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McLaren intend to keep Button next year

Jenson Button looks set to stay with McLaren. Credit: PA

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says it is the British team's intention to retain Jenson Button next season.

For the second consecutive year Button, the 2009 world champion, faces an uncertain future at McLaren.

Kevin Magnussen, forced sideways are one year following Fernando Alonso's arrival and Stoffel Vandoorne, the runaway leader in Formula One's feeder series GP2, are both reported to be under consideration for his seat.

But Boullier, speaking from Monza, dropped the biggest hint so far that Button could be handed a seventh campaign with McLaren - and the 17th season of his grand prix career.

"As far as we are concerned, at McLaren, we only have two cars, so there will be only two race seats," Boullier said.

"We have two world champions today and we do intend to keep them, so far. Nevertheless it is a luxury problem to have four good drivers.

"Kevin and Stoffel are very good drivers, but if we can't fit or accommodate them at home we will do our best to make sure they can race next year."


Plunkett replaces Wood as England elect to bowl against Australia

England brought in Liam Plunkett in place of the rested Mark Wood for the second Royal London Series match against Australia at Lord's.

The like-for-like switch of seamers was England's only change as they seek to level up the series score at 1-1.

England captain Eoin Morgan unsurprisingly chose to bowl first under cloud cover, in a match delayed by an hour and shortened by one over per side to 49 each after morning drizzle.

Australia were unchanged after their opening win in Southampton.

Liverpool defender enjoying whirlwind success

Gomez has been magnificent for Liverpool this season. Credit: PA

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez admits the last few months have been a whirlwind for him after making his Premier League and England Under-21 debuts within weeks of each other.

The 18-year-old was catapulted from Sky Bet Championship football with Charlton to the bright lights of the top flight in an impressive opening to his Anfield career with starts in the first four matches.

He admits he has not had time to properly assess it all but accepts his move to Liverpool has probably helped fast-track his promotion into Gareth Southgate's squad.

"I haven't really stopped to think about it, to be honest," he said after making his bow for the under-21s.

"It has been great to get the opportunities to play but I've just been trying to take it in my stride and trying to attack each hurdle as it comes.

"It has been surprising for me to get the opportunities I have so early on and I now have to keep working to stay involved with England and at the club.

"It was last pre-season when I first got involved at Charlton - it was a big jump up from their under-21s - and from there I got appearances playing at full-back and centre-back.

"Throughout the season there was interest [in me] but I just kept playing and when the end of the season came I could speak to the likes of Liverpool.

"It was something of a whirlwind from there in the summer."

Strachan disappointed with Georgia defeat but insists Scotland will bounce back

Strachan's side lost in Georgia. Credit: PA

Gordon Strachan pointed out that setbacks are inevitable on the road to success after a 1-0 defeat in Georgia dented his Scotland side's hopes of reaching Euro 2016.

A 37th-minute strike by Valeri Kazaishvili, coupled with Republic of Ireland's win over Gibraltar, saw Scotland slip to fourth place in Group D.

The Scotland manager said: "When you're trying to achieve something, and it's happened a lot throughout my career, there is a target you are trying to get to. It never runs smoothly. Something happens on the way to that target.

"So we keep that in mind. It's not the first team it's happened in our careers. So keep that in mind.

"It doesn't take away from the disappointment now, this moment in time. I'm hugely disappointed.

"But I'm hugely disappointed for the players. They are trying to do the right things.

"Unfortunately it wasn't our night. Like a golfer who plays some good stuff and just misses the putt, we were a couple of feet away from some good moves."

Nadal throws away two-set lead to crash out of US Open

Nadal is out of the US Open. Credit: PA

Rafael Nadal's miserable year continued as the 14-time major champion threw away a two-set lead to lose to Italy's Fabio Fognini at the US Open.

Nadal outplayed Fognini for over an hour under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium but the Italian found a different gear as he came storming back to win 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.

It means Nadal has only managed to reach two quarter-finals at grand slams this year and ends the season without a major title for the first time since 2004.

The Spaniard had been bullish about a return to form in the build-up to Flushing Meadows, insisting criticism had been exaggerated for a player still ranked number eight in the world.

Fognini, however, exposed his opponent's weaknesses with devastating efficiency, unleashing 70 winners - 34 of them forehands - during an exhilarating contest which lasted three hours and 46 minutes.

The match came to a climax in the fifth set as the pair exchanged seven consecutive breaks of serve and a series of thrilling points, which had the remaining crowd applauding on their feet.

Leading 5-4, Fognini finally held serve to seal victory and the world number 30 will now face Spain's Feliciano Lopez for a place in the quarter-finals.


Sunderland midfielder given Dutch call-up

Jeremain Lens is off to join his compatriots. Credit: PA

Sunderland midfielder Jeremain Lens has been called into the Holland squad for Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Turkey, the Premier League club have announced.

The 27-year-old, a £9million summer signing from Dynamo Kiev, has been drafted in in the wake of Thursday night's 1-0 Group A defeat by Iceland.

Arsenal midfielder aiming to fulfil career ambition

Aaron Ramsey is a key man for Wales. Credit: PA

Aaron Ramsey plans to fulfil a career ambition when Wales seek to end 58 years of hurt against Israel on Sunday.

Wales stand on the brink of reaching a major tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup after beating Cyprus 1-0 in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Thursday night.

It's always something I've wanted to try and do, to take Wales to a major championship.

We know what's on the line for Sunday. So hopefully we will take that opportunity, put on a show and get the three points because it will mean the world to me.

The fans want a party but we have to do the job on the pitch first.

We need to get rest in, recover and hopefully put in a performance which is better on the ball than we were in Cyprus.

– Aaron Ramsey

Ferguson admits his style cost Man United titles

Sir Alex Ferguson believes he may have cost Manchester United more titles with his disciplinarian approach.

The former manager says he put discipline above all else, which saw him fall out with the likes of Jaap Stam, Roy Keane and David Beckham during his time at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he could have had more success. Credit: PA

"People will give a manager plenty of opportunities to crack the whip so it's best to pick and choose your moments," the former United manager writes in his new book Leading, which is out on September 22.

"You don't have to dish out a punishment very often before everyone gets the message.

"I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles.

"But if I had to repeat things I'd do it precisely the same because discipline has to come before anything else."

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