Pep Guardiola wants FA Cup replays scrapped

first_img The Manchester City manager said earlier this week that ditching the Carabao Cup would be a good way to ease fixture congestion. But he accepts that is not going to happen and instead would like to find ways to make the competitions better. Speaking at a press conference to preview Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Fulham, Guardiola said: “I’m not saying what the FA has to do. When I said my comment I never expected the Carabao Cup or FA Cup was going to go. “What is nice about this country is how you maintain the traditions. In traditions you can involve some new things to make the competitions nicer, but all the traditions are there, not just in sport but in culture and society and that is top. I admire that. The Carabao Cup and FA Cup will be played. “But maybe we could cancel the replays, have less teams in the Championship or Premier League. “I tried to be honest and answer the question but I don’t think about what they have to do, it’s not my business. Pep Guardiola insists he enjoys the FA Cup and its traditions but would like to see replays scrapped. “My business is to prepare my team better every day. “When they decide to play these games, and the other games, we do it.” City won both domestic cups last season and they will target them again with the Premier League title now out of reach. City are second in the table but trail runaway leaders Liverpool by 16 points. The Merseysiders are on target to break City’s record 100-point tally of two years ago. “It can happen. The records are always there to be broken. We broke it when someone thought it couldn’t be broken,” said Guardiola. read also:Guardiola names who to blame for Kane, Rashford injuries “Sooner or later it is going to happen – this season or in the future. History speaks clearly about that.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Loading…last_img read more

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Basketball prepares for key weekend

first_imgAfter completing their first road sweep in the Enfield era last weekend in Washington, the Trojans (20-4, 7-4) return home to begin their second go-around of Pac-12 play this week against Oregon State. Their seven remaining games include a stretch of three consecutive bouts versus top-10 opponents: No. 5 Oregon, at No. 10 UCLA and then at No. 9 Arizona. But first, the Trojans rematch with Oregon State University (4-20, 0-11) on Thursday night, only a month and a half after beating the Beavers by a final score of 70-63.The Trojans led that game by 17 at half but failed to put it out of reach until the final minutes. Their victory initiated an 11-game skid for OSU.Only a year ago, the Beavers secured a seven-seed in the NCAA Tournament on the back of standout senior Gary Payton II. Both the Beavers and the Trojans finished conference play at .500, but this year the teams have divergent fates. While the Beavers seek their first conference win of 2016-2017, the Trojans work toward their fifth-straight win. “The Pac-12 is great this year,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “We don’t take anything for granted. Our next game is against Oregon State. We’re focused on that and that only.” On the season the Beavers have four double-digit scorers, but only two of them, sophomore guard Stephen Thompson Jr. and forward Tres Tinkle, have averaged double figures in conference play. Granted, they average 35.5 points between them.On the other hand, USC has no clear top scorer, though Enfield suspects sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright can fill that role. Nevertheless, the Trojans have won many games by feeding the hot hand, supporting breakout performances such as freshman guard Jonah Mathew’s 26 points versus Wyoming, sophomore transfer guard Shaqquan Aaron’s 23 versus UCLA and sophomore forward Chimezie Metu’s 29 at Washington State.“Our offense has never really been around one person,” junior co-captain Jordan McLaughlin said. “It’s good for us that everybody can score at all times. If [the game] comes down the stretch, whoever has the hot hand can make our last shot.”Freshman guard De’Anthony Melton agreed.“I don’t think it really matters who starts the game,” Melton said. “Whoever comes to play that game gets to end the game, and we just feed off that.” Melton has developed as a scorer this season because the coaching staff has given him the greenlight to shoot. This past weekend he tied his career high 16 points at Washington.“The coaches have really trusted me with shooting the ball, so as long as I keep making the open shot … that’s the biggest thing for my development,” Melton said. “[Assistant coach] Tony Bland has often told me to take the open shot and take good shots, so that’s what I try to do.” The second time through the Pac-12, Melton thinks the team needs to improve its closing out games — something, of course, it struggled to do versus Oregon State.With the addition of Boatwright, an increased depth in the bench will help the Trojans to remain strong throughout the second half. But Melton believes that effort must come on both sides of the ball.“In the first half, we lost some tough ones,” Melton said. ”We have to clamp down on defense and take more pride in it.”The game tips off at 8 p.m. on Thursday night at the Galen Center.last_img read more

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