Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he has not even considered the prospect of making an unexpected title challenge despite the club setting the early Premier League pace. Liverpool conceded their first goals of the league campaign at the Liberty Stadium, having won their opening three matches 1-0, and their defensive record has improved since the back end of last season. But Rodgers stressed there had been no significant change in the things he was asking the team to do and their progress, which sees them on an unbeaten league run of 12 matches spanning this campaign and the last, was more about familiarity. “Initially when I came in last season the emphasis was on football and naturally when you come in with these sort of ideas everyone forgets about what you want defensively and focuses only on the ball,” he added. “The players have not been asked to do anything different from what we’ve always asked. “There is a greater understanding of how we want to work and over a period of games we’ve had that resilience as well as quality in our football. There is great confidence within the group. “What we’re doing now is marrying together all of the qualities we work on every day, which are the football qualities, physical and mental qualities. That’s what you need if you’re going to succeed in the Premier League.” But there is no doubt their early form has generated additional positivity in and around the club as they seek to secure a return to the Champions League after a four-year absence. “I haven’t even considered that (a title challenge) at all – the only focus is the next game,” said Rodgers. “We’ll assess it after 10 games, see where we sit there, then the halfway point and we’ll probably have a more realistic idea of where we can be. “At this moment, we’ve played four – won three and drawn one – and we’re in a good moment. “There’s a lot more to come. We’ve made a good start. People will talk that it’s early stages, as will I, but these are hurdles you have to get over. “We’re on 10 points already; at the end of last season we finished on 61 points and we talked about those extra 10 points that might have taken us into the Champions League – at this early stage we’ve got them. “I believe the team has still got a lot of improvements to make because of the nature of what I’ve seen in the games and the potential we have in the players. “We’ve got to sustain that but I’m really happy that in these early stages we’ve shown at least potential. I think that potential can grow even more.” Press Association The Reds were the last top-flight side to surrender their 100 per cent record in Monday’s 2-2 draw at Swansea but the point gained was enough to take them back to the summit. Despite an impressive start Rodgers knows bigger tests lie ahead and he urged caution in making any snap judgements for another six matches.
There’s everything to play for as Ghana meets China PR in the final Group D match at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2012 in Azerbaijan on Sunday.Group D’s final day fixtures will produce anxious moments as Ghana, China PR and Germany are all in the frame for the two qualifying places for the next round with only Uruguay already eliminated.The Black Maidens, on three points, are a point adrift both the Chinese and the Germans.After strolling past Uruguay 5-0, the Black Maidens need a win to reach the quarter-final for the first time at the competition after two previous attempts all ended at the group stage.China, known as the Steel Roses might be new to the tournament but they remain undefeated so far at Azerbaijan 2012 as they chase a quarter-final berth which will be determined by the thrilling final round results.For Black Maidens coach, Mas-ud Didi Dramani, the meeting with the Steel Roses will be a clash of two teams on a similar level. “I watched China PR’s last two games. We’re on a similar level to them, but I think we have the tools to beat them and get the result we need to book our ticket to the quarter-finals,” said the Ghana coach.The Black Maidens are making their third-time appearance at the competition after their debut in 2008.
Former Curtin University Information Officer, Peter Nikoletatos has jumped ship and taken the same role on at ANU. With over 25 years experience in the IT world, Nikoletatos is already looking towards spending the $60 million annual IT budget wisely. He is seeing to a one email system that will help the University centralise all correspondence. “ANU has a history, like most universities, of a duplicate email environment and we are looking at consolidating into one cloud based email service,” he told The Australian. By the start of next year’s semester in March, all students and staff will have moved across to the new cloud platform, which Microsoft is supplying. Along with the cloud, more storage needs have been addressed, with the university investing in 700 terabyte storage for archiving and another 700 terabyte of back-up capacity. New teaching methods heavy on online use won’t be limited with the new scheme Mr Nikoletatos says.“We see the emergence of social media, mobility, digitisation being quite specific in the teaching space and equality with the research space. This is just compounding on a daily basis with the amount of data we are storing and being required to store.” The law and business educated Nikoletatos has overcome his shortcomings in the IT world and proven himself much more useful than a purely technological asset. It is his business expertise that is taking the red tape out of technical support. Instead of having more than 13 different service desks, all managing different areas, he will centralise technical support into one direct line. ANU has 4000 full time staff and about 18,000 students. It also has 270 IT staff, of which 50 per cent report to Nikoletatos. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram