for his team’s second try.Granville notched up his second try assist in much the same way as his first, feeding a short ball to Coen Hess who crashed over to make three unanswered tries for the Cowboys leading into half-time.It was end-to-end football for the first five minutes of the second half, but once again Reynolds’ kicking game wasn’t up to scratch, with his high kick being fielded by Feldt in-goal. On the ensuing set Cowboys pivot Te Maire Martin went within a metre of the line, and soon after Sam Burgess made his second error of the afternoon, knocking on as he worked it out of his own end. Cowboys hooker Jake Granville didn’t waste any time making use of the field position, catching Reynolds out of position to scoot through a gaping hole and claim a try to go with his two assists.Souths seemed to spot a golden opportunity when Martin knocked-on in the face of the Rabbitohs defenders, but they spilled the ball a metre away from the Cowboys’ line as their completion rate fell to 50 per cent.It finally came together for the Rabbitohs after a strong set resulted in Braidon Burns crossing out wide when Cowboys’ defensive line, absent an injured Winterstein, was caught out by a fast pass from Robert Jennings. The errors for both sides began to pile on, with the Rabbitohs losing the ball through Robbie Farah before Scott Bolton did the same to bring the second-half errors to eight each. The Cowboys eventually put consecutive sets together and Coote decided to get some finals practice in, taking the opportunity to slot a field goal and take the Cowboys’ lead to 13 points. Cowboys 23 (Jason Taumalolo, Kyle Feldt, Coen Hess, Jake Granville tries; Ethan Lowe 4 goals) def. Rabbitohs 10 (Cody Walker, Braidon Burns tries; Adam Reynolds 1 goal) at Barlow Park. Half-time: 16-6. Crowd 11, unofficial votes: 3 points – Jake Granville; 2 points – Scott Bolton; 1 point – Kylelast_img read more

Warriors star Shaun Johnson out of Dragons clash

first_imgThe third-placed Warriors announced Mason Lino would start at halfback, with Anthony Gelling to make his season debut for Solomone Kata.The clash will lose some of its lustre because of Johnson’s injury, with the words “blockbuster”, “Dragons” and “Warriors” traditionally not belonging together.The two clubs – or three if you include the four years of the Warriors’ existence before St George and Illawarra merged – have made the finals just five times in the same season.They have never met in a finals match.This makes tonight’s match the biggest played between the two sides.And despite them sharing just one loss between them this year – in the Warriors’ nine-point defeat last week to Brisbane – it’s potentially crucial to shaping their seasons.Stephen Kearney’s men have a difficult run ahead with games against Melbourne, the Wests Tigers and Sydney Roosters, and can ill afford to hit that patch off two-straight losses.This has also historically been a defining point in the Dragons’ season over the past few years.The Red V’s fall from the top of the ladder has started around Anzac Day in two of the past three years, and coach Paul McGregor has already spoken at length about why he believes 2018 will be different.Essential to that is the Dragons’ spine of youngster Matt Dufty, star recruit Ben Hunt, last year’s Dally M five-eighth of the year Gareth Widdop and NSW State of Origin hopeful Cameron McInnes.”They’re probably the form spine of the competition,” Kearney said.”They’re putting real pressure on opposition teams with the way they attack.”The Dragons have averaged a league-best 32 points a game over the first six rounds, while Widdop leads the in try assists and line-break assists.At the back, Dufty’s speed and step have brought him six tries, a figure bettered only by the eight of Warriors winger David Fusitu’a.For Kearney, the best way to defend against the 22-year-old Dufty, who heads the NRL in line breaks, is to avoid giving him the ball. Failing that, stay switched on.”We’ve seen what he’s capable of,” he said.”We just have to make sure that, when he does carry the footy, we’re all alert because he catches the ball on one side of the field and he’s on the other side of the park very quickly.”St George lllawarra have won 13 of their past 14 matches against the Warriors, and 21 of the 26 the teams have played.The Dragons (79.8 per cent) and Warriors (79.7 per cent) have the best completion rates in the competition.The Warriors are making the most offloads with 16.5 per gamelast_img read more

