May 26

Hunters star needs our votes to win Aussie award

first_imgThe diminutive hooker’s trademark dummy half runs have been the cornerstone of the PNG boys undefeated run so far.But Wartovo needs your vote to make him the second Hunters player to scoop up the tag of the most liked Queensland Cup player voted by fans.Votes can be registered on the Intrust Queensland Cup website page.  Hunters’ forward Willie Minoga was the most voted and liked player last year, winning the award with a groundswell of support.According to the Intrust Cup website, all the 14 clubs have each nominated a key player from their 2015 squad, with the focus now shifting to the competition’s passionate fans to select their favourite.The player with the most votes will be announced as the XXXX People’s Choice recipient at the QRL’s annual Gala Dinner on September 9 at Brisbane City Hall.Voting closes on Sunday, September 6 at 5pm.last_img read more

January 20

Typewriter, Perfect Neighbour set for massive duel in Burger King Superstakes

first_imgThe 37th running of the Burger King Superstakes over 2000 metres is the big event at Caymanas Park today, the nine-horse field including two-time winner TYPEWRITER and his arch rival PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, the two best distance horses in the country.While the $4.5 million Superstakes is the showpiece event of the afternoon, the mammoth 13-race programme will facilitate three other valuable sponsored races. These are the 27th running of the Glen Mills O.J. Caribbean Sprint Championship – in honour of world-renown track and field sprint coach Glen Mills, himself a long-time racing enthusiast; the Coca Cola Invitational Mile, with a purse of $1.25 million; and the Coca Cola 2-y-o Juvenile Sprint over 1300 metres for a purse of $1 million.TYPEWRITER, to again be ridden by big-race jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Spencer Chung and the Wayne DaCosta-trained PERFECT NEIGHBOUR under stable jockey Robert Halledeen, both represent class. And while others such as last year’s runner-up UNCLE TAF; FRANFIELD, who was fourth a year ago; and the DaCosta-trained HOVER CRAFT should prove competitive, I see it coming down to the big two.the race is definitely onSignificantly, the three-year-olds, in an unprecedented move, have bypassed the Superstakes, including derby winner SEEKING MY DREAM and stable-companion ALI BABA, who will instead run in the Invitational Mile. As a result, the race has lost some of its sheen, owing to the absence of the three-year-olds.Still, TYPEWRITER and PERFECT NEIGHBOUR should ensure the necessary fireworks to excite racing fans. When both horses last met over the distance in the Governor General’s Stakes on September 26, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR led home TYPEWRITER by 4 3/4 lengths in the fairly good time of 2:06.4, but he was in receipt of 4.0kg that day and now asked to sit level with TYPEWRITER (working very well), the race is definitely on.The fact that Wayne DaCosta has never won the Superstakes also puts a different spin on the race. PERFRECT NEIGHTBOUR was highly fancied to win a year ago but could only manage third.This remains the only major race that has eluded DaCosta in a long and distinguished training career, but he has the horse to finally break the jinx in PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, who ran on strongly to win the Alex’s Imports Gold Cup race over 1400 metres on October 17.”Perfect Neighbour is an exceptional horse,” said DaCosta.”He has done everything asked of him coming into this race, and given luck in running, is in the best condition of his career to win this prestigious race,” he added.Over the years, DaCosta has seen some of his best horses fall along the wayside in the Superstakes. The most celebrated was the 1996 Triple Crown winner, WAR ZONE, who, on the back of a record 12 consecutive wins, was thwarted by a muddy track, finishing third as the howling favourite to the Trinidadian horse ADORING GROOM and the celebrated claimer PRINCE AKEEM.Today, I expect the stretch-running PERFECT NEIGHBOUR to succeed where WAR ZONE failed by outfinishing his principal danger, TYPEWRITER, from below the distance.Other firm fancies on the programme are the impressive 3-y-o colt POKER STAR to upstage hat-trick seeker CAMPESINO in the Glen Mills Caribbean Sprint; Derby winner SEEKING MY DREAM (working brilliantly) over stable-companion ALI BABA and TIMEFORARMS in the Coca Cola Invitational Mile; the unbeaten ZUGULU in the Coca Cola 2-y-o Juvenile Sprint; as well as LONG RUNNING TRAIN in the fifth for overnight allowance horses.last_img read more

