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Cowley denies Sheff Wed talks

Last Updated: 06/09/19 7:58am

Lincoln boss Danny Cowley has denied he has held talks with Sheffield Wednesday.

The 40-year-old, who did recently admit to discussions with Huddersfield after the clubs agreed compensation, admitted to being frustrated at the ongoing speculation linking him with a move to Hillsborough.

"It would be nice to put it behind me if I can, but you guys always seem to know more than I do," he told a press conference on Thursday.

"We have already spoken about Huddersfield. There has been no contact from Sheffield Wednesday.

"I can't control what people say or write. All I can do is control where my focus lies and that's fully on the game ahead against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday."

Huddersfield are on the hunt for a new boss after sacking Jan Siewert four games into the season, while the Owls are looking for a new manager after Steve Bruce quit to join Newcastle in mid-July.

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Cowley has become a candidate for jobs in higher divisions after more than three successful years at Sincil Bank, which has included returning the Imps to the English Football League in 2017 and then promotion to League One as League Two champions last season.


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SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11803314/lincoln-boss-danny-cowley-denies-holding-sheffield-wednesday-talks

Women’s Super League: Crowd records set to be smashed as WSL returns

Women's Super League: Five World Cup stars to look out for in WSL

Attendance records for the Women's Super League are set to be smashed as England's top clubs return to league action for the first time since the World Cup.

Matches at Etihad Stadium, Stamford Bridge and Ashton Gate will headline the opening weekend, as the women's game bids to build momentum after the interest in this summer's tournament in France.

More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for Manchester City and newly promoted Manchester United's first WSL meeting, played at City men's home on Saturday [15:00 BST].

The existing record crowd for a WSL fixture is the 5,265 that saw Arsenal clinch last season's title at Brighton's Amex Stadium in April.

However, on Sunday, a near-capacity crowd is anticipated at Premier League side Chelsea's 41,000-seater Stamford Bridge stadium, where the Blues host WSL newcomers Tottenham at 12:30, in a game live on BBC television.

Bristol City are also playing at their male affiliates' usual home ground on Saturday, when they face former England boss Hope Powell's Brighton side.

Clubs 'must not miss crucial window to push on'

In July, an audience of 11.7 million watched England's World Cup semi-final loss to the United States, while a record-breaking 28.1 million people watched BBC coverage of the tournament on television and online.

Following that interest, the Football Association - which runs the WSL - has targeted September's men's international break in a bid to maximise interest in Saturday and Sunday's opening games of the top-flight season in England.

"It's a crucial time. If we step back now and don't push on, we'll lose that window to really push forward in the women's game and get the attraction," said Chelsea and England defender Millie Bright.

"Off the back of the World Cup, now is the time to keep people invested in the game - not just at national level, but at club level - and keep people coming and watching.

"It's about getting people to come to the games, actually experience it, see how good the football is and see that it is a different game to the men's.

"You could end up falling in love with the women's game."

Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea finished were the top three in last season's table. In an 11-team division, overall league attendances averaged less than 1,000.

Arsenal seal WSL title with 4-0 win at Brighton

Man Utd and Spurs arrive at the top table

This season there are 12 teams in the top flight. Manchester United and Tottenham were promoted from the Championship, while Yeovil Town were relegated to the second tier.

That makes the division the largest it has been so far in the era of the WSL, which began in 2011 after a breakaway from the previous structure.

United, managed by Casey Stoney, are competing in only their second season since reforming their senior women's side in 2018, after a 13-year absence.

The two promoted clubs' arrivals takes the number of WSL clubs affiliated to a men's Premier League side to nine, with three - Birmingham City, Bristol City and Reading - linked to Championship teams.

The 2019-20 season is also the first with the WSL sponsored by Barclays, after its investment in excess of £10m was agreed in March.

Who are the biggest new signings?

Manchester United's new midfielder Jackie Groenen scored in the Netherlands' World Cup semi-final

Some star names have left British shores this summer, with England winger Nikita Parris and left-back Alex Greenwood both signing for French giants Lyon from Manchester City and United respectively.

Nevertheless, WSL clubs have attracted several international stars to the league during the transfer window, which closed on Thursday.

The Netherlands' Jackie Groenen is among the Red Devils' new players, as well as Scotland striker Jane Ross and Lionesses goalkeeper Mary Earps.

Defending champions Arsenal have added further international experience with Germany defender Leonie Maier, as well as signing Manchester City's Scotland centre-back Jen Beattie.

