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China's head coach Marcello Lippi, who masterminded Italy's 2006 World Cup triumph, has told his players not to give up hope of reaching next year's World Cup

Marcello Lippi says he is desperately short of options up front but China's veteran Italian coach has told his players not to give up hope of reaching next year's World Cup.

China are bottom of their qualifying group with just one victory in eight games and must win both their remaining matches if they are to stand any chance of making it to Russia 2018, starting at home to Uzbekistan on Thursday.

The 69-year-old Lippi, who masterminded Italy's 2006 World Cup triumph, says his much-derided side movie online can upset the odds.

"We must keep on improving, constantly upping our game and sometimes the impossible may happen," he told Titan Sports weekly ahead of the must-win game in Wuhan.

"It's a fact that the Chinese team has improved. In the past the team was very despondent, never winning and the youth teams weren't producing good players.

"We are improving in terms of mentality and organisation."

Lippi has been at the helm for 10 months and will reportedly keep his job even if China fail to qualify for Russia -- they were all but out of the reckoning for 2018 when he arrived.

His high-profile appointment is part of a Chinese government effort to markedly improve the fortunes of a country ranked a lowly 77th in the FIFA rankings and an embarrassment to the nation.

Clubs in the domestic Chinese Super League (CSL) have spent huge sums to bring in overseas players, particularly strikers such as Hulk at Shanghai SIPG, which Lippi says has had a knock-on effect.

"We have a very severe problem, we don't have strikers," he said.

"On paper I don't even have one striker, I have to make players from other positions play striker.

"The reason is very simple: clubs like to buy foreign strikers. Our players in other positions are quite good, but our line of strikers is a real problem."

China are going to need goals -- and other results to go their way -- if they are to propel themselves off the bottom of their qualifying group and into third place and a play-off spot.

Their final group match is at Qatar on September 5.

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In mod special, pentru ca aici se fac mai multe vanzari. Spre deosebire de inceputul anului, din august - septembrie, Agentie Imobiliara Sibiu au inceput sa mai apara cativa cumparatori, dar foarte putini si cu bani si mai putini", spune Sorina Mateevici, reprezentantul unei agentii imobiliare.

Cei care dispun de bani, acum este momentul sa cumpere o casa. Preturile sunt cu mult sub cele de acum 2, 3 ani.

"Este momentul ideal pentru ca o mare parte din preturi a scazut. Cei care se grabesc foarte tare, chiar vand sub pretul pietei", mai spune reprezentantul agentiei imobiliare.

Cand vine vorba de chirii, lucrurile stau altfel. Multi clienti asteapta cu lunile pana cand gasesc un apartament pe gustul lor.

"Spre deosebire de vanzari, chiriile in merg destul de bine. Sunt foarte putine apartamente care sunt pentru chirii si cereri destul de multe. Sunt destule firme in zona care solicita pentru angajatii lor. In general, se cauta apartamentele foarte bine mobilate si utilate.

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Well, we're finally there. We made it through 2014 but, unlike the previous couple of years when we experienced a whole number of uplifting events like the London Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, the main news has been about the stabilisation of the economy and the destabilisation of the Middle East with a seemingly endless stream of violence. At least today's announcement of the Queen's New Year's honours list, with some really well-deserving recipients, has got 2015 off to a good start.

What does the New Year hold apart from the General Election in May? Well, and this may seem a tad contrived, it's all about New Year's resolutions isn't it and I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't mention that one of the best resolutions you can make is to stay safe on the road. So, if you haven't already done it, why not take your car in to your local garage and ask for a free health check? Even better, why not get yourself up to speed with some car maintenance advice? We run Pit Stop Workshops so you, your family and friends can learn about the basics like changing a tyre and topping up the oil. To register please call Paul on 01206 211483, or email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll take the details.

If you're not already enjoying the benefits of our loyalty schemes, you can ask Paul or me about them too but here's a summary: 'Rewarding Service' entitles you to a free air conditioning service when your rewards card is complete. There are 20 stamps on the card and you 'earn' a stamp for every £20 you spend; but you don't even have to use it, you could give your completed card to a family member or a friend to redeem.

'Pass it On' will give whoever you hand this card to (providing they are new to John Austin, not a current customer) a 10% discount on their first service or repair with us. As you referred a new customer to us, you'll receive a 20% discount on your next service or repair – and it CAN be used in conjunction with any other discount promotion we're running. If you're not already involved, you should be.

All that remains for me to do is to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year. Best wishes from all of us at John Austin.

August is typically a quiet month as customers wait for the impending plate change in September and, despite the new '64 plate coming in to play, figures show that the used car market is not being neglected. However the UK new car market is the star of the show, enjoying its 30th consecutive month of comparative growth. Historically low finance offers available to consumers as the Bank of England’s base rate remains at 0.5 per cent, and the growing confidence in the economy, have been the major factors in sales growth.

So, if you were in the market for a new car, what did you want and what did you get? Here are the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK this year: 1. Ford Fiesta – 83,664 registrations in 2014 2. Ford Focus – 53,507 registrations in 2014 3. Vauxhall Corsa – 50,187 registrations in 2014 4. Volkswagen Golf – 45,653 registrations in 2014 5. Vauxhall Astra – 38,621 registrations in 2014 6. Nissan Qashqai – 32,073 registrations in 2014 7. Audi A3 – 28,279 registrations in 2014 8. Volkswagen Polo - 26,460 registrations in 2014 9. Fiat 500 – 25,910 registrations in 2014 10. BMW 3 Series – 23,736 registrations in 2014 But what about the super rich? What's their car of choice?

Research by Oracle Finance has shown that SUVs are most popular with footballers in the Premiership, with the Range Rover being the most popular marque over all. OK, most of us aren't in the super rich category, but it's always interesting to take a look at what our footballers are buying at the moment isn't it?. Here's their top 10: 1. Rover Vogue 2. Bentley Continental GT 3. Range Rover Sport 4. Audi Q7 5. BMW X5 6. Porsche Cayenne 7. Lamborghini Gallardo 8. Ferrari 458 9. Maserati Gran Turismo 10. Aston Martin DB9 Happy motoring!

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Did you know that if you sneeze while driving at 70mph you can lose your vision for as much as 100 metres? If you suffer from hay fever, antihistamines are a must-have. 

We’re heading for a summer scorcher (well, when the rain stops!), so your car might need a little help too. You can take it to John Austin’s for a FREE summer healthcheck. 

We’ll look over your vehicle, paying particular attention to the cooling system, tyre condition and pressure, oil level and windscreen wiper blades, to make sure you’re safe on the road.

We have over 40 years’ experience in servicing and repairing cars; all makes and models are welcome; we carry out MOTs whileyou wait (but you'll need to book your vehicle in first) and we're open six days a week.

Call 01206 211483 or just call in. We’re here to help. 

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