January 20


first_imgTOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1)LLORIS,WALKER, ALDERWEIRELD, WIMMER, DAVIES,DIER, ALLI,SON, ERIKSEN, CHADLI,KANEARSENAL (4-2-3-1)GIROUD,CAMPBELL, OZIL,WALCOTT,COQUELIN, RAMSEY,MONREAL,MERTESACKER, GABRIEL, BELLERIN,OSPINABoth Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur lost on Wednesday night meaning that they go into this North London derby in third and second place respectively.Spurs could have gone top against West Ham United on Wednesday but the 1-0 loss at the Boleyn Ground leaves them three points behind leaders Leicester City.But Arsenal were also disappointing, losing 2-1 at home to struggling Swansea City and, after the defeat at Manchester United, have now lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since November 2014.The Gunners have now gone four games without a win in all competitions and are now third and six points behind leaders Leicester.But this game has a history of draws; of the previous 23 Premier League meetings at White Hart Lane 10 have been stalemates, with Spurs winning eight and losing five. Indeed, Spurs have won four of the last six, all with a 2-1 scoreline.The teams have met twice already this season. In September, in the Capital One Cup the Gunners beat Spurs 2-1 with Mathieu Flamini netting twice. But when they played each other at the Emirates Stadium Harry Kane scored the opener for the visitors before Kieran Gibbs scored what proved to be the equaliser.Kane has scored Spurs’ last three league goals against Arsenal; he also netted both goals in the 2-1 win over the Gunners in this game last season.Spurs miss Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen. Arsenal, meanwhile, have lost goalkeeper Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny for the derby and are still without Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who could all be missing for most, if not, the rest of the season.last_img read more

January 18

Amidst Broken Health System Non-Ebola Deaths Due to ‘Negligence’

first_imgThe mother of a deceased man has blamed the death of her son on the alleged negligence of Liberia’s health sector.Daphne Barnes-Kamara, mother of Abdu Kamara, walked into the offices of the Daily Observer on last Friday and told this newspaper that she took her son to some clinics and hospitals in and out of Monrovia following an accident in July, but he was treated with total negligence.Mrs. Barnes-Kamara, who described the health sector in Liberia as “poor,” indicated that medical personnel she came across might have thought her deceased son had Ebola, something she emphatically refuted.Narrating her ordeal, Madam Kamara, daughter of the renowned Liberian Ambassador to the United Nations in the early 1960s, Nathan Barnes, said she returned to Liberia in July upon hearing that her son had an accident and his tail bone had been affected.“When I came, I took him to the ELWA Hospital for an x-ray and later to the Chinese clinic for acupuncture. His blood and urine tests were done and the white blood was described to be good but he was diagnosed with one plus malaria in the red blood.  He was given medication for that.  After some time of stay at the Chinese clinic for acupuncture, he told me that he was experiencing excruciating pain and wanted to discontinue the treatment,” Mrs. Barnes-Kamara said.According to her, after leaving the Chinese clinic there was a need to find a hospital where MRI (Magnetic Resonance I) and Orthopedic surgery could be performed, and she and her son went to the Du Side Hospital in Firestone, Margibi County.“I was trying to find a hospital where they could do MRI, as well as Orthopedic surgery.    The Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital was recommended to me, but we later realized that it did not have an MRI machine.  I took my son to the Du Side Hospital in Firestone, and when we got there, I asked for a wheel chair to put my son in, but the staff at the hospital said he must walk to the emergency entrance where the chair was.  My driver and I had to lift him up before placing him in the wheel chair.  There was no help from the staff and they refused to bring the wheel chair,” she narrated.She also said that they recommended her son for an x-ray, but the Radiologist who did the x-ray could not explain the result because it had not been properly done.“Can you imagine the Radiologist could not interpret the result of the x-ray?  Where the x-ray was performed was not comfortable, and therefore the result could not come out good.  The Radiologist only said he believed the result was not a bad one,” she said.She further stated that her son was taken to the emergency room where his blood pressure was tested.  She informed the medical examiner that her son was weak and needed help to lay him down, but the medical staff there refused to touch him, making her to perceive that they (staff) felt he had Ebola.Mrs. Barnes-Kamara also indicated that when she met the doctor assigned at the Duside Hospital and narrated her son’s condition.  But they were turned down by the doctor on grounds that he (doctor) was going to meet the President on the Ebola crisis.“The doctor told me that he could do nothing about my son until September 15 and we were talking in August.  I told him my son did not have Ebola but was dehydrated and needed intravenous fluid, and the doctor told me to take him home and feed him with nourishing foods to recover,” she stressed.According to her, she also called the Poly Clinic and forwarded her son’s case, but the doctor she spoke to told her to find a psychiatrist, since the son used to walk and no longer does.“I also called SOS Clinic to help save my son’s life, but they, too, turned me down.  It was one doctor I contacted at the Kingdom Care Clinic and she promised to help my son.  But while preparing on that Saturday to take him there, he gave up the ghost,” said Mrs. Kamara.Madam Barnes-Kamara said though Ebola is raging and claiming many lives and she empathizes with affected people.  It is, she said, also dangerous for the entire health system to be broken down.  For this, she blames the government and calls for its immediate overhaul to save lives.“The health system in this country now is very poor, and what happened that led to the death of my son is negligence on the part of medical practitioners who took the Hippocratic Oath to save lives,” she noted.Mrs. Barnes-Kamara who is by profession herself a Registered Nurse (RN), refuted medical reports that her deceased son  had weight loss for 3 months and his lungs, cardiovascular and abdominal examination were unremarkable, noting that such examinations were  not done by Duside Hospital.Since the Ebola outbreak most hospitals in Liberia became dysfunctional, and because of the deaths of many health workers as a result of contracting the Ebola disease while giving care.  Many of them (health workers) hardly want to touch a patient when he/she is taken to the hospital, for fear of contracting the disease.Every patient taken to the hospital now is considered an Ebola patient until proven otherwise, she lamented.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

