Stoke start Assaidi talks

first_img The 25-year-old joined Liverpool in the summer of 2012 from Dutch club Heerenveen and made 12 appearances for the Reds last season. Hughes said: ” We like Ossie and if we could come to an arrangement with Liverpool we would like to bring him here. “He’s a valuable player and I think Liverpool recognise that. I think there’s been tentative enquiries but nothing concrete yet. “He’s done really well here. It’s certainly helped him and Ossie’s certainly helped us. “He’s got good friends here. He’s got a good relationship with Marko Arnautovic – they make a nice couple! Those things are important to players. If they’re happy in an environment then that can help if you’re trying to bring them to a club.” Assaidi is Stoke’s only doubt for Saturday’s clash with Fulham after taking a bang to his knee in training while captain Ryan Shawcross sits out the match through suspension. The defender had played every minute of every Premier League this season until he was shown a red card against Tottenham last weekend. Shawcross is likely to be replaced by Spaniard Marc Muniesa, who deputised for the final 38 minutes against Spurs. Stoke have entered tentative talks with Liverpool over the permanent signing of winger Oussama Assaidi. Fulham will arrive at the Britannia Stadium in desperate need of points and defeat on Saturday would relegate Hughes’ former club if Sunderland win at Manchester United. The Welshman insists that will not be on his mind, saying: “W e want to get another three points. “We were disappointed last week because we merited more than we got. “We’ve got an opportunity against Fulham to match our biggest ever points total in the Premier League. That’s our motivation, it’s not about beating a team and making them go out of the league. “It’s about us doing out business and Fulham have to do theirs.” Hughes spent a season in charge of the Cottagers in 2010-11 but it came to an acrimonious end when he resigned. Then owner Mohamed Al-Fayed was highly critical of Hughes, and the former striker accepts he may have walked out too soon. Hughes said: “At the time I just felt I couldn’t commit to a further three years. “There was going to be a change of ownership, which has taken place now, and I was aware of that. That affected my position at Manchester City so I didn’t really want to go through that situation again. ” Hughes, meanwhile, must weigh up whether to give Matthew Etherington a final appearance at the Britannia Stadium. The winger will not be offered a new contract when his current one expires this summer, bringing his five-and-a-half-year spell to an end. Felix Magath confesses to being “afraid” as Fulham’s increasingly desperate quest to secure another season in the Barclays Premier League reaches a critical point. While Magath is convinced victories over Stoke and at home against Crystal Palace the following weekend will result in survival, he is still racked by nerves. The veteran German manager has never experienced relegation during his 19-year coaching career and knows Fulham are close to ending that proud record. “For me, it (keeping Fulham in the Premier League) would be my most successful achievement,” the Cottagers boss said. “I have never been relegated and I’m a bit afraid of the situation, I don’t know how it feels to be relegated. I am afraid. “I am always nervous, without nerves you can not bring 100 per cent. “The mental side is always the most important thing – the players know how to kick, mentality is what we are fighting for.” Fulham are one point adrift of safety with two matches remaining and Magath accepts only two victories will clinch a 14th successive Premier League season. “I still believe two wins will be enough,” he said “There is no doubt, we need three points to have the chance to not be relegated. That is the situation. “We know Stoke are a very good team at home, but we are confident that we have developed in the last few weeks and showed against Hull last weekend that we are able to play good games. “Away from home we won at Aston Villa and we are confident we can manage it. “The atmosphere is very good and the players want to show people we are still alive.” Press Association Potters boss Mark Hughes was keen to stress the dialogue is at a very early stage but he is hopeful of keeping the Moroccan at the Britannia Stadium after a successful season-long loan. Assaidi has scored four goals in 24 appearances this season, and it would have been more had he not missed two months with a knee ligament injury. last_img read more

Syracuse walks-off against Virginia Tech for the second straight game in 2-1 win

first_imgThe situation seemed eerily similar. Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, Sammy Fernandez and Alicia Hansen knew how the final plays could develop.“Walk-off time.” Hansen told Fernandez.“Maybe it’s your turn,” Fernandez responded.That inning started with two outs. But Fernandez singled, and then scored on a single from Hansen after an error. It resulted in a 2-1 Syracuse (29-18, 9-10 Atlantic Coast) win over Virginia Tech (19-33, 5-18 Atlantic Coast), the second time in as many days that the Orange walked off against the Hokies. The victory came after six innings of offensive struggles from the Orange, but the game was kept close until Hansen’s single.“Right when the inning started I looked to everyone and said, ‘Please let me get up,’” Hansen said. “I knew I could win it. I don’t feel pressure.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe game developed nearly identical to SU’s 3-2 walk-off victory on Friday. In both games SU struggled to create offense until the bottom half of the seventh inning. Adding to the similarities, both games ended on a line-drive single to left field in which the outfielder overran the ball, letting it slip under their glove.Over the last 12 games prior to Friday’s contest, Syracuse had scored five or more runs in 10 of them. The struggles that SU have had offensively in this series aren’t common for an Orange team that ranks third in the ACC in total runs scored.“Last weekend we scored ten against (North Carolina) and lost, then we scored two against (Virginia Tech) and won,” head coach Mike Bosch said. “There’s only one thing at the end of the day that matters and that’s winning at the end of the game.”Bosch added that he does enjoy walk-off victories a lot, even if his team playfully teased him for his celebratory antics, hopping up and down with his arms high in the air, after both wins. But he also says that he wants the team to take more advantage offensively earlier in the game and that the team should not wait for the seventh inning to get things going.SU showed signs of making good contact all game long. The team swung on a lot of first pitches and challenged the Hokies by putting the ball in play. Virginia Tech responded with sound defensive plays which Fernandez says “robbed” the Orange of a few better hits.“We hit a lot of hard balls today, (Jessica Heese) had a really hard hit ball and (Hannah Dossett), (Hansen) had two hard ones that got robbed,” Fernandez said. “We hit well, it was just right at them. We were unlucky today.”Fernandez, who scored the final run, knew that she had as important an opportunity to make a play as Hansen did. Immediately when she got on base, Bosch yelled to her that she needed to always have a mentality to score. And if the ball landed in the gap, she was going to be on home plate.Bosch said that he was confident with the situation after Fernandez, who holds the Syracuse record for hits in a single season with 70, got on base. She is one of SU’s best runners and Bosch said that Syracuse was fortunate that she was on base at that point of the game.“As I was rounding second I was looking for Bosch and I caught him early, he was waving me home,” said Fernandez. “I was just trying to book it as fast as I could around the bases.”After she crossed the plate she quickly embraced her teammates and Hansen, the one who brought her home.“I wanted it.” Hansen said.And she got it. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 29, 2017 at 4:59 pm Contact Michael: | @MikeJMcClearylast_img read more