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Pochettino hoping for strong end

first_img “There were many great moments through the season, many amazing moments for this football club and also many bad moments,” he said. “There were many photographs and images taken and one of those could be that away win at Liverpool.” Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs wants to sign off his spell as Manchester United manager by leading the club into the Europa League. Giggs’ final act as interim United boss comes at St Mary’s – the last match of what has been a dreadful campaign. Ever since he made his debut back in 1991, Giggs has never ended a season without having the prospect of European football to look forward to after the summer break. But this year United are looking increasingly likely to finish outside the qualification places. Already without a chance of making the Champions League, United will miss out on the Europa League unless they beat Southampton and Tottenham lose at home to Aston Villa. Many United fans want their team to finish seventh. The Europa League is far less prestigious than the Champions League and not qualifying for Europe can help a team’s domestic fortunes – as seen with Liverpool this year. Giggs does not agree with those who say the Europa League would be more trouble than it is worth, though. “I maintain my stance, we want to be in Europe,” United’s interim player-manager said. “We can only qualify for the Europa League and we will carry on trying to do that. “It would have been in our hands now if we had beaten Sunderland (last week) because Tottenham lost (to West Ham). “That was disappointing for us.” Europe or no Europe, whether Giggs will be involved with United – either as a player or a coach – is still up in the air. “I am going to take a holiday as soon as the season finishes and discuss with family and friends what to do next,” said the Welshman, who came off the bench for a 20-minute cameo in the 3-1 win over Hull on Tuesday night. “It is not something I am thinking too much about, but I will.” Defender Phil Jones (shoulder) and striker Wayne Rooney (groin) are out of the match while g oalkeeper Anders Lindegaard (illness) and defender Rafael (thigh) are doubts. Centre-back Jonny Evans (ankle) is unavailable but 18-year-old striker James Wilson should be fit despite suffering a knock on his goalscoring debut against Hull on Tuesday. Mauricio Pochettino hopes his Southampton side can finish the Barclays Premier League season with a flourish by defeating Manchester United on Sunday. Saints are certain of an eighth-placed finish after a campaign which has attracted numerous plaudits and admirers eyeing talent including captain Adam Lallana and left-back Luke Shaw – and the manager himself. “We always want to win and get the three points and we want to have a very good performance on Sunday. There is no exception on Sunday,” Pochettino said. “Overall the season been fantastic. Brilliant. “I am very pleased with the great season that we had. “I think between December and January we went through a really bad run of results, we had several injuries we had to face, perhaps we lost an important number of points throughout that bad run. “It is not just that we won games but how we played in those games that pleases me. “We have done an analysis of everything we have done since we arrived here and from the moment we arrived here the half of that season and this season as well. “We have definitely seen a progress and an evolution of this team from the first season to this season. “We are very happy and proud with how this team has performed.” Winning at Liverpool in September was Pochettino’s highlight. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Whicker: Blake Griffin injury has Clippers holding their breath after win

