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  1. Build-up to Everton-Dynamo Kiev in Europa League
  2. Cole Harden wins World Hurdle at Cheltenham
  3. Tony McCoy has first win of final Festival on Uxizandre
  4. Reaction to Chelsea's Champions League exit
  5. McCall confirmed as Rangers caretaker manager
  6. GET INVOLVED: Why are British teams struggling in Europe?

Live Reporting

By Steve Canavan and Elizabeth Hudson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Sportsday Live

That's it for Sportsday Live for Thursday.

You can follow Everton's progress in the Europa League on the BBC Sport website and Sportsday will return at 08:00 GMT on Friday.

Coming up

BBC Radio 5 live

There's plenty for sportlovers on BBC Radio 5 live on Thursday evening.

At 19:00 GMT, Eleanor Oldroyd presents 5 Live Sport live from Cheltenham on the eve of the Gold Cup with all of the day's sports news plus a look ahead to Friday's big race.

From 20:00, Alastair Eykyn previews the fourth round of matches in the Six Nations with guests including England flanker Maggie Alphonsi, former Wales international Martyn Williams, and ex-Ireland hooker Keith Wood.

At 21:00, the focus switches to Formula 1 and this weekend's Australian Grand Prix in 5 live Formula 1.

Players desperate to win games - Gerrard


Steven Gerrard

Players are so desperate to win football matches they will try "every trick in the book", says Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Chelsea's players have been criticised for surrounding referee Bjorn Kuipers during Wednesday's Champions League exit against Paris St-Germain after he sent off PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a tackle on Chelsea's Oscar.

"I think it's normal when you play games at that level. Players want to win so much," said Gerrard

"You've got managers who want to win so much, players will try every trick in the book to get over the line and try and win football matches. Sometimes it doesn't look nice, but we've all been guilty of it throughout our careers, of not always abiding by the rules."

Everton's Naismith remains confident

Everton v Dynamo Kiev (20:00 GMT)

Steven Naismith
Getty Images

Everton forward Steven Naismith believes his side can win the Europa League despite their poor Premier League form.

The Toffees host Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 first leg on Thursday.

"We believe we can go all the way to the final and win it, but we're at the stage now where every team is a quality team," said Naismith.

Defender John Stones and midfielder Leon Osman face fitness tests, left-back Leighton Baines is out injured and winger Aaron Lennon is ineligible.

RFU gives more money to Championship

Rugby Union

The Rugby Football Union has agreed to an increase in the amount of money

it pays to clubs in the Championship.

The new agreement between English rugby's governing body and second-tier clubs runs until the summer of 2020.

Funds will also go towards player medical insurance, while clubs will be expected to invest in their facilities.

It comes just weeks after

discussions to expand the Premiership and scrap promotion and relegation to the Championship began.

Weston airlifted to hospital after fall

Horse racing

Frank Keogh

BBC Sport

Amateur jockey Tom Weston has been airlifted to hospital following a fall at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.

Weston was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol after his mount Benbane Head, trained locally by Martin Keighley, came down in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase.

Racecourse spokeswoman Sophie Brudenell said he was undergoing further assessment and treatment.

"He was breathing and conscious when he left," she said.

Tony Pulis news conference

West Brom v Stoke (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

Tony Pulis

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis says Chelsea's Champions League exit on does not mean English clubs are failing.

"It was one game," he said. "I watched the game and I thought PSG were good and deserved their victory.

"To write off Chelsea or English clubs in general after one game (is wrong), especially Chelsea, who have been outstanding this year but had a bad night.

"Unfortunately it was the wrong time to do it. Jose will be very, very disappointed, as will the players and the club, but I'm sure they'll bounce back."

Rugby League

Huddersfield v Castleford (20:00 GMT)

Thursday night's Super League action sees Huddersfield up against Castleford with both sides hoping for their second win of the season.

Huddersfield recall Luke Robinson, who was rested for the last two matches and who comes in for Shaun Lunt, who has joined Hull KR on loan.