January 18

‘Serious Mismanagement at Ministry of Health’, Sen. Coleman Informs Senate Plenary

first_img“There is serious administrative mismanagement at the Ministry of Health that has been highlighted for a very long time. I am talking to you with authority, and as an insider of the health sector of this country,” the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator (Dr.) Peter Coleman informed the Senate plenary.The Grand Kru County Senator, speaking Tuesday during the 73rd sitting of the Senate, warned his colleagues that as long as they continue to pay lip service to the country’s health system, ineffective people will remain at the helm of administration of health. “And as long as the Executive branch of government wants to make a mockery of this Liberian Senate, even after this outbreak of Ebola, there will be outbreak of measles and other things,” Sen. Coleman warned.Expressing outrage and disappointment, Dr. Coleman disclosed that currently, the immunization of Liberian children has dropped from 80% to less than 50%; and that the maternal mortality rate that was one of the worst in the world is now even more deplorable.  According to him, women are dying in childbirth due to the perpetual closure of health institutions in the country.“The reason why I decided to take this stance is to express my frustration, disgust and anger at the way in which the Executive branch of this government is managing the health system.”The Senator, who represents the Senate on the National Ebola Task Force, promised not to be distracted by people he described as ‘lunatic and fanatic loyalists’ who at all cost will defend the Executive to the detriment of the Liberian people.“I will continue to state that as long as this situation prevails, and we cannot call the Minister of Health to book on issues regarding the health sector, our country will continue to be classified as one of the worst places on earth to live.”As chairman of the Committee on Health, but also representing the people of Grand Kru County, Senator Coleman said recent actions and statements by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf clearly show an attempt by the Executive Branch of Government to make sure that the Liberian Senate loses its respect.“It is an attempt to make a mockery of this august body, and for us on the Committee on Health, these things have made us powerless; we are unable to carry on our activities. Just as we thought and were trying to deal with the issue of the two dismissed leaders of the health workers, a group of health workers last week appeared on the grounds of this Legislature stating that about 100 of them are being laid off by the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.These are some of the facts, the problems that exist in the Liberian health system that people have been talking about for a very long time—the lack of leadership,” declared Sen. Coleman.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

