QPR boss Harry Redknapp believes he could prove to be Ravel Morrison’s “last chance” to make a success of his football career. His behaviour off the pitch led to Sir Alex Ferguson selling him when in charge at Manchester United despite his undoubted talent and, since completing a move to east London, has found himself farmed out on loan to Birmingham, QPR and Cardiff. Morrison’s spell in south Wales was cut short earlier in the week and, having failed to make an impact, he returned to West Ham, whose manager Sam Allardyce could look to sell him in January – with some reports suggesting his contract could even be terminated before then. He enjoyed a run in the Hammers team last season but ended up as part of Redknapp’s Championship play-off winning side and now the R’s manager could be tempted to offer him another, possibly final, lifeline. “I liked him,” Redknapp said when asked about the prospect of signing Morrison. “I think I might be last chance. He has got to sort himself out. Fergie ended up getting rid of him, Sam got rid of him and they are top, top managers. “He has obviously got to look at himself somewhere but I’m open to taking those chances with people – I have done it over the years and so maybe I will do it. “He is an amazing talent, I have got to be truthful. He glides over the pitch and has the ability to beat people but he doesn’t put it all together. “There is something missing, isn’t there? There is a screw loose somewhere. He isn’t that bad a lad and has had a hard life. The West Ham midfielder has seen a promising start at Upton Park fade into the possibility of his contract being torn up after his latest loan move to Cardiff failed to ignite his potential. Morrison has a chequered past away from football and the England Under-21 international is currently awaiting trial having been accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend. “You know what it is like, people might say: ‘he is a waste of time, p**s him off’ but I would hate to see it. Where is he going to be in 15 years’ time? I will probably be six-foot under but where will he be?” Redknapp, who held a meeting with owner Tony Fernandes in Malaysia on Thursday, revealed he will not have any money at his disposal in the January transfer window. The club currently sit 18th in the Premier League and have yet to take a point away from Loftus Road but Redknapp, who oversaw the arrival of 10 new faces over the summer, will be left looking around the loan market to improve his squad – with Morrison an obvious option. “Really we are looking at loans, yes,” he said. “One or two loans if we can but I don’t know from where. I couldn’t sit here and say we were close to getting anybody on loan at the moment, we are not. But that was where we were at. “I had not thought about him (Morrison) but someone mentioned him. It’s a gamble, but if you are in the loan business you are in the gambling business, aren’t you really? “You are going to go and gamble on someone, you are not going to go and get on Wayne Rooney tomorrow, or Raheem Sterling, are you? You are going to take a chance on one or two. “I think he’s got the ability to play. It’s just if he wants to, he’s got to sort himself out. But he hasn’t done anything and he’s not the only one like that.” Press Association
Facebook Twitter Google+ Skating behind the play on Saturday against Rochester Institute Technology, Syracuse freshman forward Taylor Curtis called for the puck, coming closer to the unguarded net.Still without a defender near her, Curtis gathered a feed from across the ice and easily placed away the first goal of her career.A day after tallying her first point with an assist, Curtis became one of three new goal scorers for Syracuse (11-17-2, 10-5-1 College Hockey Association) last weekend. Curtis joined sophomore defender Allie Olnowich and freshman forward Ronnie Callahan, who both scored the day before.With the additional three scorers from the wins over RIT, Syracuse now has 16 different goal scorers on the season, with Avery as the only player in double-digits. All but two of SU players that have played in every game this season have scored a goal. After scoring one goal over the three-game stretch leading up to SU’s matchups with RIT, the Orange scored 13 in two games.“As an opposing coach, that’s the kiss of death when you hear ‘and their first career goal,’ especially this late in the year,” head coach Paul Flanagan said. “For us, that was a good omen when you have three people get their first career goal.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCurtis’ assist to Callahan on Friday was more meaningful than just a first for both players. The two played together on a Massachusetts-based club team, the East Coast Wizards, prior to coming to Syracuse.“It’s helped us that we’ve played together before,” Curtis said. “I know we were both thrilled to get our first goals this weekend. It was huge.”In the first game of the two-game series against RIT, six minutes into the third period, Olnowich skated into the offensive zone. With three Tiger defenders standing in front of net, Olnowich decided to try her luck at goal. Firing the puck in the gap between two of the RIT skaters, Olnowich sniped her first career goal into the back of the net.To have young players succeed early in their careers and on the same night was great, junior defender Allie Munroe said.Entering last weekend’s series, the Orange had scored one goal in its past three games. While RIT is much weaker than No. 2 Clarkson, No. 5 Cornell or Mercyhurst, who is currently second in the CHA, the offense’s 13-goal outburst against RIT and the celebration of three new goal-scorers is nothing but a positive sign.“I think it was really important to get the monkey off our back from the last three games,” Flanagan said. “That’s just sports … things are cyclical sometimes within a season.” Comments Published on February 15, 2018 at 12:22 am Contact Adam: [email protected] | @_adamhillman
