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The Sport Matrix: Monday 21 October 2013

Ferdinand ready to work with Hodgson on FA commission

Former England capatain Rio Ferdinand has insisted he can overcome a difficult relationship with manager Roy Hodgson after the two were yesterday named as part of the commission to improve the national team by FA chairman Greg Dyke.

Ferdinand was overlooked for Hodgson’s squad for the European Championship last year in the wake of John Terry being found guilty of a racism charge against Ferdinand’s brother, Anton. He was recalled by Hodgson for a squad in March, only for the Manchester United defender to pull out. His last appearance for England came under previous manager Fabio Capello in June 2011.

Sources close to the player insisted last night there was no lingering resentment on his part. His appointment raises questions over whether he will be able to maintain focus with his club, where he has struggled for form and fitness in recent months. Ferdinand’s presence will earn Dyke some credibility amid football’s black and minority ethnic community, where he is liked and respected. MORE

Spurs fifth after win at Aston Villa

Goals in either half from Andros Townsend and Roberto Soldado gave Tottenham a 2-0 win at Aston Villa yesterday to take Andre Villas-Boas’ side into fifth in the Premier League. Townsend’s opener was fortunate but Spurs soaked up home pressure before securing the points. MORE

Trott claims her second world title

Laura Trott secured gold in the omnium at the European Track Championships yesterday for her second success of the games in the Netherlands. The 21-year-old beat home hope Kirsten Wild after also taking the 4km team pursuit event. MORE

McIlroy makes good Korea move

Rory McIlroy shot a final-round 67 to claim a share of second place at the Korea Open yesterday. The world No 6 carded five birdies in his four-under-par round to end one behind winner Kang Sung-hoon.

Allardyce expects Carroll update

The West Ham manager Sam Allardyce hopes to hear today when he can welcome Andy Carroll back from his foot injury. “I will be speaking to the specialist to see whether he can at least give us a date,” he said. “He is improving week by week. It is important we get him back as quickly as we can.”

Lowes celebrates maiden GP crown

Alex Lowes claimed the British Superbike crown at Brands Hatch after beating triple title-holder Shane Byrne by seven points yesterday. “I gave it my best and it was enough,” the Samsung Honda rider enthused afterwards. MORE

Leeds rout poor Birmingham

Matt Smith scored twice as Leeds romped to a 4-0 victory over Birmingham at Elland Road. Ross McCormack and Rudolph Austin also scored as Leeds led by three at the break, with the hosts moving up to ninth in the Championship. Birmingham drop to 20th. MORE

‘Sensational’ Lawes inspires Saints win

Jim Mallinder called Courtney Lawes “sensational” after the England lock inspired Northampton to a 27-16 Heineken Cup win over Ospreys. Samu Manoa, Christian Day and Ben Foden went over to give the hosts their first win in this season’s competition. MORE

Opinion: Sam Wallace

Greg Dyke could do worse than visit Copland School for a chat with Paul Lawrence, who helped discover Raheem Sterling. But he’d better do it quickly, as this man will be looking for a new job by Christmas. MORE

Decision pending on Cirrus Des Aigles

Corine Barande-Barbe will wait to decide on whether to send Cirrus Des Aigles to the Far East after another fine run on Saturday. “He will be entered for the Hong Kong Cup,” the trainer said of her charge. “We will let him come back from Ascot and see how he is.” MORE

England must learn their lessons

England endured a sobering 15-14 defeat to Italy just a week before their home World Cup. Dave Hadfield examines what went wrong and how Steve McNamara’s team can turn things around before Saturday’s opening match against Austraila. MORE

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