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Westwood urges fans to stop online abuse

Last Updated: 17/02/20 2:31pm

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has urged supporters to stop online abuse towards him

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has urged supporters to stop online abuse towards him

Sheffield Wednesday's Keiren Westwood has pleaded with fans to halt their campaign of online abuse aimed at the out-of-favour goalkeeper.

Westwood, 35, has not featured for the Sky Bet Championship side since November, prompting rumours of a bust-up with boss Garry Monk.

In an emotional statement posted on Twitter, Westwood, who referenced the game's recent bid to promote mental health awareness, has called for the 'trolling' to stop and denied he had fallen out with his manager.

Westwood said: "With all the rumours, lies and accusations being said about me online, I feel obliged to clear my name and defend myself.

"I feel personally it's becoming too much to handle and it is getting out of control.

"The manager and I have not fallen out. We had a conversation man to man and it was fine.

"I'm very experienced to know these things happen in football and it's never anything personal.

"We had a good conversation, shook hands and left on good terms. I'm too far into my career to fall out with people."

Westwood began the season as first choice under Monk, who was appointed as Steve Bruce's successor in September, but played his last game in a 2-1 defeat at West Brom at the end of November with Cameron Dawson taking over between the posts.

"I know football inside out and I know a week is a lifetime in this world, so the hostility and animosity isn't something I'm interested in having in my life," Westwood said.

"There were no arguments or bad attitudes and definitely none of the rumours being banded about have occurred.

"The manager has made a decision, which I fully accept and respect and have done since the moment it was made."

2:12 Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading

The former Carlisle and Coventry goalkeeper appeared to suggest that his spell at Hillsborough was coming to an end.

He said: "After six years at this wonderful club, I reflect on my time here with great pride, having played 179 matches, twice being player of the year, twice equalling the clean sheet record and making it into the PFA team of the year.

"I will also look back with great fondness and affection to the love that has been afforded to me by the club, the managers, (owner) Mr Chansiri and his family, all the staff and my team-mates."

Wednesday appeared to be mounting a play-off challenge before Christmas but are now 12th in the table, nine points off the top six, after Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Reading left them with one win in their last 10 league matches.

Super 6: Return of the Champions League

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the Super 6 jackpot for the sixth time this season on Tuesday.


This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11936509/keiren-westwood-sheffield-wednesday-goalkeeper-urges-fans-to-stop-out-of-control-online-abuse

Three more EFL games live on Sky

Last Updated: 17/02/20 2:11pm

Sky Sports have announced three more EFL games to be shown live in March.

Latest EFL fixtures announced to be shown live on Sky Sports

Date Fixture Kick-off time
Sat March 21 QPR vs Fulham 12.30pm
Sun March 22 Nottingham Forest vs Bristol City 3pm
Mon March 23 Plymouth vs Exeter 7.45pm

On Saturday March 21, promotion-chasing Fulham go across west London to face QPR in the Championship (Kick-off 12.30pm), while fellow promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest host Bristol City the following day at 3pm, with both sides looking for a spot in the Premier League next season.

And on Monday March 23, it's a battle of two of the top sides in League Two as Plymouth host Exeter at 7.45pm. All three games will be shown live on Sky Sports Football.

Every announced EFL game live on Sky so far...

February

Fri 21: Derby County vs Fulham, 7.45pm

Sat 22: Brentford vs Blackburn Rovers, 12.30pm

Tues 25: Cardiff vs Nottingham Forest, 7.45pm

Wed 26: Millwall vs Birmingham, 7.45pm; Middlesbrough vs Leeds, 7.45pm

Sat 29: Hull vs Leeds, 12.30pm

March

Sun 1: Coventry, vs Sunderland, 12pm

Mon 2: Middlesbrough vs Nottingham Forest, 7.45pm

Fri 6: Nottingham Forest vs Millwall, 7.45pm

Sat 7: Bristol City vs Fulham, 12.30pm

Fri 13: Fulham vs Brentford, 7.45pm

Sat 14: West Brom vs Birmingham, 12.30pm

Tues 17: Brentford vs West Brom, 7.45pm

Wed 18: Leeds vs Fulham, 7.45pm; Nottingham Forest vs Huddersfield, 7.45pm

Sat 21: QPR vs Fulham, 12.30pm*

Sun 22: Nottingham Forest vs Bristol City, 3pm*

Mon 23: Plymouth Argyle v Exeter City, 7.45pm*

*Latest fixtures announced

Super 6: Return of the Champions League

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the Super 6 jackpot for the sixth time this season on Tuesday.


This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11936402/efl-live-on-sky-sports-three-new-fixtures-announced-in-march

EFL Podcast: Lolley’s Forest promotion dream

Listen to a new episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast released every Monday

Last Updated: 17/02/20 2:35pm

Listen to the new Sky Sports EFL Podcast, as we look back on another frantic weekend of action from the Championship, League One and League Two, Joe Lolley tells us his dream of helping Nottingham Forest to promotion, and Charlton's Jonny Williams takes Ten To Tackle.

On this week's Sky Sports EFL Podcast, we assess all the major talking points from the Championship as Leeds bounced back, Fulham were humbled and West Brom were held by Nottingham Forest.

Forest midfielder Joe Lolley then discusses his ambitions to help the club win promotion, before attention turns to League One and League Two - including the latest managerial comings and goings after Simon Grayson was sacked by Blackpool and Graham Westley left Stevenage.

We round things off with Jonny Williams taking Ten To Tackle, as the Charlton midfielder reveals all.

All that and much, much more!

You can subscribe via the links above, or via your regular podcast provider if you search for 'Sky EFL'.

Super 6: Return of the Champions League

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the Super 6 jackpot for the sixth time this season on Tuesday.


