Silva says Coventry are 'better than us' in defeat at home

Coventry City completed the double against Fulham this season after a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage (Author: Gardener)

SilvaFulham manager Marco Silva gives his full credit to a "confident" Coventry City after their 3-1 defeat at Craven Cottage. The hosts fell behind within 20 minutes through Michael Rose, before Viktor Gyokeres minutes later doubled the Sky Blues' lead. The defeat meant Mark Robins' side completed that season's double against the London side. The return leg at the CBS Arena in October ended in a 4-1 win for Coventry. Read more: Mark Robins laments 'incredible' injury damage as Coventry City's second star misses the rest of the season "I have to give them credit," the Lilywhites manager said after the game. "It was tough for us, just like for the others, with two games in four days. “It's these kinds of games that we have to control. We had a few moments with clear scoring chances ourselves, but it wasn't our afternoon. "We had six or seven chances to score and if we had scored them it would have been a different result. We lost that game through individual mistakes.” They were more confident than us this afternoon for no reason. They were better than us, more confident than us and the game was decided by individual mistakes.” The Portugal coach also recognized strong personalities who made the difference in Robin's squad. "He did a good job," added Silva as goalscorer Simon Moore, before adding: "They have a very strong striker (Gyokeres) who caused a lot of problems for our defence."


2 Fulham summer transfer decisions ahead of Marco Silva when transfer window opens

Fulham are having an excellent season in the Sky Bet Championship this season. With every promotion Fulham need to strengthen their squad if they are to survive at the top [...] (Author: Gardener)

Marco SilvaFulham are having an excellent season in the Sky Bet Championship this season. The club are clearly at the top of the Championship standings and look set for a return to the Premier League this summer. In that sense, the club and Marco Silva have some big decisions ahead of them. With that in mind, we thought we'd take a look at two transfer decisions facing Silva and the Fulham hierarchy this summer. They currently have Neco Williams on loan from Liverpool but the Wales international is set to return to his parent club this summer. With ties to Portuguese right-back Rafael Ramos in recent weeks, it's clearly a position the club are eyeing ahead of the summer. Another key transfer decision facing Marco Silva and the Fulham hierarchy at the moment is whether or not to offer centre-back Tim Ream a new deal that would extend his stay at Craven Cottage. According to Transfermarkt, the 34-year-old's contract expires this summer and the club has not yet announced a new deal. On the one hand, Ream has made 39 appearances for the club in the league this season and offering him a renewed contract seems like a no-brainer. However, there is a general feeling that Ream, having played twice before with the club in the Premier League, is not fit for the top flight. Whether or not Ream should stay at the club or let him go is a difficult decision having been a mainstay in such a successful season for Fulham.


Coventry stun runaway Championship leaders Fulham

Coventry City shock leaders Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage to delay the home side's seemingly inevitable promotion to the Premier League. (Author: Gardener)

FulhamCoventry City shocked leaders Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage to delay the home side's seemingly inevitable promotion to the Premier League. Substitute Bobby Decordova-Reid's clean left-footed shot brought the game to a grandstand end after the hosts missed a number of chances, with Rodrigo Muniz's deflected shot almost finding its way to level. Callum O'Hare found an empty net after an added-time howl from Fulham captain Tim Ream to secure the points that put Coventry 10th in the table, six points adrift of a play-off place while Fulham were still two wins needs automatic promotion guarantee. Coventry took the lead from a corner when Rose jumped the highest to deflect the ball past Marek Rodak in the Fulham net. Four minutes later, the Slovakian pulled the ball out of his net again, this time it was his own fault, letting Gyokeres' long-range shot go through to make it 2-0. Fulham created their best chance of the first half when Neesken's Kebano volleyed in Neco Williams' cross and his shot smashed the bar. Coventry almost won the game just before half-time but Fulham somehow managed to keep the ball out of a corner and block three shots before finally getting the ball away. Marco Silva sent Decordova-Reid in place of Nathaniel Chalobah at half-time to add pace to the attack and it had an almost immediate effect as Decordova-Reid's ball swung just wide of Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal. Harry Wilson hissed a free-kick from a dangerous position before Williams and Mitrovic had chances as the hosts increased the pressure. Decordova-Reid pulled one back with eight minutes remaining before Mitrovic sent two headers over the goal. And deep in stoppage time, Fulham's hard work was undone when O'Hare turned the ball home after a mistake by Ream to end any hopes of a late point for the hosts. "It wasn't our afternoon because we had six or seven chances to score. We lost that game through mistakes." “It's the first time we've won away against one of the top 10 teams. The championship was very good now. "We just try to play as well as we can in every game."


