The Sports Matrix: Thursday 19 January 2012


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The Independent Online

Kean adamant Rovers will not sell disaffected Samba

Blackburn's captain Christopher Samba arrived late at training yesterday and did not work with the first team, but their manager, Steve Kean, said he would not be sold.

Queen's Park Rangers are considering a bid of up to £10m for Samba, although Rovers want £12m. "It's a mark of what we're trying to do that we've refused the bids, and that's where we are," Kean said. "We want him to stay at the club."

Barclays has told Venky's, Blackburn's owners, they must deposit £10m in the club's account this month or risk losing the ability to extend credit to pay wages.

Financier Ian Battersby has revealed that Venky's believes that an annual working capital injection of £3m to £5m would be enough to run the club. "They thought the initial down payment to buy the club was essentially 'job done'."

Blackburn's Indian owners created fresh uncertainty on the club board yesterday by removing the commercial director, Simon Williams. The chairman and managing director have both left in the last year, and neither has been replaced by the owners. MORE

Darlington saved – for three matches

Darlington FC will exist for at least three more league fixtures after representatives of the DFC Rescue Group came up with £50,000 to keep the Blue Square Premier club afloat. The money appeared minutes after administrators wound the club up. MORE

Lindegaard wants to hold off De Gea

Anders Lindegaard wants David de Gea to replace him as Manchester United goalkeeper, in 10 years' time: "His potential is massive and there's no doubt he will be United's best goalkeeper at some point. My job is to make sure it's not until I've retired." MORE

Elliott strike gives Birmingham win

A late goal from Wade Elliott handed Birmingham a 1-0 victory at Wolves in last night's third-round replay. Elliott, making just his second start in more than a month, scored from close range to set up a trip to Sheffield United in nine days' time. MORE

Brighton through after shoot-out

Brighton required penalties to dispose of non-League Wrexham and set up a fourth-round tie at home to Newcastle. Andy Morrell put the Welsh side ahead before Ashley Barnes equalised during the 90 minutes, and his side won it 5-4 from the spot. MORE

England try to hold back Pakistan

Pakistan finished the second day of the first Test 96 runs ahead with three wickets left, as England left them on 288 for 7 at stumps. Pakistan's openers put on 114 but Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann took two wickets each.

Clarke seeks help of fitness coach

Darren Clarke has enlisted the services of rugby fitness coach Jonathan Bloomfield in an effort to get into shape. "I just thought 'enough is enough'," the Ulsterman said. "It's time to get myself in better shape. It is something I am taking seriously." MORE

Gatland: Lions job would be fantastic

Wales manager Warren Gatland would relish the chance to manage the British and Irish Lions on next year's tour of Australia. "2009 [when he was an assistant] was a huge honour," he said. "If that opportunity came along again it would be fantastic."

Henson handed yet another chance

Gavin Henson has been included in the Wales squad for a training camp in Poland next week, despite having made just nine first-class starts in almost three years. The 29-year-old has the chance to earn a place in the Six Nations squad. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Andy Murray's new coach, Ivan Lendl, deserves credit for telling the Scot that, competitively speaking, he should grow up. After last year's dismal Australian Open final defeat by Novak Djokovic, it is timely advice. MORE