Moyes: we can build from here

first_img Press Association “Adnan has been like that since day one,” said Moyes. “I speak to him a lot and he tells me he can play anywhere. “He is not a nervous boy. He needs teaching and understanding because he is still learning the game but his natural talent and ability is up there with the best. In time he will prove that.” Moyes rejected stories that striker Robin van Persie could be sidelined for another six weeks as he struggles to overcome a thigh problem that has already kept him out for a month. “I don’t know where that has come from,” said the Scot. “That would be wrong information as far as I am concerned.” And at the end of a tortuous few days, Moyes insisted he was handling the pressure with some degree of comfort. “I sleep great every night,” he said. “I am not nervous at all.” For Swansea boss Michael Laudrup it was another disappointing Premier League display. On the same ground where his team won for the first time in their history in the FA Cup last weekend, they slumped to a defeat that means they have now collected just three points from their last seven games and are only one win above the relegation zone. “Manchester United were very focused because of what had been said and written in the last days,” he said. “We expected them to come out from the first moment and want to get on top. “I don’t think that happened. We coped very well. What really hurt us – and we talked about it at half-time – was the first 20 minutes of the second half. We conceded after 90 seconds. “But nothing has changed. “It is true we have to improve the level of performance like another nine or 10 teams. “We are still in the same position. I said before the competition started there are 11 or 12 teams [in a relegation battle]. “After the Tottenham game (on January 19) we have Fulham, West Ham, Cardiff and Stoke. They are the tie-break opponents for us. “In those game we have to pick up points.” Laudrup also confirmed he would not be calling Ki Sung-Yueng back from his loan spell at Sunderland, even though the South Korean has been in excellent form recently and took his tally to three goals in eight games with his effort at Fulham on Saturday. “There is a possiblilty to bring him back but I don’t think it is a good idea,” said the Dane. “Ki feels comfortable where he is now. If we take him back, he would not play every game. Mentally, it would be very bad for him.” As it is, that depressing start to 2014 has been halted, even if Moyes accepts there is still plenty of work to do. “From the start of the second half I thought we played very well,” said Moyes. “I hope it is going to improve an awful lot on that but you have to start somewhere and that was more like it. “We scored two goals, should have had a few more and I can’t remember Swansea having a chance hardly.” Although United started brightly, their failure to score led to them becoming anxious. It took Moyes’ half-time decision to switch Adnan Januzaj, who had started in a central position, with Kagawa, who began on the left, to change the course of the game. Januzaj was outstanding and the 18-year-old provided the cross from which Valencia eventually scored after Kagawa’s header had been saved. And he was also involved in the move that ended with Welbeck flicking in his sixth goal in nine games. David Moyes believes Manchester United have laid a platform from which to attack the second half of the season – but insists he still expects plenty of improvement from his side following their 2-0 win over Swansea. Second-half goals from Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck ensured the nightmare scenario of four successive defeats for the first time since 1961 did not materialise for the Old Trafford outfit. Indeed, had Chris Smalling and Shinji Kagawa taken gilt-edged chances later in the game, they could have been looking back on a handsome triumph. last_img read more

Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak remains open about Kobe Bryant’s workload

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Yet, the Lakers would like to develop their young roster. Among the headliners:Point guard D’Angelo Russell, whom the Lakers’ selected No. 2 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. “You rarely, even on bad teams, see 19-year-olds come in and live up to their draft status,” Kupchak said of Russell, who is not yet assured of a starting spot. “I’m hoping that as the season progresses, people will understand why he was drafted No. 2.”Combo guard Jordan Clarkson, who advanced from last year’s 46th pick to a member on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. “Am I ready to say that last year is not a fluke yet? He has to do it for two, three or four years in a row before I would really know,” Kupchak said. “But I would not be surprised if he builds off of what he did last year just with the way he approached last offseason.” Forward Julius Randle, who missed all but one game in his rookie season after fracturing a tibia in his right leg. “He wants to be successful and is willing to pay the price,” Kupchak said of Randle. “But once again, he’s played one game. He’s awful young, too. I’m not concerned with his being competitive or whether his body can withstand the rigors of the NBA. He has to figure out what his niche is.”Will Bryant become inclined to defer more to these young players? “I don’t think it’ll be any different than it has been in years past,” Kupchak said, smiling. “He’ll be 100 percent on board with the game plan. He’ll be patient, as patient as can be. There will be a point where if things aren’t going the way that he feels they should be going or the players aren’t producing or his instincts will kick in, I’m sure he’ll try to do as much as possible.” His presence immediately became noticeable. Kobe Bryant’s arrival at the Lakers’ practice facility earlier this week prompted teammates to stop their workouts and greet the Lakers’ star.So did Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, who described Bryant “in great shape and great spirits” after spending the past eight months rehabbing his surgically repaired right shoulder. He played only 35 games last season. Bryant has since recovered enough to complete all basketball-related drills for the past six weeks leading up to training camp next Tuesday in Hawaii.“He takes care of himself and when he comes to camp, he’ll be ready,” Kupchak said. “But as far as what level of play and how many minutes and how will he play on the team remains to be seen.”• VIDEO: Kupchack on Kobe Bryantcenter_img Kupchak maintained “there hasn’t been any formal discussions” with Lakers coach Byron Scott, trainer Gary Vitti, Lakers President Jeanie Buss and Bryant on any minute restrictions, practice limitations or if he will sit in any of the team’s 17 sets of back-to-back games. Kupchak only sounded certain that Bryant would sit out in portions of the Lakers’ two-a-day sessions in training camp and that he may play more at small forward than shooting guard.Kupchak sounded aware Bryant played only 41 games in the past two years amid season-ending injuries to his left Achilles tendon (April 2013), left knee (December 2013) and right shoulder (January 2015).“It’s important for us to keep that in mind, see how he progresses and how he responds to training camp,” Kupchak said. “He’s earned the right to progress in training camp at a certain pace that works for him and works for us.”Still, Scott has said he hopes to play Bryant in the mid-20-minute range and rest him on back-to-back games after averaging 22.3 points last season on a career-low 37.3 percent shooting in 36.4 minutes. But Kupchak stayed adamant about Bryant remaining the Lakers’ No. 1 option entering his 20th and possibly last NBA season that will pay him $25 million.“That would be our assumption,” Kupchak said. “Assuming he’s ready to go, he’ll go full blast.”last_img read more

DONEGAL SPORTS STAR OF THE YEAR 2014 – PICTURE SPECIAL

first_imgDavid Porter receives his award in the clay pigeon shooting category.     Matthew Lecky from Raphoe Hockey Club is awarded the hockey prize.A delighted Megan Lynch picks up the gymnastics award.last_img