The Sports Matrix: Monday 19 November 2012


McClean received death threats over poppy, says O'Neill

Sunderland's Irish international winger James McClean received death threats over his decision not to wear a poppy on his shirt last week, Black Cats manager Martin O'Neill has revealed.

McClean, right, was barracked by fans during yesterday's win at Fulham over his decision not to sport a poppy against Everton. "James will deal with it," O'Neill said. "It's probably to do with the issue of last week. It's a free choice in this world."

One former British solider wrote on Twitter this week that McClean "deserves to be shot dead + body dragged past the cenotaph". McClean is from Derry – close to the site of Bloody Sunday in 1972 – and comes from a nationalist background.

Sunderland enjoyed better fortune on the pitch, their 3-1 win a first maximum on their travels in nine months. MORE

Trott rounds off World Cup with gold

Laura Trott provided the only medal for Great Britain on the final day of the Glasgow World Cup, beating Ashlee Ankudinoff to take the omnium. "I was in silver and I was like: 'I'm not having that, no way,'" she said. "I just love winning – I do, I love the feeling." MORE

Vettel on course as Hamilton wins

Defending champion Sebastien Vettel moved 13 points clear of Fernando Alonso in the drivers standings after finishing second in US GP last night. Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag, his second successive victory in the race, having also won in Indiana five years ago. MORE

Di Matteo rues absence of Terry

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo admits the club are missing the influence of the injured defender John Terry. "It's a shame that John is injured," the Italian said. "But we will have to do without him until he comes back – and improve." MORE

Mancini wary of Madrid's real threat

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is under no illusions as to the task facing his side when they welcome Real Madrid in the Champions League this week. "They are one of the best teams in the world," he said. "To beat them we will have to give a perfect performance." MORE

Millwall deny claims of racism

Millwall last night denied allegations of racism towards Leeds forward El-Hadji Diouf during yesterday's Championship match. Television viewers claimed on Twitter that they heard monkey noises directed at the Senegalese striker. Millwall won the match 1-0. MORE

Golden oldie Jimenez victorious

Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest-ever winner on the European Tour after winning the Hong Kong Open. The 48-year-old beat Fredrik Andersson Hed by a shot after closing with a superb 65. MORE

Clarke keeps feet on ground at Albion

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke is remaining calm about the club's European hopes, despite them sitting in fourth after beating Chelsea. "We are in the right position to think about Europe," he said. "But we go from game to game."

Captain fantastic gives England hope

A sublime 168 from captain Alastair Cook gave England hope of avoiding defeat on the fourth day of the first Test against India. They ended proceedings on 340-5 in their follow on, a lead of 10, with Matt Prior also unbeaten on 84. MORE

Defeat gives England big task

England will almost certainly be out of the top seeds in next month's World Cup draw after Saturday's defeat to Australia. Stuart Lancaster's side struggled in the scrummage, out-run in the loose and out-thought amongst the backs. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Stuart Lancaster went home not only with defeat, and questions about England's lack of composure and fluency, but a record of growing futility against the Southern theatre of war. MORE