There is also a first call-up of the season for prop Josh Johnson, who takes over from Anthony Mullally.

Castleford have prop Andy Lynch and hooker Scott Moore back from injury and suspension respectively while Michael Channing is set to take over at centre from captain Michael Shenton, who dislocated his shoulder in last week's win over Wigan.

You can hear the game live on 5 live Sports Extra and via the BBC Sport website.

Sean Dyche news conference

Burnley v Man City (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

Burnley are without a win in two months and sit second bottom of the Premier League table, three points from safety.

But City won't underestimate the Clarets after a stunning performance at the Etihad in December, when they fought back from 2-0 down to claim a draw.

"City have got some fantastic players. We experienced that once before, we gave a good performance and I think overall deserved a point out of the game. But that doesn't guarantee us anything this time around," said Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

"They're a highly-motivated group of players, still in the hunt, still right up there, very experienced and a fantastic manager, so obviously it's a big challenge once again."

McCall's new Rangers role


Stuart McCall

Stuart McCall on his new role as caretaker manager of Rangers: "This is a big challenge, no doubt. Anyone who's seen the last few games will know this. I've got a million and one text messages wishing me good luck and I think I'll need them all.

"It's something I'm really looking forward to. The aim for us is to get out of this league. It's been difficult for the boys today, getting a group text on their day off at 11.30 to be here at 2.30, but they got here, and we've had a good meeting.

"This club has been kicked for too long. The fans don't want to come and boo."

Defender's ban quashed


Celtic's Virgil van Dijk will be available for the League Cup final after his ban for a red card against Dundee United was quashed.

An altercation in the aftermath of a Scott Brown challenge on Nadir Ciftci resulted in Van Dijk and United's Paul Paton both being sent off.

Van Dijk's sending off against Dundee United was his second red card in 10 days

Celtic appealed against Van Dijk's red card, and the Scottish FA judicial panel ruled it should be rescinded.

The decision on Paton's appeal has yet to be announced.

McCall confirmed as Rangers manager


Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Stuart McCall as manager until the end of the season.

Sean Dyche news conference

Burnley v Man City (Saturday 17:30 GMT)

Sean Dyche added to his squad this week with the recruitment on a three-year deal of Norwegian midfielder Fredrik Ulvestad.

The Burnley boss has been keen for the club to expand their scouting network into Europe and signed 22-year-old Ulvestad after a two-week trial.

The Clarets were already short in midfield before Dean Marney was ruled out for the season with a knee injury last month but Dyche insisted Ulvestad will not be rushed.

"At the moment it's that cooling-off period, him getting used to how we work. I don't know that much about the Norwegian league but I know it's not the Premier League," said the boss.

"If he's needed this season and we think he's ready, then we'll use him."

Drivers ready for season start

Formula 1

The new Formula 1 season starts this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix and drivers including Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Jenson Button and Max Verstappen

have told BBC Sport that they are looking forward to getting back to action.

Toro Rosso rookie Verstappen says he will treat the event as "just another weekend" as the 17-year old is set to becomes the youngest driver in history to take part in a Grand Prix.

Cole find £20,000 for abusive tweet


West Ham striker Carlton Cole has been fined £20,000 after he admitted breaching Football Association rules in relation to social media.

It comes after he sent an abusive tweet following West Ham's 2-2 draw with Tottenham on 22 February.

Sean Dyche news conference

Burnley v Man City (Saturday 17:30 GMT)

Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes dressing-room spats between players are "a natural occurrence" at the highest level.

Sean Dyche

Manchester City visit Turf Moor on Saturday at the end of a week where the champions have been forced to play down reports that captain Vincent Kompany was dropped following a bust-up with team-mate Fernandinho.

"I think it's a natural occurrence when you've got highly-talented, highly-motivated people, all in a working environment - that's very challenging," said Dyche.

"Everyone wants a shirt, everyone wants to play, and also, I can only imagine, at that level you're borderline into 25 mini companies. It's not just players, you're dealing with the whole shebang - PR consultants, agents, PAs, who knows what else.

