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Brentford agree Norgaard deal

Last Updated: 26/05/19 2:41pm

Fiorentina's Christian Norgaard is joining Brentford

Fiorentina's Christian Norgaard is joining Brentford

Brentford have agreed a £2.8m deal with Fiorentina to sign Danish midfielder Christian Norgaard, Sky Sports News understands.

The 25-year-old signed for Brondby when current Brentford boss Thomas Frank was in charge at the Danish club in 2013.

Norgaard made the switch to Fiorentina last summer but the move to Italy has not worked out for him and he is set to resume working with Frank at Griffin Park.

The midfielder also had a spell at Hamburg earlier in this career.

He has represented Denmark at youth level, but is yet to earn a full cap for his country.

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When Redknapp met Lampard

4:11 Jamie Redknapp sat down with Frank Lampard ahead of Derby's Sky Bet Championship play-off final meeting with Aston Villa.

Jamie Redknapp sat down with Frank Lampard ahead of Derby's Sky Bet Championship play-off final meeting with Aston Villa.

It has been a roller coaster first season in management for Frank Lampard. Taking charge of Derby, he has led them to the play-off final at Wembley, where they will face Aston Villa on Monday for a spot in the Premier League.

Ahead of the game, which is live on Sky Sports Football from 2pm, he sat down with Sky Sports pundit and his cousin Jamie Redknapp at his favourite Italian restaurant in Derby. They discussed the final, his time in management, facing John Terry, his future and the infamous bar tab after they beat Leeds...

Redknapp: It has been an amazing first season. How do you reflect on how it has gone?

Lampard: It's hard to reflect because it feels like such a long time since I sat down with [the owner] Mel Morris and thought about taking the job.

To then go on and say yes, have pre-season, then all the ups and downs to get to the play-off final. There have been a million things. But I have to say I have enjoyed it, through all the tough moments it has been a great journey and we have got one more game to go.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Redknapp: When I look at you Frank, you had a career to die for. You could have been so comfortable doing media work and having a nice life! What made you go into the madhouse of management?

Lampard: I don't know! I suppose there is something within. I worked in the media like yourself for a year and I really enjoyed it. You travel, meet good people and you still feel like you're in the game to a degree. I loved that side of it but there was something in me that wanted to do this, and I didn't want to give it too long to take it on and end up regretting it.

When the opportunity did come it wasn't an easy answer to give because I knew my life was going to change for me and my family to a big degree. But I am delighted. It is a tough and consuming job but winning at Leeds like we did last week makes everything worthwhile.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Redknapp: You have worked with some of the best managers like Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and lots of England managers. But what kind of manager are you and what is your style?

Lampard: Right from the beginning with your dad, Harry, I suppose I try and take on bits from all the managers I had. But you have got to try and be yourself. I played under managers who were trying to be something and it was always quite transparent in the dressing room.

I try to be quite hands on. I don't want players to think: 'Oh, he can stand there and be a manager without getting on the training ground and being first in and last out'.

Me and my staff spend hours with video analysis trying to improve any small details daily that can make us better. Then at the end of it we can assess what we could have done better and what we might not have done right at the time. It is all part of a process.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Watch the full interview on Sky Sports Football ahead of the Championship play-off final at 1.45pm on Monday. It is also available right now On Demand.

Redknapp: My dad has gone on record to say you were the best trainer he ever worked with. Is that something you try to instill into your players to make sure they work and graft to get to the level you were at?

Lampard: Without a doubt, no matter what the player. Whether it's Mason Mount, who I think has a huge career ahead of him, or Richard Keogh, who has been an incredible captain for us. That was my first message and hopefully it has been my message every day.

People talk now about having a winning mentality and all that stuff, but it only comes with a day-to-day work ethic. I tried to play with that and get everything out of my career that I could every day, and that's what I want to see in my players.

