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Johnson: Derby play-off ethos different

Watch the Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby live on Sky Sports Football from 2pm on Monday; kick-off is at 3pm.

Last Updated: 26/05/19 11:22am

The midfielder has two goals and three assists in 28 appearances for the Rams this season.

The midfielder has two goals and three assists in 28 appearances for the Rams this season.

Bradley Johnson believes lessons have been learned from last season's play-off semi-final defeat to Fulham, insisting Derby have a different mentality ahead of Monday's Wembley clash with Aston Villa.

Derby lost 2-1 to Fulham on aggregate in last season's play-off semi-final, with the Cottagers coming back to win after Cameron Jerome's strike had settled the first leg.

A Villa vs Derby

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Frank Lampard's side are aiming for a return to the top flight after 11 years away from the Premier League and Johnson claims their approach to the play-offs have changed from last year.

He said: "This year our mentality is different, we want to go out and win every game.

1:15 Sky Bet preview the Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby at Wembley.

Sky Bet preview the Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby at Wembley.

"We tried to stop Fulham because they were the best team in the league with passing the ball. We had to stay compact and get our goal on the counter.

Derby County owner Mel Morris says the Rams will seek to keep Frank Lampard at Pride Park next season, despite his links to the Chelsea job.

Derby County owner Mel Morris says the Rams will seek to keep Frank Lampard at Pride Park next season, despite his links to the Chelsea job.

"I'm seeing young players who are hungry and confident with no fear. Things have changed, the way we play now is different to last year."

Goals from Derby's young attackers Jack Marriott, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson completed a stunning 4-3 aggregate win at Elland Road in this season's semi-final, and Johnson claims they could make the difference against Villa on Monday.

0:45 Sky Sports News asked Derby owner Mel Morris whether it would be difficult to stand in Frank Lampard's way if Chelsea approached the current Rams boss.

Sky Sports News asked Derby owner Mel Morris whether it would be difficult to stand in Frank Lampard's way if Chelsea approached the current Rams boss.

"The young lads want to win and when they play with confidence they do very well," he added.

"I'm thriving playing with players who have unbelievable talent. When you have young players in your team who are confident and play with no fear it's something you can sit back, watch and enjoy."

 Watch Derby v Aston Villa live on Sky Sports Main Event HD from 2pm on Monday 27 May; kick-off 3pm.

Watch Derby v Aston Villa live on Sky Sports Main Event HD from 2pm on Monday 27 May; kick-off 3pm.


This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11728797/bradley-johnson-derby-mentality-is-different-for-aston-villa-play-off-clash

Interview: Michael Thomas on that night in ‘89

He scored one of the English game’s most dramatic goals to earn Arsenal a last-minute league title on an unforgettable night at Anfield in 1989 – and followed up with one of the most iconic celebrations!

Join Ryan Rocastle as he speaks to Michael Thomas about that night in ‘89. This feature was first published in the Arsenal Magazine at the start of the 2015/16 season.

You’ve lived in the north west for more than 20 years now. Be honest – when Arsenal play Liverpool who are you rooting for?
It’s fairly simple – when the game’s at Anfield I put my Liverpool shirt on; when it’s at the Emirates I get my Arsenal shirt out. The only problem is when they play each other in the cup. I try to avoid those games.

On to the famous night at Anfield, how many times a week are you reminded of ‘that’ goal?
It’s hard to say – funnily enough I actually get reminded a lot by Liverpool and Everton supporters. I laugh at the Liverpool fans that give me stick for it. Some of them go on like it was the only time they ever had a chance to win a league title – they’ve won 18!

When was the last time you watched the goal?
Whenever Fever Pitch was last on TV. I don’t play it on YouTube or anything like that. I like to watch it when it’s on because it brings back such great memories but I cringe watching myself.

00:48

Anfield '89: Thomas clinches the title

Are you able to try and explain what that celebration was about?
I was going to run and celebrate with the supporters but then I thought let me try a handstand but for some reason I didn’t follow it through.

You and my dad knew each other from when you were teenagers. What was it like to play in the first team together?
It was a dream. I actually didn’t know he played for Arsenal because when we played for South London schoolboys he never mentioned it. When we played we’d always attack and defend together on the pitch – we had a special bond.

