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  • 30 Jan
    Vancouver Whitecaps rookie head coach Carl Robinson has hardly made a wrong step during his opening six months in charge at the club. [b]Jesse Barfield Jersey[/b] . His team is exciting to watch and sitting nicely positioned in the Western Conference playoff places with one match to play before the World Cup break and he has a group of players who are clearly enjoying working with him. Away from the pitch, Robinsons start has been equally impressive, as he looks to build a club with a distinct identity. The ‘Caps have become quickly known for their youthful, attacking play, but Robinson is determined to make sure he also has a team that conducts itself in the right manner. In a global sports world where there is always plenty of negative behavior to talk about, the Whitecaps coach has made it clear he wants an open and honest locker room. That was evident this week when he was asked about an incident involving Whitecaps Uruguayan attacker Sebastian Fernandez during Sundays 4-3 win at Portland. Fernandez clearly attempted to get Timbers defender Pah Madou Kah into trouble with the referee by pretending to be struck in the face. Replays clearly showed there was no contact. Robinson was as clear as could be when talking about the incident, stating that there is no place for that behavior within his club. “I spoke to him (Fernandez) at length and the players as a group,” said Robinson. “I have told them it is not acceptable. I dont condone that, the club wont condone that. It was dealt with internally and wont be happening again.” “Its not what Im about as a head coach and its not what the club is about,” he continued. “Its important they know that. It does happen, but its not going to happen with our club and Ive made my feelings known. Weve dealt with it and we move on, but its important I make him aware that its not acceptable and he wont be doing it again.” Its a refreshing approach from Robinson and one which is not seen enough from managers in the global game. A different example of the ‘Caps coach being open in his approach to management is with the clubs daily training sessions. Training grounds around the world are usually blanketed in secrecy - its all smoke and mirrors. In Major League Soccer, most teams allow media to watch their sessions for the final 15 minutes when there is nothing on show that could give away any information – but Robinson has taken a completely different approach. Every one of the Whitecaps training sessions is open to the media from start to finish. Its certainly a popular decision with the members of the media covering the team on a daily basis, but Robinsons open access policy is about much more than making people happy. “I opened up to you guys because I think it is an important relationship the club has and you are an important part for us,” Robinson said this week when asked about why he decided to go against the trend. “Ive got nothing to hide. You know the way I play and Im sure, if other teams do their homework, they will know the way we play as well. I want you to see the team spirit and camaraderie we are trying to build. If you watch training and see the way I work and how Gordon (Forrest) and Martyn (Pert) work, it will give you a fair idea of how we want to play.” Of course, while everything is going well for Vancouver, things are much easier, but from what I have seen of Robinson so far in his management role, Im certain he will have the mental toughness to deal with difficulties when they come the way of his team. The building process continues - on and off the field – as the Whitecaps look to move forward as a club, but Robinsons values are shining through as he looks to lay a solid foundation for future success. [b]Joe Carter Jersey[/b] . Both sides came closest to scoring in the first half, when Roma had a goal from Mattia Destro waved off for offside and Inters Rodrigo Palacio headed high. "A draw was a fair result. Neither squad had many chances," Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic said. [b]Jaime Garcia Jersey[/b] . There will be no Down Under four-peat for Djokovic, as the eighth-seeded Swiss slugger Wawrinka outlasted the second seed 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 at Melbourne Parks Rod Laver Arena in yet another five-set thriller in their burgeoning rivalry.NEW YORK -- Dirk Nowitzki called it "probably the ugliest game-winner I ever shot," and this is how he described it. "Basically it hit the board, every part of the rim, hit Jerry West over there (the logo on the backboard), came back over and it was definitely an ugly, ugly shot," he said. But when the 19-foot jumper bounced up and then fell in as time expired, the Dallas Mavericks had a 110-108 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night. The Mavericks blew an eight-point lead in the final 90 seconds, then pulled out their third straight victory when Nowitzkis jumper that seemed to have missed instead fell through. "I didnt even feel like celebrating it was so ugly," Nowitzki said. His teammates and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did it for him, rushing onto the floor after Dallas moved into seventh place in the Western Conference. Carmelo Anthony had 44 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks. He played strong defence on the Mavericks final possession, but was left standing in disbelief long after the buzzer after Nowitzkis shot appeared to hit the backboard first, then the front rim, then bounced up before dropping. "It was like a needle in a balloon right there," Anthony said. "It sucks all the air out of you. He hit a hell of a shot." Vince Carter made seven three-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points. Monta Ellis had 22 for Dallas (35-23), which has won nine of 11 and is a season-best 12 games over .500. Jose Calderon finished with 20 points for the Mavericks, who swept a three-game road trip and beat the Knicks for the 20th time in the last 25 meetings. Nowitzki had just 15 points after missing all five three-point attempts. "Thats one thing about the greatest players. I played with (Larry) Bird for three years. He took more pleasure in hitting a game-winning shot after he missed eight or nine in a row than having a great game at times," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 12 rebounds against his former team, sparking the Knicks comeback after they trailed 108-100 with 1:37 left. But New York (21-36) lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell a season-worst 15 games below .500. The Knicks had blown big leads in their last two games, giving away a 14-point advantage at Orlanddo and a 17-point cushion at Atlanta, collapses that coach Mike Woodson called "mind-boggling. [b]Troy Tulowitzki Jersey[/b]. " This one had to hurt worse. "There were games last year when our backs were against the wall and we just found a way to win," Woodson said. "This year when weve been in the situation where we needed a big stop or two we havent been able to get it done." The Mavericks seemed to have put it away when Calderon made a three-pointer, and Brandan Wright followed with a basket to stretch the late lead to eight points. But after Raymond Feltons basket, Chandler converted a three-point play, then came up with a steal to start a break that ended with Anthonys three-pointer that tied it at 108 with 50 seconds remaining. The Knicks got the ball back after a Dallas miss but committed a shot-clock violation, giving Dallas the ball for Nowitzkis winner. "We maybe shouldnt be in the situation at the end, I think six points up," Calderon said. "It was a good lead with 1:20 or something, but it was good at the end." Amare Stoudemire scored nine points in his first start since the end of the 2011-12 season for the Knicks, who had just 10 available players after waiving Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih earlier Monday following contract buyouts. The Mavericks shot 55 per cent and led 31-21 after one quarter, but the Knicks came right back and made 14 of 19 shots (74 per cent) while scoring 38 points in the second, when Anthony scored 17 points. New York erased a 14-point deficit to grab a two-point lead on Anthonys jumper with 11 seconds left, but Ellis made a three-pointer as time expired to give Dallas a 60-59 edge. Dallas had the lead back up to eight in the final minute of the third, but Anthony made three free throws, then nailed a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining as the Knicks trimmed it to 84-82. NOTES: Woodson said he would talk with team president Steve Mills on Tuesday to discuss filling the teams open roster spots. He said he thought the Knicks needed a big man with Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin still injured, and a guard who could defend on the perimeter. ... 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