Siewert: Terriers can survive

New Huddersfield Town head coach Jan Siewert is confident he can keep the club in the Premier League this season.

The 36-year-old German was appointed on a two-and-a-half-year contract as David Wagner's successor on Monday.

After their 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, Huddersfield are bottom of the Premier League pile, ten points shy of safety.

He will have just 15 games in which to save them from the drop but Siewert insists he only accepted the job because he believes it can be done.

"Without being confident I wouldn't sit here," he said. "I think we have to work hard and do our very best and prepare for everything.

"We have 15 more games and my only focus at the moment is the task I have to do with the team and I will give everything to those games."

Siewert, who becomes the Premier League's youngest manager, has been on Huddersfield's radar for some two years while working with the Borussia Dortmund U23 side.

Predecessor Wagner held the same role at Dortmund from 2011 to 2015 before joining Huddersfield and leading them into the big-time, where they survived last season against the odds.

The new boss says he is a different person to Wagner.

"I always did it my way so I can't be compared to David Wagner because he's a fantastic manager and had so much success here," he added.

"But now it's my role here. It's a new chapter and the most important thing is that I'm used to working with professional players, at Dortmund I had some great opportunities and now I'd like to challenge myself.

"Of course there are similarities, but the most important thing is I'm Jan Siewert and I have to do it my way as David did it his way. We should not compare us two because that's not possible."

Huddersfield are 1/33 to be relegated this season. They host Everton in their next game and are 3/1 to win. The Toffees are 10/11, while the draw is 12/5.

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Siewert succeeds Wagner

Huddersfield Town have named the Borussia Dortmund II boss Jan Siewert as their new head coach after parting company with David Wagner last week.

The 36-year-old has signed a contract at the John Smith's Stadium that runs until the summer of 2021.

Siewert starred for German clubs TuS Mayen, SG Bad Breisig and TuS Montabaur during his playing career and coached at VfL Bochum and Rot-Weiss Essen before joining Borussia Dortmund II.

Terriers chairman Dean Hoyle said: "We enjoyed tremendous success under David Wagner and we've subsequently appointed a new head coach that bears many similarities to him; a young, aspirational German from Borussia Dortmund II.

"Given David's success at Huddersfield, we knew that it was prudent to look to the future in case an offer came in that he couldn't refuse. We first spoke with Jan over two years ago and we've kept in communication since, watching his progress with interest.

"In the short term, we will continue to fight as hard as possible against relegation from the Premier League. We're not giving up on that.

"We will also plan for the medium and long term, whatever the outcome. Jan is committed to us and is excited to take on the challenges we have ahead, whatever they look like."

Huddersfield are rooted to the foot of the Premier League table after taking just one point from their last 10 games.

They are 3/1 to beat Everton in their next match on 29th January and 10/1 to win the encounter 1-0.

Ranieri won’t concede defeat

Claudio Ranieri believes his Fulham team will avoid relegation if they continue to produce performances like the one against Tottenham on Sunday.

The Cottagers took the lead against Mauricio Pochettino's team thanks to a Fernando Llorente own goal but Dele Alli equalised early on in the second half before Harry Winks headed a close-range winner for the visitors.

The result leaves Fulham seven points away from safety after 23 fixtures. They are 1/4 to be relegated this season and 5/4 to win their next game against Brighton on 29th January.

"It is unbelievable. Our first half was fantastic and we also had [a shout for a] penalty but the referee didn't see it and penalties are only when the referee whistles," said Ranieri.

"I think it was a good match. The first half was fantastic, the second half we controlled the match very well in a defensive way. We gave a gift on the first goal and the second goal is unbelievable to explain.

"But we are alive and we continue to fight, the team showed a fantastic performance. I can say only well done but we must stay very, very smart until the end.

"We must continue to give the maximum in every match, in every performance. I am positive because when you play this kind of football, this kind of performance we must believe and I believe in my players."

Rondon tells Magpies to push on

Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon has challenged his side to continue the good work they showed in a 3-0 victory over Cardiff City on Saturday.

The Magpies had gone four league games without a win before overwhelming the Bluebirds, with the result seeing Newcastle move out of the relegation places at the expense of their visitors.

And Rondon was pleased to play his part, despite not being able to find the net himself.