"I imagine it's like having 25 CEOs and trying to align them all with whatever the bigger picture is. There's always going to be challenges because they're powerful-minded people, which is why they're at the top of the game."

Get involved - European woes


Why are British (with apologies to Gary; see below) teams struggling in Europe?

Phillip Barlow: European football is peaks and troughs. English clubs peaked in the mid-late noughties. Now it's a trough.

Gary Sweeney: Why say British? Ultimately its the English teams struggling. With their financial muscle they should be dominating Europe.

Mark Fletcher: Prem is lower quality throughout. Bottom half sides in La Liga are technically miles ahead and can actually play good football.

Peter: English teams aren't as good as we think. Best marketed league yet quality wise isn't. Not as competitive as people think either.

More to #bbcsportsday

Dermot's Day of Dance

Comic Relief

Dermot O'Leary in training
Comic Relief

As part of Comic Relief, DJ Dermot O'Leary is embarking on a special challenge later this evening - Dermot's Day of Dance - where he will dance for 24 hours continuously from 19:00 GMT to raise money for Red Nose Day, which takes place on Friday.

You can

follow the whole thing live on BBC Radio 2 and on the BBC Red Button.


more about Dance on the BBC Get Inspired website.

The Package lands Cheltenham win

Horse racing

Jamie Codd and The Package ran out comfortable winners of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase in the penultimate race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

The 9-1 shot, trained by David Pipe, beat Bless The Wings (28-1), ridden by Nina Carberry into second with Buddy Bolero (20-1) in third while fourth went to Grand Vision (11-1).

The final race of the day is the St Patrick's Derby charity race.

Cherries mentally stronger - Surman


Bournemouth midfielder Andrew Surman believes the Cherries are mentally prepared to win promotion to the Premier League after returning to the top of the Championship.

Eddie Howe's side endured a five-match winless run in February, but have won two straight games in March to move ahead of Derby, Watford and Middlesbrough at the summit.

"It's easy to get downhearted, but it's important not to," Surman told

BBC Radio Solent.

"We've come out of it mentally stronger. I think that is why we have won our last two games and hopefully we can put a run together now."

Wickham knows strikers must improve


Sunderland's Connor Wickham

Sunderland's Connor Wickham has admitted that the club's misfiring strikers deserve the criticism they are getting.

The Black Cats have managed only 23 goals in their 28 Premier League fixtures to date this season with the frontmen only getting nine.

"Chances come and you do need to put them away. We are creating chances. The way we set up, we are setting up to attack at times when we get the ball. We do try to break as quickly as we can when we get the ball,"

Wickham told the Northern Echo.

"We have done it in games but we have to get more consistent with it and get in to the box more. We will climb away from the rest of the group down there if we can start to put our chances away."

Punishment for Cologne


Bundesliga club Cologne have been ordered to play three matches partially behind closed doors and fined £142,000 for crowd trouble.

Getty Images

Police made two arrests after a 30-strong group of Cologne fans dressed all in white stormed on to the pitch after their team's last-minute Bundesliga defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach last month.

'He is a very nice person' - Murray


Talking more about the newest member of his coaching team, Andy Murray added: "I know him very well from when he played. When I came on the tour when I was young, he was very good to me.

"He is a very nice person with a good sense of humour, and obviously an exceptional tennis player who made the most out of his game.

"He's got a good resume as a player and a lot of the Swedes turn out to be pretty good coaches."

If you want to hear more from Murray - and watch Scotland's finest do a few kick-ups with a tennis ball to boot -

you'll find video here...

BBC Sport

Murray on new coach


Andy Murray has been telling the BBC why he's keen to add Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team - describing the 42 year old as "a very nice person with a good sense of humour."

Andy Murray
Getty Images

The former Wimbledon semi-finalist will spend a week with Murray at some point in the next month or so, with a view to joining the team on a permanent basis.

