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Football news in brief: Martin O’Neill expecting goals from his ‘other’ strikers

MARTIN O’Neill is confident there is more to come from his new Sunderland strikeforce, despite seeing summer signing Steven Fletcher get off to a blistering start with four goals in his three Barclays Premier League games to date.

O’Neill said: “He has had a great start to his career here, which I am delighted about. It makes things a wee bit easier to settle in, and he has done so very, very well. But eventually, we will need other players to score goals and I am sure in the course of time, they will do.”

Pranjic quits after being left out of Croatia squad

Croatia stalwart Danijel Pranjic has quit internationals after coach Igor Stimac left him out of his squad for World Cup qualifiers with Wales and Macedonia. The 30-year-old wing back, who played 22 minutes in Croatia’s Euro 2012 group stage exit, said making way for Brazilian-born uncapped Dinamo Zagreb playmaker Sammir was the “final straw” after Stimac also left him out of Croatia’s opening two World Cup qualifiers. Croatia are joint top of Group A alongside Serbia and Belgium, with home and away games against Scotland to come next year.

Vukcevic ‘critical’ after collision with truck

Hoffenheim midfielder Boris Vukcevic is in a critical condition after sustaining severe head wounds when his car and a truck collided yesterday. The 22-year-old German was airlifted to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and is now in an artificial coma. “His situation is critical,” the club said in a statement. “We are shocked by the news,” said team manager Andreas Mueller. “The team, the coach, everyone is shocked. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Fake bomb found at Zenit training ground

A fake home-made bomb, hidden in a bag, has been found at Zenit St Petersburg’s training ground along with a picture of Brazil striker Hulk. The picture of the new signing carried the accompanying words: “Hulk out!” Reports have said several senior Zenit players are unhappy after the club splashed out more than $100 million on Hulk and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel just before the transfer deadline. “We’re not denying this story but won’t comment either,” a club spokesman said.

Blokhin resigns as head coach of Ukraine team

Oleg Blokhin has resigned as coach of the Ukraine national soccer team after accepting the job of head coach at Dynamo Kiev. “Oleg Blokhin has indeed tendered his resignation,” said Ukraine Football Federation president Anatoly Konkov. Blokhin’s move to Dynamo was announced on Tuesday and he said he would job-share for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Montenegro next month. Separately, Blokhin announced the national team squad for the October qualifiers, unchanged from that in their recent 1-1 draw with England.

 

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