Visitors stun the championship leaders at Craven Cottage

Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Fulham and Coventry at Craven Cottage; Goals from Michael Rose, Viktor Gyokeres and Callum OHare give the visitors a surprise win (Author: Gardener)

Craven CottageRunaway championship leaders Fulham's promotion push was halted as Coventry won 3-1 at Craven Cottage. A win for the Cottagers would have meant they would have needed another win to secure an immediate return to the Premier League. But goals from Michael Rose and Viktor Gyokeres gave Coventry a 2-0 lead at the break and although Fulham substitute Bobby Decordova-Reid went from behind with eight minutes to go, Callum O'Hare struck a third in added time. Coventry, 14th at kick-off but not quite out of the play-off picture, were rewarded for showing plenty of attacking ambition, especially in the first half. Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak was forced to make the first save of the game when Rose hit Gustavo Hamer's free-kick with a tight header. Then Sky Blues captain Dominic Hyam nodded over the bar after another set piece, this time by Ian Maatsen. So it came as no surprise when the visitors took the lead after 20 minutes, with Rose's header from Hamer's corner on the left appearing to find Fulham left-back Antonee Robinson en route to the net. And Craven Cottage was stunned as Coventry doubled their lead four minutes later. Gyokeres, whose powerful run kept the Fulham defense running at full steam, sliced ​​into Tosin Adarabioyo and fired hard and deep but straight at Rodak. Coventry goalkeeper Simon Moore had to spread to his left to parry an Aleksandr Mitrovic header as Fulham tried to hit back. But he was helpless when Neeskens Kebano hit the bar with a flying volley from a Neco Williams cross. But Fulham were lucky not to concede a third goal before half-time when Rodak failed to collect another corner and Ben Sheaf saw his shot fired by Williams. Fulham manager Marco Silva sent on Decordova-Reid at the break and almost immediately his cross was clipped inches wide of the post by Mitrovic. Then Fabio Carvalho found space 10 yards away but threw his header wide from Harry Wilson's cross before Williams risked his arm from 25 yards only for Moore to get the ball to safety. Coventry were not finished as an attacking force and Maatsen's shot was deflected over the bar by Williams but it was Fulham who scored the third after 82 minutes. Decordova-Reid started and finished, sending substitute Josh Onomah clear down the left and hitting his low cross with a first shot over Moore to score. Now the Cottage found its voice but the Coventry defence, excellent throughout, held up and in added time Hamer robbed Tim Ream and crossed O'Hare to score the third. Carvalho still had time to hit the crossbar but even a goal would have been no consolation. Fulham coach Marco Silva: "It's tough at this level but the winning mentality is always about focus, concentration and this afternoon we lost the game because of individual mistakes." , said he said. "I don't feel it. I hope our players don't feel that either. "I'm confident we'll go to Derby next Friday and fight for the three points, do better than Derby and do our best to win the game." Coventry boss Mark Robins: “That was at the top today with the performances of the season. It was the first time we've beaten a top 10 team away from home, let alone a team that's going to be champions, so it should give us confidence and confidence." "But the way we played, with bravery, guts and the quality we showed, we created chances from the quality we showed and we took them. We held them off until the 82nd minute and had the confidence to break out again.