Murray thinks Swedes tend to make good coaches, as they "have a good mindset, are very calm and extremely hard workers."

Wiggins to ride in Tour de Yorkshire


Sir Bradley Wiggins

Sir Bradley Wiggins has confirmed his intention to ride in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in May.

The 2012 Tour de France winner will leave Team Sky at the end of April to head up his own 'Team Wiggins' developmental squad, and revealed the three-day race in Yorkshire from 1-3 May will be among his first assignments for the new team.

The race is a legacy event from last year's hugely successful Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which brought millions of fans to the region.

Wiggins missed last year's Tour having been overlooked for the squad by Team Sky.

All Rhodes lead to Blackburn


Blackburn's owners Venky's will not sanction a loan move for striker Jordan Rhodes, manager Gary Bowyer has confirmed.

Getty Images

Speculation has been rife all week that the 25-year-old - who was left out of the starting line-up in the FA Cup against Liverpool last Sunday - could be jettisoned on a temporary deal to a fellow Championship club ahead of a permanent switch in the summer.

However, Rovers boss Bowyer - speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph - said: "The owners are of the same opinion as ourselves - why would we want to be doing that?"

Toffees time


Well, after the exit of Chelsea - and the less-than-decent chances of Arsenal and Man City progressing in the Champions League (though never say never) - it is down to Everton to restore some British pride.


Toffees take on Dynamo Kiev at Goodison in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

After Everton's recent travails in the Premier League, this tie might well be a pleasant distraction for Roberto Martinez and his players.

Everton forward Steven Naismith (left) with manager Roberto Martinez
Getty Images

Frontman Steven Naismith is certainly confident. "We believe we can go all the way to the final and win it," he said, but warned: "We're at the stage now where every team is a quality team."

Kick off is 20:05 GMT with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Give us a cuddle


And before we leave Villa, how about this picture we've just stumbled across taken before their game with West Brom last weekend.

Getty Images

Is it just us or does Tony Pulis look more than a little uncomfortable in the midst of this Tim Sherwood vice-like bear-hug?

Tim Sherwood news conference

Sunderland v Aston Villa (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

Villa are still awaiting the results of a Football Association and police investigation into crowd trouble during the FA Cup win over West Brom at the weekend but Tim Sherwood wants to focus on their key game at Sunderland.

Getty Images

"It didn't take the shine off for me and the players. We just concentrate on the football side and other people can deal with the aftermath. I haven't looked into it too much," said Sherwood.

"All I'm concentrating on is focusing the boys on the next one which is Sunderland away."

Sherwood revealed that Libor Kozak has returned to first-team training after being out for over a year with a broken leg - but Kieran Richardson (calf) is a doubt, while Philippe Senderos (calf) is out and Jack Grealish and Alan Hutton are banned.

Get involved - Euro woe


Why are British teams struggling in Europe?

Steven Ross: English clubs don't have a divine right to do well in Europe and maybe we are just not as good as we think we are!

Lawal Sura: English teams should change their philosophy when going for European games, not stick to the same gameplan used in Premier League.

Mark 4exmilitary: Teams can't complain about number of games and then swan off to China/USA, etc, for three weeks as part of a marketing ploy in the summer.

Jono: No matter what you think about the Chelsea game last night, don't you think the PSG away kit is just awful?

Let's have a reminder of it then...

Getty Images

Awful's a bit strong. Bright maybe. But then again, just think how handy it would be if you find yourself on a dimly-lit country lane and need to be visible to oncoming traffic...

Ibrahimovic ban stands


Getty Images

Paris St-Germain will not be able to overturn Zlatan Ibrahimovic's red card, despite Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho calling on the European governing body to cancel the dismissal.

Uefa has announced that referees' decisions are viewed as final unless it is a case of mistaken identity.

A Uefa spokesman pointed to its disciplinary regulations which state: "Decisions taken by the referee on the field of play are final and may not be reviewed by the Uefa disciplinary bodies."

