The Sport Matrix: Friday 17 August 2012


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The Independent Online

Finn thrilled to flourish as England assert themselves

Steven Finn expressed his delight with figures of 3 for 68 as England made an encouraging start to the third Test against South Africa at Lord's yesterday, when the visitors closed on 262 for 7.

Finn tore through the South Africa top order with a spell of three wickets in seven deliveries. "I was delighted to get three vital wickets, which enabled us to assert ourselves," said Finn, who admitted, though, that he was too eager to impress, having been preferred to Tim Bresnan as England's third seamer for this Test match. "While I was happy with that, maybe I chased wickets a bit," he said. "I was told I was in the team on Wednesday afternoon and I was trying to come in not so much as an enforcer, but a wicket-taker, and maybe I searched for it a bit."

Finn insisted England's preparations would have been the same even without the disruption surrounding Kevin Pietersen. "It hasn't affected our approach. What we did on the first day, we would have done whatever had happened during the week. We would still have had the same intentions." MORE

United's attack 'can rival 1999 vintage'

Sir Alex Ferguson believes his current Manchester United strike force, including new signing Robin van Persie, can emulate their attack of 1999. "We had Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Solskjaer," said Ferguson. "We're getting towards that now." MORE

Rodwell desperate to excel with City

Manchester City's new £15m signing Jack Rodwell has described his transfer to the champions as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity". He added: "I believe in my ability and will go there with the right frame of mind. I'll have to work hard to get into the team." MORE

Johnson hints at exit from Etihad

Adam Johnson hinted he may have to leave Manchester City in order to play first-team football. The winger, who started for England in the 2-1 win over Italy and has been linked with Liverpool, said: "I need to play week in, week out. I'm not sure if I'll get that chance at City." MORE

Spurs priced out of move for Moutinho

Tottenham's manager, Andre Villas-Boas, said he has been priced out of a move for Porto's Joao Moutinho as the club look to replace Luka Modric, who is due to join Real Madrid for more than £30m. He said: "The level of expectation over price would be very hard to get on." MORE

Ohuruogu feels 'free' after Games

Christine Ohuruogu says she feels liberated now the Olympics are over. Ahead of tonight's Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, the 400m silver medallist said: "I can actually say that I can really sit back and enjoy what I've done." MORE

Pardew could rest players in Europe

Alan Pardew could rest leading players when he takes Newcastle into European competition for the first time in five years next Thursday. They face Atromitos in Greece in the Europa League before their Premier League game against Chelsea. MORE

Kean angered by Singh's remarks

Blackburn manager Steve Kean has hit back at the club's global adviser Shebby Singh, who said Kean would be sacked if he lost three consecutive games and likened Morgan Gamst Pedersen to a "pensioner". Kean said: "It's massively disruptive."

Liverpool move for £2.3m Assaidi

Liverpool are set to make their third signing of the summer with the addition of Heerenveen's Morocco forward Oussama Assaidi for a fee of around £2.3m. The 24-year-old, is set for a medical at Melwood and the deal could be completed today. MORE

Interview: Michael Laudrup

Swansea's new manager says his focus this campaign will be on ensuring his team keep the ball. "I'm a possession guy," he declares. "I like to do that. That's my roots and that's also why I'm here." MORE

Shot putter waiting to receive her gold

New Zealand's Valerie Adams is still waiting to receive the Olympic gold medal she won for shot put, having gained it when it emerged Nadzeya Ostapchuk had tested positive for the anabolic agent metenolone. MORE