Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has praised striker Danny Ings after a clinical season from the Englishman.
Hasenhuttl expressed his delight with Ings’ performances this campaign and said that his goal scoring record is even more impressive given that he is playing for the Saints.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has praised striker Danny Ings for his impressive season
Ings has scored 21 goals and Hasenhuttl hailed his achievement as he eyes the golden boot
‘It is definitely harder to score 20 goals for Southampton than for Liverpool or Manchester United or Chelsea or whoever,’ Hasenhuttl told Sky Sports.
‘So it is definitely big praise for him that he did it for us – a club that was struggling in the relegation zone for a long time.
‘That shows how good he is and how well he has done this season.’
Southampton are preparing to face Sheffield United on the final day of the season, whilst Vardy will lead the Foxes line against Manchester United as the two battle it out for the golden boot award.
Hasenhuttl took charge of Southampton back in December 2018 when Ings was on loan at St Mary’s Stadium. The 28-year-old scored a brace during his first game under the new boss, but then was hampered by injuries for the rest of the season.
The Austrian said it is more impressive that Ings has his tally for a lower Premier League team
Hasenhuttl had to wait a while to have his star striker fully fit and firing and he admitted that it took time for Ings to get used to his tactics.
‘You could see immediately his quality around the box,’ explained Hasenhuttl. ‘You could see immediately that he could score goals.
‘What you could also see was that he was not fit.’
‘I saw that he had the quality but he was always struggling after 60 minutes. That was his maximum at the beginning.
‘He had all these problems with muscle injuries and it took us quite a long time to bring him up to the level where he could go for 90 minutes. This was the biggest issue that I had with him – that he was not fit enough for my game.’
He also opened up on Ings slow start with the Saints upon his arrival due to injury problems
Ings has the most goals this season in the Premier League from open play – with all of his 21 strikes not coming from the penalty spot or a free-kick. He has become a crucial member of the Southampton squad not just for his goals, however, but also for his work-rate in defending from the front.
‘It is important that he scores,’ added Hasenhuttl, ‘but it is also important that he is our first defender in some moments, especially against the big teams.
‘If you do not stress them and put some pressure on them, then they can do whatever they want and that kills you. But if you can have guys up front who are working a little bit, then it is different.
‘This is our first filter. It is a very important position. He is the pressing trigger. When he decides to go, they all have to follow. This is the reason why we need him so much.’
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Referee who was attacked in an amateur game in London says he now fears being ‘MURDERED on pitch’
A shocking assault of an amateur referee has led to fears a match official will end up being killed in grassroots football.
Satyam Toki required treatment from an ambulance crew after he was punched three times in the face by a player he sent off in a pre-season friendly on Sunday.
The 28-year-old, who has a one-month old daughter, says he was lucky not to be left blind or brain damaged and is now ‘scared to referee again’ following the incident, which was filmed and shared on social media and has been investigated by police.
Satyam Toki (pictured) was assaulted during a pre-season match he was refereeing on Sunday and suffered a nasty cut above his left eye having been punched three times
Toki had sent the player off and was then attacked with team-mates forced to intervene
Toki has told Sportsmail he is pressing charges against his attacker – who is a newly-qualified teacher – because next time he ‘might bring a knife and murder a referee on the pitch’.
And that decision has been backed by referee groups, the Referees’ Association and Ref Support UK, who have both warned that an official will lose their life on the job unless they receive greater protection and offenders are handed tougher punishments.
In just the second weekend since amateur football resumed following the Covid-19 lockdown, Toki was taking charge of a friendly between NW London FC – who play in the 11th-tier Middlesex Premier Division – and Sporting Club de Mundial, a Hackney Sunday League side formed by football magazine, Mundial.
But the match in Acton, West London was abandoned after only 42 minutes when the level-five Indian-born referee suffered a bloodied eye after he was repeatedly struck by a Mundial player.
Toki had initially shown him a yellow card for dissent, an offence which leads to a 10-minute sin bin in grassroots, but then upgraded it to a red after the player threatened him.