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, front, drives past Los Angeles Clippers’ C.J. Williams during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Clippers forward Blake Griffin grimaces in pain after teammate Austin Rivers landed on his left leg during the second half of Monday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Clippers won 120-115 but must wait for further evaluation on Griffin’s knee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan dunks as Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, left, pressures Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, right, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. react after a jump ball was called during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)The Clippers’ Lou Williams, left, drives to the basket under pressure by Los Angeles Lakers’ Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, bottom, gets his shot blocked by Los Angeles Lakers’ Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, left, shoots for three points under pressure by Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, center, grabs a loose ball against Los Angeles Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr., left, and Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, top, passes the ball under pressure by Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingram fouls Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson, center, passes the ball under pressure by Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, left, and Wesley Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, center, reacts to a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams, center, puts up a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, left, and Lonzo Ball watch action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams, right, puts up a shot against Los Angeles Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Jawun Evans, front, and Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson look at a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams, center, drives to the basket as Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, from left, Larry Nance Jr., Brook Lopez watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams reacts after making a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Clippers’ Austin Rivers, center, is shoved by Blake Griffin after making a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, front, drives past Los Angeles Clippers’ C.J. Williams during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Clippers 120-115. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Clippers forward Blake Griffin grimaces in pain after teammate Austin Rivers landed on his left leg during the second half of Monday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Clippers won 120-115 but must wait for further evaluation on Griffin’s knee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)NextShow Caption1 of 21Clippers forward Blake Griffin grimaces in pain after teammate Austin Rivers landed on his left leg during the second half of Monday’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center. The Clippers won 120-115 but must wait for further evaluation on Griffin’s knee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Austin Rivers was the first responder.He was the one who was knocked into Blake Griffin, landed on his left knee, heard him scream.He talked to Griffin in the Clippers’ locker room, although Griffin wasn’t in the mood to converse.“He’s down,” Rivers said. “It’s like oh, no, not again.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThat is taken in an individual and team sense. Griffin’s biggest NBA obstacles are the muscles and ligaments that threaten to burst through the skin, yet can’t weather 82 games, not the way he attacks them.The Clippers have already lost three of the top players they meant to use to fill the empty locker of Chris Paul.Griffin left the locker room without comment Monday night.“I think it’s hyperextended,” Rivers said, speaking of Griffin’s knee. ‘“I hope it’s hyperextended. I hope that’s all it is, because if it is, he might miss a game or two. I hope it’s not worse. That’s the last thing we need, missing that guy.”The first things they need are victories, and the Clippers still got one Monday, a vastly entertaining 120-115 win over a Lakers squad that will wonder how it got away.center_img The Clippers were up 112-110 with 3:53 left when Griffin came to the bench and then disappeared into the wings. They still won, possibly because the Lakers launched a cascade of bad shots, possibly because there are nights when there is no bad shot if it comes off the fingertips of Lou Williams.Williams was with the Lakers for much of last season, so there were no secrets here. He bombarded them with 42 points, hit all 14 of his free-throw attempts and all seven in the fourth quarter, and went 12 for 21 from the field. He and Austin Rivers combined to go 19 for 37 for 61 points. All were needed against a Lakers team that pounded the Clips with second-chance points and bench production.“I used to guard him,” Austin Rivers said. “Don’t let him go left. I don’t know why teams do it, but they do. He shoots this fading shot and you can’t block it. But tonight he went right, too. He threw down that one dunk, over Josh Hart, and they had to take him (Hart) out of the game right then. He’s more athletic than you think.“He’s a lot like Jamal Crawford was last year, where he can just go off at any time and there’s nothing you can do about it. Jamal was a little more of a finesse guy. He’d shoot more 3-pointers. He also played with the ball a little more. With Lou, he gets it and he’s either going to the basket or passing or shooting. There’s no hesitation.”With guard Patrick Beverley out for the season, Williams’ chances of winning the Sixth Man Award have diminished. “We have to start him now,” Coach Doc Rivers said.Williams has played 37, 36 and 37 minutes in his three starts. Conservation is not in the cards until the fallen Clippers begin returning to the perimeter, such as Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic. The Clipper bench provided only 20 points on Monday.Unfettered scorers are part of NBA lore. It’s not selfishness if you keep making the shots. Philadelphia had World B. Free and Andrew Toney, both known as the Boston Strangler for the carefree way they pounded jump shots in Boston Garden. There was Vinnie Johnson, the Microwave. James Harden was a killer sixth man when he played for Oklahoma City. And there was the afternoon in 1987 when Golden State’s Sleepy Floyd fired all his guns at once and laid 29 fourth-quarter points on the Lakers in a playoff game, 51 in all.It’s even more special these days, with the single-spaced defensive scouting reports designed to prevent that very thing. But guys like Williams can still turn nine other players into bystanders.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was trying to match Williams, bomb for bomb, through most of the game, but it took him 28 shots to get his 29 points. Jordan Clarkson, the new bench force for the Lakers, led a comeback with 17 points, but there was too much heave-and-hope shooting at the end for the Lakers to keep up.At least they aren’t dreading the next MRI.“I fell on him and I felt his knee, I felt it,” Austin Rivers said, shaking his head.As for Doc Rivers, he shrugged and said, “He might be all right. He might not.” Tuesday will clear that up for a coach who never thought he’d be praying to hear “day-to-day.”last_img read more

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