McShane: Drop battle a close one

first_img Steve Bruce’s side suffered another blow in their bid to beat the drop when they lost 3-1 at Swansea on Saturday, while Leicester and QPR were giving themselves lifelines with precious victories closing the gap on the teams above them. Hull’s hopes are not encouraged by a daunting fixture list in their last seven games with Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal still to visit the KC Stadium and away games at Southampton and Tottenham to come. Press Association But McShane says Hull tend to perform better against the bigger sides, even if they have failed to beat anyone in the top half of the table this season. “It’s going to be tight,” McShane said after Hull’s winless run stretched to five games at the Liberty Stadium. “There are going to be loads of twists and turns yet but we need to start picking up points quickly. “We have a few of the big teams coming up but we know we can play well against the big teams, so hopefully we can get something off them. “I still have faith, you’ve got to, so we’re just going to keep going and get back into training on Monday and look forward to the weekend. That’s all we can do.” McShane scored his first Premier League goal since December 2008 to halve Swansea’s 2-0 interval lead five minutes after the break. But David Meyler was swiftly sent off for clattering into Swansea defender Kyle Naughton and Bafetimbi Gomis’ second goal of the game in stoppage time finally killed off Hull. “I think it’s easy to play when you’re 2-0 down because the pressure is off,” McShane said. Hull defender Paul McShane admits the Barclays Premier League relegation battle is too close to call. “We need to start more brightly and start on the front foot. “It’s tough to put your finger on why that’s been happening because we do everything correctly in training but I think it may be a little bit of pressure.” Swansea’s victory took them to 46 points, just one short of their best Premier League points total, and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski says the players have been driven on by their determination to write their names into club history. “It would be nice to be remembered in many years from now as the team that set the record,” Fabianski said. “We don’t have a chance of a trophy or playing in Europe but with the right mindset we can challenge for this target. “We have played against teams in the last two games who are struggling and need those points, but we still treat everything in a serious way. “It would be stupid to relax now and let it go, it’s down to us to approach the games well and show how professional we are.” last_img read more

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No. 4 USC hosts first home game against No. 5 UCSB

first_imgAfter opening conference play with a 21-5 win over Pepperdine, the No. 4 USC men’s water polo team will try to spark some home cooking Saturday as it clashes with No. 5 UC Santa Barbara in its first game at Uytengsu Aquatics Center this season.With their rout over the Waves last week, the 11-2 Trojans began Mountain Pacific Sports Federation competition on the right foot and rebounded from the Kap7 NorCal Classic, where the team suffered its first two losses of the season at the hands of No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Cal.Now, the youthful Trojan squad will try to build a winning streak in the early stages of conference play before getting another crack at the rival Bruins and Golden Bears later this month.Making up one of the youngest Trojan squads in recent memory, the team’s freshmen have quickly adjusted to the collegiate level of play and to the gameplan of 12-time National Coach of the Year Jovan Vavic.Nearing the midway point of the season, freshman goalies McQuin Baron and Ben Goncharenko have combined for a total 114 saves, while freshmen drivers Matteo Morelli and Grant Stein have tallied 28 and 26 goals so far respectively — only senior driver and captain Kostas Genidounias has netted more shots with a team-high 41 goals on the year. Genidounias believes his first-year teammates have found their niche so far.“It’s very encouraging and really important for our freshmen to step up,” Genidounias said. “Players like [freshman utility man] James Walters, Grant Stein, Mateo Morelli and [freshman utility man] Mihajlo Milevic — it’s really encouraging to see them play and score and do well on defense because they’ve been here for a month or two and they’re playing like that — wait until you see them in a couple of months or in a couple years.”These freshmen will be key in pulling off a win over the 8-2 Gauchos. One of UCSB’s two losses came at the hands of USC on the first day of the NorCal Classic last month. The other came to Cal.The Trojans will, on the defensive end, look to limit Gaucho driver Eric Van de Mortel, who leads the team in scoring with 16 goals this season, and on the offensive end, continue spreading the ball around — 10 different Trojans scored in the team’s victory over Pepperdine, and Vavic has emphasized such ball movement as a key part of the Trojan offense.“That has been our trademark for the last few years,” Vavic said. “We really want more people to be involved and play freely. This is nothing new for us — if you look back at the last 10 years, we’ve always had more people involved. We’re just continuing to build the same way, and we always encouraged players to be aggressive, and it’s been great.”last_img read more

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