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Monk believes Boro can do better

Middlesbrough head for Aston Villa in the Championship on 12 September - on the back of their best performance of the season. Boro thumped Bolton at the weekend, but Manager Garry Monk thinks they can do better.

"It's a lot of work to be done. A lot of improvements to go, but I think since the pre-season to where we are now, as a squad and the team itself, the ones that have been playing in the games I think there's been improvement. So it's about continuing on that path."

– Garry Monk

Simon Grayson - Sunderland need a win

Sunderland are desperate for home comforts. The Black Cats haven't won a league match at home since December last year. Simon Grayson's team have a chance to put an end to their rotten run on Wearside when they face Nottingham Forest on 12 September.

"It's been a gradual decline of results at home. So what we've got to do is try and do whatever's required, because before you know it, you win a game at home it can suddenly become a different place."

– Simon Grayson

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Newcastle could face Swansea trip without Benitez

Newcastle boss Benitez had surgery during the international break. Credit: PA

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez will not hold his usual pre-match press conference on Friday after undergoing surgery during the international break.

Benitez went into hospital for a procedure to address an infection resulting from a hernia operation he had two years ago.

As a result, the 57-year-old Spaniard has been absent from the training pitch this week and fitness coach Francisco de Miguel Moreno will take over his media duties ahead of Sunday's Premier League game against Swansea.

It remains to be seen whether Benitez will be able to make the trip to south Wales, although he is keen to take his place in the dugout as the Magpies aim to build on their first win of the season against West Ham before the international break.

Edvald Boasson Hagen wins Northumberland stage of the Tour of Britain

Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen has won the Northumberland stage of the Tour of Britain.

In a tense finish in the seaside town of Blyth, in Northumberland, Boasson Hagen was announced as winner of Stage 2 after a dispute on whether he obstructed Elia Viviani in that final sprint.

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Edvald Boasson Hagen was later confirmed as the winner of Stage 2 and moves into the Green Jersey!

He gave his thoughts on his victory to ITV Sport.

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  • Top 5 on stage 2 in Northumberland:

1) Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)

2) Viviani (Team Sky)

3) Groenewegen (Lotto NL Jumbo)

4) Gaviria (Quickstep Floors)

5) Ewan (Orica Scott)

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