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Sunderland once lost a playoff final but still advanced

The Black Cats meet Wycombe in the League One play-off final at Wembley on Saturday in hopes of getting lucky for a seventh time and ending their perceived curse in the season-ending lottery (Author: Gardener)

WembleyThe Black Cats meet Wycombe in the League One play-off final at Wembley on Saturday, hoping to get lucky at the seventh time and rest their perceived curse in the season-ending lottery with Sunderland's Marco Gabbiadini (left). , racing for the ball Swindon Town's Colin Calderwood during the 1990 Second Division play-off final. Sunderland travel to Wembley this weekend with more hope than expectation. After all, the Black Cats are in their seventh attempt at the playoffs and are still looking for that elusive promotion through this delightfully entertaining, yet unnerving method. The penalty shootout loss after a vibrant 4-4 draw was sicker, as was the last-minute reversal against Charlton 21 years later when the Addicks caused more pain again this time with what was effectively the last shot of the game to eke out a 2-1 draw. to seal victory. However, another final heartache for the Wearsiders unexpectedly resulted in a positive. Back in 1990, Sunderland defeated arch-rivals Newcastle by two legs and booked a Wembley final against Swindon, who had beaten Blackburn. But the Black Cats just didn't show up; Alan McLoughlin's deflected goal just before the half-hour gave the Wiltshire side victory and a place in the top flight - or so they thought. They would be demoted from League One to League Three after their chairman, Gary Herbert, admitted to 36 charges over a five-year period, all but one of which involved illegal payments to players. Ex-boss Lou Macari was also fined £1,000 for betting his own side to lose a game, while then-manager Ossie Ardiles was also charged for allegedly selling £5,000 in dressing room cash bonuses had distributed. Swindon Town celebrated winning the Division Two play-off final in 1990 - but their joy did not last long as they were demoted over financial irregularities. The result for the Black Cats was an unlikely and unexpected respite. After much deliberation it was decided that Sunderland would be awarded the last place in the 1990-91 First Division. Others were unhappy with the decision, including Newcastle, who argued that their third-place finish should justify their promotion, while Sheffield Wednesday (who finished last in the top-flight relegation zone) wanted a reprieve. In the end, the decision was to hand the berth to the defeated Black Cats, while Swindon's demotion was halved on appeal and they remained as they were; a club in the second division. Dennis Smith's Sunderland were beaten in the 1990 play-off final but still rose through the ranks. While promotion has been an anomaly for Sunderland this year, they will be looking to buck a different trend on Saturday when they take on Wycombe in the League One game. from finals. A win, this time a legitimate one, would erase years of pain in the lottery at the end of the season. One of those who knows heartache all too well at Wembley is Sunderland icon Niall Quinn. The forward spent six years at Wearside and was part of that 1998 team for that fateful game against Charlton. And he sees great opportunities under the current manager Alex Neil, who was only appointed in February, to end the supposed Wembley curse. "Alex has brought a lot in the last two or three months," Quinn told Mirror Football. "I think the players go into this Wycombe game knowing they are at a different level than they were before he arrived. "The last play-off in 2019 gave me hope. Niall Quinn has praised the impact Alex Neil has had in the short time he has been manager of the club. Sunderland would eventually lift the Second Division title the following year before finishing an excellent seventh place in the Premier League in both 2000 and 2001. We wanted to come back stronger from day one next year.

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League One play-off rivals Wycombe Wanderers anger Sunderland with a 'Netflix Club' jibe

Ahead of this afternoon's Sky Bet League One play-off final, Wycombe Wanderers chairman Rob Couhig branded opponents Sunderland the "team that's a Netflix show". (Author: Gardener)