Coventry City player ratings after their 3-1 win at Fulham

The Sky Blues beat leaders Fulham in their own backyard on a sensational afternoon in west London (Author: Gardener)

FulhamCoventry City v Fulham player ratings: Sky Blues stun champions-elect at The Cottage The Sky Blues defeated leaders Fulham on a sensational afternoon in west London. Thank you for signing up! Four sensational minutes put Coventry City on course for a big upset against the Championship leaders at Craven Cottage. Michael Rose put the Sky Blues ahead in the 20th minute before Viktor Gyokeres doubled the lead four minutes later in an excellent 45 minutes, leaving Fulham in shock. In truth, Mark Robins' men could have been further up the field after Ben Sheaf parried two shots from another set piece, while Simon Moore made two decent saves at the other end to thwart Fabio Carvalho and Aleksandar Mitrovic before Kebano slammed the bar in a rattled entertaining encounter in West London. The Cottagers created chance after chance in a difficult second half as Moore produced more heroics to maintain City's two-goal cushion after the hour. But with eight minutes remaining, the home side got one back from substitute Bobby De Cordova-Reid to set up a tense end to the game that included four agonizing minutes of stoppage time. The Sky Blues appeared content to play a game of containment as Fulham dominated possession and tried to force an early goal, but it was the visitors who had the first try after a Gus Hamer free-kick that the midfielder missed floated into the box where Jake Bidwell got a touch in front of his markers. The home side then found themselves in trouble when centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo miscontrolled a back pass, letting in Hamer, who took too long to shoot and was forced to pull the ball back for Callum O'Hare, only to have the ball be intercepted . City enjoyed more set pieces when Dom Hyam headed over from a free-kick before centre-back Michael Rose threw home a corner from Hamer to put City unexpectedly ahead in the 20th minute. Viktor Gyokeres then squirmed into space on the edge of the box and hit a powerful shot that Rodak got a hand on but fumbled as he fell back and watched as it went over his head and into the back net. Aleksandar Mitrovic nearly reduced the gap to the half-hour when he deflected a powerful header on goal only for Simon Moore to deny the striker's 39th goal of the season with a fine reaction save. City were then saved by the woodwork when Neesken's Kebano stretched to reach the end of a Neco Williams cross, sending them onto the crossbar. But the visitors were almost 3-0 up after a corner in the 40th minute when Ben Sheaf had two bites on the cherry. His first attempt was blocked by Mitrovic before his second was stopped on the line by Williams. And the home side nearly pulled one back within minutes of the restart when Mitrovic got a foot down on a deep cross only to sail too far. But Coventry stayed square in the face of Fulham, using attack as their best form of defense whenever they could to get the ball out of the way and put even more pressure on the chosen champions. Coventry City's Viktor Gyokeres scores his side's second goal of the game against Fulham Hamer intercepted a pass brilliantly to set off a break, driving forward and hitting a low angle shot at the near post which the keeper saved. However, the home side always looked menacing and had stretched City after the hour when Carvalho headed just wide before Williams was thwarted earlier by a brilliant save from Moore. Harry Wilson then rolled a free-kick from the edge of the box just over the bar before Moore came to the rescue again, this time diving full-length to deny Williams from long-range while City kept their lead. Coventry got a little respite from the pressure when Ian Maatsen got close after a good build-up with a deflected shot that went over the bar for a corner. City finally collapsed under the pressure and conceded in the 82nd minute when Cordova-Reid stayed home at the far post to set off a frantic end to the game with the visitors awaiting grim death - Moore came to the rescue again to to deny substitute Muniz at close range. Hamer then nodded the ball in the final third and threw it over the goal to complete the job for O'Hare with a simple tap-in in the 93rd minute. Made a decent save to deny Carvalho who sliced ​​into the box from the right and made another great stop to deny a Mitrovic header as City defended a 2-0 lead. Twice brilliant saves to deny Williams in the second half before Muniz denied a Man of the Match equalizer five minutes from time. The centre-back switched to the right spot in the back three to help Dabo keep an eye on Kebano's threat down the left. Scored with a fleeting header from a Hamer corner and excelled defensively on a great display from City. Leading the way with the captain's armband, the Sky Blues cleared twice early in a commanding start and headed an early free-kick, albeit over the bar. Send another header over the bar from a corner as City posed a real threat from set pieces. Had an early chance for City from a free kick and defended pretty solidly in the first 45. Defended with determination in the second half with his back to the wall. Excellent possession and sent some nice set pieces including the one for Rose who scored from a corner. Almost made it 3-0 when he blocked two attempts from a corner, one on the line. Got up front well and on his return to the starting XI looked good in attack and defended well all the time. Lively and busy in the last third where he connected well with Gyokeres and held the ball well for counterattacks. Put the icing on the cake with a nice stoppage-time tap-in to secure the points. Strong and powerful with the ball at his feet, he doubled City's lead in the 24th minute with a powerful shot that the keeper missed. Had the beating of Tosin Adarabioyo every time and led the line brilliantly. FULHAM (4-3-3): Marek Rodak; Neco Williams (73 mins, for Josh Onomah), Tosin Adarabioyo, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Harrison Reed, Fabio Carvalho (73 mins, for Rodrigo Muniz), Nathaniel Chalobah (HT, for Bobby De Cordova-Reid); Harry Wilson, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Neeskens Kebano.


