The Sport Matrix: Friday 03 January 2014


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The Independent Online

Solskjaer insists he is playing long game at Cardiff

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes to remain at Cardiff City for “the long, long term” after being unveiled as the Welsh side’s new manager yesterday.

The former Manchester United forward replaces Malky Mackay, surprisingly sacked by owner Vincent Tan (right) last Friday after leading the club to promotion just months earlier.

“What is important is continuity and stability,” Solskjaer, 40, said. “I want the players to express themselves. I go into this with eyes open and want the fans to be proud of us on the pitch. I will only ask my players for 100 per cent. I felt I needed to be back here [in the UK] and want to stay for the long, long term.” MORE

Adebayor fit for Emirates return

Emmanuel Adebayor has declared his availability for Tottenham’s FA Cup trip to Arsenal tomorrow after being carried off during the New Year’s Day win at Manchester United. The Togo forward took a full part in training and should start against his former side at the Emirates. MORE

Mata seeks clarity over Chelsea role

Juan Mata’s agents have sought assurances from Chelsea that the Spanish midfielder remains in the club’s plans. The 25-year-old has struggled for a regular place in the first team this season and reacted badly to being taken off at Southampton on New Year’s Day. MORE

Fergie quitting has cost us, says Evans

Jonny Evans has admitted that the “magnitude” of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement from Manchester United has been underestimated. “As a player I probably didn’t realise the magnitude until I stepped back and looked at it from the outside,” the defender said.

England captain rejoins Gunners

Casey Stoney has joined Arsenal Ladies for a second time as the club rebuild after the departure of Steph Houghton. “It’s a great feeling,” the England captain said. “I’m looking forward to getting stuck in. It is another challenge for me to become part of a side rebuilding.” MORE

Testing time ahead for the long game

The success of the current Ashes series in Australia has masked the current troubles facing the Test format of the game around the world. Support is dwindling, leading to doubts over the staging of the World Test Championship. MORE

Murray cautious over Melbourne

Andy Murray is reluctant to predict how far he will get in the Australian Open after only just returning from injury. “I have no idea,” he said. “I wouldn’t like to say whether I’d be happy reaching the second week. I’ll see how the next 10 days go.” MORE

Gloucester tie down stars to new deals

Charlie Sharples and James Simpson-Daniel are among five players who have signed to stay at Gloucester amid doubts over the future of Freddie Burns. Meanwhile, Wales’s Jonathan Davies is likely to miss the Six Nations owing to a lack of fitness.

Manning ready for reunion with Colts

After undergoing neck surgery that could have ended many a player’s career, quarterback Peyton Manning has enjoyed a stellar season with the Denver Broncos. He could now cap it with a play-off against his former side, the Indianapolis Colts. MORE

Young guns to keep an eye on this year

The coming 12 months will doubtless uncover a plethora of new stars on the sporting landscape. Our correspondents pick out the youngsters to watch in 2014.

Kevin Garside

Vincent Tan’s tango in Cardiff shows how little he cares about the commodity in which he has a controlling interest. Mackay’s sacking sat with the hauteur with which he tossed a century of tradition into a skip. MORE