Everton also had a busy window, bringing in France's Maeva Clemaron as well as Lucy Graham, Bristol City's top scorer last season.

Ellen White, England's star striker at the World Cup, moved from Birmingham City to Manchester City, but a knee injury means she will miss the start of the new campaign.

Watch: How well does McManus know Man Utd?

Details of the BBC's coverage

This season, BBC Sport will continue to show one live game from every round of WSL matches, starting with Chelsea and Tottenham's meeting at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

That match will be live on the BBC iPlayer, the Red Button and online, and then highlights of each round will follow with the Women's Football Show on Sunday nights.

Highlights from every WSL match will then also be available on the BBC Sport website and app, plus the BBC will deliver selected live radio and text commentaries throughout the season.

Sunday's Women's Football Show will be available to watch at the earlier time of 19:00 on BBC Four and the BBC iPlayer initially, followed by a second broadcast live on BBC One, usually immediately after Match of the Day 2.

The BBC's TV coverage of the Lionesses also continues, with the home friendlies against Brazil on Saturday, 5 October and Germany on Saturday, 9 November both live on BBC One.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49599842

Women’s Super League: Crowd records set to be smashed as WSL returns

Women's Super League: Five World Cup stars to look out for in WSL

Attendance records for the Women's Super League are set to be smashed as England's top clubs return to league action for the first time since the World Cup.

Matches at Etihad Stadium, Stamford Bridge and Ashton Gate will headline the opening weekend, as the women's game bids to build momentum after the interest in this summer's tournament in France.

More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for Manchester City and newly promoted Manchester United's first WSL meeting, played at City men's home on Saturday [15:00 BST].

The existing record crowd for a WSL fixture is the 5,265 that saw Arsenal clinch last season's title at Brighton's Amex Stadium in April.

However, on Sunday, a near-capacity crowd is anticipated at Premier League side Chelsea's 41,000-seater Stamford Bridge stadium, where the Blues host WSL newcomers Tottenham at 12:30, in a game live on BBC television.

Bristol City are also playing at their male affiliates' usual home ground on Saturday, when they face former England boss Hope Powell's Brighton side.

Clubs 'must not miss crucial window to push on'

In July, an audience of 11.7 million watched England's World Cup semi-final loss to the United States, while a record-breaking 28.1 million people watched BBC coverage of the tournament on television and online.

Following that interest, the Football Association - which runs the WSL - has targeted September's men's international break in a bid to maximise interest in Saturday and Sunday's opening games of the top-flight season in England.

"It's a crucial time. If we step back now and don't push on, we'll lose that window to really push forward in the women's game and get the attraction," said Chelsea and England defender Millie Bright.

"Off the back of the World Cup, now is the time to keep people invested in the game - not just at national level, but at club level - and keep people coming and watching.

"It's about getting people to come to the games, actually experience it, see how good the football is and see that it is a different game to the men's.

"You could end up falling in love with the women's game."

Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea finished were the top three in last season's table. In an 11-team division, overall league attendances averaged less than 1,000.

Arsenal seal WSL title with 4-0 win at Brighton

Man Utd and Spurs arrive at the top table

This season there are 12 teams in the top flight. Manchester United and Tottenham were promoted from the Championship, while Yeovil Town were relegated to the second tier.

That makes the division the largest it has been so far in the era of the WSL, which began in 2011 after a breakaway from the previous structure.

United, managed by Casey Stoney, are competing in only their second season since reforming their senior women's side in 2018, after a 13-year absence.

The two promoted clubs' arrivals takes the number of WSL clubs affiliated to a men's Premier League side to nine, with three - Birmingham City, Bristol City and Reading - linked to Championship teams.

The 2019-20 season is also the first with the WSL sponsored by Barclays, after its investment in excess of £10m was agreed in March.

Who are the biggest new signings?

Manchester United's new midfielder Jackie Groenen scored in the Netherlands' World Cup semi-final

Some star names have left British shores this summer, with England winger Nikita Parris and left-back Alex Greenwood both signing for French giants Lyon from Manchester City and United respectively.

Nevertheless, WSL clubs have attracted several international stars to the league during the transfer window, which closed on Thursday.

The Netherlands' Jackie Groenen is among the Red Devils' new players, as well as Scotland striker Jane Ross and Lionesses goalkeeper Mary Earps.

Defending champions Arsenal have added further international experience with Germany defender Leonie Maier, as well as signing Manchester City's Scotland centre-back Jen Beattie.

Everton also had a busy window, bringing in France's Maeva Clemaron as well as Lucy Graham, Bristol City's top scorer last season.

