“He’s more underestimated than people give him credit for”

IAN COLE rounds up a great sporting week in quotes, including F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, Ben Youngs and Chris Ashton after England’s rugby victory over Australia, the aftermath of David Haye v Audley Harrison, and a week’s football including Joey Barton, Ian Holloway and Roberto Mancini

Vettel: victorious

“I don’t know what you are supposed to say at this moment. I have only led this championship once – that was when it mattered. I am speechless” Sebastian Vettel, who at 23 became the youngest Formula 1 drivers’ champion after victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“I expect to be knocked flat, just as I will knock him down. I know I will have to get up to take more punishment. I have prepared myself mentally to endure extreme pain. No matter how hard or how often I am hit in the head, I will not allow my will to be broken” Audley Harrison, before his WBA heavyweight title fight against David Haye.

“He’s more underestimated than a lot of people give him credit for” Frank Bruno.

“I hope some new and extraordinary Audley turns up but I fear it will be the same old Audley and I will knock his head off inside two rounds” Haye.

“Me and Audley have straightened it out in the ring. The bad blood is gone and I would like to take him out for a drink after this” Haye after the third-round stoppage.

“He’s been a salesman for the past two weeks. He never fooled me. Let’s be honest about this, totally honest. Because that’s what we need. On a lot of these TV shows we don’t tell the truth” Barry McGuigan, former world champion turned Sky Sports analyst, on Audley Harrison’s abject non-performance against David Haye. For which Sky Sports viewers had paid £14.95.

“Harrison was pathetic, in the sense of provoking feelings of pity. Anyone with a spark of humanity could not fail to be moved as the camera closed in on the bewildered figure slumped in the corner of his dressing room. You could almost forgive the bluster, the vainglory, all the third-person nonsense we have endured over the years, watching Harrison crumple before the unforgiving lens. That is the elemental nature of boxing” Martin Kelner in his weekly sport on television review.

No holding him: England's Ben Youngs

“Two years ago I was going to return to Rugby League but my father convinced me to stick with it. When I dived over the line for the second try, Dad was there in my thoughts. He was definitely out there today watching over me” Chris Ashton, scorer of a try-line to try-line England try against Australia.

“It’s the best I’ve seen Ben play. He just seemed to do everything right and I told him so. And to do it in a white shirt, or a blue shirt – or whatever colour it was – was absolutely brilliant” Nick Youngs, father of England scrum-half Ben, is not the only one baffled by an England team in “anthracite” grey.

“My proudest moment at the club. It’s not often you beat this lot 3-0 in their back yard. It won’t happen again very often, either” Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager, laps up the praise for winning at Chelsea.

“You are talking out of your hat. I would like to say out of your arse, but that’s a donkey and I don’t like having a go at donkeys. If some bright spark from the Premier League, or Barclays Premier League as we’re supposed to call it, wants to come down and have a chat and a cup of coffee…you’ll probably get it chucked in your lap” Ian Holloway refuses to accept that making 10 changes for the match at Aston Villa constitutes fielding a weakened team and is in breach of the rules.

“If that was a slap, I’d hate to be on the end of one of his punches” Lee Dixon takes issue with Newcastle’s Joey Barton’s description of his assault on Morten Gamst Pedersen.

“Joey and I have nothing unsettled. I’ll even invite him to dinner next time he is in Manchester. It happened in the heat of battle and it was over when the match was over” Morten Gamst Pedersen.

“Footballers are role models but I’m not even a role model to myself. I have to take responsibility for what happened” Joey Barton.

“Fabregas has apologised and Wardy has accepted it like a man. It’s like a throw-back to the days when you’ve broken someone’s nose and you buy them a pint at the bar” Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, on another tackling issue.

“I can’t get upset every time the fans chant someone’s name. I can only continue to do the best job I can under these circumstances. If the club decide they want to give the job to someone else I have to accept it” Roy Hodgson hears Liverpool fans calling for Kenny Dalglish during the defeat at Stoke.

“I don’t know why I was sent to the stands. The referee said he would tell me later but he hasn’t yet, so I must be going for a drink with him somewhere. How old is he? Fourteen? It’s not old enough to be refereeing at this level. The game was far too big for him. We are not guinea pigs for an experiment” Paul Lambert, the Norwich City manager, unimpressed by referee Michael Oliver (aged 25).

“Hopefully England will stop worrying about what the sponsors are going to say and thinking Goody Two-Shoes is the right image for Team England. They need to start picking players to win football matches” Joey Barton campaigns for bad-boy Newcastle team mate Andy Carroll to be included in the England squad.

“The fans were not happy, but do you think if you play with four strikers it means you will score four goals? If you think like this, you don’t know football” Roberto Mancini reacts to being booed for substituting Carlos Tevez for Manchester City.

“I kicked a few tables over in sheer frustration at the same old, same old. A great game of rugby, but it’s about winning – and we lost” Warren Gatland, the Wales coach, after a 29-25 defeat to South Africa.

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