SunderlandWe've determined that there is a problem with your subscription billing information. Please update your billing information here. The subscription information associated with this account needs to be updated. Please update your billing information here to continue enjoying your subscription. Please update your billing details here to continue having access to the UK's most informative and respected journalism. Neil hinted Wycombe was a little overwrought ahead of the play-off final. Ahead of this afternoon's Sky Bet League One play-off final, Wycombe Wanderers chairman Rob Couhig branded opponents Sunderland as the "team that's a Netflix show." The comment came at the Wearside club, which has 46,000 fans will bring to Wembley, not well. "Did he say that?" Sunderland manager Alex Neil said when asked about the jibe. "It's a big game and sometimes people get overexcited," he added. Couhig had said in a statement to Wycombe fans: "We're going to be the underdogs again for those who 'know football'. The supporters of the team, which is a Netflix show, will try to intimidate us with their superior number of fans, but they don't

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Neil demands Sunderland focus for Wycombe final

Boss Alex Neil says Sunderland need to be in the right frame of mind for Saturday's League One play-off final against Wycombe to qualify for promotion. (Author: Gardener)

SunderlandBoss Alex Neil says Sunderland need to be in the right frame of mind for Saturday's League One play-off final against Wycombe if they are to seal promotion. However, they have lost in each of their previous three play-off finals. "I don't want to be in League One, but you have to earn the right to be promoted," said Neil. Sunderland were relegated to League One in 2018 and Neil told BBC Radio Newcastle: "We have to focus on that and what we have to do. It was not until 1990 - when Swindon was demoted for financial irregularities despite winning the final - that a Sunderland team left. The 1998 defeat by Charlton at Wembley came after a 4-4 thriller on penalties, with local hero Michael Gray missing the crucial penalty , while Patrick Bauer's last-minute winner helped the same opponent win against the Black Cats in 2019.. Lee Johnson led the Wearsiders to the semifinals last season, where Lincoln ended their progress and he edged them to within two points Brilliant when sacked at the end of January The fine form under Neil has been the hallmark of the teams he built at Hamilton and Norwich - both promoted under his tutelage - as they have shown the ability to fight back. Sunderland came through from behind to beat Fleetwood, while late goals also saw d-points against Oxford and Shrewsbury and then advancing in the play-off semifinals against Sheffield Wednesday. "I think these good habits are very helpful and useful for any team," added Neil. Despite only being in the Championship last season, Wycombe is something of an outsider at Wembley - something boss Gareth Ainsworth enjoys. The disappointment of last season's relegation, particularly given Derby's later points deduction and off-field clashes between the Chairboys and the Rams, could have been a distraction. But the Ainsworth side continued to assert themselves in the third division and their 2-1 aggregate win over MK Dons in the semi-finals underscored their threat. "I'm a really positive person and I think if you say things enough or fear enough, they will happen," Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio. “The message to my players is to focus fully on what could go well. If you imagine something often enough, I think it happens. "In my life I've wanted something so badly, imagined it, repeated it and it happens." Sunderland boss Neil has been cautious about his line-up and will be his side name only on the day of the final. Wycombe manager Ainsworth has a full squad to choose from at Wembley. Forward Adebayo Akinfenwa, 40, will be among the Chairboys' substitutes for his final game before retiring from playing.

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Niall Quinn recalls 'magic' time in Sunderland ahead of promotion play-off final

Former Sunderland forward Niall Quinn admitted the dressing room became the "most magical place" after the Black Cats' 1998 play-off final defeat by Charlton. (Author: Gardener)