Rice fined $10K by TNT for ‘undesirable’ behavior

first_imgJo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny LATEST STORIES Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NBA: Embiid seals reported $148 million 76ers deal Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? PBA IMAGESAfter a failed semifinals bid, TNT and Glen Rice Jr. are ending things on a sour note.The TNT managed has slapped a hefty $10,000 (P500,000)  fine on the volatile import for his “undesirable, unprofessional, unruly and unsportsmanlike” behavior in the team’s 115-105 loss to Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup semis last Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In a statement released on Wednesday, TNT said Rice’s attitude which got him thrown out with 1:41 left in the opening quarter of Game 4 was constituted a “willful violation and breach of his contract.”READ: TNT import Rice ejected early in Game 4FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe 26-year-old son of NBA great Glen Rice threw the ball at Ginebra rookie Kevin Ferrer and continued to engaged in trash talk he was ejected for incurring a flagrant foul penalty one and a technical.He was seen taunting Ginebra fans on his way to the dugout and instead of waiting for game to finish inside his team’s locker room, he immediately left  Smart Araneta Coliseum. READ: Ferrer on Rice ejection: ‘I didn’t do anything’ TNT also added that Rice’s behavior has affected the “wholesome” image of the KaTropa and the reputation of the PLDT group, which is owned by Manny V. Pangilinan.“Mr. Rice, as a professional player, promised to comply with all the Team’s rules and regulations and to act or conduct himself in a gentlemanly manner at all times so as to project a totally wholesome image for the Team and the PLDT Group,” the statement also read.Rice, who flew out of the country Tuesday night, was earlier ordered to pay P26,000 by the PBA for his ejection.The total amount of fines will be deducted from his final payday with TNT.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set MOST READlast_img read more

BanKo Perlas sinks PayMaya; Petro Gazz triumphs with new import

first_imgVolcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Lakia Bright scored five of her 25 points in the fifth set as the Perlas Spikers broke a four-game losing streak and moved out of the bottom rung of the standings with a 2-4 card.“It was my teammates actually; I started out slow but my teammates motivated me and never gave up on me,” Bright said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownIt was a sorry defeat for the High Flyers, who appeared on their way to easy win, leading two sets and 11-8 in the third.Earlier, Petro Gazz scored its second straight win after a 25-22, 30-28, 25-13 triumph over Iriga-Navy. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Filipino vs Filipino Ukrainian Olena Lymareva-Flink, who arrived in the country just two days ago, hit the ground running, scoring 16 points to lift the Angels, who lost Kadi Kullerkann due to an injured ACL.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardcenter_img Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial View comments The doubled efforts of Tess Rountree and Grethcel Soltones failed to pay off for PayMaya. —AUGUST DELA CRUZBanKo Perlas needed five full sets to push itself out of the basement and pull PayMaya down from the top spot Saturday night.Down two sets to none, the Perlas Spikers painstakingly chipped away at the High Flyers’ advantage and confidence to score an 18-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-11 victory in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

ECOWAS Conducts Voter Awareness

first_imgIn spite of the uncertainty that now looms over the conduct of the run-off election due to a complaint the Liberty Party filed against authorities of the National Elections Commission (NEC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) National Office at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) in Monrovia, has ended a one day Civic and Voters Education (CVE) awareness in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.The training, which brought together students, commercial motorists and civil society actors  was intended to provide more awareness for citizens, poll watchers, queue controllers that will be presiding at the polling centers.The training was held in partnership with the National Elections Commission (NEC), Mano River Union, Peace Building Office and the Office of the Sustainable Development Goals. It was held under the theme, “Promoting Non-Violence in the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections in Liberia.”A statement issued yesterday by the ECOWAS National Office, said the exercise was intended to also buttress the efforts of the NEC and to effectively execute the CVE operations and to provide voters adequate information needed for an effective and a smooth run-off election.“Out of this joint exercise, it is expected that voters will gain deeper appreciation of their rights and responsibilities as citizens to participate in the political process, the importance of the electoral process, the concept of free and fair elections and the importance of participation and voting,” the ECOWAS’ statement said.The first phase of this initiative kicked off in Ganta, Nimba County on October 1, while similar events were subsequently held in Gbarnga, Bong County and Kakata, Margibi County during which young people met with national stakeholders at the interactive gatherings and had exchanges on issues that could potentially cause violence during the elections.The implementer has emphasized that the overriding objective of the program was to create awareness on ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance relating to prevention, management and conflict resolution.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) – Advertisement –last_img read more