He told his club's official website: "We have to keep going, keep winning and carry on. Every game in the Premier League is tough, and we know in the next couple of games we will play against great teams with great players.

"But we have to think about us and our confidence. We have to play like we played today. Thinking about our team and our strengths – that's the most important thing."

Meanwhile, Magpies boss Rafa Benitez was more than happy with the performance of his players in their most comprehensive win of the season to date.

He added: "We were talking about how important this game could be, but we will have a lot of games against teams that are close to us and these are the key games when you can play well and you can win, or even without playing well, you can get something.

"Today we did it, we played well, we had a lot of energy and commitment from everyone and it was crucial."

Newcastle are now priced at 1/6 not to be relegated this season, with the Magpies 4/1 to drop down to the Championship.

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Warnock lands loanee Niasse

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock has added another attacking option to his squad by signing Everton striker Oumar Niasse on loan until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old Senegal international has made five Premier League appearances as a substitute for the Toffees this season, having only featured once since late September.

And Niasse is looking forward to a fresh challenge, with an option in place for a permanent deal if both parties are satisfied come the summer.

He told his new clubs official website: "I'm really pleased to be at Cardiff City. Having heard about the manager from other players and met him, I knew this was the right move for me.

"Other clubs were interested, but I was convinced that this was where I wanted to come. I can't wait to get started."

Meanwhile, Warnock confirmed that he had spoken to former Sheffield United charge Phil Jagielka about Niasse, with both players on the periphery at Goodison Park.

The City boss added: "Phil said he's my type of player and that he would do well for us, the way that he plays. When I'm looking to improve the squad there's not many players available on loan."

Niasse joined Everton just under three years ago from Lokomotiv Moscow and has scored nine goals in 39 appearances in all competitions for the Merseysiders, having spent the second half of the 2016/17 season on loan with Hull City.

The Bluebirds face a crunch clash with Newcastle United at St James' Park on Saturday, with City12/5  to earn a draw on Tyneside, with a 1-1 draw priced at 11/2 and a goalless final scoreline 7/1.

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Allardyce rules out Town role

Sam Allardyce insists he is not interested in becoming Huddersfield Town's next manager after they parted company with David Wagner on Monday.

The 64-year-old former England boss has helped the likes of Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton move clear of relegation trouble in the last few seasons but believes the rock-bottom Terriers are doomed.

Town have taken one point from their last nine Premier League matches and are eight points away from safety.

"They are rock-bottom of the Premier League and I don't think I could change that situation, so for me it is not the right match. It is not the job for me," said Allardyce.

"Huddersfield haven't got enough goals to get them out of trouble. That has been the one failing. No club has got out of such trouble with so few points after this many games.

"For me, and I know the fans won't want to hear this, it's got to be about planning for relegation and then planning to get back into the Premier League.

"They've only scored 13 goals in 22 matches and, while I've managed to pull teams out of the bottom end, at Sunderland I had Jermain Defoe scoring 18 and at Crystal Palace I had Christian Benteke who scored 15 goals."

Huddersfield, 1/16 to be relegated, are 13/2 to draw with Manchester City in their next match on Sunday.

Babel: Fulham can stay up

Claudio Ranieri has added some experience to his Fulham squad by signing Ryan Babel from Besiktas until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old former Liverpool star hopes he can have a positive impact on the Cottagers, who are struggling to avoid relegation.

They are 4/11 to be relegated this season after losing 2-1 at Burnley on Saturday and can be backed at 4/1 to beat injury-ravaged Tottenham on Sunday and 13/5 to draw with Mauricio Pochettino's team.

The Netherlands international said: "My first impressions are good and I am very excited.

"I definitely have faith that Fulham can stay up. That is one of the reasons that I am here, to try and help that to happen. I am ready to go, I am excited and I can't wait."

Meanwhile, Scotland international Kevin McDonald is being linked with a move away from Craven Cottage after slipping out of the first team recently.

He played 46 matches in all competitions for the club last season when they were promoted from the Championship via the play-offs, but has been limited to just eight minutes of first-team action since Ranieri succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic as Fulham manager in November.

Wagner leaves rock-bottom Town

Huddersfield Town are searching for a new head coach after parting company with David Wagner by mutual consent.

