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Ferguson already eyeing next season

first_img Press Association The trophy is yet to be handed out – yet Sir Alex Ferguson already has a steely glare on next year’s Premier League campaign. In an interview for the official Manchester United magazine, Ferguson has confirmed the Red Devils will be “competitive” in the transfer market this summer, even if they lack the funds to match Chelsea and Manchester City. “We’re not Chelsea or Manchester City in terms of money but we’re competitive,” Ferguson told Inside United. “We’ve been doing a bit of work over the last three or four months, targeting who the players are that we feel could enhance us, make us better or help us maintain the level we’re at. Hopefully the players we bring into the club in the next year or so will be of the quality we need.” center_img That planning is already under way is no surprise to former United skipper Bryan Robson, who was invited into Ferguson’s inner sanctum in the immediate aftermath of that championship-sealing triumph over Aston Villa last week. “I was in Sir Alex’s office on Monday night after the Villa game,” said Robson. “He is talking to me about next year, and how he is going to improve things to make sure they are better again. “That is what he is like. He is not even celebrating the night. He is thinking about next year.” Ferguson coined the phrase ‘unique freak’ to sum up Ryan Giggs’ 13th title triumph. Yet the exact same words could sum up his own drive and determination, which for a 71-year-old, Robson accepts is simply astonishing. “He is so used to it, it is almost like he is immune,” said Robson. “You are not talking about managing somewhere normal. It was bad enough at Middlesbrough and West Brom where I was. But they are smaller clubs compared to Manchester United. “Yet he seems to thrive on it. That is what makes him as good as he is.” last_img read more

While students travel home for break, Syracuse athletics will compete in 20 contests

first_imgWhile students leave for winter break between the fall and spring semesters, Syracuse athletes’ winter seasons carry on. Classes officially break Friday, Dec. 15 and won’t pick up again until the start of the spring semester on Tuesday, Jan. 16.In all, eight games will be played on Syracuse’s campus while students are gone on break. Here’s what to know about the 20 Syracuse sporting events that will take place, both home and away, while students aren’t on campus.Men’s basketballSyracuse (8-1) men’s basketball team will play nine times during the break, including its last four nonconference games of the season. The most notable of those will be its first game over the break against Georgetown on Dec. 16 in Washington, D.C.Syracuse lost to the Hoyas last year, 78-71, in the Carrier Dome in one of its five losses before Atlantic Coast Conference play in the 2016-2017 season. Syracuse played 10 times in between semesters last year and broke even with a 5-5 record, including a 30-point loss to St. John’s in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIf Syracuse can win just one of its last four nonconference games, it will surpass its 8-5 nonconference record from last season.Six hours before the ball drops to celebrate the New Year, Syracuse will tip off its ACC slate against Virginia Tech in the Dome. Last year, Syracuse lost its opening ACC matchup at Boston College, 96-81.The Orange went on to lose seven more games in ACC play on the way to a second round exit from the National Invitational Tournament. It’s safe to say if Syracuse wants to make the NCAA Tournament come March, it will need to perform better in conference this season.Syracuse will play five conference games over break, including back-to-back matchups with teams currently ranked in the Top 25, when it hosts No. 9 Notre Dame on Jan. 6 before traveling to No. 15 Virginia three days later.Women’s basketballSyracuse (10-0) women’s basketball will wait eight days to play its next game after winning on Saturday evening against Drexel 72-62 in the Carrier Dome. The first three games once students leave campus will be the conclusion of Syracuse’s nonconference schedule. All three games will come in some type of tournament play.First, Syracuse travels to play Coastal Carolina in the Carolinas Challenge on Dec. 17 before traveling to Las Vegas for the Duel in the Desert. In that tournament, Syracuse will play the host school UNLV after a matchup with No. 6 Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were the only team to beat perennial powerhouse and No. 1 Connecticut last season, snapping the Huskies’ streak of 111 victories.The Orange will open ACC play three days prior to the men when it travels to No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 28. Notre Dame is one of three ranked opponents Syracuse will play over break, with the other two being the Bulldogs and No. 13 Florida State.With Syracuse undefeated through 10 games yet unranked, these games provide opportunity for the Orange to prove itself against formidable opponents. Thus far this year, Syracuse has only played two games in which it didn’t win by double digits.Syracuse entered winter break last season on a four-game winning streak while already having three demerits that year with a 8-3 overall record. During the break, SU went 5-3 with the highlight of the span being a 10-point win against then-No. 22 North Carolina State.Ice hockeyUnlike men’s and women’s basketball, Syracuse ice hockey does take a break. After losing to Mercyhurst on Friday and Saturday, which pushed SU’s College Hockey America record to 4-3-1, Syracuse takes a 25-day hiatus from the ice. The break comes conveniently for the Orange, which has dropped its last four games.In years past, Syracuse picks up its play after Winter break. In the last two seasons, Syracuse boasts a 22-9-1 overall record after the New Year. Last season, Syracuse netted 49 goals after the break,13 more than it scored before the pause in play.Both Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan and his players see the break as a benefit, citing the rest time as beneficial. SU captain Stephanie Grossi also noted the added time to work out during the over three-week break as particularly important for building strength to help in the latter half of the season.When Syracuse returns to play on Jan. 5, it will face defending CHA champion and No. 10 Robert Morris. Syracuse will visit the Colonials, which were picked to win the CHA title prior to the 2017 season, for a two-game series. It will be the Orange’s first shot at redemption from last year’s conference title game until Robert Morris travels to Syracuse on Feb. 23 and 24 to finish Syracuse’s regular season.Syracuse’s only other game during winter break will be at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Jan. 9 against No. 5 Cornell. The Big Red shellacked Syracuse last season 7-2 in Ithaca. Comments Published on December 13, 2017 at 11:11 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more