EPL

Amorim targets Sporting titles as he scotches Tottenham links

By Sports Desk March 11, 2023

Ruben Amorim intends to stay as Sporting CP head coach after being linked with a move to Tottenham.

It appears likely Antonio Conte will end his short tenure at Spurs at the end of the season, when his contract expires.

Conte will have spent less than two years at the helm of the north London side, leading them into the Champions League but proving unable to deliver a trophy.

Nottingham Forest's Steve Cooper and Brighton and Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi have also played down links to Tottenham.

Amorim has attracted attention as one of Europe's brightest young coaches, impressing at Braga before joining Sporting in March 2020 and winning a Primeira Liga title in his first full season in charge.

Sporting were runners-up to Porto last season and are only fourth this term, but 38-year-old Amorim remains widely admired.

Asked about reports of Tottenham interest at a press conference on Saturday, Amorim said: "My objective is that I have a contract with Sporting for another three years and in my head is to be champion at least once more in those three years.

"If we win two championships in that time it's a step forward. I'm interested in showing results and not what is said abroad."

The coach, whose team play Boavista on Sunday, last week chalked up his 100th win in charge of Sporting as they beat Portimonense 1-0 on league duty.

Sporting allowed defender Pedro Porro to join Tottenham in January, but Amorim may be more difficult to prise away from Lisbon.

Amorim was quoted in Portuguese media on Saturday as saying: "I've always been treated well in Portugal, they follow my day to day; abroad they watch European games and titles, not the daily context.

"I've always felt recognised. When I'm good, I'm the greatest. My goal is to get back to being very good."

Related items

  • Hector, Harding eager to make mark on Jamaica's Copa America campaign Hector, Harding eager to make mark on Jamaica's Copa America campaign

    As Jamaica’s senior Reggae Boyz gear up for their highly anticipated Copa America campaign, two players, Michael Hector and Wes Harding, find themselves at different junctures of their international careers. Despite their varied experiences and career timelines, both England-born defenders are eager to leave a significant mark on Jamaica's journey in the tournament.

    Hector has been a stalwart in the Reggae Boyz setup for over a decade in which he paraded his skills at three Concacaf Gold Cup tournaments –2015, 2019, 2021 –and he is now on the cusp of making his third Copa America outing.

    In fact, Hector, known for his versatility and composure, is the only player in Heimir Hallgrimsson’s current squad, who has the privilege of being a part of three Copa America squads over the years.

    “Obviously my first Copa America appearance was my debut and I’ll never forget that. Obviously, massive games, great atmosphere and I don’t get to appreciate it much, but when you’re in a tournament, you obviously know how big it is with the countries that are playing in it, so it is a special tournament to be a part of,” Hector said in an interview with Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) media, on Monday.

    As he reflected on the journey, which has been marked by consistent performances and a deep-rooted commitment to the country, Hector also shared his excitement about their prospects on this occasion.

    The 31-year-old’s leadership and defensive prowess will be crucial for Jamaica, as they rub shoulders with some of the most formidable teams in South America, as well their usual foes from Concacaf. His ability to read the game, coupled with his calm presence on the field, provides the Reggae Boyz with a solid defensive foundation.

    “For me, every cap I got, every time I can have a chance to represent this country, it's an honour and I always try do my best. The journey has been special, but it has not ended. Hopefully, there's a lot more special moments to come, special nights, and special days, but, it's been a fantastic journey, one that I always treasure and want to be a part of for longer,” Hector noted.

    Michael Hector challenges Lionel Messi during the 2015 Copa America.

    Though only two caps into his international career, Harding, like Hector, is determined to play a key role in Jamaica's campaign, aiming to do his teammates and family proud on his long-awaited return.

    “It's amazing to be back. It's been a while, over two years now, so, I’m over the moon. It's been a long, gruelling time waiting, watching from the distance, so, when he [Hallgrimsson] called me, I was really excited," said Harding, who made his debut against Serbia in 2021.

    At 27, Harding, known for his speed and aerial ability, is also rated as a strong, aggressive, and tenacious player, who can contribute to Hallgrimsson’s team in the right back or centre back positions.

    With Copa America representing a unique opportunity for Harding to again showcase his talent on an international stage against some of the world's best teams, he is ready to navigate the challenges to come.

    Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will open against Mexico on Saturday.

