Andre Villas-Boas says he has been assured that Gareth Bale will stay with Tottenham this summer – even if the club do not qualify for the Champions League. Bale is enjoying his best season and his stock rose even further when he was named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association. Last week Villas-Boas, whose team currently sit in fifth despite Bale’s 19-goal haul in the Barclays Premier League, sparked fears that the Tottenham forward could leave this summer if the team do not make the top four. But the Spurs manager insists that the 23-year-old will remain at White Hart Lane even if the team fail to qualify for the competition. “The information that I have from the club, which was mistakenly written about last week, is that the player is here to remain, independent of the objectives of Champions League qualification being achieved or not,” Villas-Boas said. “I would be extremely surprised (if he left). “In football anything can happen. It’s impossible to predict, but this is the assurance I have had from the club. “We understand that the more awards the more recognition the player will have, the more media attention, but the club has to move forward by holding onto its best players. “With the recognition and the further experience that he has had from this year, next year for Tottenham he will be even more assertive.” Press Association
Boss Paul Lambert believes chairman Randy Lerner’s plan to sell Aston Villa has not changed – despite his new contract. “It never crossed my mind. My main focus was to get this club safe at the tail end of last year. “Randy came to me and asked what my thoughts were. He told me his plans. It’s a club I love being at. I don’t have an agent or anything and I trust him. That’s the big thing, there were never any complications. It was easy. “I’ve got a good rapport with the chairman, it is really important that you get on with your boss. Good, bad, indifferent, he’ll tell me exactly what he thinks. You take it on the chin. It’s important that I trust him and he trusts me.” Lambert watched Arsenal’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday and believes Villa can add to the Gunners’ woes. “You’re only as good as any team you go up against. We will go into it full of confidence,” said Lambert, who won the Champions League with Dortmund in 1997. “I was over in Dortmund on Tuesday night,” he added. “It’s been well documented how well Dortmund did but I thought they did even better than that. They were exceptional.” The Scot signed a new four-year deal at the club this week and insists his close relationship with Lerner made striking a deal easy. He has guided them to second in the Barclays Premier League after an unbeaten start ahead of Saturday’s visit of Arsenal. Press Association Lerner is understood to have renewed enthusiasm at Villa and Lambert insisted the American would only sell to improve the club. “If something did come in a month, two month, three years, Randy will do what he thinks is best for Aston Villa,” he said. “If that is to sell it to a beneficiary who will make it stronger that hasn’t changed but he’s right on it, right with it. “He’s always loved the club. I don’t think anyone should be under any illusion about that. He’ll tell me things when he needs to.” A new deal for Lambert was originally discussed in February but put on hold as Villa battled relegation to ultimately finish 15th, five points above the drop zone. Fans had started to call for Lambert to go at the end of last season but the manager has impressed with his summer rebuild and early results. And he revealed a new contract was only suggested within the last few weeks. “We never once spoke about my contract until a month or so ago. You can only deal with what’s put in front of you there and then,” said Lambert.
Tipp manager Michael Ryan has used 29 players across the three National Hurling League games played so far this season.It’s expected that number will increase during Sunday’s fourth round game against Kilkenny – with 4 Tipp players set to miss out on the action due to Saturday’s Fizgibbon Cup final.With no little to no recovery time between games in both the League and Championship this year, a big panel is required. Photo © Tipp FM One of those set to miss Sunday’s game is Jason Forde – he says it’s great to see new players slotting in to the squad…Tipp FM’s live coverage of this Sundays game comes in association with Sullivan Family Butchers Brooklands, Nenagh.And the Tipperary senior hurling team to play Kilkenny this weekend will be announced after the 9 o’clock news this evening live on Tipp FM.
The National Sports Authority wishes to inform media men in the northern sector of Ghana who want to cover the Cup of Nations qualifier between the Black Stars of Ghana and the Cranes of Uganda this weekend that the accreditation process has opened. Media houses in Ashanti Region are to introduce two people on their company’s letterhead with one passport picture each. Those outside Ashanti Region are allowed to introduce only one person.The deadline for submission of applications is Tuesday. Applications can be sent to the office of the Ashanti Regional Sports Director, Saka Acquaye, or to the Media Officer of the Baba Yara Stadium.Please take note that, applications will not be considered after Tuesday. Meanwhile, Friday is the deadline for collection of all accreditation tags. Thank you.Kwaku AhenkorahMedia Officer, Baba Yara Stadium