I can't complain either with the squad I've got and the attitude they have shown from day one. We have made a lot of changes, some in personnel and a lot in how we want to play and that takes a lot of hours on the training ground. They have had to buy into it and what we have got back has been great. That is why we are in the play-off final.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Redknapp: Take us back to that first game, which probably feels like years ago now! I remember watching it on Sky Sports and seeing your emotion afterwards. You were done up so smart at the start and I was thinking you looked immaculate! Then by the end of it your tie was everywhere and you and Jody [Morris] were jumping up and down. Did that win at Reading make you realise that this is what you want?

Lampard: It really did. It does feel like such a long time ago! We touched on mistakes a bit earlier and I must admit after that game that I thought we'd cracked it! We were very average in the first half and okay in the second to get ourselves level, then we nicked it at the end.

Then I remember thinking it was great and we were top of the league, but only because we were the only team that had played! It was an amazing start, but it's needless to say that I have certainly been brought down to earth on numerous occasions since this season.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Redknapp: There have been a lot of highs, though. I remember going to Old Trafford and seeing you against your former mentor, if you like, Jose Mourinho. That win must have given you and your players a lot of confidence.

Lampard: For sure. To be able to do that at that level in that area was huge for our confidence. We didn't win on the back foot either, we won by controlling the game and playing really good football, with character and quality. It all started to lift for us after that game and it was a big deal for us to go there and win.

Redknapp: There was a moment where it looked like you might miss out on the play-offs, but you managed to dig in and get yourself in. Then you got drawn against what, at that point, must have felt like your nemesis in Leeds. How was that?

Lampard: It was really good. We celebrated well afterwards and everyone saw that! But the players deserved it because it was such a big deal for us. There was a lot on that game, there was the history of the two league matches and then 'Spygate', as it was called. That wasn't worth dwelling on to a point, but it was certainly something that added to how we felt about it.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

We knew the first leg would be tough and we were the underdogs. We played okay but they still had that feeling that they were a stronger team and could up the gears, while we couldn't quite catch them.

But the few days in between were huge for us. We changed the system, which isn't easy to do in that space of time, and there was a lot of work put in. But then you have to rely on those players to take it all on board, and they did. They played with an energy and a work ethic which made us really proud.

We felt Leeds felt they had won the tie to a degree after the first leg. I don't think Marcelo Bielsa felt that but I think the feeling around the club was that, and rightly so because they had beaten us three times. But we managed to turn it around with a lot of spirit and quality. The fans loved it and we celebrated with them.

Redknapp: And I've got to ask because everyone is talking about it. Did you really pay that bill?

Lampard: [Laughs]. Did you see my diet coke on it! Yeah, I did pay the bill for the lads. But I just want to say there were a lot of numbers there! We invited the media and a lot of people from the club. We spread those Jagerbombs out.

Redknapp: You have had some incredible moments at Wembley and won so many finals there with Chelsea. How will it feel to go back and walk out there as a manager this time?

Lampard: I can't wait. I'll be nervous, without a doubt, but I'm excited. I'm also delighted for the club and playing Aston Villa there is such a huge day out for both clubs and their fans. But we have a job to do.

I was fortunate enough to have good occasions there as a player, and I have had some bad days as well. But I hope I can enjoy the occasion. My main feeling going into finals is that I don't want us to leave anything out there, or have any regrets. That's what I'll say to the players, don't be sitting at home after thinking you've missed anything.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Redknapp: Talking about people you have trusted and played with... he was your captain, leader, legend. John Terry is going to be stood in the opposite dugout, so how weird is that going to be for you?

Lampard: It will be weird, but good. I want to say I respect Dean Smith because I know him well too, but John has done great. If we get beat I'll happily shake his hand because he has been a friend for a long time and is an incredible professional to play with. I was fortunate enough to have his ability and leadership with me for so long.