Lewis Hamilton opposes F1 jewelry ban

Hamilton competed in the Australian Grand Prix with his ears pierced and a nose stud; Then he warned his team to improve or his title dream is over (Author: Gardener)

Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton claims the earrings on his right ear are shrink-wrapped Lewis Hamilton has told Formula 1 rulers he has to chop off his ear to meet their jewelry requirements. While the ban on body piercing has been in place since 2004, Formula 1's new race chief Niels Wittich brought the rule to the fore in his pre-race notes here in Melbourne before raising the issue head-on with Hamilton and his colleagues in a two-hour drive ' Instruction. But in a show of defiance, Hamilton entered Sunday's Australian Grand Prix with piercings in both ears and a nose stud. "I have no plans to remove them," said the 37-year-old, who finished fourth at Melbourne's Albert Park. These on my right ear are shrink-wrapped so I would have to have them cut off. They will stay.” The FIA ​​clause states that “the wearing of jewelry in the form of piercings or metal necklaces is prohibited during competition and may therefore be checked prior to the start.” However, it is understood that the FIA ​​will take notice waits See if Hamilton's stance will change in the coming races before deciding if action is needed. Lewis Hamilton has urged Mercedes to act now to salvage its dwindling title dreams. The seven-time world champion leaves Australia 43 points behind Charles Leclerc after the Ferrari driver's victory at Albert Park in Melbourne on Sunday. Hamilton started fifth and finished fourth - one place behind George Russell, who took his first podium in Mercedes colors. "I'm going to call our bosses and really try to round them up," Hamilton said. "We have some improvements that we need to make and we need everyone's support to do that. "There is performance to be gained and we need it now, not in two or three races. I need to keep that encouragement and energy high. "I'd rather stay optimistic. I really hope we can intervene in the fight, but with every improvement we make, so will Red Bull and Ferrari. The gap is quite big at the moment, but there's still a long way to go Ahead of us." Hamilton would have taken the final podium finish in Formula One's first race here in three years had Sebastian Vettel not crashed on lap 22. Russell used the resulting safety car time to stop for new rubber and ahead of his team-mate to get out of the pits. "You put me in a really difficult position," Hamilton said to his team in the closing stages of Sunday's race. He later explained his frustrated radio car was overheating so I had to back off." So it wasn't because Russell was in front? "Because the car was overheating," said the 37-year-old. "Russell, 24, is now second in the championship, has beaten Hamilton in two of the first three races and sits nine points and three places ahead of his compatriot in the standings. "It's incredible," Hamilton said. Looking back at the defining races of Russell's Mercedes career Thirteen years of Hamilton's j Unior, Russell is poised to become Britain's next motorsport star. "Of course everyone wants to finish ahead of their teammates, but Lewis and I have no interest in fighting for fifth and sixth," he said diplomatically. "It's a strange feeling for me because we have such high expectations. Before, the only satisfaction I could get was beating my team-mate, but here we have a bigger picture and the long game we have to play, is to catch these guys standing up because we're here to win." In a mild Albert Park - with a record 420,000 spectators visiting the Melbourne venue for the Grand Prix weekend - Hamilton made up two positions to third at the start. Hamilton pulled alongside Lando Norris within yards and then went in front of Sergio Perez after outbraking the Mexican at the first corner. Russell, who started sixth, also beat Norris on the opening corner. In his superior Red Bull, Perez fought his way back past Hamilton twice - on lap 10 and then after the Brit's only pit stop. Perez also got past Russell before all three men were promoted a place as Max Verstappen's Red Bull ran out for the second time in three races. The world champion is already 46 points behind Leclerc - that's almost two wins. "We're miles behind and I don't even want to think about the championship fight right now," he said. "It's more important to finish races. Not finishing is quite frustrating and unacceptable. If you want to fight for the title, these things can't happen." Leclerc delivered a composed and impressive performance, leading every lap and setting the fastest lap to win for the second time this season. But on the other side of the Ferrari garage, misery reigned after Carlos Sainz started ninth, dropped to 14th and then spun on the first lap. Norris finished fifth ahead of teammate and home favorite Daniel Ricciardo in his improved McLaren.


