The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 11 January 2012


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Hughes joins Hoops with clear mission - to avoid relegation

Mark Hughes was yesterday appointed manager of Queen's Park Rangers with a clear instruction – to prevent relegation. The 48-year-old former Manchester City and Fulham manager will be given the funds to attract more players of the calibre of Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips in the current transfer window with the aim of pushing for a top-10 spot next season. The Welshman takes over on a two-and-a-half year deal with the club one place above the drop zone. He replaces Neil Warnock, who was sacked on Sunday. MORE

GB men finally reach Olympics

Great Britain's men's gymnastics team qualified for this summer's Olympics in London last night, three months later than anticipated. Their reaching the Games gives Britain both a men's and women's team at the Olympics for the first time since 1984. MORE

England await Swann injury news

Graeme Swann is the latest England bowler to cause concern ahead of today's final warm-up match in Dubai. The bowler's tight quadriceps forced him to miss the majority of Monday's opening practice match and he went for a scan yesterday. MORE

Gardner leaves Palace in bloom

A header from Anthony Gardner gave Crystal Palace a slender 1-0 lead in the first leg of their semi-final against Cardiff City at Selhurst Park last night. The former Tottenham defender nodded into an empty net from a free-kick two minutes before the break. MORE

Mancini: Liverpool too late to apologise

Roberto Mancini believes Liverpool should have offered an immediate apology for Luis Suarez's use of the word "negro" toward Manchester United's Patrice Evra last year. "It is important to apologise for what you did," the Manchester City manager said. MORE

Youngsters to feature for England

A number of the Premiership's promising youngsters are expected to be fast-tracked into the England Six Nations squad, which is announced today. Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, Jamie George, Matt Garvey and Andy Saull are all in contention. MORE

Misbah: Pakistan looking forward

The Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq insists his country are looking forward to the Test series with England rather than back to the corruption-afflicted series of 2010. "Nobody is worried about the past," he said. "We are focusing on the future and present." MORE

Cahill remains a Redknapp target

The Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp, remains keen on the "not expensive" Bolton defender Gary Cahill. "I've tried to sign him so many times," Redknapp said ahead of tonight's visit of Everton. "He's a good player and he's not expensive in all honesty." MORE

Arsenal face fight for Saints teenager

Arsenal face competition from Chelsea and Manchester City for the signature of Southampton left-back Luke Shaw. The 16-year-old is rated as one of the best prospects in England and has been valued at £4m, despite having yet to make his debut. MORE

Armitstead makes up with Cooke

Lizzie Armitstead has made up with Great Britain cycling team-mate Nicole Cooke, promising there will be no "grudge match" ahead of the Olympics. "We've had a conversation and it's behind us," Armitstead revealed. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Thierry Henry's comeback was an extraordinary, uplifting spectacle but it did speak of the need for that recognition which plainly grows down the years and becomes, in the last of them, something close to an ache. MORE