Ghana midfielder Seidu Salifu says he is ready for the challenge ahead after his switch to Tunisian giants Club Africain.The former Wa All Stars player completed his move after signing a four year deal in an undisclosed fee.The 19 year old was linked to so many European clubs following his impressive performance at this year’s FIFA U20 World Cup where Ghana finished third in Turkey.According to Seidu Salifu he is happy with the move and is keen on impressing his new coach Adrie Koster.“I feel very happy and great for this move to Club Africain which is a big club in Africa,” said Salifu in an exclusive interview with Joy sports“I’m always ready for the challenge and as a player you should always do your best wherever you find yourself. “I have to adapt to their style of play gradually and I believe I can fit in the team.
Rivers pulls no punchesRivers, whose confident mannerisms would make one think there is rarely anything wrong, was quite honest when he was asked to talk about the progress his team might have made during the preseason.“I don’t know if we’ve had progress or not,” he said. “I’m happy that we had a team together and we did all our stuff. But I think that we’ll know who we are and where we should be opening night and the next night (against the Lakers). We were happy with preseason last year and we lost the first game of the year (to the Lakers). So if I could do it over, I would rather have had a terrible preseason and then won that first game. That’s why I don’t overdo preseason.” Some early home cookingThe Clippers will play eight of their first nine games at Staples Center. One of those is officially an “away” game Friday against the Lakers. The one true away game during that stretch will come Nov. 5 at Golden State.Backup post Spencer Hawes believes this early stretch is vital.“We have got an important week of practice coming up here to get things going in the right direction,” said Hawes, the Clippers’ backup post, after the Clippers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in their final exhibition game Friday. “We have got to hit the ground running. We have the opportunity here starting the season with a pretty long stretch at home and we have to take advantage of that.”Chomping at the bitThe look in point guard Chris Paul’s eyes told the story when he was asked his thoughts about the beginning of the regular season, which opens tonight for six of the league’s 30 teams.“No question,” he said Monday. “I can’t wait until (tonight) to actually sit there and watch games, and see it. Everybody’s going to try to get off to a good start. But there is nothing like starting the regular-season games. You’re excited.”This and thatThe Thunder will be without forward Kevin Durant on Thursday. He’s out with a fractured right foot. … Rivers said Jamal Crawford will be ready for the opener. He sat out Friday for precautionary reasons. Crawford said he was just a bit “banged up.” … Glen “Big Baby” Davis (groin strain) won’t be ready for the opener, Rivers said. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error One thing about this Clippers team, it does not seem worried about it’s less-than-impressive preseason, during which it won just two of eight exhibition games. The players are loose at practice and seem to be in a good mood. The same can be said for coach Doc Rivers.For example, shooting guard J.J. Redick was asked Monday morning before practice if the preseason seemed like it zipped by in a flash.“No, it seemed like a very long preseason,” said Redick, whose team opens the regular season Thursday against Oklahoma City at Staples Center. “Partly because of my sleeping pattern given my newborn at home. Longest preseason ever, for sure.”A lot of diaper changes? One reporter suggested. Redick laughed, as did everyone else. Then the new dad of a two-month-old son got serious. “Well, you know, we didn’t have a great preseason,” he said. “Lost several games and didn’t play well in a few games. Our team is in a good place. But we need to use these next few days to prepare and get ready for when it counts.”Redick talked about the key to meeting that goal.“I think the big word for the next few days will be execution, both defensively and offensively,” he said. “When we were at our best last year and when we are going to be at our best this year, it’s going to be because we execute.”The biggest problems for the Clippers have been on defense. Their perimeter defense was poor in exhibition play, allowing opponents to shoot 41.1 percent (77 of 187) from 3-point range. That percentage was actually sitting at 43.7 (69 of 158) before Portland shot just 8 of 29 (27.6 percent) from 3-point range Friday in its victory over the Clippers in the final exhibition game.The Clippers were atrocious on the boards. Opponents average 46.6 rebounds in exhibition play, the Clippers just 36.1.