Khamzat Chimaev lives up to the hype in a new – and exciting – way

Chimaev has had a tougher time than his first four UFC wins, but he has proven he can beat an elite opponent. (Author: Gardener)

Khamzat ChimaevThe screeching noise you might have heard late Saturday night if you were anywhere near Jacksonville, Fla. was the Khamzat Chimaev Hype Train slowing its roll. Burns had been bloodied and crushed in a brutal opening round but he had survived. And as his UFC 273 fight against rising star Chimaev moved into the second round, Burns began to take control. This was unlike anything we had seen in Chimaev's first four UFC games. This time he was in a competitive fight. And Chimaev has shown he is up to the challenge. After three rounds of back and forth in which every man landed big punches and had big moments, Chimaev received the nods from all three judges (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) to prove something important and lasting. Chimaev showed he belongs in the Octagon with the elite of the UFC welterweight division. This victory was very different from the nights of Chimaev's total domination that had come before. In each of his previous appearances, Chimaev had looked superhuman as he piled up video game-esque numbers. In his UFC debut, he had a 124-2 lead overall. A 17-second one-punch knockout on his third appearance. Then another striking shutout (58-0) while speaking to UFC President Dana White on the edge of the cage during the fight! Each of them was a perfectly suited opponent for a fighter new to the UFC, but the only one of them you'll find in the rankings is Li, who's in double digits. Opposite Chimaev on Saturday was a fighter on a whole different level. Burns is a multiple world jiu-jitsu champion, barely a year away from a challenge for the UFC title. At the welterweight division, Burns ranks behind sole champion Kamaru Usman and two-time challenger Colby Covington in both the UFC and ESPN rankings. Early on, Chimaev looked set for another impressive defeat. He dropped Burns with a crisp jab, and from top position on the canvas he dropped punches and elbows, one of which lacerated the Brazilian's head. But Burns made it to the horn, and by Round 2 he looked revitalized, his offense flowing. During an exchange of blows near the cage, he dropped Chimaev with his right hand. But both men somehow still had enough in them to produce a brutal third round to end a classic match that had the crowd roaring. In the weeks leading up to UFC 273, fans and fighters on social media expressed more excitement at seeing Chimaev than any of the champions at the top of the list. When UFC President Dana White promoted the pay-per-view program on SiriusXM radio, he only spoke a little about Alexander Volkanovski's main fight featherweight title defense against Chan Sung Jung. He didn't say a word about the co-major bantamweight title fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and former champion Petr Yan. Instead, White spent much of his time talking about Chimaev, "someone people are very excited about." White's own excitement didn't stop hyping this weekend's fight either. He even looked ahead to Chimaev's next, saying if the Chechen-born Swede beat Burns, the UFC would look to book him against Covington in a rare network TV show. Hype has a way of overtaking itself on the rare occasions when athletes show they are driven by the "it" factor. Conor McGregor