This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11936340/sky-sports-efl-podcast-joe-lolleys-nottingham-forest-promotion-dream-jonny-williams-takes-ten-to-tackle

Ramage sacked after ‘unacceptable’ remarks

Last Updated: 16/02/20 11:55pm

Max Lowe criticised the comments made by former Derby player Craig Ramage

Max Lowe criticised the comments made by former Derby player Craig Ramage

Former Derby player Craig Ramage has been sacked by the BBC following "entirely unacceptable" comments he made about the club's black players.

Ex-Derby midfielder Ramage criticised the club's "young black lads" and claimed they needed "pulling down a peg or two" after the Rams drew 1-1 against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Speaking on BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene Podcast, Ramage said: "When I look over and I look at certain players, their body language, their stance, the way they act, you just feel, 'whoa, hold on a minute - he needs pulling down a peg or two'.

"So I'd probably say that about all the young black lads."

Derby left-back Max Lowe spoke out on social media against the comments made by radio pundit Ramage, which were later removed from the podcast.

A BBC spokesperson said: "These were entirely unacceptable comments and we will no longer be working with Craig."

Derby earlier issued a statement condemning the remarks made by their former player and said they "stand shoulder to shoulder, together as one with all our players".

It read: "Derby County Football Club is aware of comments made by a BBC employee after yesterday's game against Huddersfield Town, directed specifically at a section of our young players.

"We have been in contact with the BBC throughout the day and underline that we do not in any way condone any form of discrimination.

"We take comments like these extremely seriously, we do not tolerate them, and stand shoulder to shoulder, together as one with all our players."

Ramage issued a "heartfelt apology" for his "wholly inappropriate" words on Sunday evening.

Ramage posted on Twitter: "I wish to apologise unreservedly for a comment that I made after yesterday's game. What I said was wholly inappropriate and unintentional. Race is irrelevant to the issues that I was discussing and I deeply regret what I said. I sincerely hope that the players accept my apology.

"I would like to reiterate my heartfelt apology not only to the players but also the fans that have listened to me over the past seven years and also to those that followed me throughout my career. I would like to reinforce that this error in no way reflects my personal views."

Lowe, who was an unused substitute against Huddersfield, wrote on Instagram: "As a young black footballer making my way in the game, I was shocked by comments made by one of the analysts on BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene programme after our 1-1 draw with Huddersfield.

"With the support from people I have around me - and after reading today that Raheem Sterling is to spearhead an anti-racism and anti-discrimination taskforce on behalf of players from all backgrounds - I have decided to speak out on behalf of black footballers at Derby County.

"Racial ignorance, stereotyping and intolerance negatively affects the image of impressionable young footballers and creates an unnecessary divide in society.

"I am also disappointed that a public service broadcaster did not step in to ask the analyst to explain his reasoning, or to distance themselves from these archaic thoughts.

"This was broadcast at the same time BBC Derby is promoting a 27-minute feature with former Rams defender Charlie Palmer about the difficulties he faced a as a young black footballer in the 1980s.

"As a professional footballer at an ambitious, high-profile Championship club I know that my performances will be scrutinised and I have no problem with that whatsoever - but I do not think it is acceptable for myself and my team-mate Jayden Bogle to be judged by the colour of our skin.

"Thank you for taking your time reading this - in a world where you can be anything, be kind."


This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11936046/ex-derby-player-craig-ramage-sacked-by-bbc-after-unacceptable-comments

Derby condemn ex-player Ramage remarks

Last Updated: 16/02/20 8:18pm

Max Lowe criticised the comments made by former Derby defender Craig Ramage

Max Lowe criticised the comments made by former Derby defender Craig Ramage

Derby have issued a statement condemning alleged discriminatory remarks made by their former player Craig Ramage towards a "section of our young players".

Derby left-back Max Lowe spoke out on social media against the comments made by Ramage during BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene show, which were later removed from a podcast.

A BBC spokesperson told Sky Sports: "These comments were completely unacceptable and have been removed.

"We are investigating how they were included in this podcast."

Derby's statement said they "stand shoulder to shoulder, together as one with all our players".

It read: "Derby County Football Club is aware of comments made by a BBC employee after yesterday's game against Huddersfield Town, directed specifically at a section of our young players.

"We have been in contact with the BBC throughout the day and underline that we do not in any way condone any form of discrimination.

"We take comments like these extremely seriously, we do not tolerate them, and stand shoulder to shoulder, together as one with all our players."

Earlier, Lowe, who was an unused substitute against Huddersfield, wrote on Instagram: "As a young black footballer making my way in the game, I was shocked by comments made by one of the analysts on BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene programme after our 1-1 draw with Huddersfield.

"With the support from people I have around me - and after reading today that Raheem Sterling is to spearhead an anti-racism and anti-discrimination taskforce on behalf of players from all backgrounds - I have decided to speak out on behalf of black footballers at Derby County.

"Racial ignorance, stereotyping and intolerance negatively affects the image of impressionable young footballers and creates an unnecessary divide in society.

"I am also disappointed that a public service broadcaster did not step in to ask the analyst to explain his reasoning, or to distance themselves from these archaic thoughts.

"This was broadcast at the same time BBC Derby is promoting a 27-minute feature with former Rams defender Charlie Palmer about the difficulties he faced a as a young black footballer in the 1980s.

"As a professional footballer at an ambitious, high-profile Championship club I know that my performances will be scrutinised and I have no problem with that whatsoever - but I do not think it is acceptable for myself and my team-mate Jayden Bogle to be judged by the colour of our skin.

"Thank you for taking your time reading this - in a world where you can be anything, be kind."


This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11936046/derby-condemn-ex-player-craig-ramages-comments-towards-young-players