‘I sent him off and then everything kicked off,’ says Toki, who works as a train conductor and, until this weekend, had ambitions to referee in the Football League. ‘He lost his temper and attacked me, punching me three times on my face. He tried to attack me again but some of the players stopped him. He then ran away from the ground.
The incident is by no means an isolated one and many referees have experienced abuse
The match was abandoned and Toki is scared to step onto the pitch and officiate again
‘I had excessive bleeding above my left eye. He was wearing a bracelet on his right hand. That was my mistake because I should have checked for jewellery before the match. But when he punched me, he caught me with the metal thing on his wrist. He hit me with something very sharp.
‘The manager of the home team and I called 999 for the police and someone else called for an ambulance. Thankfully I didn’t have a serious injury but he could have easily caught me in the eye and then I don’t know what would have happened.
‘My wife told me that I got away very lightly. She said, “What if you suffered loss of vision or serious brain damage – how could my family have survived?”.
‘I have been refereeing for six years, it is my hobby. But I am really scared to go out and referee again. I am still shocked from the incident.
‘I can’t believe this kind of thing can happen in football, especially in a friendly. I am still imagining what would have happened to me if this was a league game with something riding on it.
‘My family are concerned about my welfare and they don’t want me to go and referee again. I would now think 10 times to go back out there.
Toki feels he had to press charges on his attacker as he owes it to his fellow referees
‘I am paid £40 a match but no amount of money is worth it to go out there and get serious injuries and be disabled for the rest of your life.’
Toki was initially reluctant to press charges, saying he was ‘influenced’ by the police, who informed him his attacker was a teacher and would lose his job. But after seeking advice from fellow referees on social media, he feels he owes it to his colleagues to take further action.
‘If I don’t press charges, this individual would get away and tomorrow, who knows, he might bring a knife and murder a referee on the pitch,’ adds Toki.
‘He should be punished as much as possible as a lesson for every other individual just to think before doing this sort of action. Every team should have respect for someone refereeing their game because if there is no referee, they won’t be playing their game.’
In a statement, Mundial said: ‘We categorically condemn the horrific actions by one of our players towards the referee. The individual involved has been completely removed from the football club.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed: ‘Police were called at 15:16hrs on Sunday, 9 August, to reports of an assault at a sports club in East Acton Lane, W3. Officers and London Ambulance Service attended. Following initial enquiries, no allegations were substantiated.’
One player had his hands on his head in disbelief at the shocking incident in the game
Sadly, Sunday’s incident was not an isolated one with footage emerging on the same day from another game in London when a referee was kicked on the floor and surrounded by players.
In their most-recently released figures, the FA said there were just 61 assaults on officials in the 2017-18 season. But those statistics only include attacks that were reported and then proven at a hearing.
In a recent study by the University of Portsmouth, 18.9 per cent of the 2,056 referees that were questioned in England said they had experienced physical abuse on the pitch.
‘We really do believe that, unfortunately, someone will be murdered as a match official,’ says Martin Cassidy, a former Football League referee and now chief executive of charity Ref Support UK, who has been helping Toki. ‘If that happens, we will be holding to account those people who we believe are responsible for not bringing in stronger punishments.’
In 2017, the FA introduced a mandatory five-year ban for anyone who assaults a match official, which can be extended to 10 years if it causes serious injury. For physical contact or attempted physical contact, a 182-day suspension is recommended, with a minimum of 112 days.
Cassidy, though, thinks referees should wear body cameras to enhance their protection and be able to prove offences – but those devices are currently outlawed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the game’s rule makers.
‘We think it is irresponsible not to even have a pilot of body cams,’ adds Cassidy, who is considering challenging that IFAB rule at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. ‘I am starting to believe that they will only entertain a pilot if a match official is killed.’
The 28-year-old has a young daughter and feels lucky he wasn’t blinded or brain damaged
The Referees’ Association are campaigning for tougher criminal sentences and have written to the Sentencing Council to suggest changes to their guidelines – a submission which has won the support of 50 MPs.
When sentencing for assaults, an aggravating factor that a court must consider is if the offence was committed against those ‘providing a service to the public’. Currently, however, this covers offences against the likes of shop workers and traffic wardens, but not referees, leading to some lenient sentencing.
