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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 17 October 2013

Rooney desperate to make amends on the world stage

Wayne Rooney has spoken of his determination to shine for England on the biggest stage as the nation continued to plan for next summer’s World Cup finals.

Roy Hodgson’s side qualified for next year’s finals after beating Poland 2-0 on Tuesday, to top Group H with an unbeaten record following earlier worries over  England’s chances of achieving the necessary results.

Rooney burst onto the scene with four goals at the 2004 European Championships, but struggled with injuries and suspensions at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, as well as Euro 2012 [with England failing to reach the 2008 edition].

“I am very determined,” the Manchester United man said after his goal at Wembley put England on the road to three points this week. “What I wanted to do in all the other tournaments hasn’t happened. I want to do well and help England be successful.

“It’s my 10th or 11th year playing for England so the obvious goal is to try to be successful. Hopefully, I still have time on my side. We have got so many exciting players, [Danny] Welbeck, [Daniel] Sturridge, [Andros] Townsend coming in, [Ross] Barkley, [Jack] Wilshere.” MORE

Newcastle strike ticket deal for fans

Newcastle United have clinched deals with both West Bromwich Albion and Swansea to ensure away fans in matches between the sides pay less for tickets. The north-east club has called on other Premier League sides to join them in the initiative. MORE

Anfield expansion plans given boost

Liverpool’s plans to increase the capacity of Anfield are expected to be given a boost with the owners of six houses in the area, who had been blocking the club’s scheme, likely to be told their homes can be compulsorily purchased. MORE

Corbisiero worry for England

Alex Corbisiero is doubtful for England’s opening Autumn international against Australia after having some fluid drained from his knee. “He needs to be off his feet for a while,” coach Stuart Lancaster said. Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler are likely candidates to come in. MORE

Downton happy  in ECB shake-up

England last night announced that James Whitaker will become National Selector, replacing Geoff Miller, while Paul Downton is to become the new managing director of England cricket. “I am excited by the challenge of building on the success England have enjoyed,” Downton said. MORE

Hannon’s numbers may be reduced

Olympic Glory could be Richard Hannon’s only runner in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, with Sky Lantern and Toronado unlikely to run if the Ascot ground is soft. “I think there’s more rain forecast,” the trainer said. “We’ll have to play it by ear up to D-day.” MORE

Pussy Riot join Games boycott call

Russian boycott group Pussy Riot have called for a boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics over the country’s “anti-gay” legislation. “I do not think there is any other way to make authorities see and understand,” group member Ekaterina Samutsevich said. “There is no other way.” MORE

Prince Maloney will be missed

Frank Maloney decided to walk away from the sport after 40 years of involvement at every possible level and left behind two British champions and a handful of young fighters. He trained and matched, he managed, he promoted and all the time was in and out of the boxing pubs. MORE

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