I wish him well, but not so much on Monday! But it will be with complete respect. We have texted a bit in the build-up, both saying we can't believe we are there. Afterwards we will sit down and have a good chat about it. And I am sure he will have a long, successful coaching and management career himself.

Redknapp: Compared to all the accolades and medals and success you've had as a player, what would it mean to get promotion?

Lampard: Beating Leeds was amazing and that was just getting to the final! The one thing I always remember when I drove to the city for the first time after taking the job was that it smelt of football. You drive down Brian Clough way, you see a one-club city and they are absolutely desperate for success.

They have been talking about 10 years here and the times they haven't made it, so if we were able to bring that to the city and get them back into the Premier League, in terms of achievement I can't even say how I would feel.

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Photo credit: Will Innes Smith

Redknapp: Joking aside now I obviously have to ask you, because everyone is talking about it, about your future. No matter what happens people will talk about Chelsea, so is it difficult dealing with the rumours right now?

Lampard: To be honest it hasn't been difficult really. I've not been paying a lot of attention to it. I'm aware of it obviously and I had some earlier in the season because, with my history with Chelsea, it is an obvious link to make.

I also don't mind as it means I must be doing something right, because Chelsea are a serious club. But in terms of how it makes me feel it changes nothing. We have a huge game and I want to make it absolutely clear that nothing has changed towards the amount of work we have done to prepare.

I have had so much support from Mel this season and I have so much respect from and for this club. Whatever happens on Monday I am going to sit down and look at how this club moves forward, because I have two years left on my contract.

Redknapp: I can't wait to come to the game. It is going to be a huge occasion and I'm so proud of you, mate. You've done so well. I wish you lots of success and thanks so much for spending this time with me.

All the ways to watch the play-off finals...

All three play-off finals will be live on Sky Sports Football.

A Villa vs Derby

May 27, 2019, 2:00pm

Live on

Sky Sports subscribers can also stream games via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app.

Non-subscribers can watch through NOW TV. A Sky Sports day pass is available for £8.99, a week pass for £14.99 or a month pass for £33.99. NOW TV can be streamed through a computer or apps.

If you can't watch live then you can also follow the action with our live blogs on www.skysports.com and the Sky Sports app, with in-game clips and highlights throughout the match.

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Leeds play down Qatari investment link

Last Updated: 26/05/19 10:46am

3:56 Sky Sports reporter Tim Thornton responds to reports that Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is considering selling a stake in the club to Qatar Sports Investment

Sky Sports reporter Tim Thornton responds to reports that Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is considering selling a stake in the club to Qatar Sports Investment

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani is planning for next season amid reports he may sell a stake to Qatar Sports Investments, Sky Sports News understands.

The Financial Times claimed on Saturday that QSI had entered talks to purchase a stake in the Sky Bet Championship club, in what would be their first venture into English football.

QSI are a state-based group led by Qatari businessman Nasser Al-Khelaifi and currently own French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is the president of French champions Paris Saint-Germain

Nasser Al-Khelaifi is the president of French champions Paris Saint-Germain

Italian businessman Radrizzani bought into Leeds in January 2017 before becoming the club's majority owner five months later after buying out compatriot Massimo Cellino.

Leeds missed out on promotion to the Premier League this season, despite registering their highest Championship points total since dropping out of the top-flight in 2004, after suffering defeat in their play-off semi-final tie against Derby.

5:33 Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg between Leeds and Derby

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg between Leeds and Derby

But Radrizzani's plans for next season are well underway and he revealed earlier this week that Leeds were preparing to make a decision on Marcelo Bielsa's future with their option to extend his contract expiring in the next week.

"I can say we have a chance to keep him," Radrizzani told talkSPORT.

"We'll see. The next few days will be decisive and we will make an announcement.

"We'll see in the next few days. We have an option until the end of the month.

"We are talking to him and we have few things to clarify but after that we will make our decision public soon."

