‘We should retire while the going’s good’

This week’s sporting quotes from IAN COLE looks at the fall-out from Chelsea’s Champions League defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Internazionale, plus the rugby’s Six Nations and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and has contributions from England coach Fabio Capello as well as Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson

“The referee was a bit hard on me for this red card. I stepped on him, not on his calf but on his tendon” Didier Drogba enters an unusual defence for his dismissal following a stamp on Inter’s Thiago Motta.

“These are my players, my people. But today I was the enemy and the enemy won. Today I’m not so special for Chelsea supporters who will probably never forgive me” Mourinho.

“We’d all like Jose Mourinho to walk out of that tunnel, but he probably doesn’t want to. So we’ve got a manager who fits the bill for what we need” Adam Pearson, the Hull City chairman, welcomes Iain Dowie as his club’s new manager.

“The people who write the headlines probably know even less than the people who write the articles” Martin Johnson, the England rugby manager, asked whether he was bothered by negative headlines in the build-up to the game against France.

“The same way you tackle any prop” Mike Tindall, the re-called England player, when asked how he would tackle France’s “beast” of a centre, Mathieu Bastareaud.

“All I’d heard for three months was Kauto Star and Denman, but it wasn’t a two-horse race. We were within an inch last time and we knew we were good enough” Paddy Brennan, pictured right, after riding Imperial Commander to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

“It wakes you up all right. But I thought ‘I’m not dead and I don’t think anything is broken’. If you can stand up, you can get on a horse” Tony McCoy. After falling from Jered in the Jewson Novices’Chase, he was kicked in the head, neck and back by other horses. After a few quick stitches in his chin, he reappeared 35 minutes later to steer Albertas Run to victory in the Ryanair Chase.

“I hope he will be ready for the European championship qualifiers in the autumn. He is always one of the best players. I spoke with him to give my support. He is a good professional and has worked so hard towards the World Cup that to miss out will be a big blow for him” Fabio Capello encourages David Beckham.

“We should do a Rocky Marciano and retire while the going’s good, because it’s not going to get any better” Roy Hodgson celebrates his Fulham team’s 4-1 (5-4 agg) defeat of Juventus and a place in the Europa League quarter-finals.

“It’s good to get angry. It’s good to go a bit mad, but I don’t throw teacups. I’d rather throw punches” Roy Keane.

“I didn’t expect them to charge Gerrard because it’s a dysfunctional unit, the FA. I don’t think they know what they are doing. There’s no consistency. I never expect any. They’ll do what they want down there. It’s crazy at times” Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager.

SJA dates for your diaries
Mon Apr 12: SJA Spring Golf Day , to be staged at Surbiton GC. To book, contact Paul Trow (07973 862747).

Thu Apr 15: SJA 2010 Annual Meeting , at offices of UK Sport

Mon Apr 19: SJA/LOCOG guided tour of Olympic Park, 2pm For booking details, click here.

Sun Apr 25: SJA Cricket Day. Enjoy corporate hospitality with friends and colleagues, and bring along your partner, as Lancashire take on Surrey. Tickets £65 each. Click here for booking details.

Wed May 19: A Question of Boris:The SJA’s second “Sporting Question Time”, this time with London Mayor Boris Johnson at City Hall. This will be strictly for SJA members only. To book your ticket, click here to send us an email with your name, SJA membership number and address, writing “Sporting Question Time with Boris” in the subject field

Mon Sep 13: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. To book, contact Paul Trow (07973 862747).

All dates and details subject to change.

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