Ellen White, England's star striker at the World Cup, moved from Birmingham City to Manchester City, but a knee injury means she will miss the start of the new campaign.

Watch: How well does McManus know Man Utd?

Details of the BBC's coverage

This season, BBC Sport will continue to show one live game from every round of WSL matches, starting with Chelsea and Tottenham's meeting at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

That match will be live on the BBC iPlayer, the Red Button and online, and then highlights of each round will follow with the Women's Football Show on Sunday nights.

Highlights from every WSL match will then also be available on the BBC Sport website and app, plus the BBC will deliver selected live radio and text commentaries throughout the season.

Sunday's Women's Football Show will be available to watch at the earlier time of 19:00 on BBC Four and the BBC iPlayer initially, followed by a second broadcast live on BBC One, usually immediately after Match of the Day 2.

The BBC's TV coverage of the Lionesses also continues, with the home friendlies against Brazil on Saturday, 5 October and Germany on Saturday, 9 November both live on BBC One.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49599842

Euro 2020 qualifiers: Republic of Ireland rescue Switzerland point

David McGoldrick's equaliser was his first goal for the Republic of Ireland in his 11th cap

David McGoldrick's late header secured a crucial draw against Switzerland in Dublin to keep the Republic of Ireland unbeaten in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The Swiss dominated and deservedly led when Fabian Schar scored to cap off a good passing move.

But - as they did in Denmark - Mick McCarthy's side fought back.

Glenn Whelan hit the bar from long range and moments later McGoldrick headed home from James McClean's deflected cross to save a point.

Group D is a three-way battle between the Republic, Denmark and Switzerland for two qualifying spots. All three games between those sides so far have ended in draws.

The Irish are three points clear of Denmark, who beat Gibraltar 6-0, with Switzerland another three points back - but both those sides have games in hand.

The Irish do it again

Just like before the Republic's game in Denmark, McCarthy - who remains unbeaten in his second spell in charge - said he would take a draw.

Just like that game, the Irish fell behind with about 15 minutes to go. And, just like in Copenhagen, they found an 85th-minute equaliser.

In truth, they were fortunate against a side ranked 11th in the world, who reached this summer's Nations League finals.

Switzerland dominated possession and had plenty of chances to score with Denis Zakaria having a shot saved, Schar missing with several efforts from outside the box and Breel Embolo slipping as he was about to shoot from a glorious chance.

Enda Stevens, Seamus Coleman and Alan Judge all needed to pull off last-ditch blocks or headers - and the Irish had to switch formation in the first half to 3-5-2 to try to get a foothold in the game.

With Switzerland's 14th shot of the match, Schar broke the deadline as he swept home from Embolo's lay-off.

But, like Copenhagen away, the boys in green showed great character and rallied. Hearts midfielder Whelan, who has two goals in 86 caps, hit the crossbar with a powerful shot from 25 yards.

Swiss manager Vladimir Petkovic said before the game that the Republic's style was "very unpleasant". And what happened next will have been extremely unpalatable to him.

The crossbar had barely stopped moving from Whelan's piledriver when McGoldrick leapt in the air to power home McClean's cross - only the Republic's second effort on target.

Can the Republic reach Euro 2020?

The Irish are bidding to reach a third European Championship in a row, having only ever qualified for one before 2012. Three Euro 2020 group games are in Dublin, which adds an extra incentive to qualify.

This is the first time they have remained unbeaten in their opening five European Championship qualifiers since the build-up to the 1996 tournament.

McCarthy's side are now three games away from playing in a major tournament finals in their homeland. The next Irish qualifier is away to Georgia, who are not in contention to qualify, on Saturday, 12 October (14:00 BST).

If the Irish win - and there is a winner in Denmark's home game against Switzerland that day - then McCarthy knows two draws in their final two games, in Geneva three days later and at home to Denmark on Monday, 18 November, will be enough.

The top two teams from each qualifying group go to Euro 2020, with the play-off places decided from last year's Nations League groups.

The Republic host Bulgaria in a friendly on Tuesday, with changes likely for McCarthy's first non-competitive game in charge.

'We had to keep tinkering with the system'

Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy told Sky Sports: "I am delighted. Switzerland are a very good side with good players. They showed that at times. They kept us penned in - I'm happy we kept going.

"We showed durability and the stoic nature Irish teams have shown during my time as a player and manager. We deserved it in the end.

"We started the second half really well. We had to keep tinkering with the system to stem the tide. When we got the goal, we went 4-4-2 and gung ho. James McClean was amazing and I'm thrilled for David McGoldrick.