The Terriers are at the foot of the Premier League table after drawing 0-0 at Cardiff City on Saturday, a result that brought their eight-match losing run to an end.

The 47-year-old German guided Town to promotion via the Championship play-offs in 2016/17 and he managed, against the odds, to steer them clear of the top-flight's relegation zone last term.

However, Huddersfield have decided to move in a new direction in an attempt to maintain their Premier League status.

Club chairman Dean Hoyle said: "I'd like to begin by thanking David for all he has achieved at Huddersfield Town over the last three-and-a-half years.

"As I had said previously, I had no intention of sacking David this season. Subsequently David – being the great man he is – came to us and made it clear that he needs a break from the rigours of football management.

"I know the term 'mutual consent' is often a byword for the manager being sacked in professional football, but this is a truly joint decision.

"It's a very sad day, but now we have to look to the future; that's what football and our immediate situation demands. I've asked Mark Hudson to take this weekend's Premier League game against Manchester City."

Huddersfield are 1/16 to be relegated this season while Cardiff are 4/6 to go down and Fulham 4/11.

Benteke return boosts despondent Hodgson

Christian Benteke hadn't played for Crystal Palace since August before Saturday's game appearance against Watford.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson believes Christian Benteke's return to action could be huge for his team in the fight for survival.

The Eagles' club-record signing made his comeback from a knee injury in Saturday's clash against Watford, coming off the bench for the final 13 minutes of the fixture.

With Palace trailing 2-1 at the time, Benteke was unable to mark his return with a goal as the Hornets came away with all three points.

Hodgson was left frustrated by his team's failure to protect the lead given to them by Craig Cathcart's own goal, feeling the visitors to Selhurst Park deserved nothing from the encounter.

The only boost for the ex-England boss was the sight of Benteke back on the pitch after four months on the sidelines and he hopes the Belgian, along with the fit-again Connor Wickham, can provide the goals his side near to steer clear of relegation trouble.

"Both him and Connor [Wickham] coming back gives us a different type of attacker up there than we have had up to now with Wilf [Zaha], Andros [Townsend] and Jordan [Ayew], who did well today but he is a very different type of player to the other two," said Hodgson.

"We hope we can keep them fit, we hope we can get them match-fit and we hope they can produce some of the form we know they are capable of.

"There's going to be 16 tough games coming up, we're going to need points in those matches and we're going to need those guys to step up to the plate and score some goals for us."

The Eagles are four points outside the relegation zone despite Saturday's loss to Watford and are 20/1 to stay up this season.

They face a very difficult outing next when they head to Merseyside to take on league leaders Liverpool, who are 1/6 for the win. Palace are 12/1 and the draw is 13/2.

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Benitez convinced Newcastle can survive

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez says he still believes he can guide the team to Premier League safety, despite slipping into the bottom three.

The Magpies are 5/2 to be relegated after another difficult Saturday for Benitez's men, Southampton's win at Leicester City dropping them into the danger zone ahead of their match at Chelsea.

The Toon gave a good account of themselves at Stamford Bridge, Ciaran Clark cancelling out Pedro's opener to send the sides in level at half-time.

However, Willian's curling effort in the 57th minute was enough to seal the win for the Blues, leaving Newcastle one point from safety.

The Toon have now won just one of their last nine league matches and their tally of 18 points from 22 top-flight matches is their worst return since the 1988-89 campaign when they were relegated.

Benitez has previously called for owner Mike Ashley to hand him the funds to improve his squad in January and he remains coy on whether there will be any new arrivals in January.

Whether he receives any reinforcements or not, the Spaniard remains positive that the situation will turn around for Newcastle and that they can beat the drop.

"What I can see is that we have to stay calm because it is a long distance race and next week against Cardiff will be massive," he said.

"We have to win more games and we have to do well in the rest of the games.

"My feeling is that I have confidence in the team if they continue to work as they did today," he added.

"We will have chances to get points against teams who will be closer to us. We have to be better than three teams and if we play like we did today we will do it."

Newcastle play host to Cardiff next week in a huge relegation encounter and the Toon are 5/6 for the win.

The Bluebirds are 10/3 and the draw is 5/2.

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