The Sports Matrix: Friday 4 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Forget the finances, this is Cup final day, says Dalglish

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes worries over the club's finances and league form will take a back seat during tomorrow's FA Cup final, which will give a fresh set of memories to a new generation of supporters. "Every generation have a story to tell about their travels to Cup finals," the Scot said ahead of the Wembley meeting with Chelsea.

"That never goes amiss. It's important to have those experiences. 2005 [when Liverpool won the Champions League] was hugely important because that generation never had stories to tell that their parents had. They got it at Istanbul and what a story to tell that was."

Liverpool posted a record loss of £49.4m in their latest accounts yesterday and, despite having already won the League Cup this season, poor league results have attracted criticism, with the club sitting just above mid-table.

"You can argue that, financially, finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League is more beneficial than winning the FA Cup," Dalglish continued. "But when you go to play in the Cup final, you don't think about finance." page 60Hammers take step towards Wembley

West Ham have one foot in the play-off final after two early Jack Collison goals took them to a 2-0 victory at Cardiff in last night's semi-final first leg. The hosts improved after the interval but have an uphill task in Monday's return leg at Upton Park. MORE

Holloway: We'll attack all the way

Manager Ian Holloway says his Blackpool will remain true to their ideals as entertainers as they host Birmingham in tonight's play-off semi-final. "Let's hope it lives up to its billing and there are goals," he said. "That's what we'll try to do – outscore the opposition." MORE

Pearce role under Hodgson in doubt

Stuart Pearce's caretaker involvement with England's senior team could be ended before Euro 2012 as new manager Roy Hodgson looks to bring in his own staff. The former England left-back is coach of the U21 side and also Team GB at the Olympics. MORE

Ferguson keeps mind games going

Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson has tried to put pressure on title rivals Manchester City ahead of their trip to Newcastle. "They have to win, that's the challenge," he said. "Newcastle is a difficult place to go to and they're playing well." MORE

Gayle eyes return to West Indies fold

Chris Gayle is hopeful of a return for West Indies' limited-overs matches with England after withdrawing from a contract with Somerset. "It may place me in a position of risk," he admitted. "Foregoing a contract with only the hope I will be selected." MORE

Ace Adams rips into Lancashire

A devasting spell from Andre Adams helped Nottinghamshire take control at Lancashire after the second day. The veteran took 7-32 as the hosts were bowled out for 146, a first-innings deficit of 23. Notts finished the day on 122-2 in their second innings. MORE

Davies departs Worcester for home

Former Wales captain Phil Davies is to leave his position at Premiership Worcester to return home to Cardiff Blues as director of rugby. "It's a job I've been passionate about for a long time," he said. "We are on the starting line of something exciting." MORE

Carter makes early running in semi

Ali Carter enjoyed the best of the opening session of the first semi-final at the Crucible, recovering from 2-0 down to lead Stephen Maguire 5-3. The match resumes this morning, with Ronnie O'Sullivan and Matt Stevens contesting the other semi-final. MORE

Hunter hungry

Rower Mark Hunter was persuaded to return to Olympic competition by former coach Amy Fuller-Kearney. "She planted the seed," the 2008 gold medalist tells i. "Her stories of how you don't want to miss a home Olympics." MORE