Niall QuinnFormer Ireland international Niall Quinn is pictured during his time as Sunderland chairman Former Ireland international Niall Quinn is pictured during his time as Sunderland chairman Former Sunderland striker Niall Quinn admitted the dressing room was the 'most magical' after the Black Cats Place" was ' 1998 play-off final loss to Charlton. The former Republic of Ireland international was part of the side that were beaten by the Addicks in the First Division play-off final, losing 7-6 on penalties after an initial 4-4 draw. However, Sunderland bounced back a season later after securing promotion to the Premier League with 105 points in a record-breaking season. Quinn was speaking on behalf of the EFL ahead of Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One play-off final as Sunderland took on Wycombe at Wembley, where there is a Championship place up for grabs. "My best memory of the day was the door slamming outside the dressing room when we finally got to our dressing room, maybe half an hour after the last penalty." to-one, 'let's come back and give it a try and start on day one?' “We had a terrible start to this season (1997-1998), we had a hangover after being in the Premier League the year before, we were relegated on the last day and we didn't start for about 10-12 games but We've got off to a great start.” Peter Reid asked the question, demanded commitments from us and everyone made a commitment to return to the club and nobody would be looking for a transfer – they wouldn't have to sign millions of players. "We ran away with the Championship and we had two great years in the Premier League. "But the group stayed strong and it was the most brilliant dressing room, the most magical dressing room to witness those three years after that day. "I will never forget the camaraderie and spirit in the dressing room, but also the demands that the players place on each other." I feel that the current mood in the Sunderland camp is on the up and demanding more of each other, To overcome fears the club had had in recent years, Alex Neil's side defeated Lincoln in the semi-finals last season 2-1 on aggregate to secure a place in the final and Quinn was full of praise for the Black Cats boss, who took over in February after Lee Johnson's departure, "Some people actually feel like he (Neil) speaks some kind of language that they've been waiting for quite a while." Quinn added: "I think the players have learned in those two or three months to play in his way. He has learned to adapt to situations in his own way.

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David Stockdale has already won promotion this month

A goalkeeper, businessman, football club owner and community champion, Stockdale has kept 132 clean sheets in his 19-year career at 16 clubs - but another one with the chairboys at Wembley would be the cutest of them all (Author: Gardener)

David StockdaleA goalkeeper, businessman, football club owner and community champion, Stockdale has kept 132 clean sheets in his 19-year career at 16 clubs - but another one with the Chairboys at Wembley would be the sweetest of them all. David Stockdale aims for promotion with Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley David Stockdale has already celebrated promotion earlier this month - at the non-League club of which he is a majority owner. He will miss Droitwich Spa raising the shield of champions for West Midlands Regional League Division One victory with Wycombe Wanderers due to a pressing engagement at Wembley. But whatever happens in the League One play-off final, Stockdale isn't letting the grass grow under its feet. He's had more clubs than Tiger Woods, runs a burgeoning real estate business, and is an award-winning community champion who comforts those left behind after a plane crash. Oh, and he just won the Golden Glove for keeping the most clean sheets in League One at the age of 36. Sunderland not only have to find a way past Stockdale at Wembley - the Mackems have to navigate a one-man empire. Although he never won a full cap, Stockdale was good enough to be called up to the England squads under Fabio Capello. And Stockdale still makes you believe a man can fly, as MK Dons found out at her expense when the Chairboys made it to the play-off final earlier this month. After a 19-year career that included 445 appearances at 16 clubs and 132 clean sheets, he's preparing for life after football with a portfolio of 40 properties - a cottage industry, literally. As the 51 per cent owner of Droitwich, he has also delivered the Saltmen to a new home including a 4G spot in the community. "It's taken about two and a half years and it's nice to get something back into the game at grassroots level when football has been good to me. We've just climbed up to the sixth tier of the national football pyramid after a six-month unbeaten run, so it's a good time to bring the club 'home' after years of playing out of town. "In every level of the game, it's good to see so many happy faces in one place." Always an enlightened soul, Stockdale's pastoral work in Brighton, visiting grieving families affected by the airshow disaster in Shoreham, which killed 11 people, earned him recognition as a PFA Community Champion. "Winning this award was something very special, something close to my heart because the Shoreham tragedy touched so many lives," he said. "But as a club, Brighton dealt with it with great sensitivity and I was proud to be part of this collaboration between a football club and a community in shock." As for his latest assignment at Wembley, Stockdale has read the room and the chairboys know their place in the script. “When we won promotion at Wembley two years ago the only fans in the ground were cardboard cutouts and it didn't feel real.

