The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 4 June 2013


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O’Driscoll to lead Lions in Perth

Brian O’Driscoll will captain the Lions against Western Force tomorrow. The 34-year-old Ireland centre will lead the Lions for a sixth time, while Manu Tuilagi, who will be played out of position to make way for O’Driscoll, is among five players making their Lions debut. MORE

Mourinho claims his Chelsea return is a ‘long-term’ stay

Jose Mourinho returned as Chelsea manager yesterday pledging that this time he could manage his relationship with owner Roman Abramovich, right, and was prepared to stay at the club for the long term.

The 50-year-old signed a four-year contract with the club, a mutual sign of the two parties’ faith in one another, and said that his return was sealed in a five-minute “short and pragmatic” conversation with the Russian.

He said: “I asked the boss, ‘Do you want me back?’, and the boss asked me, ‘Do you want to come back?’ and in a couple of minutes the decision was made.

“Every day you have to think about yourself and about evolution,” he added. “I have the same nature but I’m much more mature with a different approach to things, I’m more ready to be in a club and stay for a long time.”

Mourinho even said that after seven permanent managers and two temporary appointments during Abramovich’s 10-year ownership, the club could now do with some managerial “stability”.

“I’m very confident I can help the squad and I can help the boys to do better,” he said. MORE

Bernstein firmly behind Hodgson

Departing FA chairman David Bernstein said he will tell his successor Greg Dyke to back Roy Hodgson for the long-term. Bernstein, who views Hodgson positively, says he has passed on his thoughts to Dyke, and is confident the England manager will have a long future. MORE

Everton and Wigan agree on Martinez

Everton, searching for a successor to David Moyes, have reached an agreement with Wigan Athletic over compensation for their manager Roberto Martinez. “Bill Kenwright [Everton chairman] and myself have agreed a deal,” Wigan chairman Dave Whelan told the BBC.

Nadal progresses alongside Djokovic

Rafael Nadal cruised into the French Open quarter-finals with a straight-sets victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori yesterday.

Elsewhere, top seed Novak Djokovic dropped the first set but recovered to triumph over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. MORE

Pearce worry for Zaha’s Euro fitness

Stuart Pearce is sweating over the fitness of Wilfried Zaha ahead of England Under-21’s European Championship opener against Italy tomorrow night. The Manchester United winger’s ankle injury kept him out of training yesterday. MORE

Brough on form as Giants down Saints

Danny Brough showed all his international credentials in leading the Giants to their first league double over Saints since 1951 with a 25-16 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium last night. The 30-year-old Brough scored nine points in the win.

Froome stays in the hunt in Critérium

Chris Froome finished the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné in seventh place, one minute and 57 seconds behind leader David Veilleux yesterday. Froome shares the same time with Alberto Contador and Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas.

Finn and Broad are doubts for England

Steven Finn and Stuart Broad remain injury doubts for England’s third one-day international against New Zealand at Trent Bridge tomorrow. Both could also miss the Champions Trophy opener against Australia on Saturday at Edgbaston. MORE

Djokovic’s tribute  to his first coach

Novak Djokovic has paid tribute to Jelena Gencic, his first coach in tennis, who died at the weekend aged 76. “We were very close,” he said. “She taught me a lot of things. She was like my second mother.” MORE

James Lawton

We should recognise that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, having been rebuffed by the likes of Pep Guardiola, left, and Jürgen Klopp, has made his best possible appointment. MORE