January 14

Cuttington Faculty Down Chalks, Demanding Arrears

first_imgCU faculty union president Lepolu TorlonLecturers and professors at the Episcopal run Cuttington University in Suakoko District, Bong County on Thursday, September 14 laid down their chalks in demand of two months salary arrears.Speaking to journalists last Thursday at his CU office, the President of the Cuttington University Faculty Association (CUFA), Mr. J. Lepolu Torlon, explained that about 20 CUFA members are disappointed as a result of the CU administration’s default to pay their two months’ arrears.Mr. Torlon said in October 2016, lecturers and professors signed a ten-month contract, which is done at the beginning of every academic year, with the administration of the institution, but added that CUFA has noticed that the CU administration has reneged on its part of the agreement.“The last contract we signed, the CU administration paid us for nine months instead of the regular ten months as stipulated in the contract, and there has been no explanation by the CU administration,” Mr. Torlon said.The Cuttington University Faculty Association president said the CU administration is withholding the lecturers and professors’ salaries on grounds that they did not attend the teachers’ orientation workshop in August, before the school officially opened.“Cuttington University is an institution of records, so you cannot punish people for what they are not informed about,” Mr. Torlon said.He admitted that although they were conscious of the teachers’ orientation workshop, they were not informed of any consequences for people who stayed away, adding, “There is no rule in our faculty constitution or the CU policy to withhold teachers’ salaries if they don’t attend an orientation workshop.”“There are always changes to the CU administration’s policies without the involvement of the lectures and professors; we think we are also playing imperative roles in the running of the school despite the fact that we are in the classroom,” the CUFA president said.He maintained that his organization has written the CU administration about the teachers’ concerns, but the CU administration is yet to respond to them to ensure that the teachers return to the classroom.An CU official who spoke to the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity admitted that the school administration is withholding the teachers’ salaries. He, however, said the administration will pay the arrears in a matter of days.Some of the students who spoke with this newspaper described the situation as unfortunate and urged the administration to settle the arrears for the lecturers and professors to return to school.In 2015, the school’s administration started increasing non-tuition fees to 25 percent every semester, which parents, guardians, and sponsors have complained about, owing to the present economic situation in the country.Current registration fees stand at US$232.50, instead of the previous US$155.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

January 11

10,000 L.A. cops by 2009

first_img“Putting more officers on the street is my top priority, so we are going to push the envelope further.” The money for the new hires will come from the $127 million generated from monthly trash fees, which jumped from $11 to $18 last year and will go to $28 by 2010. No new taxes will be requested in the $6.7 billion spending plan, which is scheduled for release April 20, he said. Villaraigosa had hoped to hire 650 officers this year, but an aggressive recruitment effort will result in 750 new hires by June 30, he said. Hiring 780 more next year will bring the LAPD up to 9,780 officers by June 2008. “We did this despite the naysayers and the critics who said it couldn’t be done,” Villaraigosa said, adding that he believes the LAPD will have 10,000 officers – his long-stated goal – by 2009 and 10,349 cops the next year. “We will still be under-policed, but we will be putting more officers on the street,” Villaraigosa said. Bratton, the former chief of the Boston and New York police departments, has long complained that L.A. has fewer officers for its population than any other major city. The LAPD has never had more than 9,737 – a level it reached in 1997 – and now has 9,432. The LAPD’s hiring effort has been bolstered by a number of incentives, including $1,000 bonuses for those who refer recruits to the agency. The City Council is considering a program that would offer signing bonuses of $5,000 to recruits and up to $10,000 for experienced officers who transfer to the LAPD. In order to put more officers on patrol while recruits are being trained, Villaraigosa said, he hopes to increase the amount of money available to the LAPD for overtime. Budget director Sally Choi said details of the budget are still being finalized. The LAPD’s current budget is $1.3 billion – the most of any city department – with $76 million earmarked for overtime pay. Much of the overtime budget is now used to pay officers for court appearances and for special details. City Councilmen Dennis Zine, himself a retired LAPD sergeant, and Bill Rosendahl joined Villaraigosa at the news conference to support his plans. “This mayor has followed through on his word,” Rosendahl said. “I was worried last year when we imposed the trash fee on residents that the money would (not) be used as we said it would. This mayor made sure we used the money as we promised, for more police.” Zine said the mayor’s program reflects public demand. “I know this mayor won’t rest until we are the safest big city in the nation,” Zine said. (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With the LAPD topping its hiring goal for this year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday that he wants to hire 780 officers next year, giving the city 10,000 cops by 2009. Previewing the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Villaraigosa predicted that the Los Angeles Police Department will gain about 300 officers, with the rest filling vacancies created by retirements or attrition. The officers will be used to staff new stations proposed for the northwest San Fernando Valley and Mid-City areas and to beef up patrols citywide. “Our Police Department has made remarkable progress over the past five years under the leadership of Chief Bill Bratton,” Villaraigosa said at a news conference at the LAPD’s training academy in Westchester. “Violent crime is down and Los Angeles residents are safer than they have been in 50 years. But we need to do more. last_img read more