was touted as a towering star long before he defeated longtime featherweight champion Jose Aldo in 13 seconds in 2015 - in his seventh UFC fight - to fully live up to his bill. Nobody in MMA had been nearly as hyped since, until Chimaev showed up. But it's not just the excitement of the fans and the uproar of the promoters behind Chimaev. Despite being only No. 11 in the UFC welterweight rankings, he went into the cage on Saturday as a -550 bet favorite over No. 2 Burns. To put that in perspective, since the UFC rankings began in 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Information, no top five fighter has had a better chance against an opponent outside the top 10 than Burns (+400). Chimaev had clearly shown them that he belonged in the top flight. Saturday was a big night for fighters who proved their worthiness of the exalted place they already hold in the sport. Immediately after Chimaev confirmed his whirlwind of hype, Sterling also found himself in a confirming position, a surreal one for a champion: defending a bantamweight belt that many supporters of MMA believed didn't signify his supremacy. Thirteen months ago, Sterling became the first fighter in UFC history to win a title via disqualification after Yan hit him with an illegal knee that left Sterling unable to continue. Between then and this weekend, Sterling had faced a lot of negativity, partly because he was losing the title fight until he won it and partly because a photo was posted to social media showing him working out with the belt hours celebrates after throwing it aside in the Octagon. Why MMA fans would lash out at Sterling for this is unclear. Sterling satisfied even the most discerning observers in Saturday's co-main event, cementing his position at the top of the division by winning his rematch with Yan. It was a split decision, meaning a close fight, but Sterling dominated two rounds and received the nods from two judges in one of the other rounds, which were close. It had to feel like the very special title defense. All champions in all divisions are called upon to prove themselves every time - but for Sterling the demand was even greater. Chimaev's and Sterling's wins were followed by featherweight champion Volkanovski's outright victory in the main event. The champion was adept at picking apart and beating Jung, who continued to trudge forward until referee Herb Dean mercifully stepped in to end the Round 4 brutality. Volkanovski, in his third title defense, has never looked sharper and more confident. But no one was going to outshine Chimaev that night - even though Burns was awfully close. If he ends up caged with Covington, as the UFC would like, Chimaev (11-0) would certainly be a crowd favorite, but what would the oddsmakers say? And if Chimaev cleared that daunting hurdle, there would be nothing between him and Usman provided the champion successfully defends against Leon Edwards. He helped Burns, who was a training partner before they became opponents, prepare for Saturday's fight. He knows Chimaev would be a handful. As unthinkable as it may seem for a fighter with just five UFC fights, Chimaev seems poised for whatever is to come.


Leigh Griffiths reveals Celtic fan booms have brought him to tears as forward admits 'I cried in the car'

The striker was mocked by some of the Parkhead home crowd during his last appearance in a friendly against West Ham last summer. (Author: Gardener)