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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

May 27, 2019, 2:00pm

Live on

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

Aston Villa vs Derby combined XI

Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham (left to right)

Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham (left to right)

If the Championship play-off semi-finals taught us anything it's that form is crucial. Leeds and West Brom finished third and fourth respectively in the regular season, but it was Derby and Aston Villa - each of whom lost just one of their last 12 league fixtures - that prevailed.

Dean Smith's side needed penalties to book a place in back-to-back Wembley finals, while the Rams came from behind to upset Marcelo Bielsa's heavily-fancied side at Elland Road.

Both sets of players will be full of confidence given their impressive records since the start of March, but who would make the best combined XI from the two teams? We asked WhoScored.com to run the numbers.

Latest Sky Bet odds

Check out all the latest EFL odds and more from Sky Bet here...

Goalkeeper: Kelle Roos (Derby) - 6.69 (average rating this season)

It's fair to say both play-off finalists have had their goalkeeping issues this season, with neither ending the season with the man one would have expected as first choice. Dutchman Roos has got the nod over the experienced former Villan Scott Carson in recent months and the results certainly justify that decision.

The Rams lost just three of the 16 league matches the 26-year-old started over the season, conceding only 0.88 goals per game. Roos also boasts the accolade of having made the most saves in a single game in a must-win match at Bristol City (11).

Right-back: Jayden Bogle (Derby) - 6.91

Having only turned 18 a week before the season began, Bogle was a mainstay under Frank Lampard in his first season in senior football. The full-back started 39 league matches over the course of the regular campaign, improving markedly as it wore on.

A tally of eight assists was the most of any defender in the division, with seven of those coming since the start of February - no other Championship player managed more in that time. With the teenager leading the way for tackles per game at Derby too (2.5), if his side aren't promoted there's a real chance that Bogle will still have the chance to play in the top flight next season.

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

Centre-back: Fikayo Tomori (Derby) - 6.91

With Lampard using his ties with Chelsea to great effect this season, the arrival of Fikayo Tomori on loan has been as important as any other at Pride Park. The 21-year-old England youth international started 43 matches over the regular season to forge an ever-improving partnership with the experienced Richard Keogh.

The youngster is the more proactive of the duo, using his pace and strength to step in with an impressive 3.7 tackles and interceptions per game combined. His tally of 96 for the season with regards to the former was the most of any centre-back in the Championship.

Centre-back: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) - 7.00

Aside from a night to forget away at Rotherham when he was sent off before half time, Mings has been a superb addition to the Villa backline and consistent performer at the heart of the defence. He has oozed confidence since his January arrival on loan from Bournemouth and solidified Dean Smith's side substantially.

Superb in the air in both boxes, the 26-year-old chipped in with two important goals in his 15 appearances prior to the play-offs, while his distribution from the back has also been valuable. Of outfielders to make at least 10 appearances over the season only Oliver Norwood averaged more accurate long balls per game (6.5).

Left-back: Neil Taylor (Aston Villa) - 6.64

With Scott Malone (6.81 rating) suspended, Taylor gets the spot at left-back by default but does deserve credit for reviving his Aston Villa career. When Alan Hutton was picked on his unfavoured left side ahead of the Welsh international it appeared as though the 30-year-old's first-team hopes were over. However, injury to the Scot has opened the door for Taylor and he has been very reliable since returning to the side.

Having been encouraged to get forward more under Smith the former Swansea man has offered a good outlet on the flank, chipping in with three assists. Villa lost just two of the last 23 matches in which Taylor featured in the regular season.

Central midfield: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) - 7.02

Perhaps the biggest decision Dean Smith has to make is which of his Irish midfield men starts at Wembley, with Hourihane competing for a place with the more conservative Glenn Whelan. There's no doubt whatsoever that the former would be the more attacking option, with his record in terms of goals and assists this season speaking for itself.

A stunning equaliser in the play-off semi-final with West Brom followed seven goals in the regular season, along with a further 11 assists. Perhaps crucially when it comes to Smith's important call, Hourihane scored three times against the Rams during the season and also ranks among the top 10 players in the league in terms of pass accuracy (87.3 per cent).