    "Yeah, of course, that first time (I represented Jamaica) was beautiful. I remember playing really well, I really enjoyed it, and then obviously the last time is Panama, which was so long ago as well. But, I'm just really excited to be here,” Harding beamed with delight.

    “It feels good to be back with a squad. I know a lot of the players, played against them as well, so, we've got a really good squad here and I am really looking forward to it. As I said, it (Copa America) is a big thing. This is, like the Euros (European Championships) over this side of the world, so, yeah, it is really amazing to be in, and I can't wait to get started,” the Millwall FC man said with an air of confidence.

    The Reggae Boyz, who are set to open their Group B account against perennial rivals Mexico on Saturday, will be aiming to be more formidable than they were in the recent World Cup qualifying fixtures.

    To do that, they will have to display indomitable spirit and resilience, especially as they chase history, of not only securing a point or win, but more importantly, possibly progressing beyond the group stages on this occasion. Venezuela and Ecuador are the other teams in the group at the tournament being hosted by the United States.

  • Austin FC v LAFC: Cherundolo hopeful of maintaining 'contagious' winning feeling Austin FC v LAFC: Cherundolo hopeful of maintaining 'contagious' winning feeling

    Los Angeles FC head coach Steve Cherundolo is hoping to maintain their "contagious" winning feeling when they travel to the Q2 Stadium to take on Austin FC. 

    The Black and Gold are unbeaten in their previous six MLS fixtures after emerging 3–1 victors away at Orlando City last time out to keep them within striking distance of league leaders Real Salt Lake.

    Cherundolo's team have the comfort of an extra game in hand over the surrounding sides, but the 45-year-old wants an improved performance after their display last week. 

    "Winning is contagious, and winning is important," Cherundolo said. "Winning away from home is a lot of fun. 

    "It certainly wasn't one of our prettiest games, but we had solutions at times, but not all the time. We were hoping to manage our game a little better in possession, but we were unable to do that. 

    "That is what we will take away for something to improve on, but the result, the effort are some big pluses to take away from tonight."

    Meanwhile, Austin are eighth in the Western Conference having suffered a third consecutive defeat as they went down to the Colorado Rapids.

    Austin are winless in their last three games against their opponents, and head coach Josh Wolff expects another difficult encounter on Thursday. 

    "LAFC are one of the best teams in the league," Wolff began. "They have enough weapons, and their attacking players are ruthless and are extremely dangerous.

    "For me they are the best team in the league once again. I think they have so much talent and so much depth which goes a long way in this league. If it's a difficult day, they still have players to make plays. 

    "We have got to do better with our chances. Our key players have to perform and execute."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Austin FC – Sebastian Driussi

    The Austin captain will hope to mark his 100th appearance for the club with a goal, and is currently the top scorer for the Verde and Black's with five goals. 

    LAFC – Mateusz Bogusz

    Mateusz Bogusz has been involved in a goal in six consecutive league matches with four goals and two assists. 

    Only Carlos Vela (11 in 2019-20) has produced more in LAFC history, while only two players (Luciano Acosta - nine, Lionel Messi - eight) have had a longer streak in MLS this season.

    MATCH PREDICTION: LAFC WIN

    LAFC enter the contest as the favourites to emerge with the three points.

    Cherundolo's side have won eight consecutive matches in all competitions. The only MLS team to win nine straight matches outright (excluding breakaway shootout wins) in all competitions were the Seattle Sounders in 2018.

    The Black and Gold's are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Austin scoring at least three goals in each of those triumphs. 

    Austin's last victory over their opponents came in 2022, with the Texas side winning both of their MLS encounters with LAFC that season. 

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Austin FC - 27.6%

    Draw - 24.1%

    LAFC - 48.3%

  • Bolt undergoes successful surgery to repair ruptured Achilles Bolt undergoes successful surgery to repair ruptured Achilles

    World 100m, 200m and 4x100m record holder Usain Bolt has had a successful surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles heel.

    The eight-time Olympic gold medalist, who is 37 years old and retired in 2017, suffered the injury while playing in Soccer Aid, a match played annually to raise funds for UNICEF, on June 9 at Stamford Bridge, home of English Premier League club Chelsea FC.

    “Surgery was successful,” said Bolt on social media on Monday.

    Bolt, who has been a regular fixture in the charity game in recent years, was captaining the Soccer Aid World XI against England before going down with the injury early in the second half.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.