Guyana mourns passing of Sir Theodore Wilson Harris

first_imgGuyana’s Head of State David Granger has expressed condolences to the friends and family of Sir Theodore Wilson Harris, an eminent Guyanese writer who passed away on Wednesday.Wilson Harris was an author, poet and essayist who died at the age of 97 in Chelmsford, England.The lateSir Theodore Wilson HarrisWilson Harris was born in New Amsterdam, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). He attended Queen’s College from 1932-1937. From 1945 to 1959, he worked as a government surveyor, before taking up a career as lecturer and writer. The knowledge of the savannahs and rainforests he gained during his time as a surveyor formed the setting for many of his books, with the Guyanese landscape dominating his fiction.Wilson Harris travelled to England in 1959 and published his first novel Palace of the Peacock in 1960. This became the first of a quartet of novels, The Guyana Quartet, which includes The Far Journey of Oudin (1961), The Whole Armour (1962), and The Secret Ladder (1963). He subsequently wrote the Carnival trilogy: Carnival (1985), The Infinite Rehearsal (1987) and The Four Banks of the River of Space (1990).Wilson Harris’s most recent novels included Jonestown (1996), which tells of the mass-suicide of followers of cult leader Jim Jones, The Dark Jester (2001), his latest semi-autobiographical novel, The Mask of the Beggar (2003), and The Ghost of Memory (2006).Wilson Harris also wrote non-fiction and critical essays and was awarded honorary doctorates by several universities, including the University of the West Indies in 1984 and the University of Liège in 2001. He was the winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature on two occasions (1987 and 2002).For his services to literature, Wilson Harris was knighted By Queen Elizabeth II in June 2010. In 2014, Sir Wilson Harris won a Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.Over the period of 50 years, the celebrated author has written 26 novels, numerous works of essays, poetry and speeches. His writing is sometimes described as complex.Sir Wilson was predeceased in 2010 by his wife of 50 years, Margaret Harris. He is survived by four children, six grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.Wilson Harris was the father of University of Guyana Chancellor, Professor E Nigel Harris.last_img read more

High-cancer-risk women urged to get breast MRIs

first_imgATLANTA – Up to 1.4 million U.S. women – those with an unusually high risk of developing breast cancer – should get annual MRIs as well as mammograms, the American Cancer Society advises in new guidelines. And a new medical study suggests that all women newly diagnosed with breast cancer should get MRIs, too. The scans revealed cancers in the other breast that were missed by ordinary mammograms in 3 percent of these cancer survivors. The study came out after the cancer society developed its guidelines, which are the first to recommend MRI for screening women who show no signs of cancer. The guidelines are directed at symptomless women age 30 and older who have a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes; those who were treated for Hodgkin’s disease; or those with a strong family history of the disease, such as women with two or more close relatives who had breast or ovarian cancer or who have a close relative who developed breast cancer before age 50. “It’s very, very expensive,” said Robert Smith, the cancer society’s director of cancer screening. Many insurers cover MRI screenings, but not all do, Smith and others said. Insurers generally follow government guidelines, but the cancer society guidelines could prove influential, according to experts. The new guidelines were being announced Wednesday, the same time the New England Journal of Medicine was releasing a national study that suggests women who have cancer diagnosed in one breast should get an MRI in the other. The study, led by Dr. Constance Lehman of the University of Washington Medical Center, looked at nearly 1,000 women recently diagnosed with cancer in one breast but who had no detected cancer in the second breast. MRIs of the second breast found possible tumors in 121 of the women. Biopsies confirmed cancer in 30 of them. “It’s a pretty striking effect,” said Dr. Carl Jaffe of the National Cancer Institute, which sponsored the study. But it does not suggest MRIs should replace mammograms, which spot calcium deposits better than MRIs do, said Dr. Etta Pisano of the University of North Carolina, one of the study’s authors. “The take-home message of our paper is not, `Don’t get mammography.’ It’s `Get MRI and mammography,”‘ she said. Cancer society officials urged women to carefully choose the clinic that does the MRI. They noted that some facilities that offer MRI lack the expertise and equipment to do an MRI-guided biopsy, meaning the MRI will have to be repeated elsewhere if a possible tumor is found. Breast MRIs should be done at places that do biopsies as well, they said. This year, the American College of Radiology is expected to start a voluntary accreditation program to help ensure the quality of breast MRI testing, cancer society officials said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As many as 1.4 million women fall into the affected group, according to an American Cancer Society estimate. Doctors usually screen for breast cancer using mammography, an X-ray technique that can spot dense masses like tumors. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, makes more detailed images with a magnet and radio waves – but without radiation. MRIs are better at showing increased or abnormal blood flow in the breast, a sign of early cancers not visible on a mammogram. They also are better than mammograms at detecting cancer in women with dense, non-fatty breasts. But MRI screening is not being recommended for most women. One reason is the test’s error rate, which can lead to unnecessary biopsies. Another is the high cost. While a mammogram costs roughly $100 to $150, an MRI can cost $2,000 or more at some medical centers, experts said. last_img

Eyeing a bargain?