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Niall Quinn on why he wouldn't have agreed to Sunderland's Netflix series

EXCLUSIVE: The former Black Cats player, manager and chairman starred in a documentary about the club long before Netflix cameras showed up at the Stadium of Light (Author: Gardener)

Niall QuinnEXCLUSIVE: The former Black Cats player, manager and chairman starred in a documentary about the club long before the Netflix cameras showed up at the Stadium of Light' Sunderland: 'Til I Die' proved to be a huge hit for Netflix, which covered the Wearside -Club brought home the attention of a worldwide audience - but had it turned out differently, it might never have seen the light of day. Millions of people tuned in to the documentary's two series, released in 2018 and 2020 on the popular streaming service. The fly-on-the-wall show documented the Black Cats' relegation from the championship and their unsuccessful attempt at an immediate return. It made unexpected stars not only out of management and players, but also out of colorful characters like ex-CEO Martin Bain and ex-executive director Charlie Methven. However, Niall Quinn said if the idea had been proposed during his tenure as chairman it would have fallen short. Quinn is a legend at Wearside, where he spent six years as a player. After retiring, he was appointed chairman of the club in 2006 and even had a brief stint as manager before retiring and returning to his top role. While he faced many difficult decisions as chairman, a post he held until 2011, he would definitely have turned down the offer of a documentary about the club. Part of that comes from having acted in one before; Quinn was a Sunderland player when the BBC made Premier Passions, which chronicled the club's relegation from the top flight in 1996/97. The BBC documentary series 'Premier Passions' chronicled Sunderland's relegation in the 1996/97 season - well before Netflix did the same years later. Speaking to Mirror Football, he said: "As bold as the Netflix documentary was, exposing the club to a global audience and showing exactly what the club means to Sunderland is a double-edged sword. I would have hated cameras being around because I made a lot of mistakes in the same role. I know how hard it must have been to see what happened before the eyes of the world after the event. I was a part many, many years ago a (documentary) called Premier Passions. Niall Quinn is a hugely popular character among Black Cats supporters. When I was Sunderland chairman I probably could have turned it down (Netflix series). Obviously it didn't come to us, it came After that, of course. My buddies in America are talking about it and want to know if there's another one coming out." There are currently no plans for a third episode of the Netflix smash hit, but if cameras had been available for this season they would have provided the perfect backdrop for a Hollywood ending this weekend. Sunderland legend Quinn is hoping his old club can complete their play-off hoodoo against Wycombe. Did you enjoy Sunderland 'Til I Die? The Black Cats are in the League One play-off final against Wycombe Wembley. With around 45,000 Sunderland fans making the journey down, it promises to be a special event. And Quinn is hoping his old side can finally get back up into the leagues after four seasons in the third tier - and finish their play-off hoodoo on the seventh try." Sunderland fans, people who've worked at the club - they had a hard time," he added. We've obviously been here before and I hope I'm right, but this feels different at the time."

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"Sunderland's future is bright whatever happens at Wembley"

The popular former chairman and centre-forward will be full of praise for Alex Neil and a club born again in Saturday's League One play-off final (Author: Gardener)

