Rochdale 4 – 4 Swindon
Charlie Austin scored all four Swindon goals in their 4-4 draw at relegation-threatened Rochdale.
Swindon took the lead two minutes in when Remeao Hutton crossed for Austin and the striker rifled home.
Austin doubled the advantage in the 14th minute, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy picking him out at the back post for a tap-in.
Dale were back in the contest on 22 minutes when Ethan Brierley fed Devante Rodney and the frontman lifted a neat finish over goalkeeper Sol Brynn.
And Dale levelled on 25 minutes when Danny Lloyd collected Brierley’s pass and smashed a stunning 25-yard rocket into the top corner of the net.
Dale took the lead in the 71st minute when Abraham Odoh raced into the Swindon penalty area unchallenged and fired a low drive wide of Brynn.
Austin completed his hat-trick in the 74th minute, poking home Jacob Wakeling’s cross at the second attempt.
Austin had his fourth on 79 minutes, firing Tyrese Shade’s pass into the roof of Richard O’Donnell’s net but Dale levelled in time added on, Ian Henderson heading home Liam Kelly’s corner.
Duncan Ferguson: I wouldn’t leave Forest Green for Everton or Real Madrid | Football News
Duncan Ferguson spent years as part of the backroom staff under several managers at Everton.
On two occasions he also took charge of the club on a caretaker basis, but was overlooked for the job permanently last season in favour of Frank Lampard.
Now, at 51, he has struck out on his own, and in January he took on his first permanent managerial role in charge of Forest Green in League One.
It has not been an easy start. There have been just two points collected from his first nine games in charge. Rovers lie bottom of the third tier, and are heading back towards League Two at the first time of asking after winning promotion last season.
But Ferguson was handed a five-and-a-half year contract by owner Dale Vince, and he is committed to building the club in the long-term.
Here, he spoke to Sky Sports pundit and former Everton team-mate Andy Hinchcliffe about not getting the Toffees job, his aims for Forest Green and more…
On his disappointment at not getting the Everton job
“I was considered for it. I went for an interview but I was unsuccessful, unfortunately. That was disappointing because you obviously want to be the manager of the club that you love and I felt like I deserved a chance at that and to take the team through to the end of the season.
“But the club brought in Frank Lampard, a man I have a lot of respect for. And to be fair he steadied the ship and helped the club avoid relegation.
“I was disappointed I wasn’t given that chance, but it is what it is. The club made a decision and it was the right one.”
On his long-term plans for Forest Green, and trying to attract Messi!
“I’m not sure I needed convincing but [me and the owner] definitely needed to have a chat about where the club was going, and what he saw as the vision of the club. Obviously it’s come a long way in the last four or five years.
“When I spoke to him I liked him right away. My first impressions were good and he told me where he wants the club to go. He offered me a long contract, and that showed his confidence in me.
“Obviously things aren’t going too well for us right now, and we might have to take a step back, but hopefully we’ll come forward again. We want to be in the Championship. That’s the aim. It’s where we want to be, and where I want to be as coach.
“If you’ve got strong views on the environment you might want to come here. I wonder if Messi has strong views on the environment! He could come here, couldn’t he.”
On his commitment to the club
“I love Everton, but I’m at Forest Green. The owner knows I’m a man of my word, and I’ve told him I won’t be going anywhere unless he tells me. And that’s it.
“It doesn’t matter if Everton come in for me tomorrow, or Real Madrid come in for me next week. I will not be leaving this club. That’s an absolute fact.
“He showed faith in bringing me to the club and he gave me a big contract. He showed that loyalty to me, and I’ll show that loyalty back to him.”
On Everton’s relegation battle and Dyche
“I thought Frank was one of the best I’ve ever worked with. He was absolutely fantastic, and his presentations and the way he spoke to players was the best I’ve ever seen.
“Obviously I keep an eye on the results and it looks like Sean is pulling it around. I can see why Everton went for him. He’s been there and done it.
“He’s got that experience. He’ll set them up how he thinks is right. He’s got a few good results recently and I’m sure Everton will be safe this season.”