first_imgAn eyeglass frame is little more than some bits of plastic and metal. It is not very high-tech, although the frames should be designed and manufactured with precision. But a frame that costs less than $25 to make in Italy can retail for at least $150 at an optical shop in the United States. And it is not hard to find frames, especially limited editions bearing tiny designer logos, with price tags of $350. If ever there was a market ripe for the intervention of the Internet, which allows consumers to find discounts on best-selling novels, digital cameras or Hawaiian vacations, eyeglasses would be it. Sixty-seven percent of American adults wear prescription eyeglasses, according to a September 2006 Harris Interactive poll done for the Vision Care Institute, and the percentage is even higher for those who don sunglasses during the summer. But online eyeglass stores have never caught on the way other online commerce sites have, said James Hilford, president of, a vendor. “It is a market that is still in its infancy,” he said. One reason is that buying prescription glasses online makes people nervous. Consider the reaction of Harold L. Friedman, an associate clinical professor at the State University of New York, who has been an optometrist for 48 years: “Would you buy anything that is a medical product – because that’s what glasses are – over the Internet? You are looking at this as just another product. But it is not.” Certainly buying online imposes some impediments. People like to try on the frames, which is hard to do remotely, even though many sites let you upload your photograph and superimpose frames over it. People worry that they might be unable to decipher their prescription, which is covered with numbers with decimal points and plus and minus signs, and will type it incorrectly. They also worry that if the glasses don’t fit properly, they will have no one to fix them, or they will have to return them. But those hardly seem like compelling reasons not to give it a try if you want to save some money. The product is coming from the same places. The biggest impediment to widespread embrace of Internet eyeglass shopping might be that the glasses still aren’t cheap enough online. Stores like or don’t market themselves as discounters, though they sell name-brand frames for about 30 percent less than many stores charge. Lenses can be about half as much. But the eyeglasses are no cheaper than what you could get at the optical department of a Wal-Mart or a Costco. The selection is certainly better than at a big-box store. FramesDirect, for example, says it has 110,000 models on display. A second category of online vendor skips the designer labels entirely and sells discount frames made in China. One of them,, used to be called until it started selling eyeglasses for as little as $8. Its most expensive frames are $40 titanium half-frames. If made in Italy and sanctified with a designer’s name, such frames could cost $250 or more. The online stores attract a loyal following from those who dare to try them. chronicles one man’s adventures in online buying. The blog has become a repository of reviews on various online vendors like and Betty McFarlane had no qualms about buying her frames and lenses online. McFarlane, 78, a retired executive secretary for the Seattle Board of Public Works, went to looking for a rimless titanium frame called Silhouette. She was aiming to save money. The frames and lenses cost her $500. “I didn’t want to sit at an optometrist’s office,” she said. She is a painter now, and she said: “My eyes mean a lot to me. The reason I wasn’t worried was because I had the prescription.” Most optical stores have a huge markup on frames, in the range of 50 percent to 100 percent. “They buy it wholesale at a much higher cost than we sell it for retail,” said Tibor Laczay, owner of ZenniOptical, based in San Rafael, Calif. Optical shops have to mark the price up so much because most don’t sell in high volume, especially those attached to the office of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Although the frames carry fat profit margins, the real money for the retailer is in the lenses. There the markup can be three to seven times the wholesale price. Most single-vision lenses – those that are not bifocals or the “progressive lenses,” which are bifocals without the line – are pre-cast in large quantities and can cost about $1 to make. The eyeglass dispenser just picks them out of a tray. The markups are high because eyeglass retailing is a very fragmented business. There are more than 40,000 optical dispensaries in America. Many, especially those in a doctor’s office, get little volume so the few eyeglasses sold have to cover the rent and payroll. “It’s an extraordinarily inefficient market,” Hilford said. “It’s slowly starting to change.” The optical chains do get more volume, and with those markups, they have attracted Luxottica, the large Italian eyeglass frame maker. It has snapped up the LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and DOC Optics chains in the United States. It also owns the Sunglass Hut chain. Frame making is decidedly less fragmented. That industry is dominated by three companies: Luxottica and Safilo of Italy and Marchon of Melville, N.Y. While none of them have online stores, their designer-name frames can be found online. Stores may try to sell you anti-scratch coating, but most single-vision lenses come precoated. As for coatings to block ultraviolet light, that is another way for retailers to fatten the profit margins. Polycarbonate and high-index lenses offer full UV protection. (Cheaper plastic lenses, like the CR-39, do not.) Your “eyewear professional” can also push a customer into more expensive lenses, like a high-index lens that is thinner and lighter than a perfectly adequate polycarbonate lens. Online buying worries Fat profit margins Challenges for some users People with more challenging prescriptions, either because of a high degree of astigmatism, thick Coke-bottle-bottom glasses, or other eye problems might find an online purchase more daunting. “It would be the lenses that cause me concern,” said Mark A. Bullimore, professor of optometry and vision science at the Ohio State University optometry school. “Anyone buying bifocals or progressives would be doomed for disappointment. There are too many variables that you have to get right.” For anyone wanting nonprescription sunglasses, there is little reason not to buy online if that’s where the lowest prices are. People wanting single-vision lenses run less risk buying online. “The risk is money misspent,” Dr. Friedman said. Laczay of ZenniOptical said: “They are right in a lot of respects. It is not as easy as buying a T-shirt online. Customers have to do a little work. But it is like gas stations. To get a cheaper price, you had to learn how to pump your own gas.” He says that despite the worries of optometrists and opticians working from stores, the public will catch on. “The eyewear industry is so myopic,” he said. So how does buying glasses online work? Anyone with a prescription has almost all the information needed. You select the frame, and type in the prescription. The one crucial piece of data most consumers are probably missing is the pupillary distance, which is how close the eyes are to each other. That remains fairly constant in adulthood, but it varies from one person to the next. Any eye doctor or optician can provide the number. It is against the law for an eye doctor to refuse to give you a copy of your prescription. As in buying anything online, do a little research first to see if there are complaints about a particular vendor. Check on the return policy and whether you can get through to the customer service department with a phone call. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Lamela looks a completely different player under Pochettino, says Spurs legend Ardiles