Alex NeilNiall Quinn is confident Alex converted Neil Sunderland and the team's fragility was resolved during the run-in. Niall Quinn has seen Sunderland rise before. First as a player who formed one of the most respected and strong forward partnerships in club history in Kevin Phillips, and then as a charismatic and popular chairman. He has also seen the club he fell in love with almost 30 years ago fail and fall as a lanky target man signed by Manchester City and then saved as the head of an Irish syndicate. If anyone knows what it's like to be part of a successful Sunderland it's Quinn and when he says the club are ready to take off again people should pay attention. "The club was damaged, they had lost all their confidence and the fans were the same," said Quinn, who will be at Wembley with his Sunderland son Mickey. There was a nervousness and the teams were unintentionally brittle. I think without Alex Neil this season would have drifted too League One has evolved into a four-year humiliation Quinn and Kevin Phillips formed an impressive attacking partnership at the turn of the millennium “We've had 10 years in the top flight,” explained Quinn, “by two notches to drop within two years, that has a profound impact on a club. Any Sunderland fan will tell you how awful that was. Sunderland lost a play-off final to Charlton last year, conceding an injury-time goal, and a semi-final to Lincoln City in drama, but Quinn feels the worst is behind them now: "I'll be the first to tell you." says how hard it is to run a football club.” The beauty of the Netflix documentary was that it marketed Sunderland around the world. and I think it showed what Sunderland means to the fans, that was brilliant. It was a really tough time. They're now struggling to get away from the cameras and trying to do the right thing." No longer involved in football, Quinn resigned as chairman of Sunderland in 2012 and handed control over to American billionaire Ellis Short. The 55-year-old had since ceased to hold an influential position following his resignation as interim CEO of football at the Football Association of Ireland in September 2020. “Alex did the old-fashioned thing of running a football club and making his mark on the entire team, on and off the pitch, with the Fans, the directors, the media, everyone." I've been an owner and a chairman, you can step back and breathe a sigh of relief because you finally got what you wanted. They [the board] deserve credit for doing this right. I think the future is bright whatever happens at Wembley.” There was a nervousness in the air last time against Charlton in 2019, I don't feel it this time. We haven't achieved anything yet, but we're on the right track.” Niall Quinn spoke on behalf of the EFL ahead of the Sky Bet League One play-off final

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Friday round of Estoril WorldSBK

World Superbike, Supersport and Supersport 300 results and reports after round three action got underway in Portugal overnight. (Author: Gardener)