If the team that won the league at Anfield was playing now, do you think they’d win the league this season?
We’d be up there certainly. I think if we played under Arsène Wenger people would see that actually we could play a lot more than given credit for. We weren’t just good defensively but needed George Graham to allow us to play with more freedom for us to show what we were capable of going forward.

My mum told me you grew up as a Spurs fan, would you like to deny or confirm those rumours?!
[Laughs] Believe it or not back in the 1980s when I was a boy Spurs actually played the best football. They had Glenn Hoddle, Garth Crooks, Ossie Ardiles and played some real good stuff. I was more a fan of the football they played as opposed to the actual side - and being a London boy I admired them. And now? Have those feelings disappeared? Yeah, I’d say so.

03:03

1988/89: Goal of the Season contenders

Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: http://feeds.arsenal.com/~r/arsenal-news/~3/qBLxoJfpijY/interview-michael-thomas-night-89

Travelling squad named for Europa League final

Unai Emery has brought a 24-man squad to Azerbaijan for our Europa League final in Baku.

We will meet Chelsea at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night, hoping to lift our first piece of European silverware since the 1994 Cup Winners’ Cup.

Our travelling group is below, and a 23-man matchday squad will be named 75 minutes before kick off on Wednesday night.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Petr Cech
Mohamed Elneny
Matteo Guendouzi
Alex Iwobi
Carl Jenkinson
Sead Kolasinac
Laurent Koscielny
Alex Lacazette
Bernd Leno
Stephan Lichtsteiner
Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Nacho Monreal
Shkodran Mustafi
Eddie Nketiah
Mesut Ozil
Sokratis
Lucas Torreira
Joe Willock
Granit Xhaka
Danny Welbeck
Bukayo Saka
Xavier Amaechi
Deyan Iliev

A 23-man matchday squad will be announced on the evening of the match.

Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: http://feeds.arsenal.com/~r/arsenal-news/~3/3GMPou1PRtw/Europa-League-final-travelling-squad

Celtic: Neil Lennon offered manager’s job after sealing treble treble

Celtic manager Neil Lennon led the team to their ninth consecutive domestic trophy

Neil Lennon has revealed he was offered the Celtic manager's job in the dressing room shower after guiding the club to a domestic treble.

Lennon's side defeated Hearts 2-1 at Hampden to clinch the Scottish Cup, securing a ninth domestic trophy in a row for the Glasgow side.

The former Parkhead captain took over after Brendan Rodgers left for Leicester City in February.

"It's just a privilege," Lennon told BBC Scotland.

Lennon, who previously managed Celtic between 2010 and 2014 before moving on to Bolton and then Hibernian, was approached after the match by club chief executive Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond, their largest individual shareholder.

He said: "Peter and Mr Desmond and a few members of the board came in afterwards to the shower area. We had a five-minute chat and they said they wanted to offer me the job.

"It came with massive pressure but I kept it boxed in. I've evolved. I'm older, I had four years away, it was always an ambition to come back and manage Celtic again so I'm pleased this day has come.

"I know people may find this hard to believe but I'm a very good professional. I'm dedicated to my job. I had some lows at Bolton and then two great years at Hibs and I believed in my own ability. Thankfully, so did the Celtic board."

During his previous four years as manager, Lennon helped to the club to three league titles and two Scottish Cups as manager.

Despite that, he admitted he did not assume a permanent offer would come on the back of adding another two trophies to that haul this season.

"I never expected to be offered the job," he said. "My remit from day one was to win the league and then if we win the cup we get two trophies and that's great.

"At no time did the board swerve from that.

"We tried our best to maintain the standards Brendan had set over the last couple of years."

'The perfect candidate'

Lawwell said "there's no better candidate" after Lennon was offered the job within an hour of full-time at Hampden.

He said: "Neil, in our moment of need, stood up to the plate. Over the next few days, we will work out the details.

"We're absolutely delighted. Fantastic day, fantastic achievement - probably never to be repeated.

"At this point, in terms of looking at the squad, there's nobody that I've worked with who's got a better eye for a player. It's better to do that [offer him the job] tonight to just kill the speculation."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has offered Neil Lennon the manager's job on a permanent basis

'We all found out on Twitter'

Celtic captain Scott Brown was originally interviewed post-match giving his backing to Lennon being offered the job.