first_imgOssie Ardiles has been impressed by Tottenham’s early season form, and believes Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival has transformed Erik Lamela.Spurs have won all of Pochettino’s first three games in charge, with a Europa League victory at AEL Limassol sandwiched in between Premier League wins against West Ham and QPR.Lamela, who enjoyed a disastrous debut campaign after his £30million move from Roma, was the star of the show in Sunday’s 4-0 demolition of QPR, and Ardiles believes it could turn out to be a memorable season for his fellow Argentine, as well as the club.“It is a long, long season, but what I have seen so far [under Pochettino] has been very encouraging,” said the White Hart Lane legend, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“Lamela has been one of his big successes. He looks a completely different player to what he was last season. “Every time he got the ball last season he looked for the easy option. Now every time he has the ball it looks like something is going to happen. He has been very, very impressive.”last_img read more

Van Gaal: Man United MUST beat Wolfsburg to prove they belong in Champions League

first_imgLouis van Gaal has called on his Manchester United to prove they are worthy of a place in the Champions League by beating Wolfsburg in their final Group B fixture.The Red Devils’ last 16 hopes appear rather slim ahead of Tuesday night’s clash in Germany.Van Gaal’s men will qualify in they secure victory, but if they draw or lose, United will have to rely on PSV Eindhoven slipping up at home to CSKA Moscow – who have already been eliminated – to make it through to the knock out stages.Considering United’s recent goalscoring form, or lack of it, their prospects do not look good, with the Premier League giants having scored just seven times in their last ten matches.But their manager is confident his players will find their scoring boots again at the Volkswagen Arena, as he hopes to avoid the team crashing out of the groups for just the fourth time in history.“I have the experience as a manager that the goals shall come,” Van Gaal said. “When you are creating chances at the end you shall finish those kind of chances.“That’s why we have that belief. It’s a matter of time and I hope we can prove it.”United will be without Wayne Rooney, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Phil Jones and Morgan Schneiderlin for Tuesday’s game.As the only striker in a threadbare squad, the responsibility for scoring will fall on the shoulders of Anthony Martial, who has scored just once in his last 13 matches.“He is very talented but he is just 20 years old,” Van Gaal said of the forward, who scored four goals in his first four matches following a £36million transfer from Monaco in September.“We have to give him time and that’s always difficult when you are playing for a team like Manchester United because the expectations are very high.“But I am very convinced that he will continue with his performances, and that he shall score at the right moment again.“You cannot expect of a 20-year-old player coming to the Premier League that he scores every week.“I didn’t expect it either. When he came he was accelerating in the start of his campaign at Manchester United. I know that and I have to explain it to everybody because he doesn’t need that pressure to score every match.”Van Gaal concedes dropping into the Europa League would be a big blow for the three-time European Champions.“It’s very important for the club to continue in the Champions League, and also for the players,” Van Gaal said.“They want to show their qualities at the highest podium. That’s why it’s important [we qualify].” 1 Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal oversees training ahead of their Champions League clash last_img read more