FridayAfter retiring at Assen in the second race, Toprak Razgatlioglu recovered in style at Estoril on Friday. As always, the reigning world champion went to the limit and secured the overall standings in second place in the morning. With lots of 'new stuff' on Toprak's bike, including some brake cooling ducts, the Turkish rider, who has never been on the podium at Estoril, will be one of the favorites to go into the first two days of racing. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was inside the top six in FP2, fourth in FP1 and sixth in the combined. “I like this track, in 2020 we had two very good race wins and now we're coming back and I'm really happy to be racing here again because it's one of my favorite tracks. We're working on a good setup for the race and now I'm happier with my bike than I was in Assen. Also we try eight laps together with very good and constant lap times. I'm not trying to do the fastest lap but ride my bike as best as possible and the feeling is very positive – so we're happy, a good start but we also need some improvements and that's what we'll try to do tomorrow. Everyone is fast but we feel very strong and we will fight for victory every race.” Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was third in the morning and second in the afternoon. The Spaniard was in good form heading to Estoril for the first time with Ducati. Brake lines seemed to be commonplace and various teams and drivers used them, including Bautista. After a disappointing morning, teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi moved up into the top five of FP2 from 14th overall; At the end of the day, Bautista was second and Rinaldi fifth. As a result, in FP1 we worked on the details to try to find the best feel in the shortest amount of time. We also did a good job of understanding what might be the best tire for tomorrow's race. Anyway, the feeling is very good and we have a lot of confidence.” In terms of the independent riders, Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was spot on as he stormed to first place in FP1 before finishing third in FP2 and taking him placed third in the combination. “I feel great at this track, I'm really enjoying the track. I think it's good for the Yamaha R1 too. In the afternoon we continued to work on race pace with used tires to put everything together for this weekend. Gerloff took two podiums at Estoril in 2020 and was also in the podium fight last year, while the next independent was Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) in eighth, the best BMW rider of the day. The Frenchman was just over a second behind Razgatlioglu at the top while completing the top ten and also an independent rider, Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). After struggling in the first session of the day, Kawasaki recovered somewhat in the afternoon with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) leading most of the session. After only being fifth in the morning session, Rea threw down the gauntlet from the start and held the lead for most of the session, with changes to the bike from FP1 to FP2 while also using the SC0 rear tire for most of the Session used en route to third in FP2. All was not positive for Kawasaki, however, as Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) struggled in the afternoon session. Lowes used brake ducts for the first time in 2022 and returned to the bike’s morning setting for the final 10 minutes. For the combined times, Rea was fourth and Lowes eleventh. “I didn't feel so comfortable with the bike set-up this morning. We used the harder rear tire to clean the track and get a deeper understanding of things. This morning the idea was to go with the same rear tyre, clean the track, get that feel and we managed to set the bike up quite well. In the afternoon I was fast and felt good. The setup change was good in the hard braking areas, but lacked a little in areas where I was trail braking. It was a good day to understand the bike. I feel like our pace is right there, no more no less, with Alvaro and Toprak. It was a solid opening day of the weekend for Honda as Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) was seventh in FP2 ahead of teammate Iker Lecuona who was ninth in the same session. The results were reflected in the combined times, with Vierge just under a tenth quicker than teammate Lecuona, who is making his Circuito Estoril debut. “I'm happy with our first day here, starting with being able to ride pain free. I was able to focus on learning the track, improving my riding style and improving my feel for the bike and understanding how to improve the setup. I'm also excited to discover a new track and it's one that I really enjoy. From FP1 to FP2 the team was really able to improve the setup in all areas, mainly focusing on finding better corners and the bike's stability in the braking areas, which is good considering the races because it's very easy to make mistakes do on this route. The day got off to the worst start imaginable for BMW as Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) crashed on the exit of Turn 10 and sustained a fracture of the neck of his right femur, meaning he was out for the rest of the weekend, which is what the Dutchman has been up to so far was an injury season. Reigning champion Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) topped the combined times by around half a second and was the only rider to lap the Portuguese circuit in the 1:39 bracket as he looks to continue his strong start to his title defense. Aegerter's stunning lap of 1m39.806s was around two tenths of a second quicker than the race lap record set by Isaac Vinales in 2020, whilst also being 0.555s clear of his nearest rival. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) with the Italian rookie setting a time of 1:40.361s; fail to improve his time in FP2. Baldassarri finished 0.140s ahead of Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) in second place, who did it until the final five minutes to pass teammate Andy Verdoia. Tom Edwards (Yart - Yamaha WorldSSP) was the leading Australian in 19 place despite crashing at turn one in FP2, although he wasn't the only rider to get caught by the right-hander and the end of a heavy braking zone. Compatriot Ben Currie (Motozoo Racing by Puccetti) was another to be caught making his first outing of the year in FP2, finishing 25th in the combined standings. We have good pace over the race distance but I couldn't get a lap time to the max and that puts me at a disadvantage on the timesheets. We managed a comeback in Assen, but we realized how important it is to have a good starting position. Tomorrow we will try to get a good Superpole to be competitive in the race.” 2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) topped the timesheets by just over a tenth of a second after Friday's two free practice sessions, while 21 riders were within a second of Garcia's pace in the combined classification; This proves how competitive this round of WorldSSP300 action will be in Portugal. Garcia was just 0.146s ahead of Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) in second after Sabatucci improved his time in FP2 to lead the second FP3 session. He was a tenth ahead of German rider Dirk Geiger (Fusport - RT Motorsports by SKM - Kawasaki) in third place after the German set a time of 1'51.695. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) was fourth in the combined but just 0.042s out of the top three with a time of 1'51.737s, ahead of Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) just 0.025s away was Steeman. Young Australian Harry Khouri (Team #109 Kawasaki) had a good start to his campaign on Friday with P14.

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Lampard warns Everton of another relegation battle

The Toffees secured their Premier League status in dramatic fashion on Thursday by beating Crystal Palace 3-2, two goals down - and Lampard now wants the club's resolve. (Author: Gardener)

