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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 12 September 2013

Croft ruled out for rest of the season

England suffered a blow as Leicester's Tom Croft was ruled out for the season with a knee injury. The No 6 has not long been back in the game after recovering from a neck break which nearly left him paralysed. MORE

Trapattoni goes after Ireland exit

Giovanni Trapattoni's reign as Republic of Ireland manager has come to an end, with Martin O'Neill and Mick McCarthy front-runners to replace him. The 74-year-old was dismissed after defeat in Austria effectively ended Ireland's hopes of making the World Cup. MORE

Justineo readied for French fancy

Justineo may be placed with some of the world's leading sprinters in Paris next month after impressing on rain-softened ground yesterday. Roger Varian's four-year-old claimed the Crown Hotel Bawtry Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster by a length and a half. MORE

Davies praises Hull assertiveness

Laura Davies admits she sees something of herself in Charley Hull as the 17-year-old prepares for the Evian Championship. “Her game reminds me of mine when I was younger, going for every shot,” Davies said. “I don't think I've seen her back off a shot. What she has achieved is amazing.”

'I'm in the best shape I could be'

I wouldn't want to make a prediction of where I'll finish in the World Grand Final in London on Saturday. I'm confident I've done the work and I'm in the best shape I could be. If that's good enough to win, I'd be ecstatic. Some days, you just surprise yourself. Jodie Stimpson, MORE

Ashes hero Hoggard to retire from game

Former England bowler Matthew Hoggard is to retire at the end of the present campaign. The 36-year-old Leicestershire seamer, who helped England reclaim the Ashes in 2005, made 67 appearances for his country, taking 248 wickets to sit seventh in England's all-time list. MORE

One-day series hit by weather again

The third one-day international between England and Australia was abandoned yesterday after 15.1 overs due to rain. England had struggled to 59 for 3 before the heavens opened at Edgbaston, with last week's opening game also abandoned. Australia remain 1-0 up in the series.

Hodgson hits back over criticism of England displays

Roy Hodgson has hit back at Gary Lineker's criticism of the England team's “awful” 0-0 draw with Ukraine, claiming that the England sides the former striker played in were not always “a total success” either.

Once again, Hodgson declared himself surprised and unhappy with mounting criticism about his team's laboured draw in Kiev on Tuesday night that leaves them leaders of Group H by a point with two home games left.

During the match, Lineker tweeted: “Awful. What happens to some of these players when they pull on an England shirt?” He later backtracked somewhat, saying he was “fully supportive of Roy”, that he believed he was “doing a good job” and the Ukraine result was “decent”.

In response to Lineker, Hodgson said: “I'm surprised anyone who has captained England and played in games of this nature can be that critical. This is the second time. My disappointment would be that I saw Gary Lineker play, I remember him captaining the team but I'm pretty sure he played in some games when it wasn't that easy and I don't think every game he played for England was a total success.” MORE

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