The Sports Matrix: Friday 24 February 2012


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The Independent Online

Pearce pitches as Campbell and Cleverley called up

Caretaker manager Stuart Pearce yesterday unveiled his first England squad while reiterating his desire to fill the job for this summer's European Championship. The 49-year-old England Under-21 manager, who named a 25-man squad for next Wednesday's friendly with the Netherlands at Wembley, admitted he did not have a sparkling managerial CV but felt his record as a player and manager in tournaments made up for it. "I feel as though I have enough experience," he said. "I have been to semi-finals as a player. I have been to tournaments and reached finals and semi-finals with the Under-21s." Pearce's maiden squad included first call-ups for Sunderland forward Fraizer Campbell and Manchester United's Tom Cleverley, while he also handed a recall to Micah Richards of Manchester City, who played once under Fabio Capello. MORE

United squeeze through to last 16

Manchester United edged into the last 16 of the competition, despite losing 2-1 to Ajax at Old Trafford. Javier Hernandez put the home side ahead, before Aras Ozbiliz and Toby Alderweireld turned the match around. United went through 3-2 on aggregate. MORE

Jonas ends Stoke Euro adventure

A Jonas goal midway through the first-half sent Stoke out of Europe, Tony Pulis' side losing 1-0 to Valencia on the night and 2-0 on aggregate. The visitors had their chances but were unable to convert, leaving Jonas to strike on the counter-attack. MORE

Danns strike sends Foxes into top half

Leicester moved into the top half of the Championship table with a 1-0 victory at Derby County last night. In a match of little quality, Neil Danns scored the only goal for Nigel Pearson's side, volleying home a cross from Lloyd Dyer after 16 minutes.

Hudson dreams of Welsh wonderland

Cardiff City captain Mark Hudson hopes it will prove to be a triple crown weekend for Wales, with his team's Carling Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley following the rugby union side's Six Nations visit to Twickenham and boxer Nathan Cleverly's title fight. MORE

Lancaster hands Farrell No 10 shirt

England caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster has named Owen Farrell at number 10 for the visit of Wales, after Charlie Hodgson was ruled out. "The fact we're so confident in his ability is testament to his game understanding, his core skills," Lancaster said. MORE

Hogg ready to put Best foot forward

Stuart Hogg has revealed family links with footballer George Best as he prepares to make his first start for Scotland this weekend. "It turns out my granny's granny was the sister of Best's great- grandfather," the 19-year-old said. "It is pretty amazing." MORE

Gul helps Pakistan escape to victory

Inspired bowling by Umar Gul helped Pakistan recover from a poor start to beat England in the opening Twenty20 international. Set 145 to win, the tourists began their reply well, before Gul's three wickets helped Pakistan home by eight runs. MORE

British pair finish out of the medals

Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield finished seventh and out of the medals at the World Cup event at the Olympic Park after a poor penultimate dive. "It was just one dive we missed," Daley said. "One dive was the difference between getting a medal or not." MORE

Comment: Sam Wallace

"Despite the FA's close relationship with its loyal company man, one gets the impression that leaving Stuart Pearce in charge for this summer's European Championship is very much the last option." MORE