Central midfield: John McGinn (Aston Villa) - 7.26

Unquestionably one of the signings of the season in the Championship, it speaks volumes of the regard in which McGinn is held at the club that he picked up both the Players' and Fans' Player of the Season awards ahead of Jack Grealish. The Scotsman's tireless work ethic in the middle ground has been pivotal to Dean Smith's approach since taking the reigns, though the midfielder is far more than a mere workhorse.

With six goals and nine assists over the campaign, McGinn was effective in the final third and his style of play ensures that he is always in the thick of the action. That much is evidenced by the fact that he not only picked up 11 yellow cards during the season, but was the second-most fouled player in the division (111 times).

Central midfield: Mason Mount (Derby) - 6.96

While it wasn't always the easiest of seasons for Mount, who scored just once in 21 appearances for Derby between the end of September and end of March, his effect on the side was clear to see. The 20-year-old ended the regular season with four assists and eight goals and added another to the latter tally as Lampard's side completed a remarkable comeback at Leeds to book their place in the final.

His impact on results was huge over the campaign, with the Rams winning just three of the 11 matches that Mount missed and losing four - including both meetings with Villa ending in an aggregate scoreline of 7-0 to Smith's side. Mount's presence at Wembley will surely even the scales to a degree, with Derby scoring over double the number of goals per game with the 20-year-old (1.71) than without him (0.82).

Attacking midfield: Harry Wilson (Derby) - 7.03

Derby's top scorer in the league by a distance, netting 15 times in the regular season and once more from the spot in the semi-final win at Leeds, Wilson is the side's biggest match-winner. His goals and assists combined helped Derby to 13 additional points over the season and his ability to conjure something from nothing will make the Wales international a huge threat.

No player scored more goals from outside the box than the Liverpool loanee (7) during the campaign, and his ability to play anywhere in the attacking third was a real asset to Lampard.

Attacking midfield: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) - 7.46

Having earned the man-of-the-match award in last season's play-off final only to end up heartbroken, Villa's new captain and idol of every young fan of the club will be hoping to go one better. There's little doubt that the spotlight and in turn pressure will be on him to fire the club back into the top flight, and as such Grealish can expect the same treatment he received from Fulham last year and throughout the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign.

The 23-year-old has been fouled 47 times more than any other Championship player despite missing 15 matches through injury, but since returning from said setback he has been superb. Grealish made his comeback against Derby with a stunning goal in a 4-0 win that set Villa on a 10-match winning streak that made all of this possible and has 12 goals and assists combined (six apiece) in his last 18 appearances. His impact on results is unrivalled as a result, with the team earning just three of their 20 wins over the regular season in his absence.

Striker: Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa) - 7.32

While the likes of Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn have enjoyed decent spells over the season, in truth there is no contest for the spot up front. With 25 goals over the season and another from the penalty spot in the semi-finals, Abraham has scored more goals than Derby's three strikers combined (20).

That's despite missing the first month of the season having only arrived on loan from Chelsea on deadline day in the summer - the third Blues youngster in this XI - averaging more shots on target per game (1.6) than any other Championship player.

All the ways to watch the play-off finals...

All three play-off finals will be live on Sky Sports Football.

A Villa vs Derby

May 27, 2019, 2:00pm

Live on

Sky Sports subscribers can also stream games via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app.

Non-subscribers can watch through NOW TV. A Sky Sports day pass is available for £8.99, a week pass for £14.99 or a month pass for £33.99. NOW TV can be streamed through a computer or apps.

If you can't watch live then you can also follow the action with our live blogs on www.skysports.com and the Sky Sports app, with in-game clips and highlights throughout the match.

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11726899/aston-villa-vs-derby-combined-xi-sky-bet-championship-play-off-finalists-compared