After news eventually found Brown, he said: "It's phenomenal. It can't get much better.

"We all found out on Twitter and all the lads are diving about in the changing room. We went out, got the gaffer and brought him back in. The cheer for the manager to get the job - it was phenomenal. He deserves it. It has been a hard one since he came in but he's the only man in my eyes for the job.

"He has had to win two trophies and yet again he has shown that he knows how to win trophies. He's a fantastic man manager and he's been fantastic since he came in. He speaks well and every single one in that changing room loves him."


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48410860

England women 2-0 Denmark women: Nikita Parris & Jill Scott give Lionesses friendly win

Highlights: England 2-0 Denmark

England recovered from a shaky start in each half to beat Euro 2017 finalists Denmark in their penultimate friendly before the Women's World Cup.

A stuttering performance was punctuated by a 12th England goal from Nikita Parris on the stroke of half-time.

Jill Scott then marked her captain's role with a second-half header to put England in control.

The Lionesses, who at times struggled to retain possession in midfield, had a couple of scares as Sanne Troelsgaard had a shot blocked by Jade Moore and Karen Bardsley saved from Pernille Harder.

But once Georgia Stanway and Scott pushed further forward from midfield, they helped create chances for Phil Neville's side, who face New Zealand in their final friendly next Saturday before their opening World Cup game against Scotland in Nice on 9 June.

Stanway was one of England's better players, while Parris showed the kind of ruthlessness that has secured a move from Manchester City to European champions Lyon earlier this week.

However, on a bobbly and dry pitch in front of 8,273 fans at Walsall's Banks's Stadium, England showed there is still room for improvement if they are to be considered as one of the favourites to win the tournament in France.

England still have teething problems

Neville said before the game that he would use this match or the New Zealand one to name his strongest team for England's World Cup opener against Scotland.

On the basis of this selection, that is likely to come next weekend because Lucy Bronze and Toni Duggan were both rested after their Champions League exploits last weekend.

The Danes found holes in England's defence as Neville's team - who spent time with the Royal Marines to prepare for this match - also struggled for cohesion going forward.

Part of the problem seemed to be another slow start, which also occurred in their last friendly against Spain, and a 4-3-3 formation which offered a lack of support to Ellen White from central midfield.

With Stanway and Scott playing in front of a deeper Jade Moore, there was plenty of space behind White to exploit. And once the Manchester City pair pushed further forward, they began to create chances.

Scott's surging run set up White - now also of City - but she could only stab wide, before Scott poked over from Stanway's clipped pass.

Behind them, Reading's Moore, who has been injured for a large part of the season, struggled to retain possession as she was preferred to Kiera Walsh of Manchester City.

Denmark, who failed to qualify for the World Cup and are ranked 17th in the world, also had a goal ruled out for handball when it appeared to strike Signe Bruun's shoulder.

But Parris' strike and Scott's header, which came from a fine break forward from Stanway, showed the hosts can pierce a stubborn defence when the players combine well.

Who advanced their claims for World Cup start?

Despite their problems, there were positives for England, who once again showed they can win games despite not playing at their best.

The SheBelieves Cup winners, ranked third in the world, have suffered home friendly defeats by Sweden and Canada in recent months, but with the likes of Bronze, Duggan and captain Steph Houghton missing, stronger personnel are likely to be included once they begin their World Cup campaign.

Parris' strike, in an otherwise quiet game, was top class, while Stanway showed she can be a driving force from midfield with some clever runs and approach play, including for Scott's goal.

Fran Kirby, who came on as a substitute after missing last month's friendlies against Canada and Spain, also showed touches of her quality and is likely to fill the number 10 position should Neville choose that formation.

On her 135th cap, Scott also demonstrated why she is one of the mainstays of England's team with another energetic performance, while Bardsley cemented her position as the Lionesses' number one with some decent stops.

Player of the match: Jill Scott (England)

A performance brimming with energy and endeavour capped by a fine headed goal. England may have struggled for rhythm but Jill Scott's work-rate did not drop.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48367024