Jim Crawford: Republic of Ireland U21s boss angered after ‘uneducated’ trolls racially abuse U15 players | Football News
Republic of Ireland U21s boss Jim Crawford has hit out at the “uneducated” trolls who sent “unacceptable” online abuse to members of the country’s U15s squad.
The Football Association of Ireland has condemned the attacks on multiple platforms, which came after the U15s boys’ team’s back-to-back 6-0 victories over Latvia earlier this week, as “vile and horrific” and is working with police and social media companies to identify and deal with those responsible.
Crawford, who was preparing his team for Sunday’s friendly against Iceland in Cork when the news broke, could not contain his anger.
He said: “I just want to get it out there that there’s certainly no place for racism in sport, in society.
“It comes from a minority, it comes from uneducated people and it comes from social media platforms where people can disguise their names, their identity. The unfortunate thing is that they have a platform.
“To hear that this morning, it just makes you angry. I just think it’s time that we all just work together on this and stamp it out because it’s unacceptable.”
The incident comes at a time when Stephen Kenny’s Ireland squad, which will face France in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Monday evening, mirrors the country’s diversity, with striker Chiedozie Ogbene, the first African-born player to represent the nation at senior level, Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah all of Nigerian heritage.
Crawford added: “These same people will be cheering goals if Chieo scores, Adam Idah scores, do you know what I mean?
“I just don’t know. Well, I do know. They’re ignorant, they’re uneducated, but they have to hide behind these fake accounts.
“It goes for racism, bullying and I do think social media companies have got to do something about this. They’ve got to do it because certain people think it’s a laugh and a joke, but it’s not, it’s a lot deeper than that.”
An emotional Crawford continued: “I’ve worked in the FAI now a long time and I know the work that development officers do on the ground, getting into schools, putting on Show Racism the Red Card programmes, and I’ve been involved in that myself.
“It’s something that I’m very strong about and every school I’ve been to, I’ve got the buy-in. But it’s just the minority, you know? It’s just a minority.
“I’ve run so many programmes with black kids loving football, and then I hear this goes on, you know?”
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Tommy Fury open to Jake Paul rematch and blames Oleksandr Usyk for collapse of Tyson Fury fight | Boxing News
Tommy Fury is open to a rematch with Jake Paul and says Tyson Fury is not to blame for the Oleksandr Usyk fight being called off.
The 23-year-old beat YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul in a split-decision fight on February 26 in Saudi Arabia, and, speaking on Soccer AM, Fury said he is open to a rematch.
He said: “I’m down for a rematch. I will fight him tomorrow. Does he want it? I’m not so sure. The next fight I will take will be bigger than Jake Paul.”
Tommy was also asked about his brother, after plans for Tyson to fight Usyk for all four major heavyweight titles imploded, and he thinks the fight will happen at some stage.
“Having somebody who is the best in the world and in my opinion the best to ever do it, having him there is a privilege,” he said.
“He [Tyson Fury] does not like Usyk at the minute. There is a lot of politics in boxing. The reason why this fight isn’t getting made isn’t down to Tyson at all.
“He will fight any man, he doesn’t fear any man, especially not a cruiserweight who can’t do anything anyway. He is too small. It’s not Tyson’s fault. All these fights will happen, but it takes a while to get made.”
Tommy also added that the Paul fight was difficult because of the untraditional style of the 26-year-old.
“It’s difficult because he is a big, strong man, but I knew there was nothing he can do. Anybody can go in there and fight,” he said.
“I’d sooner fight a legit experienced fighter because it would be easier. Fighting guys like that who are erratic and throwing punches from different angles, they don’t know what they are doing, and it makes them awkward. It’s a difficult challenge, but I got him with the sweet science.
“It was very frustrating because there were two setbacks and two cancelled fights. All that time when it looked like it was my fault because I knew I could beat him.
“When everything was getting made and said, there was a bit of pressure. On the night, I didn’t feel anything because there comes a certain stage where it just gets too big.”
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