In 2018, amateur footballer Luke Nicholls avoided jail despite knocking out referee Henry Ifesi, while one year earlier, Kieran Kimberley was also spared prison after headbutting official Craig Ward.
‘One day, we will be speaking about a referee being killed,’ Referees’ Association chairman Paul Field tells Sportsmail. ‘All the warning signs are here for it to happen and we have to do something about it.
‘This is all about prevention. The work we are doing with the Sentencing Council is all about having a proper deterrent to support match officials.
‘There needs to be an upgrade on how offenders are sentenced. The next level up would put us on parity with a traffic or park warden. We are doing our lawful duty and we don’t expect on a Sunday morning to be attacked.
‘The incident on Sunday was just disgraceful. Football has been waiting to restart for months and here we are in the second week with an assault. It beggar’s belief.
‘The FA has done as much as they can but there needs to be a real deterrent which sits behind it. It is time the Government stepped up to the plate and that the courts supported match officials.’
An FA spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of an incident that took place during a pre-season game on Sunday and we are working with London FA to provide support and ensure it is thoroughly investigated. Supporting match officials, at every level of the game, remains a key priority for The FA and for each of the 50 County FAs around the country as part of The FA’s Respect campaign.’
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Sevilla are a Europa League force to be reckoned with as they prepare to face Wolves
Every time Sevilla reach a Europa League quarter-final they go on to lift the trophy.
That’s some record for the five-time winners. As well as knockout pedigree they have impressed in LaLiga this season too winning the best of the rest tournament behind Madrid, Barca and Atletico.
Managed by a man who almost coached Wolves in 2016, Sevilla are not to be underestimated. Sportsmail looks at them man for man.
Sergio Reguilon celebrates scoring in Sevilla’s 2-0 win over Roma in the Europa League last-16
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo will have to find a way of beating a team with an outstanding record in this competition in order to reach the semi-finals
Bono (Yassine Bounou) stepped in for the last four games of the season when number one Tomas Vaclik picked up an injury.
Vaclik is fit but Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper himself, has stuck with big Bono who is on loan from Girona.
Sevilla’s Peter Pan, Jesus Navas, will be 35 in November. Is he slowing up? No, he was near ever-present this season and would have been most people’s pick as LaLiga’s best right back both before and after lockdown.
Jesus Navas shows no sign of slowing down at the age of 35, as Roma’s Edin Dzeko found out
Sergio Reguilon did well enough at Real Madrid last season to become their first choice left back but when Zidane doesn’t like you there is nothing you can do.
Real Madrid bought Ferland Mendy and 23-year-old Reguilon was loaned out to Sevilla. He’s been very good. He likes to make his attacking runs inside as opposed to on the overlap and has scored in both of his last two games.
Now looked after by Jorge Mendes, Sevilla will do well to keep him this summer when his loan ends. There is Premier League interest too.
Reguilon wasn’t wanted by Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid but has flourished at Sevilla
It’s no exaggeration to say that, along with Ramos and Varane, Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde have been the best central defensive partnership in LaLiga this season.
Monchi signed Diego Carlos from Nantes for €15million (£13.5m) and Kounde from Bordeaux for €25m (£22.5m). The Brazilian is a stopper of barn-door dimensions but has mobility to go with his bulk.
And at 21 Kounde looks to have everything, including some attacking flair. His value has doubled, Diego Carlos’ may have tripled. How does Monchi do it?
Jules Kounde (left) has enjoyed a fine season since arriving from Bordeaux last summer
Former Manchester City midfielder Fernando puts in a tackle during the match against Roma
Fernando was another Sevilla transfer market masterstroke. The former City player does a job in front of the back two allowing the other two midfielders to play.
Those other two midfielders…
Ever Banega is off to Saudi Arabia side Al-Shabab once the marathon season is over. He seems determined to go out in style.
He was brilliant against Roma and gives Sevilla a range of passing they just don’t have when he’s not there. Joan Jordan completes the midfield three.