January 6

Albania’s Skenderbeu is No. 1 — at match-fixing

first_img0Shares0000Supporters of Albanian football team Skenderbeu take part in a rally in support of their team in response to allegations of match-fixing, in the city of Korca on February 21, 2018. © AFP / STRINGERTIRANA, Albania, Jul 23 – Two months ago Albania’s top football club, Skenderbeu, was raising a trophy to the sky as confetti rained down on the team, gleeful after clinching their seventh national title in eight seasons.But that joy is now a distant memory after the side was suspended from all European competitions for a decade — the heaviest ever sanction imposed by UEFA. The European sports body also slapped the team with a one million euro ($1.1 million) fine for what it claims was some of the most rampant match-rigging in football history.“This club has been fixing football matches like nobody has ever done before in the history of the game,” UEFA’s ethics and disciplinary committee wrote in a damning report leaked in March.Any lingering hope of a reprieve was dashed in June after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne confirmed that the suspension would go into force without waiting for an appeal, whose date has not yet been set.For Skenderbeu, the ruling is nothing short of a “death sentence,” said the club’s president Ardian Takaj, who had hoped to bring the team to the preliminary rounds of the Europa League in July.The team, named after the 15th century military commander Skanderbeg, is the only Albanian club to make it to the league’s group stage.Their blacklist from a future in European football has crushed a fervent fan base who gathered by the thousands in the team’s home base in southeastern Korce in February pleading: “Do not kill our dream!”– 53 fixed matches –Relying on its Betting Fraud Detection System (BFDS), which tracks irregular betting movements around games, UEFA estimated that 53 Skenderbeu matches had been fixed since 2010.Those include national, European and “even in friendly matches”, the sports body said, describing the practice as “persistent and recurrent”.Skenderbeu officials and players continue to insist on their innocence, but more than a few matches have raised suspicions over the years.For example, in July 2015, Skenderbeu was leading Northern Ireland’s Crusaders 2-1 at the end of regular time in Belfast before their fortunes suddenly turned.At the end of the match “hundreds of thousands of dollars” were put on the bet that at least four goals will be scored, according to UEFA.The Northern Ireland side then scored twice in a minute during the added time, thanks to slip-ups by Skenderbeu’s defence and goalkeeper (3-2).“If there is not a UEFA investigation into our game tonight, then there is something wrong,” the Crusaders’ goalkeeper, Sean O’Neill, tweeted at the time.– A report based on ‘rumours’ –Club president Ardian Takaj, who owns a seaside hotel and used to run a TV channel, is furious over UEFA’s allegation that he holds an “an influential role in illegal activities of Skenderbeu,” including links with betting companies.The 54-year-old firmly denies any wrongdoing and argues that UEFA is taking advantage of Albania — a “small country, a small club with a small budget” — to “promote its (BFDS) system”.“I do not think that UEFA would dare to take such a measure against a Western team… on the basis of doubts emerging from movements of the ratings,” he told AFP.The team’s recently retired goalkeeper-turned-coach, Orges Shehi, said he was also offended by a report “founded not on proof but on rumours”.UEFA noted suspicious results in at least 46 of the former player’s performances.“The football is not an exact science, we see even more serious mistakes all the time,” the 41-year-old said.– ‘Who should go to prison?’ –Justice now rests in the hands of Albania, a gambling-mad country rife with corruption and impunity for elites.Armando Duka, the president of Albania’s football federation since 2002, says he is following up on the UEFA report and has asked the prosecutor’s office to open investigations.Match-fixing “is not an Albanian phenomenon, but a European phenomenon,” said Duka, who celebrated with Skenderbeu when they lifted the Albania Cup in May.But Artan Shyti, president of the country’s betting companies federation, notes that Albania has been slow to probe such crimes in the past.UEFA tried to start a joint investigation with Albania seven years ago, but was met with “a lack of cooperation from the authorities,” said Shyti, who is also a rector at the University of Sports in Tirana.There are 4,000 betting offices the country of 2.8 million, not including the illegal bookmakers and websites that are of the biggest concern, said Shyti.While Prime Minister Edi Rama has said he intends to shutdown those online betting rings, calling them a hub of “economic crime”, the task is easier said than done.Shyti says one solution would be to shift some tax revenue from legal betting to the clubs in order to diminish the temptation of “illegal financial sources”.But before that, key questions about Skenderbeu remain.In fact, the UEFA report left much unanswered: “Who was betting? Who won? And who should go to prison?” Shyti asks.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

