Nick Szczepanik

Nick Szczepanik is a freelance sports writer contributing mainly to The Independent.

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Peter Crouch today pushed former club QPR closer to a seemingly inevitable relegation as Stoke kick-started their own battle to beat the drop

QPR 0 Stoke City 2 match report: Harry Redknapp ready to unload his QPR stars after relegation is all but confirmed thanks to Peter Crouch

Harry Redknapp must have had mixed feelings on Saturday evening when he heard that his local team, Bournemouth, had clinched promotion to the Championship: joy for the club where he started his managerial career, and gloom at the prospect of returning there next season as manager of a relegated QPR team.

Southampton 1 West Ham United 1 match report: Andy Carroll continues hot streak to warm up a safety-first draw

There was never much danger before the game that Southampton or West Ham would be pulled back into the relegation struggle, but this result just about ensures another season in the Premier League for two of last season's promoted teams, both seven points above the bottom three.

Paul Rogers parades the trophy in 1999

FA Cup semi-finals: Paul Rogers caught with his pants down after Wigan's winner in 1989

Paul Rogers will be at today’s FA Cup semi-final hoping that Wigan Athletic can repeat their victory over Millwall in the teams’ previous Wembley meeting, when he scored the only goal of the 1999 Auto Windscreens Shield final.

It is now or never for Premier League promotion, says Brighton manager Gus Poyet

Gustavo Poyet, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager, has warned that the imposition of Financial Fair Play rules in the Championship from next season will create a two-tier competition – and that it is even more vital for his team to take advantage of their chance to reach the Premier League this season.

Missing link: Gareth Bale (left) is out for at least two games; Lewis Holtby is one of those in line to replace him

Spurs won't miss Gareth Bale, insists Andre Villas-Boas

Manager has options to cover for player who has scored in past eight wins

Harry Redknapp admits that he goes home after defeats and speaks to no one

Harry Redknapp looks for first of five wins

Harry Redknapp is going through a period as troubled as that of his QPR team. He regards himself as lucky to have managed so long at the top level, but also admits that he goes home after defeats and speaks to no one – not even his dogs. So there must have been many uneasy silences at Sandbanks in recent weeks.

Outfoxed: Kazenga LuaLua goes past the Leicester defender Liam Moore

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Leicester City 1 match report: Frustrated Nigel Pearson laments late Kazenga LuaLua leveller

Too many draws have bedevilled Brighton's campaign for a play-off place for most of this season, but yesterday's will feel like a victory after a late goal salvaged a point they hardly deserved.

Mauricio Pochettino: Despite old loyalties Saints fans have largely taken to the new manager

Southampton 2 Chelsea 1 match report: Pochettino enjoys a less toxic inheritance than Chelsea rival

Londoners' game in hand looks more like one more burden for a side stretched too thin

Southampton 2 Chelsea 1 match report: Saints loosen Blues' grip on top four

Pochettino's latest scalp leaves Chelsea hanging on to Champions League place by two points

Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin (third left) scores at St Mary’s
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Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all