Pardew: Forget about Newcastle link

first_img Press Association “We’re going there in great form. The stadium will be wary of us, the 11 players on the pitch,” Pardew said. “Irrespective of my reception, it’s about the 11 players on the pitch and Sunderland fans know that we’re in really good form. “The group is on a high. We have a different type of game this Saturday and we need to make the adjustment quickly.” Pardew arrived at Selhurst Park in January with top-flight survival the target. Performances and results have surpassed expectations, but Pardew insists the Eagles must stick to the characteristics which have seen them soar to 11th place in the table. “It is now about trying to keep our professionalism and keep on the process of what’s been winning us games,” Pardew added. “We haven’t set an outcome target, in terms of points we’re going to get, but we have talked about the standards that we’ve set and that we need to maintain those. “If we maintain them, then our position might surprise a few. “We’re three points away from the top 10 so of course it is (a realistic target).” Pardew believes Palace players will be viewed in a more favourable light when it comes to international honours. He said: “All our players are going to be looked at in a kinder manner, or through a different lens to how they’ve been looked at – and so they should be. “Our form is as good as the top three or four clubs in the country and therefore they should receive the plaudits for what they’re doing. That would be only what they deserve.” Mile Jedinak could come straight in after his four-game suspension as midfielder Joe Ledley is a doubt with a hip injury. Pardew added: “Joe Ledley’s got a slight strain and we’ll have to monitor that. “He’s been exceptional since I’ve been here, so we’ll give him every opportunity to play.” Pardew, after four years as Newcastle boss, knows Sunderland well and was not surprised the Black Cats turned to former Rangers and Holland boss Dick Advocaat. “I think it was a great move for them to have someone of his experience at this time and he’s proving that,” Pardew added. “It’s fair to say they’ve gone a little bit more direct, a little bit more positive. “They have some good players and it’s always a difficult place to go. “I don’t think we’re under an illusions. It’s a team coming off the back of a great victory (beating Newcastle 1-0) and they will be buoyed for our game.” Alan Pardew says Sunderland should be more concerned about his in-form Crystal Palace side than his past as Newcastle manager this Saturday. Palace beat Manchester City on Monday night and have ambitions of finishing in the Barclays Premier League’s top 10 this season. Pardew was the first Newcastle boss to suffer four successive defeats to Sunderland, who last weekend won a fifth Tyne-Wear derby in a row, but is now only thinking about Palace. last_img read more

Battling CAF giants hope home advantage can bring change of luck

first_imgEtoile are virtually unbeatable when the 30,000-seat Stade Olympique is packed so the matchday 1 loss to fellow Tunisians CS Sfaxien came as a shock.Enugu, hoping to become the first Nigerian winners of the 16-year-old competition, forced a matchday 2 draw at Sfaxien and will aim to take at least a point away from Sousse.Group CZambian contenders Nkana and Zesco will want to continue a trend of home victories in this section when they host Asante Kotoko of Ghana and Al Hilal of Sudan respectively.Captained by striker Walter Bwalya, Nkana aim to extend a 58-match record of never losing at home in a CAF competition since their 1983 debut.Hilal have appointed Tunisian Nabil al Kouki coach for a third time having sacked his compatriot, Irad Zafouri, after a matchday 2 loss at Nkana this month.Group DBottom-of-the-table Zamalek last won a CAF title 16 years ago and must secure maximum points against Petro in Alexandria to retain a realistic chance of reaching the knockout stage.The White Knights boast an impressive squad with several Egyptian stars, Tunisians Hamdi el Nagguez and Ferjani Sassi and Moroccans Khalid Boutaib and Hamid Ahaddad.But an untypically porous defence conceded four goals away to Gor Mahia of  Kenya, and a last-minute equaliser to surprise group leaders NA Hussein Dey of Algeria.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Raja Casablanca at CAF Confederation Cup.Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Misfiring CAF Confederation Cup top group seeds Etoile Sahel, Raja Casablanca and Zamalek will have home advantage Sunday when seeking their first mini-league victories.Etoile have won the African version of the UEFA Europa League twice, Raja are the trophy-holders and Zamalek can boast of nine CAF titles.But the north African trio have not made the expected impact since the four groups kicked off with Raja drawing twice and Etoile and Zamalek collecting just one point each.Raja play fellow Moroccans Renaissance Berkane in Group A on matchday 3, Etoile face in-form Enugu Rangers of Nigeria in Group B and Zamalek meet Petro Atletico of Angola in Group D.Zesco United of Zambia are the exception among the four top seeds having won their Group C opener, but they then lost their first away match.AFP Sport previews the third series of matches as the 16 contenders for eight quarter-finals places begin a hectic schedule of playing on four consecutive Sundays.Group ARecently hired Raja coach Patrice Carteron from France is under pressure as his side have won just one their last five qualifying and group matches, and that was by a solitary goal.The impressive home and away from that took Raja to success in the competition last year has deserted them and their leading scorer in Africa, two-goal Badr Banoun, is a centre-back.Hassania Agadir, the third Moroccan club in the section, host AS Otoho Oyo of Congo Brazzaville needing maximum points to get back into contention for a top-two finish.Group BEnugu are the only unbeaten side left in the Confederation Cup with six victories and two draws as they prepare to tackle Etoile in their Mediterranean fortress of Sousse.last_img read more

Kurtenbach: Derek Carr looked great in Week 4, but there’s one thing still holding him back

first_imgHis struggles in the … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceHeading into the Raiders’ Week 4 game with the Browns, I questioned if the Derek Carr’s early season struggles — or, more specifically, the mixed messages coming from Jon Gruden about his quarterback’s play — were an example of the to-be-expected growing pains of a new offense or a harbinger of bad things to come.Carr provided an emphatic answer to that question against Cleveland:last_img read more

Trevor Davis, Josh Jacobs keep Raiders on the run in win over Colts

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device. INDIANAPOLIS — Jon Gruden has been known to exaggerate to make a point, and wasn’t above doing so in the wake of a 31-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.One of the Raiders’ key plays was a 60-yard touchdown on a fly sweep by Trevor Davis, the wide receiver acquired less than two weeks ago from the Green Bay Packers. Gruden said the play was supposed to go to J.J. Nelson, the wide receiver who had tightness in his …last_img read more