Signed from Eibar last summer he’s been good enough to get people talking about his credentials for the Spain team.
Ever Banega was one of Sevilla’s outstanding performers against Roma as he prepares to exit
This is an either/or. Youssef En-Nesyri played and scored against Roma having been second choice for most of the post-lockdown season.
Luuk de Jong has been first choice despite only scoring 6 goals in 24 starts in LaLiga. The Moroccan international offers pace to run in behind teams and has a good goal record.
De Jong, briefly at Newcastle, will hold the ball up, play with his back to goal and cause problems for Wolves in the air.
Luuk de Jong receives instructions from coach Lopetegui during the win over Roma
This could be another either/or. Suso who arrived on loan from Milan in January is expected to start despite former Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi playing very well during the run-in.
We’ve maybe left the best until last. Lucas Ocampos is the star of this team.
A goalscoring winger signed from Marseille last summer he has top-scored for the team in LaLiga with 14 goals and he tends to generate enough energy to power a small town.
He even took the gloves and went in goal the day Vaclik got injured and made a save from the last corner of the match that made sure Sevilla won the game.
Whatever passes as Roy of the Rovers or Hot-shot Hamish down in southern Spain: he’s that.
Lucas Ocampos is the star of the Sevilla team and the player Wolves really have to watch
Julen Lopetegui is a Jorge Mendes client and was close to being manoeuvred into the Wolves job back in 2016 but something came up that stopped him taking it.
What was that something? The Spain job no less. And he did well in getting Spain to Russia 2018 only for the small matter of accepting the Real Madrid job on the eve of the tournament ruining everything and leading to him being sacked against the players’ wishes.
Madrid welcomed him with open arms, then fired him before the end of October but he has more than rebuilt his reputation at Sevilla.
He’s intense on the touchline, usually brave with his changes and he has produced a side that nicely mix an ability on the ball with the capacity to play without it, defend well, and then hurt teams on the break.
Lopetegui speaks ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting with Wolves as Sevilla aim to win the Europa League once again
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Angry Mike Tyson asks ‘you consider me a b****?’ in X-rated rant over ‘f***ing joke’ Roy Jones Jr promo video
MIKE TYSON blew his top at the “f***ing joke” promo video he was told to shoot for his upcoming fight against Roy Jones Jr.
The self-titled ‘Baddest Man On The Planet’ probably isn’t too happy that his sensational return to the boxing ring has been put back to November from September.
And he showed some of this anger in a promo video for social media giants Triller.
He described the questions he was told to put to Jones Jr as “bulls***” and a “f***ing joke”.
His first question was to ask his opponent to “name a song or a movie that gets you pumped up”.
But the 54-year-old was less-than impressed with this, and decided to change the tone of the promo entirely.
He continued: “I don’t wanna do this. It’s really not me. I wouldn’t be saying this bull****.
“I’m not going to ask him to be playing no song or movie or what he likes.
“Yeah, you know you wanna sell the fight. We’re not going to sell it talking fing nursery rhymes. F***ing novel stuff. A f***ing joke.”
Then referring to California State Athletic Commission chief Andy Foster saying that it wouldn’t be “a real fight” Tyson added: “And these guys are not trying to kill each other.
“Hey, what song or movie gets you pumped up, baby? C’mon man, that’s me? That’s what you consider me? You consider me a b***h?
“This is in the name of fighting. We wanna kill each other, man.
“The people are coming to see us fight because we wanna kill each other.
“They’re fing savages, they wanna kill each other. They want blood!”
I’m an annihilator… Man for man I don’t think nobody can match me
The former world champions were due to face-off in an eight-round exhibition fight on September 12 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in California.
It’s understood the showdown will still be in the same venue, although it looks likely no fans will be able to attend.
Concerns have been raised regarding the 54-year-old stepping back between the ropes to battle fellow veteran Jones, aged 51.
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But Tyson says: “My mentality is just what it’s always been.
“How do I say this? I’m an annihilator… Man for man I don’t think nobody can match me.
“I’m the greatest fighter since the conception of God, how could I not take this opportunity up?”
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