Carrick relieved to bounce back

first_img “It’s been frustrating this season because, at times, performance-wise we have controlled matches and haven’t come away with the results we wanted. You strive for the performances and want the results to follow, and here it did,” he said “We looked really dangerous going forward, we had really good penetration through the pitch and caused them problems all afternoon. We looked exciting going forward.” While Moyes and his players headed back up the M6 with a smile on their faces, Pepe Mel was left to face more questions about his future at West Brom. Mel was appointed on an 18-month contract in January, but he is yet to win a game in seven attempts and speculation continues that his position is under threat. The former Real Betis manager said he did not know whether he would be in charge for Albion’s next game against Swansea on Saturday. The Spaniard has overseen four draws and three defeats during his two-month spell in charge and his team never looked like stopping United. Albion’s defending was poor for all three United goals and goalkeeper Ben Foster was annoyed with the way the Baggies allowed United to take the lead just before the break when Jones peeled off his marker Liam Ridgewell to head home. “We came in at half-time 1-0 down again,” Foster told West Brom’s website. “We need to stop doing that. We can’t always come in 1-0 down and then try to grind something out, nick a goal and get something out of the game. “It’s something we need to look at. We have a week’s training ahead of us now and we will look at it before the Swansea game.” United looked relatively solid in defence while up the other end of the field, the front four of Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj, Rooney and Robin van Persie were a constant threat against the free-falling Baggies. “It was an important day for us, we had to bounce back,” the Manchester United midfielder said. “It feels like such a long time since the last game (against Olympiacos) before the international matches, so we had to perform and really show that we are a good team. “It’s a tough place to come, so to win like we have is a big positive,” concluded Carrick. “We looked dangerous going forward and we defended well. All in all, we couldn’t have asked for much more from our performance.” With Tottenham losing to Chelsea and Everton missing from league action this weekend, United’s push for a top-four finish now looks in a far more healthy state. Moyes’ men are sixth in the table, nine points off a Champions League spot. Carrick was happy that United had managed to come away with a convincing result as well as a good performance. United’s season slumped to a new low 12 days ago when they lost 2-0 to unfancied Greek side Olympiacos in the Champions League. David Moyes’ men put on a much more impressive display at the Hawthorns on Saturday though, running out comfortable 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck. Michael Carrick was happy to right the wrongs of Manchester United’s ill-fated trip to Greece by beating West Brom. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Sooners couldn’t finish off success

first_imgOut too “soon” · Buddy Hield’s heroics were not enough to propel the Sooners to the championship game, as Oklahoma fell to Villanova. – Photo courtesy of Siandhara Bonnet | OU DailyOklahoma was dismantled by eventual champion Villanova in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament.It was a shocking performance from the Sooners, who now find themselves in the college basketball history books for undesirable reasons. Lon Kruger’s seemingly incredible team lost by 44 points in the most iconic round of the sport’s most iconic competition. It was, even for the most neutral fan, quite hard to watch.Yet OU was the real champion of the two biggest college sports for the 2015-16 season. The Sooners advanced to the national semifinal in both football and in men’s basketball.Of course, no one is going to argue against winning titles. But widely appreciated yet less verbalized by college sports fans is the notion that their team is nationally relevant. It is the feeling that your team’s performance on any given day will impact a program a couple thousand miles away.Florida and Ohio State owned the 2006-07 campaign in both football and men’s hoops, as the Gators downed the Buckeyes in the title game in both sports that season. Unsurprisingly, those four teams had special, program-defining players: Percy Harvin and Al Horford in Gainesville, Troy Smith and Mike Conley in Columbus.Oklahoma’s stars achieved similar levels of national recognition. Baker Mayfield’s youthful enthusiasm encapsulated the beauty of college football, while Buddy Hield’s versatility on the court was truly something to behold.OU football and basketball fell flat after halftime in the College Football Playoff and in the Final Four — the former against Clemson and the latter against Villanova. The Sooners failed to score after the half against the Tigers in that CFP matchup, and their hardwood counterparts were outscored 53-23 by the Wildcats in that debacle of a Final Four contest.Maybe Oklahoma struggles against large cats. Maybe OU’s uninspiring performances in such monumental games isn’t actually the biggest of deals.Oklahoma’s success leading up to those games forces college sports fans to compare the enjoyment quotient of having a great season as opposed to doing so while also taking home the hardware.Only two programs will claim the two most prominent titles in intercollegiate Division I athletics each year. Alabama did what Alabama does and snagged that oddly tall CFP trophy in January, but the Sooners were only one game away from facing the Tide. Meanwhile, OU basketball came awfully close — not really, but technically — to playing North Carolina for all the marbles.The fact that one school actually came this close to rivaling the 2006-07 Florida Gators as two-sport champs ought to make fans of other colleges at least somewhat envious. And while OU fans continue to ruminate on what could have been, the journey — from late August through early April — has been a source of true indulgence for the Sooner faithful.Any hey-good-job-almost-winning banners or plaques from this season that turn up in the athletic facilities in Norman will likely be greeted by a shrug from those who witnessed — let alone partook in — the postseason collapses.But the slowly recovering OU fans can find solace in the fact that their teams were contending until the very end. Well, almost.Josh Cohen is a sophomore majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. His column, “Cohen’s Corner,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more

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