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The Sports Matrix: Thursday 18 October 2012


Hart takes blame for dropped points against Poland

England goalkeeper Joe Hart took the blame for Kamil Glik's equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Poland last night after Wayne Rooney had given his side a first-half lead.

"I came out and didn't get there," Hart, pictured, said. "It's my fault and that's cost us the three points."

Hodgson admitted that his team had not played at their best and, although he refused to blame the day's delay because of Tuesday's deluge and the soggy pitch, he said that it had contributed to the poor display from his own players. He said: "I don't think we played that well. We've got to be satisfied we came away with a point.

"We didn't play at all well in the first half and were fortunate to go in 1-0 up. Our passing was better in the second half, but 1-1 was a fair result.

"As far as we're concerned, the extra day and stayover, the sogginess of the pitch didn't work in our favour – it's the same for both teams, of course. "I had the impression earlier in the week that the players were looking sharp and lively."

FA could stage a boycott of Serbia

The Football Association has questioned whether it will send teams to Serbia again after the violent and disgraceful scenes which marred the England Under-21 team's victory there on Tuesday night. The FA has submitted a detailed report to Uefa. MORE

Players want Levein to stay on

Despite being last in their World Cup 2014 qualifying group, the Scotland midfielder James McArthur hopes their manager, Craig Levein, stays on in charge. "I would love him to stay," McArthur said. "The players think he's very good and we've just been unfortunate." MORE

O'Neill full of praise for Evans

After Northern Ireland's memorable 1-1 draw away in Portugal on Tuesday, their manager, Michael O'Neill, says he is particularly pleased with the Manchester United defender Jonny Evans. "He is going to be a leader of men and a leader of this team," O'Neill said. MORE

Silva likely to miss vital Ajax fixture

After pulling up in Spain's 1-1 draw with France on Tuesday, Manchester City's David Silva yesterday delayed his flight back to Manchester so that he could receive treatment on his hamstring. He seems certain to miss the Ajax Champions League match next Wednesday. MORE

Cook: We must get KP decision right

Alastair Cook has emphasised the need for England to make the right decision on Kevin Pietersen's return as the clock ticks down to the squad's series in India. "It's a very important decision that we have to get right," Cook said. MORE

Redpath concedes to Mitchell at Sale

Bryan Redpath, winless at Sale since making a controversial switch from Gloucester at the end of last season, tacitly admitted yesterday that his role will be diluted if and when John Mitchell joins the club on a full-time basis. MORE

Keothavong ends her losing streak

Anne Keothavong made the most of her lucky-loser spot to reach the second round of the Luxembourg Open with victory over Kiki Bertens yesterday. The British No 3 had been on a nine game winless run stretching back to Wimbledon in June. MORE

Sponsors Nike drop Armstrong

Lance Armstrong was yesterday dropped by Nike, and forced to step down from the Livestrong charity he founded. The American sportswear giant said it had ended its deal with the cyclist in the wake of the "insurmountable evidence" against him.

Terry urged not to appeal decision

John Terry has until 6pm today to decide whether to challenge the four-match ban imposed on him for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. The players' union chief executive, Gordon Taylor, urged Terry to move on. MORE

All Black heaven

The All Blacks, led by captain Richie McCaw, visit Britain for Tests in November and are better now, arguably, than the national heroes who won the 2011 World Cup. MORE