first_img The Chilean said: “I think we have the best squad in England. “We bought four important players, we already had a very good team and with these four players I think we improved a lot. “We hope that from the first match against Newcastle at home we will start winning, and we will try to bring another trophy here.” The event also saw defender Pablo Zabaleta receive the club’s player of the year award for 2012-13 and the Argentinian also spoke of his confidence for the year ahead. He said: “I can guarantee to everyone that we have been working really hard in pre-season and we are very hungry for more trophies, and we aim to win something this season. “The atmosphere in the dressing room is great. We wish the new manager and all his staff the very best of luck for the future.” City finished runners-up to rivals Manchester United last season and suffered a shock loss to Wigan in the FA Cup final. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has emphasised his confidence for the new season by hailing his squad as the best in the Barclays Premier League. Pellegrini, who took charge at the Etihad Stadium this summer, has inherited a squad that has been bolstered by the signings of Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic for a combined near-£90million cost. Pellegrini gave his opinions on stage during a question and answer session for fans at the club’s season launch party in Manchester city centre. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more


first_img Published on April 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ Comments Syracuse is in the bittersweet part of its season.After suffering an upset loss to Louisville on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament, the Orange’s NCAA tournament chances are slim.‘The tough part of it truly was getting on that plane and understanding that we’re getting back to reality, getting back to the snow up at Syracuse, getting back to the books and everything, and the season was pretty much over,’ head coach Luke Jensen said.Since its loss to Louisville, team practices have stopped. The No. 65 Orange (14-6, 6-2 Big East), which limped through the final weeks of the season, is resting up and cramming for exams. Goodbyes are being said to the most successful senior class of the Jensen era. Yet the promise of next season remains with the start of the summer pro circuit just around the corner.‘I think we’re all going to try to change within ourselves what we need to improve on individually and having the team stronger for next season’s play,’ sophomore Maddie Kobelt said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStill, the heartbreak of an injury-impaired season that will likely end without an NCAA tournament appearance stings a team that dropped crucial late-season matches against unranked opponents Georgetown and Louisville.The Orange walked off the Varsity Courts at the Big East tournament Friday knowing its season was likely over. It did so with only two healthy scholarship athletes.Alessondra Parra played on a broken toe, Emily Harman nursed a bum shoulder and Kobelt suffered through flu-like symptoms. Amanda Rodgers, Komal Safdar and Jimena Wu, a walk-on, were the only healthy players on the squad.‘The girls that did play on the court at Big East and throughout the season with the ins and outs of injuries, they gave it their best effort 100 percent with or without an injury, and that’s all that we can really be proud of,’ Kobelt said.But the Big East loss was also a last stand for two seniors that combined for 231 wins in their SU careers. It’s a senior class Jensen is sad to see go, but one he feels has positioned the program for a brighter future.Harman and Parra will embark on professional careers after graduation. Their careers at Syracuse culminated in a historic season that saw the team knock off three ranked teams. The Orange will likely finish with the highest year-end ranking in Jensen’s six years at the helm.‘Coming off the court, it was a feeling of a little bittersweet, to be honest, but it’s been an amazing four years, and I wouldn’t change a thing,’ Harman said.The experience of going through a season in which an injury bug pestered the team and ultimately brought its season to a close should help a senior-less team in 2013. Next year’s recruiting class features two five-star recruits in Alex Aiello and Brittany Lashway.But for now, the team looks forward to hitting the summer circuit. The Orange will travel to Landisville, Pa., for a United States Tennis Association tournament. Harman and Parra are nursing their respective injuries ahead of their full-time pro careers.The seniors have left their mark on next year’s upperclassmen, setting them up to lead Syracuse into what could be an elite era.‘Captains Harman and Parra have set the standard for what our team standard is, the energy, the intensity, the everyday practices and the purposes of our practices,’ Kobelt said.‘That’s been instilled in myself and in Aleah since we were freshmen. … It’s just our job to carry on that tradition.’jmklinge@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more