Press Association Toffees fans might be starting to get concerned about the prospect of a real battle to beat the drop. But manager Martinez – whose side have thrived in the Europa League this term in contrast to their domestic struggles – insists he and his players are not looking down the league table. Asked about the fear of being dragged into a relegation fight, the Spaniard said: “It is not about fear. “We have a real strong sense of responsibility and we want to win games. “We have a very talented squad and we have incredible characters who understand what is needed to perform well and win football games. “We have 10 games left and 30 points to fight for, and we are going to give our lives to get as many as we can.” Asked if Everton were too good to go down, Martinez said: “No, but we are a team very confident in the talent we have, which had a terrific season in the last campaign (when they finished fifth). “Everything you want in a football team is there – what we want is games and a bit of a positive feeling. Roberto Martinez stressed Everton will “give their lives” to get as many points as possible between now and the end of the season after their 2-0 loss at Stoke. “We are not looking down. We haven’t got the amount of points we wanted, but it has been very small margins and we are looking forward to the next 10 games. “We will face the challenge straight on. We want to get as many points as we can.” Everton were put to the sword on Wednesday by a superb Victor Moses header in the 32nd minute and rebound effort six minutes from time from Mame Biram Diouf, who slotted in after fellow substitute Marko Arnautovic had hit the post. Martinez’s men failed to muster much in response and he suggested the amount of games they have had to cope with of late – including a two-legged Europa League last-32 victory against Young Boys – had taken its toll. “We didn’t show enough cutting edge,” Martinez said. “I did feel we had a lot of character, gave a lot of effort and everything we had, but probably it showed that it was our fifth game in two weeks. “Now what we need is a proper opportunity for our players to recover, and then we will face the challenge that we have on – 10 (more league) games, six of those at Goodison Park, and trying to get some positive momentum.” Meanwhile, Martinez thinks Everton’s England full-back Leighton Baines (thigh) may still be unavailable for next Thursday’s Europa League last-16 first leg against Dynamo Kiev, but is confident he will be available for the Premier League clash with Newcastle three days later. Things are looking very positive for Stoke, who have won their last three league matches, seven of their last 11, and are now up to eighth in the table on 42 points. The Potters are looking to better their Premier League club record set last term of a ninth-placed finish and total of 50 points, which certainly appears achievable – and their fans may even be wondering about a push for Europe. Manager Mark Hughes said: “I was delighted. Three wins in a row, two successive clean sheets. I couldn’t ask for anything else. “We are ahead of where we thought we’d be. We are eighth at the moment and we’d love to finish the season in that position if we can. “We are now above (10th-placed) West Ham, who have had an outstanding season. At one stage we were many points behind them and we have been able to catch up and overcome them, so it shows the run we have been on. “Given the amount of injuries we’ve had to deal with, we’ve done remarkably well to be where we are at the moment. “The key for us is that we are still progressing from last year, even under difficult circumstances.” Stoke did suffer another injury setback on Wednesday, with defender Philipp Wollscheid having to be withdrawn early on due to a groin problem he sustained in the warm-up. The Merseyside outfit are 14th in the Barclays Premier League, only six points above the relegation zone, with 28 points from 28 fixtures. The defeat at the Britannia Stadium was the seventh in their last 12 top-flight matches, a sequence which has featured only one win and none in the last five games.
USC graduate Gary Lai was invited to the interview stage of the Chevening Scholarship, a prestigious and highly competitive award that offers full tuition, living and traveling expenses for graduate studies at any university in the United Kingdom, after advancing past the initial application and independent reading stage. Previous winners of the award have gone on to become congressmen, prime ministers and in some cases, even presidents.For the past 10 years Lai has been involved in activism, writing for newspapers and magazines worldwide about human development in developing countries, meeting with economists, academics and money managers — often traveling to New York while doing so.Now 12 years after his USC graduation, Lai wants to hit the books again. Because of the lack of money in humanitarian work, he wants to get a graduate degree to increase his prospects. “Being an activist wasn’t very financially fruitful, hence going to grad school,” Lai said. The Chevening Scholarship is open to graduate students that have two to three years of professional experience and is aimed at developing global leaders. Funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the recipients are personally selected by members of British embassies and commissions worldwide. Award recipients will then return to their home country to contribute to its socioeconomic development using the skills learned during their UK studies. Lai already has his sights set on one school in particular. “I hope to attend the University of Bristol, which is one of the highest ranking universities in the UK and whose department of economics — since I’ll be writing a dissertation as part of the course — is highly productive academically,” Lai said.If he wins, Lai hopes to work at a consulting firm or for an investment bank.Lai, who is originally from Hong Kong, China, studied economics at USC and graduated in 2004. Although he originally chose USC for its weather and business honors program, after taking some Dornsife classes in his freshman year, he found he wanted to switch his major. “I wanted to be a liberal arts major,” Lai said. “I still wanted to study a lot of the topics that a business major would, so I chose economics.”Although he graduated in only three years, Lai made the most of his time at USC and was as involved as possible. “I ran a used textbook exchange online for USC students, served as the assistant managing editor of the Daily Trojan, and organized a national leadership conference with the campus organization National Association of College and University Residence Halls,” Lai said. “I spent a summer interning at Enron in Houston and volunteering with the Red Cross in disaster relief after the Allison floods in 2001 and I was also a member of the Hong Kong Students Association and the Chinese Christian fellowship at USC.”According to Lai, he is anxious about the results, but is confident in his abilities. “I’m a little nervous about the interview, especially given the two-month wait until April, although it gives me time to prepare,” Lai said.The results of the scholarship are announced at the end of June.
Ghana defender John Boye will play in the Turkish top flight league this season after securing an exit from relegated Kayseri Erciyesspor.He leaves Kayseri Erciyesspor to Medicana Sivasspor after just a season with the side where he scored twice in 23 appearances.The former Rennes centre-back has successfully completed a mandatory medical and subsequently signed a two-year contract with an option to extend by another year with Sivasspor. Arwuah who has also previously played for Maritzburg United and SuperSport United was unveiled by the club on Wednesday and could be handed his debut in an away trip to Anorthosis this weekend. Boye was linked with a return to France with newly promoted AC Ajaccio at the beginning of the summer and in recent days, Caykur Rizespor.Arwuah goes to CyprusMidfielder John Arwuah has signed a two-year deal with AEL Limassol of Cyprus. The 29-year-old Ghanaian (above pictured) last played for South African side AmaZulu FC who got relegated to the National First Division at the end of the 2014/15 season. He arrives at the Tsirion Stadium as the second player from the ABSA Premiership following the loan signing of Senegalese striker Mame Niang from Mamelodi Sundowns. The former Bloemfontein Celtic defensive midfielder who joined AmaZulu in January 2014 had been released last week with a year left on his contract. Sivasspor beat the drop last season, placing 15th on the 18-team Turkish Super Lig table and have moved to shore up their backline with the 28-year-old Ghana international. He also becomes the second Ghanaian on the books of AEL Limassol. 22-year-old Carlos Ohene, a midfielder, has been with the side since 2012. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports