Former Scottish champions Rangers remained in the red in the first part of the current season, underlining the problems facing the famous Glasgow club as it tries to rebuild after a financial collapse.

Rangers cut losses to £3.5 million in the six months to December 31, 2013, figures released yesterday showed, but chief executive Graham Wallace said more had to be done to reduce costs.

Rangers have just secured a second successive promotion after relaunching from the fourth tier of the Scottish game following their collapse under a pile of debt in 2012.

Neill makes loan move to Doncaster

Former Australia captain Lucas Neill has taken a short-term loan to play for English Championship strugglers Doncaster as he continues his desperate bid for selection to a third World Cup.

The 36-year-old former Millwall, Blackburn and West Ham defender joined Watford in England’s second tier last month but managed only a handful of minutes on the pitch.

Dumped from the Socceroos’ squad for their 4-3 friendly loss against Ecuador earlier this month, the 96-cap Neill, a veteran of Australia’s 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals campaigns, will join Doncaster initially for a month.

Porto end Benfica’s unbeaten run

Jackson Martinez headed an early goal to give Porto a 1-0 win over Benfica in the Portuguese Cup on Wednesday night and end their rivals’ 27-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Portuguese league leaders Benfica’s last defeat was against Olympiakos in the Champions League on November 5 and their previous domestic defeat was at Maritimo on the opening day of the season.

Martinez rose above the Benfica defence to head in from a corner in the sixth minute of the semi-final first-leg tie.

Allardyce fumes at West Ham boo boys

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce suffered an ignominious first after 43 years in football as his side were booed by their own fans despite beating Hull City 2-1 in a crucial relegation clash on Wednesday.

“I’ve never been in a place where I won and got booed,” Allardyce told reporters after his side moved nine points clear of the relegation zone.

“I started at 16, got into the first team at 18 and I’m 59 now and I have never been in a place where we have won and got booed.

“At half-time players were talking more about fans booing them than the game. Fans affect players. We don’t need them on the players’ backs when we are coming off three defeats. They have to stay and help them win.”

Benitez targeting second place

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez is determined to secure second place in the Serie A table after watching the Azzurri beat Catania 4-2 to close the gap on Roma to just six points.

The Spaniard told sscnapoli.it: “It was an important win, and our aim is now taking second place in the championship.

“Our aim is to beat Roma but it will depend on them too. We will try to give our all and we can close out the season brilliantly.

“We need to be confident because we will need to earn 24 more points.

“The team was terrific in attack but less brilliant in the defensive phase (against Catania).”

Trezeguet fulfils childhood dream

David Trezeguet fulfilled another dream when he scored the match-winning goals, his first in the Libertadores Cup, in Newell’s Old Boys’ 4-2 victory over Nacional.

The Group Six match at the Centenario in Montevideo was marred, however, by fighting between Nacional fans and police that left 13 officers hurt and 38 people arrested.

The violence began when a group of home spectators objected to being ordered to stay in the stadium until the visiting supporters had left.

Former France striker Treze-guet, who grew in Argentina and dreamed of playing in South America’s top club competition on his return to the country in 2012, came on as a substitute and broke a 2-2 deadlock with two goals in the last 15 minutes.

Pearce says no to Nottingham Forest

Former Nottingham Forest captain Stuart Pearce has turned down the chance to return to the club as manager.

Pearce, who played for the club for 12 years, said earlier this week that he still had managerial aspirations and described the job as an “outstanding opportunity” for the right person.

However, the 51-year-old feels he is not that man after holding talks with Forest owner and chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi about succeeding Billy Davies.

He told talkSPORT: “I’ve had a chat with them but at this moment in time, for personal reasons, I’ve decided not to take it any further.”

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