January 6

Tusker opt out as Shield draw is conducted

first_imgThis will be the first time Tusker FC who have won the domestic cup four times will not be competing in the annual tournament, having reached the quarter finals last year where they lost 2-1 to Sofapaka.“It was not an easy decision to make but we want to help the team concentrate on the league. We have a target of winning the title and want to focus on that,” Tusker FC chairman Daniel Aduda told the official club website.Tusker are currently fifth in the league table with 25 points and play AFC Leopards on Saturday at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos in the next league match.-Shield Draw- Defending champion Sofapaka will start their campaign with an easy match against minnows Elim FC, KPL champions Gor face Kenpoly, AFC Leopards take on Transfoc while last year’s losing finalists Sofapaka will play Bungoma Super Stars.The winner will not only pocket Sh2 Million but also represent Kenya in the 2019/20 CAF Confederation Cup.-Full round of 32 Draw-Fortune Sacco vs  WazitoUprising vs Western StimaKenpoly vs Gor MahiaKayo FC vs BandariCongo Boys vs Kenya PoliceEmmausians vs Mwatate UnitedNaivas vs TuskerSS Asad vs Ulinzi StarsBungoma Super Stars vs SofapakaTransfoc vs AFC LeopardsMuranga Seal vs Kisumu All StarsElim FC vs Kariobangi SharksTrans Mara Sugar vs Bidco UnitedDero FC vs FC TalantaVihiga Sportiff vs UshuruSindo United vs KCB0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano during his side’s Kenyan Premier League match against Gor Mahia at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on February 27. 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, March 6 – Kenyan Premier League side Tusker FC has opted not to take part in this year’s SportPesa Shield instead deciding to concentrate on reclaiming the KPL title that they last lifted in 2016.The development comes on the day the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) conducted the draw that will see the annual tournament kick-off with the round of 32 knock out stage March 16.last_img read more

December 30

Liverpool League Cup hero responds to Anfield exit rumours in talkSPORT interview

first_imgLucas Leiva insists he takes no notice of speculation he could be replaced at Liverpool.The Brazilian appeared set to leave Anfield last summer, with a move to Turkish club Besiktas on the cards, but eventually worked his way back into former manager Brendan Rodgers’ plans.He has now made 25 appearances for the club this season, but that has not stopped the rumours he could be moved on as Jurgen Klopp looks to re-shape his squad.But Leiva, now 29, simply brushes off the rumours.“It is my ninth season with the club and there is always speculation and interest from other clubs,” he told the Sports Bar. “But I have always showed a lot of passion for the club and I love to be here and play for the club.“Sometimes things don’t go the right way and at the moment everyone is speculating about the manager bringing in new players, but it’s been like this since I arrived really.“I just need to keep going and keep working because I think I’ve been having a very good season.”Having booked their place at Wembley for the final of the League Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Stoke City on Tuesday night, the Reds are now setting their sights on a trophy and a top four Premier League finish under new boss Klopp.Leiva added: “We have taken it [the League Cup] seriously and showed how much we care about it. Now we’ve got to Wembley, which is where we wanted to be, and now we wait to see who we will play.“Hopefully we will get a title for the club. We’ve been working really hard and I think we deserve something good this season.“Jurgen is a strong character who shows his passion and he is passing the message on to all the squad. Of course sometimes we would like the performance to be better but we have to understand it might take a little bit of time. We’ve been showing passion and determination and trying to do what he wants us to do and that belief got us through [against Stoke].“Of course it’s still possible [to finish in the top four] but we need to have a good run of games, and if we do that and get a bit closer than maybe we can start to think about it.“At the moment we need to improve with each game and see what we can take to the end of the season.”last_img read more