"I had three midfielders in there who have played six games between them this season. Switzerland's midfield were very good but we stuck at it. The way we can eke out a result when it looks like it's gone [is impressive]. The noise when the goal went in pleased me more than anything, it was brilliant.

"We are better off now. It's another game down and we've taken points off the best two teams in this group. We've remained unbeaten."

Match stats

  • Switzerland have failed to win any of their past four matches (D3 L1), their longest winless run since four draws between November 2010 and June 2011
  • The Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in seven matches (W3 D4), their longest run since November 2014 to October 2015
  • Fabian Schar's opener for Switzerland was his eighth international goal, and his first since October 2016 in a World Cup qualifier against Andorra
  • Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick earned his 50th international cap, over six years after his debut against Poland back in February 2013


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49554774

Northern Ireland beat Luxembourg 1-0 thanks to first-half own goal

Conor McLaughlin and Seid Korac in action during the first half at Windsor Park

A calamitous own goal by Luxembourg defender Kevin Malget gave Northern Ireland a 1-0 win in a drab friendly.

Malget headed into his own net in the first half of a match that was livened up slightly after the break by the introduction of in-form Linfield striker Shayne Lavery.

Cardiff City defender Ciaron Brown, drafted in from the U21 squad, made his debut in an experimental NI line-up.

NI play Germany in a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier at Windsor Park on Monday.

The 1-0 victory stretches Northern Ireland's winning run to five matches after they won all of their four opening Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The home fans did their best to add some life to a friendly that started slowly and always had the look of a match that was being played by a home team that was selected by O'Neill with Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier in mind.

Alfie McCalmont and Ethan Galbraith, also promoted from Ian Baraclough's Under-21 squad, both came on in the second half for their senior international debuts, while captain Steven Davis also came on to equal Aaron Hughes' appearance record for outfield players.

Northern Ireland's goal came from the head of visiting defender Malget in the 37th minute from a Jordan Thompson corner.

George Saville headed it across goal from the back post and, when home keeper Anthony Moris punched clear under pressure from Tom Flanagan, Malget somehow contrived to find the top corner of his own net when trying to head clear.

Luxembourg players console Kevin Malget after he scored the decisive own goal in the first half

Whyte and Lavery liven up pedestrian performance

The goal came towards the end of a flat first half in which Northern Ireland's only real shining light was the industry and pace of Gavin Whyte down the right wing.

The Cardiff City wide man, who got a move to the Championship club in the summer after an impressive debut season with Oxford United, dropped deep at times to pick up the ball and run at his marker, although his runs failed to create any clear-cut chances.

Linfield striker Lavery got a warm welcome when he came off the bench to replace Kyle Lafferty in the 59th minute.

His barnstorming runs have lit up Windsor Park during Linfield's Europa League run and he was soon producing them in a green shirt, hitting the side netting with a shot from the first one before cleverly cutting the ball back to Thompson who blazed over the bar from a good position.

Brown busy on surprise debut

On a night when O'Neill was always expected to name an experimental side, nobody could have predicted young Cardiff City defender Ciaron Brown to start at centre-half.

The London-born defender was drafted into the senior squad from the Under-21 panel and lined up in the centre of the home defence alongside Tom Flanagan, who himself was winning only his second cap.

Brown delivered a fine long pass through to Josh Magennis early on, and won a flick-on in the opposition box that almost fell to the Hull City striker in front of goal, but he was also caught in possession a few times when he tried to take too much time on the ball.

Maurice Deville took it off him down the Luxembourg right and almost broke into the box, while the 21-year-old was also a bit over-ambitious when looking to spray long balls from the back.

Flanagan was alongside him in what must have been one of NI's most inexperienced centre-half pairings ever, with Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart left out of the squad with the Germany match on Monday in mind.

Thompson is one for now - O'Neill

Youngsters get chance as O'Neill uses squad

O'Neill made no secret ahead of kick-off of the fact that he was going to use this match to give as many of his squad players as much international experience as possible.

Donnelly and Lavery joined Flanagan in winning their second cap, while Jordan Thompson delivered a steady performance in the centre of the park on what was his third Northern Ireland appearance.

Midfielders George Saville and Corry Evans - who captained the side at home for the first time - played and will both be hoping for a starting place against Germany, while Conor McLaughlin filled in at right back for the injured Michael Smith.

It is five wins from five for O'Neill's men, whose preparations will now intensify as they prepare to welcome the Germans to Belfast on Monday when the starting line-up will have a very different look.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49505624