The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 13 May 2014


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Rooney takes trainer on holiday

Wayne Rooney’s World Cup finals preparation will start early this week, England manager Roy Hodgson said yesterday, with the striker so determined to arrive for the tournament in good shape that he has taken his fitness trainer on holiday with him to Portugal.

Ferdinand set to leave United

Rio Ferdinand is set to leave Manchester United in the summer after the defender was not offered a new contract. The 35-year-old, who played in United’s final game of the season on Sunday, a 1-1 draw at Southampton, will bring to an end a 12-year tenure at the club.

Austin books Rangers final spot

Charlie Austin struck twice as Queen’s Park Rangers beat Wigan 2-1 to book their place in the Championship play-off final with Derby. James Perch struck early for Wigan but Rangers levelled through Austin’s 73rd-minute penalty, and he struck again in extra-time.

Albion dispense with Mel’s services

West Bromwich Albion yesterday parted company with Pepe Mel after four months as manager. The club’s sporting and technical director Richard Garlick said: “It became apparent it was in the best interests of both parties for there to be an amicable parting.”

Smith contender for Gloucester post

Nigel Davies was sacked as Gloucester’s rugby director yesterday. Among the leading contenders to succeed him is Wayne Smith, the former All Black coach who is currently working at Super 15 level with the Waikato Chiefs.

‘Drained’ Lerner to sell Aston Villa

Randy Lerner has put Aston Villa up for sale after eight years in control of the club, saying he was drained by the “week-in, week-out battles”. He added that “that now is the time for me to look for new ownership and thus new leadership”.

Milner: Foreign City stars help me

James Milner says he thrives playing with Manchester City’s foreign players amid the debate over English talent. He said: “I have spent four years playing alongside David Silva, Sergio Aguero and these kinds of stars and I am a better player.”

Garcia resigns as Brighton manager

Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday accepted manager Oscar Garcia’s resignation following their Championship play-off semi-final loss. The club finished sixth this season, and lost 4-1 at Derby on Sunday to suffer a 6-2 aggregate semi-final defeat.

Ian Herbert

From the bravery of Darren Fletcher’s story of how he fought bowel disease to Alan Pardew’s ugly headbutt on Hull’s David Meyler, Ian Herbert looks at the season’s heroes and villains.