EvertonFrank Lampard has warned Everton they risk another relegation battle next season if they don't pull themselves together this summer. The Toffees secured their Premier League status in dramatic fashion on Thursday night by beating Crystal Palace 3-2 after falling two goals behind. It sparked wild scenes inside and outside Goodison Park as fans stormed the pitch and partied late into the night, with Lampard and his players sucking in the applause. Frank Lampard celebrated with his Everton stars after they fought their way to Premier League safety. The Toffees sagged 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace before clinching a dramatic 3-2 win. After the dust settled, the Everton boss was quick to deliver a dose of realism regarding his 16th-placed team's situation. And Lampard stressed the importance of pre-season and recruitment better than in recent transfer windows if the Toffees are looking to move up the table next season. When told Everton were too big a club to fight against relegation, Lampard replied: 'But is it? What right do Everton have to be safe in the Premier League every year and will it stay that way forever? We must try to find improvements. Lampard arrived on January 31 and has struggled to bolster Everton during a largely dismal season. It's a great, great feeling, but the things we can do to make it better are things we have to work on and make a difference. “We want to bring the club forward. I have to work in pre-season. We now have (director of football) Kevin Thelwell, we have the board who are interested in getting the best out of this club. "We don't want to be here next year, but we understand that if we don't take positive steps, it's possible. It's important we work fast.” Richarlison (left) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin may be ready to move on after Everton stayed up. As well as making smart signings, Lampard is desperate to keep his star players - namely goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and strikers Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, both of whom scored crucial goals against Palace. "Those talks were put on hold because everyone knew our situation," Lampard admitted. Players want to play in the Premier League and all the players you mentioned want that. "You've seen the level of quality from Jordan throughout the season but especially over the last six weeks, and from Dominic and Richarlison against Palace. Lampard admires England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and revealed talks have started with him: "We want to be successful, we want to continue like this so those talks can start from now." Everton have breached the Premier League's financial fair play rules after suffering huge losses for three straight years. Asked if he would have to sell to buy this summer, Lampard replied: "I don't feel like I have to do that. I know it's a big story. I know FFP. But I don't know the details. "If it were up to me let me keep the players who have performed really well for the club." Lampard's last word went to the fans who have lined the streets outside of Goodison ahead of recent home games to cheer the team bus into the stadium - a support he says his side cannot take for granted. That's not how it works," Lampard added. “They dragged us over the line with that behavior but we as a club have to start from scratch next season.

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Arteta is ready to unleash Martinelli's attack threat from the off

With a win needed to have any chance of making the top four, the predicted Arsenal side against Everton could see Gabriel Martinelli unleashed from the start. (Author: Gardener)

MartinelliWith a win needed to have any chance of a top-four spot, the predicted Arsenal side against Everton could see Gabriel Martinelli unleashed from the start. Arsenal have worked hard to finish in the Champions League spots this season. From late April through May, they enjoyed a four-game winning streak, defeating some of their closest rivals. First, they defeated third-placed Chelsea 4-2. The Gunners defeated Manchester United 3-1 in the following game. West Ham were the next side to suffer defeat against Mikel Arteta's side as Arsenal beat them 2-1. The Gunners then defeated Leeds United to extend their winning streak. Spurs beat Arsenal 3-0 and took the driver's seat for fourth place. Aaron Ramsdale started on the net. The two centre-back positions were filled by the usual partnership of Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes. Tomiyasu - who picked up an injury and was replaced by Cedric Soares - started at right-back with Nuno Tavares at left-back. Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard played with Emile Smith Rowe behind the striker. Eddie Nketiah started at the top again, as he has in the last seven games. An Arsenal win would go a long way in the pursuit of Champions League football. Ramsdale will launch on the web. White and Gabriel should remain partners at the heart of the defense. Cedric will likely start at right-back in place of the injured Tomiyasu. Xhaka and Elneny are likely to remain in defensive midfield positions. However, Smith Rowe - Arsenal's second-best goalscorer - could be replaced. Gabriel Martinelli came on to replace the Englishman last time out and has been more of an attacking threat lately. Since Smith Rowe's last goal, Martinelli has netted once and provided three assists and his performance in front of goal is likely more of an attractive advantage for Arteta given their situation. Nketiah - who is looking to return to the goalscoring charts after failing to score in the last two - should be granted another start up front. READ MORE: Mikel Arteta reveals summer strategy with three Arsenal transfers in the game; Xhaka ranted The article Predicted Arsenal team to face Everton: Arteta poised to unleash attacking threat Martinelli from the start appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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