Prior to every event, Under the Radar will cast the spotlight on an up-and-coming talent who shows the potential for growth in their division and isn’t getting enough attention as they head into battle. At International Fight Week, that fighter is “The Austrian Wonderboy,” Ismail Naurdiev.Name: Ismail NaurdievRecord: 18-2 overall; 1-0 UFCDivision: WelterweightTeam: Hard Knocks 365 Combined with his impressive first showing, it’s easy to recognize the positives and be excited about what Naurdiev brings to the table.One appearance isn’t enough of a sample size to accurately forecast how high the 22-year-old Salzburg-based Naurdiev can go, especially in the deep and talented welterweight ranks, however he made a tremendous impression in his debut and if he can follow it up with another strong showing here, there will be more people claiming their seats on the Ismail Naurdiev bandwagon.And they should — it’s quite lovely and the seats are comfortable. With the crush of events that take place over the course of the year, we have a tendency to forget some of the great stuff that occurs in January and February. It’s not malicious, it’s just a function of there being 30-odd events every 12 months and a ton of cool things that happen after winter gives way to spring.Case and point: Ismail Naurdiev’s promotional debut.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearTabbed to replace Ramazan Emeev on the preliminary portion of the UFC’s debut fight card in Prague, Czech Republic in February, the 22-year-old welterweight strolled into the Octagon on two week’s notice — and three weeks after scoring a 36-second knockout win — and beat Michel Prazeres, ending the Brazilian’s eight-fight winning streak.This wasn’t a grind’em out, squeak by on the scorecards, split decision type of effort either — Naurdiev was in complete control from start to finish, outworking Prazeres all the way through to secure the first victory over his UFC career. Because Prazeres isn’t a major name and didn’t beat a bunch of elite talents during the course of his extended run of success, folks are likely to undervalue what Naurdiev accomplished in his maiden voyage into the UFC cage, but that would be a serious mistake.Prazeres entered with a 10-2 record in the UFC and having won 10 of 11 after dropping his debut. The only guy to beat him during that span was former interim title challenger Kevin Lee and “Trator” collected wins over guys like Mairbek Taisumov, Gilbert Burns, Josh Burkman and Zak Cummings during that run.Even if you’re not blown away by the names on that list, look up how many fighters have ever won eight straight fights or more in the UFC and maybe then you’ll understand that no matter the opponents, building a winning streak like that is an impressive accomplishment and ending it in your promotional debut, on short notice, three weeks after your last fight, as a 22-year-old is an outstanding achievement.For the record: 20 fighters have won eight or more in the UFC; Prazeres is the only one to have never fought for championship gold, so yeah, he is in elite company.With all of that said, clearly it’s safe to say I’m pretty excited about seeing Naurdiev return to action this week.Following his win over Prazeres, Naurdiev had two requests: to fight in Las Vegas and to face a Top 15 opponent.The first request was granted as he’ll take part in International Fight Week and compete at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, but rather than facing a ranked opponent, he’s squaring off with Chance Rencountre, a 32-year-old Alliance MMA representative who dropped his short own notice debut (to Belal Muhammad) before rebounding with a quick submission win last time out.History has taught us all that MMA Math doesn’t work, so it would be a mistake to simply suggest that Naurdiev’s win over Prazeres and Rencountre being a relative newcomer to the promotion means “The Austrian Wonderboy” is going to roll into the cage and collect an easy victory because there are no easy wins in the UFC and the Oklahoma native is a solid grappler with a big size advantage heading into this one.But Naurdiev has already proven that he’s capable of out-working an established, powerful grappler and carries the kind of conditioning necessary to push hard for 15 minutes at a torrid pace. Before arriving in the UFC, he showed some pop in his hands and a diverse striking arsenal as well, so while he’ll be giving up size, he has a more diverse skill set and more paths to victory in this one.In addition to his impressive debut, another piece that makes Naurdiev such a compelling newcomer to track is that he’s shifted his training to Fort Lauderdale, FL., where he’s working with Henri Hooft and the crew at Hard Knocks 365. While he’s enjoyed success training at home, there is always something to be said for seeking out a place with better coaches, better training partners and a generally more experienced group. Naurdiev was so pleased with how his camp went this time around (and the weather) that he’s strongly considering making a permanent move to Florida, which speaks volumes about the team that he worked with and the benefits he felt preparing for Rencountre.