The Sport Matrix: Friday 6 December 2013


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Hodgson open to late change of World Cup base

Roy Hodgson has admitted that England’s long-term plans to base them-selves in Rio de Janeiro at next summer’s World Cup could yet be torn up if the draw today sees them playing group games in the more far-flung Brazilian host cities.

It has long been the Football Association’s intention to base the squad at the Royal Tulip hotel on the Sao Conrado beach, with their training at the military base of Urca, by Sugarloaf Mountain. The team trained there in June before their friendly at the Maracana against Brazil and Hodgson took a close look at both hotel and pitches on arrival in Brazil on Tuesday.

However, the England manager confirmed in interviews yesterday that he was “open to all things” with 16 different possible combinations when it came to the three venues at which his team could play in their group games. They will find out their group at 4pm today when the draw takes place at the Brazilian beach  resort of Costa do Sauipe. MORE

Jagielka: Moyes must add to squad

Everton captain Phil Jagielka believes that Manchester United manager David Moyes needs to bring in more of his own players. After his side’s shock win at United, Jagielka said of Moyes: “He just needs to add a few more players that he wants week in, week out.”

Chadwick hoping for FA Cup boost

Former Everton striker Nick Cha-dwick, now on loan at Tamworth, hopes an FA Cup run extends his professional career. His side take on Bristol City on Sunday and he said: “It could be the difference between me retiring in January and me retiring three years down the line.” MORE

Whelan: Rösler set for Wigan talks

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has said the Championship club has been granted permission to speak to Brentford’s Uwe Rösler regarding their managerial vacancy. “I will be meeting him and hope to get it done tomorrow,” Whelan said last night. “He’s mad keen to come.”

England warned of boredom factor

Alain Sutter, who played for Switzerland at the 1994 World Cup when Roy Hodgson was manager, has warned players of boredom at a tournament. “Boredom was the biggest problem,” said Sutter. “We were too long together before the tournament started.” MORE

Britain split up head-coach role

British Athletics’ search for a new head coach ended yesterday with the news that the body will no longer have that role. Instead, a restructuring will mean three overseers for the different sporting disciplines in the build-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

English boycott Heineken Cup

England’s top-flight clubs have reaffirmed their decision to boycott the Heineken Cup next season. They are now seeking at least six weeks’ worth of new fixtures in a bid to fill the gap left by the decision to walk away from the competition. MORE

Dyson handed suspended ban

Simon Dyson has been given a two-month ban from the European Tour, suspended for 18 months, following his disqualification from October’s BMW Masters. Dyson was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score in the second round.

Swann defends ‘excellent’ Panesar

England’s Graeme Swann praised fellow spinner Monty Panesar, who took one wicket but dropped a crucial catch as Australia closed on 273 for 5 on the first day of the second Test. “I thought his bowling was excellent,” said Swann. MORE

Rusedski: Murray should aim for No 1

Greg Rusedski believes Andy Murray’s goal when he returns to competition should be to become world No 1. Rusedski said: “He’s been No 2, he’s won two majors. I think you have to refocus [on being No 1].”

Stracey’s shock

Steve Bunce recalls one of British boxing’s biggest heists, John H Stracey’s win over Jose Napoles inside the world’s largest bullring in Mexico City - fought 38 years ago today. MORE