Leigh GriffithsLeigh Griffiths says his last game as a Celtic player was the nadir in his one-man football melodrama. Booed by his own fans and after eight years at the club, 261 appearances and 123 goals, tears began to flow when he realized he arrived as a substitute in a friendly against West Ham, every touch of the ball was accompanied by a rant from a prop who once worshiped him. The Falkirk forward is looking to once again prove the doubters wrong and return to the level that made him the top marksman for club and country. But in a brutally honest interview with MailSport, the 31-year-old insists he's had enough of being a hate figure and intends to restart his career by setting the record straight. Griffiths said: "I hate the expression 'prove people wrong'. That's all I seem to hear about Leigh Griffiths. Leigh Griffiths out of favor at Celtic “Now that I'm getting older I hear people asking where's the guy who once scored 40 goals in a season? "Where's the guy who scored two free-kicks against England? “My answer is: just let me go out and play football. Just let me enjoy my football, which is so difficult these days.” Griffiths had been sent home from Celtic's training camp in Wales when police conducted an inquiry that eventually cleared him of any wrongdoing in relation to online news. He said: "I left Celtic with regret at how it all ended. I felt like Celtic should have come out and said they had spoken to me and everyone else involved and that nothing had been found and I was free to continue playing and scoring for the club. "I was slammed back into training and the new manager has been absolutely amazing with me - I can't have a bad word to say about Ange. I can't say a bad word about anyone at Celtic. “Ange had come in and it was his job to get the team going and then he was hit by this bomb. “Then I played West Ham and it's the lowest I've ever felt in football. I left the game, got in the car and drove home. "I cried - that was the point I knew my time at Celtic was over. "I said it in the car home, I couldn't do it anymore. It sounds strange but I can't be a player who gets booed both at home and away. "If I played at home I would be booed by my own fans and the away fans. When I've left home, I get booed by the home and away fans when I touch the ball. There's a perception of Griffiths that couldn't be further from the mark, and it lies at the heart of the Old Firm rivalry. He takes his share of the blame for incidents that only served to stoke a player's impression , who likes to court controversy, and also insists his accusers do him a disservice. He said: "I definitely think they do. Players I hadn't played with and then met when moving to a new club and dressing room are proof of that. “I went into the Dundee dressing room and there were some big, big Rangers fans there and I came from Celtic. "These are guys who said to my face, 'I hated you.' "They said they don't actually know me, but because I played for Celtic they hated me. "I shared a car with Jordan to Dundee and he said the perception people have of me is ridiculous. "I went into the dressing room at Falkirk and that was also one of the things Charlie Telfer said about me. "Charlie is another big Rangers fan and he told me he didn't like me before I came to the club. "He said, 'I didn't know you but I didn't like you, but now I think you're a good guy and you don't have a bad bone in your body.' You get tarred with a certain brush and people want the brush." sticking it in the tar again and again to make it thicker and thicker. Griffiths has changed agents and instituted a fitness program that includes boxing and a personal trainer to get him back in top shape. But there's a long pause from Griffiths before he makes another outspoken assessment of his future. He said: "I'm scared. I think the big clubs, managers, chairmen, directors and fans look at the front page headlines before they get to know me as a person and as a player. "A lot of that is down to me, but I find it hard to know that I have certain qualities and teams may not give me an opportunity because the fans don't want me there. “Fan power is so big in football now. "People will always say I took the p**s and this and that, but all I wanted to do was work hard. Every time I walked onto the pitch you could see me shredding my balls trying to help the team as much as I could. “When we were fighting for a goal I came on and in games like St Johnstone where I scored in the last minute and in the Scottish Cup final I came on and scored. I came and met. It was always about helping the team.”


PSG set to offer Mbappe nine-figure bonus but Real Madrid still 'confident'

Real Madrid are interested in signing Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer this summer when his contract expires, but Paris Saint-Germain have not given up hope of keeping him (Author: Gardener)

