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Reggae Girlz might have overestimated their own abilities - analyst

By July 08, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Tottenham's upturn not about me, claims Mourinho Tottenham's upturn not about me, claims Mourinho

    Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham's upward trajectory since he took charge is not just down to his coaching.

    Spurs, who were beaten 1-0 by RB Leipzig in the Champions League last time out, sit fifth in the Premier League, one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who they face at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

    Since Mourinho took charge, Spurs have managed eight league victories, including three successive wins heading into Saturday's clash at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues having won the reverse fixture against their former boss in December.

    Should Manchester City's ban from the Champions League be upheld, fifth place will mean automatic qualification for UEFA's elite competition but, despite Spurs being third in the form table since Mourinho took over, the Portuguese claims he cannot take full responsibility.

    "I am but that's not about me. Not about me," he told a news conference when asked if he was proud of Spurs' position in the form table.

    "If it was about me, I would even choose to move quickly to July 1 and start the pre-season with my players, without injuries, going to Premier League day one with the same points as everybody else.

    "That's not about me, it's about us, that's the club. The boys did fantastic to put themselves back in the positions where we belong, these positions fighting for the top four. The situation is difficult.

    "Don't think of any targets, we just want to go match after match and see where this can take us. After three months we went from closer to the relegation positions, which obviously was never a problem.

    "But we went from there to be one point behind the top four. Amazing effort by everyone. So now that we're in this position, we earned the right to fight for it."

    Despite the potentially pivotal nature of the fixture with Chelsea, Mourinho says Saturday's visit to his former stomping ground is no different to any other occasion he faces one of his previous teams.

    "No, not special, one more game. Because I'm a professional, as I've said every time I played my previous clubs, I belong 200 per cent to my club," he said.

    "The only different thing will be at the end of the game I can walk from the stadium to my house but I won't take advantage of because I'll go back from the stadium with my players."

  • Pioli hails influence of Ibra's determination and ambition Pioli hails influence of Ibra's determination and ambition

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic's determination and ambition is having a positive impact on Milan, according to coach Stefano Pioli.

    Milan have lost just once since Ibrahimovic made his return to the Rossoneri on a six-month contract in December.

    A win at Fiorentina on Saturday would at least temporarily move Milan into the top six.

    Ibrahimovic has scored three times in eight appearances so far in his second spell, but Pioli believes he has brought more than just goals.

    "We are training well and that’s the truth, here you can breathe the positive air," said Pioli. "The priority is the present and you can only determine the future by thinking about the present.

    "We don't think about stuff we can't impact; we don't have the time nor the energy to think about anything else.

    "To have such an example of determination and ambition as Ibra has, it can do us good. If Ibra has become a champion and a unique player, it's because he is always hungry and wants to improve himself."

    Though there has been speculation about Pioli being replaced at the end of the season, contrasting talk has suggested he could have his contract extended.

    "It's pleasing to know that my job has been judged in a positive way," he added. "I feel that I’m the point of reference for the team.

    "No coach is secure regardless of the results. In the end, the ones who make the decisions will decide.

    "But I can't answer questions about my future on every press conference, let's focus on the present and see what will happen."

  • Sarri insists Juve will remain focused with Inter on the horizon Sarri insists Juve will remain focused with Inter on the horizon

    Maurizio Sarri has vowed his Juventus team will not let their focus be affected by the prospect of next week's top-of-the-table clash with Inter.

    Saturday sees Juventus travel to face SPAL, who sit at the bottom of Serie A with just four wins from 24 games, and coming away with three points is imperative for Sarri's side.

    Juventus are locked in a three-way title battle with Inter and Lazio, and they also resume their Champions League mission next Wednesday with a trip to Lyon.

    The Inter tussle follows four days later, so it would hardly be surprising if Juventus supporters were already looking beyond the SPAL game.

    That approach is not for Sarri, though, as he explained in Friday's pre-match news conference, stating: "We're coming into the game ready, both mentally and physically in what is an important stage of the season.

    "We're not worrying about players picking up suspensions ahead of Inter, we're just focusing on tomorrow's game.

    "We're not thinking about the Scudetto race, just tomorrow's game in Ferrara because this is not yet a decisive period."

    Sarri is continually exploring formation options and, quoted on the Juventus website, he added: "We're taking it game by game. A 4-3-3 depends on the players that we have available, on a defensive level not much changes.

    "SPAL are different on a tactical level with [Luigi] Di Biagio at the helm. It will be a difficult game as they are playing to stay in the division."

    Cristiano Ronaldo was rested by Juventus last weekend, when Sarri's men won 2-0 at home against Brescia, but can be expected to return.

    Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini returned from injury as a substitute in the Brescia game but according to Sarri is "just lacking the last step", an apparent indication it will be a while before he is ready to start a game.

    If veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon plays, a 648th Serie A appearance would take him ahead of Milan great Paolo Maldini and into the outright lead in the most games played by anyone in Italy's top flight.

    Sarri could include Federico Bernardeschi, who has returned to training after a short lay-off, but warned the Italy attacking midfielder is not yet ready to play a full 90 minutes.

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