McDowall exits Rangers


Rangers have announced caretaker manager Kenny McDowall has left the club.

Getty Images

McDowall leaves the club after 10 games in caretaker charge, during which Rangers won just three times.

His departure paves the way for Stuart McCall to take over as manager. McCall is expected to be confirmed as the new boss in the next few hours, after arriving at Murray Park earlier in the day.

Forest sign Swansea's Barrow on loan


Swansea City winger Modou Barrow has

joined Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.

The 22-year-old Gambia-born

signed from Swedish club Ostersunds in September 2014.

Tim Sherwood news conference

Sunderland v Aston Villa (Saturday 15:00 GMT)

Christian Benteke is set to return for Aston Villa's crunch relegation clash with Sunderland, confirms Villa gaffer Tim Sherwood.

The striker missed the weekend's 2-0 FA Cup quarter final win over West Brom with a hip injury but will be in the squad for the trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Getty Images

Villa are a place above the Premier League relegation zone and a point behind the Black Cats ahead of the game with Benteke looking to return.

Boss Tim Sherwood said: "Christian is still feeling it. He'll be in the squad, we'll give him as much time as we can to get him fit."

World Hurdle success for Cole Harden

Horse racing

It was a first Cheltenham winner for both Sheehan and Greatrex and was reward for a brave front-running display.

Paul Nicholls-trained horses were second and third with the 5-1 favourite Saphir Du Rheu finishing just ahead of Zarkandar (6-1).

World Hurdle success for Cole Harden

Horse racing

The 14-1 chance Cole Harden wins the World Hurdle at Cheltenham for trainer Warren Greatrex and jockey Gavin Sheehan.

'No crisis in Europe' - Gerrard


Steven Gerrard also spoke about Chelsea's defeat by PSG and the struggles of English teams in the Champions League.

He insisted there is "no crisis" and suggested English clubs would be back.

"I don't think it has been our year but I don't think it is a crisis. I don't think it will repeat as the years go by," the Liverpool captain added. "It has happened before that teams have gone out early and the next year one comes back and wins it. I don't think it is a major problem but as a whole we haven't been good enough."

Asked about Chelsea's behaviour, Gerrard said players do whatever it takes to win and added that "we have all been guilty of overstepping the mark on occasions".

Gerrard wants big finish


Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has been speaking to the media today at an event to publicise an already sold-out all-star charity game - which takes place later this month at Anfield and will feature a number of former Reds stars (including Jamie Carragher), plus other greats of the game.

Getty Images

He said that he is aiming to sign off his Liverpool career by helping the side to FA Cup glory and a place in the top four.

"I've just got over a hamstring injury and I am fit and available for the next game (against Swansea on Monday)," said the 34-year-old, who will join LA Galaxy in the summer.

"I want to finish the season really strong and leave the team in the top four and hopefully go all the way in the FA Cup - that is how I want to sign off."

Murray in perfect place


Former ATP world number one Mats Wilander believes Andy Murray is

"right where he wants to be" ahead of the Indian Wells Masters.

Andy Murray celebrates his Davis Cup triumph

The Swede won seven major singles titles, and the Wimbledon doubles gong between 1982 and 1988.

"I think he (Murray) is right where he wants to be," he told BBC Scotland. "Most probably he needs a tournament win to gain that little bit of extra confidence.

"I think it's possible that he wins a major this year - he's going to win a couple of tournaments here and there, that's for sure."

Get involved - European woe


Why are British clubs struggling in Europe?

Thomas Jones: Collectively the Premier League is the best (the most players at Brazil 2014) but the best teams in Europe are still better than ours.

Harry Partridge: I can see the new seeding system potentially allowing Spanish/English teams to dominate the knock-out stages next season.

Daniel Farren: No teams ever defended the Champions League in it's current format, it's a hard competition not always reflecting league form.

Vincent Manancourt: Perhaps English teams prioritise the Premier League because it is more exciting and competitive than Champions and Europa Leagues?

Keep 'em coming to #bbcsportsday.