Real MadridReal Madrid are interested in signing Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer this summer when his contract expires, but Paris Saint-Germain have not given up hope of keeping him. Paris Saint-Germain 'ready' to offer Kylian Mbappe £150m for signing New deal Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly willing to pay Kylian Mbappe a £150m signing fee if he signs a two-year contract extension. The 23-year-old world champion is out of contract at the end of the season and is being linked with a move to Real Madrid. PSG are desperate to keep their prized asset and are believed to have increased their signing bonus from £125m to £150m when time runs out. PSG are also believed to be offering Mbappe an annual salary of £21million, just over £400,000 a week. The French club's Qatari owners are said to be worried about losing the talent ahead of the World Cup, to be held in Qatar later this year. When asked about his future earlier this month, the forward said: "I haven't made my decision yet, there are new elements to consider. Just new elements." It is believed Mbappe will use PSG's new offer to renegotiate a deal with Real, who are 'relaxed' on the situation. The Spanish giants tried to sign the player last summer and are 'confident' he will finally don the famous white shirt this summer. Real Madrid are even thought to have cooled off their interest in Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, so much do they believe in Mbappe's signing. Kylian Mbappe has to decide whether to join Paris Saint-Germain for Real Madrid this summer. Should Kylian Mbappe stay at Paris Saint-Germain? PSG have reportedly offered them a commission payment of £42million if he stays in the French capital, although it's not expected to have a huge impact on the player's decision. It's easy to see why Real Madrid are interested in Mbappe. The forward has scored 160 goals in 209 games for PSG since joining the French club - initially on loan - in the summer of 2017. He has also scored 26 goals at international level and won 54 caps. But he is yet to claim a Champions League medal and lost the final in 2020. The youngster's chances of winning European football's biggest competition could be boosted by a move to Real. The Spanish team knocked PSG out of the Champions League in the round of 16 this season despite Mbappe scoring in both games. "I haven't decided my future yet," Mbappe emphasized in February - before PSG's European Cup exit. "I play for Paris Saint-Germain, one of the best clubs in the world." He continued: "I'll do my best and then we'll see what happens next season." A move to Real would see Mbappe link up with international teammate Karim Benzema, who has become a favorite at this year's Ballon d'Or after a stunning season in the Spanish capital.


Saka's influence could help Arsenal win the transfer race with Spurs for Maddison

England international James Maddison has impressed since joining Leicester in June 2018, scoring 40 goals in all competitions and winning the FA Cup and Community Shield (Author: Gardener)

SakaEngland international James Maddison has impressed since joining Leicester in June 2018, scoring 40 goals in all competitions and winning the FA Cup and Community Shield. Both Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly interested in signing Leicester playmaker James Maddison this summer. The 25-year-old England international with one cap has scored 13 goals and provided eight assists this season, helping Leicester reach the Europa Conference League quarter-finals. Maddison would be a huge asset for both Arsenal and Tottenham but the former club can be confident of securing his services after providing a shining reference from Bukayo Saka. "I really like the young lad Saka at Arsenal," Maddison said in November 2020. "And the thing is, I've been watching him pretty closely, because you know these days, especially when someone comes on stage quickly, they're going to be here." lined up right up there, aren't they, and they've got lights on them full, all lights.” Sometimes that can make a player take a step back, depending on how he's dealing with it. But he obviously took it in stride and Mikel Arteta seems to really like him. Big deal for him to get the number seven shirt I think. Little things like that really show that the manager trusts him. He's also scored a few goals so he's definitely one to keep an eye out for are longtime admirers of Maddison and could make a move this summer. It's believed Leicester could be tempted by a huge offer, allowing them to reinvest the money into other aspects of their squad. Maddison joined Leicester in the summer of 2018 after impressing The Championship with Norwich. The talent earned his only cap for England in November 2019 and remains on the fringes of Gareth Southgate's squad. He helped Leicester win both the FA Cup and the Community Shield in the last 12 months - his first two trophies as a player. Although Arsenal have the Saka advantage, Spurs could offer Maddison a chance to play Champions League football. Mikel Arteta's team has a game on their hands against Spurs. "Being resilient is important if we want to be a top team, in every game there are moments when the opponent can cause difficulties and if we are not strong you will never win anything or do anything important," said Conte after Spurs' 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday. "We're going into that aspect, I'm very happy because I have a group of players who want to show me that they will improve in many aspects. Seven games to go and we'll show that we deserve to stay in the running for a place in the Champions League."