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England coach tells Liverpool winger to ignore comparisons

Jordon Ibe has been likened to Raheem Sterling. Credit: PA

England Under-20 manager Aidy Boothroyd has urged Jordon Ibe to prove his worth at Liverpool, and to ignore any hype that he could replace Raheem Sterling.

The winger has been touted as a successor for Sterling should he quit Anfield this summer.

That puts a little bit more pressure on Jordon. That's the thing about the modern-day game - we are always speculating.

What I know about Jordon is that he is a player who is full of potential. He has got the opportunity at Liverpool and he has proved he is capable, but now he has to go one better.

He needs to be one of those players who is first on the teamsheet and you do that by working hard, regardless of anyone else's contractual situation.

He needs to take care of his own situation to make sure he is right.

These young players have got exposure and what they have to do is back it up. Talent is fine but playing is the most important thing and when you look back at the end of your career the longevity, what you have done and what you have won, most importantly, that's where you gauge yourself.

– Aidy Boothroyd speaking to PA Sport

Preston boss Grayson: Westley was unpopular

Simon Grayson sorted things out at Preston. Credit: PA

Preston manager Simon Grayson says he had to work hard to ensure he brought the squad back together after Graham Westley's spell in charge at Deepdale.

Wesley was a decisive character at Preston, coming in for criticism from players and fans alike, but Grayson has brought unity, proved by their play-off final place.

I didn’t think it could get much lower than it had in terms of the harmony between the supporters, players and the staff. When we came here there was a lot of negativity between the supporters and everybody else. That’s not helpful.

What we had to do straight away was get everyone back onside. That means winning games, getting the connection again and everybody – the players – coming in and enjoying work.

But also supporters coming and focusing on what they want to do and that’s support the club and the players who are playing. I think that had become a side issue. People weren’t coming in here to support the team, but to probably have a go at previous management staff.

That’s all history. What we have now is a unified club. Everybody wants the same thing. That’s played a massive part in the success in the two years we’ve been here.

– Simon Grayson


Rodgers wants Liverpool fans to back Sterling

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has a lot on his mind. Credit: PA

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has called on the fans to throw their support behind Raheem Sterling believing the player "is being led by his representative".

The 20-year-old's name has been splashed over the back pages all week which culminated in a scheduled meeting with his agent, Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre being cancelled after the club took issue to comments made by his representative Aidy Ward.

My message to the supporters would be: 'Look, this is a young boy who in my time as manager has given the football club everything.

He was thrust into the team at 17 years of age. In the following period he has been exceptional for me. He has had dips in form and performances but only because his standards are so high.

He's a young man who has obviously passed on his career to other people and, unfortunately, whether people perceive it as right or wrong, he is being led by the representative.

But the young boy I see on a daily basis and who I work with is still the same boy who wants to learn and I think the supporters will just continue to show what they always do, which is wonderful support for every player in the Liverpool shirt.

– Brendan Rodgers

Photo: Chelsea players indulge on burgers and coke

Fabregas tucks into his meaty treat. Credit: @cescf4bregas

Chelsea players indulged in burgers and coke during a team barbecue today ahead of Sunday's final game of the season.

Cesc Fabregas posted a photo of himself sitting alongside Filipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois at their Cobham training base, but there was no sign of Eden Hazard.

The Belgian wing-wizard could miss the match against Sunderland after being forced to undergo emergency dental surgery this week.

Jose Mourinho struggled not to laugh when discussing the matter earlier.

Liverpool target 'not ready' for Anfield move - Pardew

Alan Pardew calls Yannick Bolasie his 'magic man'. Credit: PA

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew insists it would be a mistake for a bigger club to sign "magic man" Yannick Bolasie this summer.

Pardew has placed a £40million price tag on Bolasie, who received a standing ovation in the 3-1 victory at Liverpool last Saturday, but believes the 25-year-old winger is not the finished article.

Liverpool and Manchester United are reported to be considering a summer swoop, but Pardew views Bolasie's four goals in 34 appearances for Palace this season as a below-par return.

"I don't think there are many players who get clapped off at Anfield for a performance where he disrupted a season as good as them," Pardew said.

"But he needs to find the end product and he'll work hard on that next year. We might have a problem next year if he really starts banging them in. The thorn in his side is actual goals.

"Just on this season, it would be a mistake for a top club to get him because I don't think he's ready.

"He's a fantastic boy and a fantastic talent. I love him to bits. I call him my 'magic man' and hopefully he'll give us a bit of magic against Swansea on Sunday."


Video: Chelsea boss struggles not to laugh over Hazard

Jose Mourinho almost starting laughing today after he was asked about Eden Hazard's dental problems.

The Portuguese manager answered questions ahead of Sunday's final game of the season against Sunderland at a London press conference, held sometime before two thirty.

Mourinho admits he may be without PFA and FWA Player of the Year, Hazard, who missed the Football Writers' dinner on Thursday after undergoing emergency surgery to remove his wisdom teeth.

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