Mourinho admits top four by end of year is improbable

first_img“We need some players to perform better than they are. We need to perform better as a team, but it would be far from a miracle.”United started the week eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who are unbeaten in 19 league and cup games as they visit Old Trafford.Mourinho agrees that seventh place is not good enough for a club of United’s stature.Mourinho agreed it was unacceptable to be below Everton in the standings.“I can agree, in spite of the fact that the investment Everton made was phenomenal and obviously there was a great improvement in that team from last season in relation to this,” he said.“But I don’t think Everton will be in front of Manchester United at the end of the season.“There are six teams that should stay in the first six positions, season after season two of these teams are finishing outside the top four.“For example, last season it was Arsenal and Chelsea. And this season two of these six are going to stay outside.”Mourinho suggested Arsenal’s good league form may have been aided by manager Unai Emery resting a number of his senior players for their Europa League matches.“It will be a very difficult match for us because we are going to play against a good team in a good moment without having faced a backlog of matches because they are playing in the Europa League,” said Mourinho.“When you play in the Europa League, you normally play with second choices and give good rest to the players.”Share on: WhatsApp Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Jose Mourinho has acknowledged Manchester United are unlikely to meet his target of climbing into the Premier League’s top four by the end of 2018.However, the United manager has played down comments he made to Brazilian television suggesting that it would be a “miracle” if his team finished in the Champions League qualification places at the end of the season.Mourinho set his players the challenge of reaching the top four by the end of December when they returned from the November international break to begin a run of eight league fixtures in the run-up to the New Year.However, successive draws against Crystal Palace and Southampton, in which United produced below-par performances, has seen them slip to seventh and forced the manager to reassess that target.Mourinho, though, is adamant he still sees a top-four finish in May as realistic, despite not denying the comments he made to a Brazilian television interviewer after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton.“I don’t know if I said it or if I didn’t but if I used that word, it is not what I feel at all,” said Mourinho at his press conference on the eve of their match with in-form Arsenal.“We are eight or nine points from fourth, something like that.“I don’t think we need a miracle at all. We need a good run of results. We need to not waste points that we shouldn’t waste.”– ‘Need to perform better’ –Mourinho, who reportedly clashed again with French World Cup winning midfielder Paul Pogba after the 2-2 draw with Southampton, said if some players performed better they could stay in touch with the top four and then finish in the Champions League spots at the end of the campaign.“Last week, before the Crystal Palace game, I said what my hopes and targets were, at the end of December, to be in that position,” he said.“The target changed but let’s try to close the distance as best as we can and be very close to these positions.last_img read more

South Sound YMCA Teaches Madison Elementary Students To Swim

first_imgSubmitted by the South Sound YMCAWhen the third grade students from Madison got off the bus at the Downtown Y on September 24 it was hard to tell who was more excited; the Madison students or the Y staff greeting them.  The Y planned and prepared for this week for months and we wanted to make sure their experience was awesome and that they learned important swimming skills.  This week of free swim lessons counted towards their PE grade and we wanted all 40 of them to do well!The results more than exceeded our expectations.  With drowning as the second leading cause of death for youth (ages 2 to 14), it i important that kids know what to do in an emergency.  We are thrilled that 92 percent of the participants can now return to the edge of the water or pool if they accidentally fall in and 80 percent now have the skills to swim out of a strong, open-water current.  In addition, 68 percent of the kids increased their swimming ability by one full level and 15 percent increased by two levels!  (A full article about the Y’s swimming program can be found here.)The teachers were thrilled by the impact the lessons were having on the kids back in the classroom.  They told us that the kids were more excited to come to school, their self-confidence increased, and that the lessons gave the students something to look forward to.  On swim days, third grade attendance was near perfect.Changes were also evident to the parents of the kids.  One mom told us that her daughter came home excited and full of pride on the days she went to the Y.  The girl insisted that her mom take her to the Y to show off her newly learned swimming ability!We are grateful to our donors and the Olympia School District for their generosity in helping this program succeed.At the Y, we believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve.  That’s why, through the Y, thousands of youth in our community are cultivating the values, skills, and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health, and educational achievement.For more information, visit the Y’s website. Facebook2Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

If You Aren’t Using SMS in Your Business, Now’s The Time to Start

first_imgFrank Landman Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… When it comes to marketing and customer communication, most business owners know about email and social media. But if you aren’t using SMS, you’re missing out on an opportunity to increase your reach.Why SMS?Text messaging – or SMS as it’s formally known – is ubiquitous in today’s society, but are you leveraging it in your own business? If you’re slow to adopt, just consider the following:98 percent of American adults between the ages of 18-29 own a mobile device that’s capable of receiving a text message. In other words, virtually your entire audience – regardless of the demographic – is using SMS.More than half of all consumers would prefer to receive a text for customer support (rather than a phone call), while 90 percent of business leads say the same. SMS is seen as less intrusive than voice and is, therefore, more likely to produce the results you’re seeking.Though 64 percent of consumers are likely to view a company in a positive light after receiving a text message, just 30 percent say they actually receive texts from companies they buy from. This means the demand for SMS is there. Customers are simply waiting for brands to catch up and use this powerful medium.SMS is immediate. There’s virtually no time between when a message is sent and when it’s received. This makes it ideal for sending time-sensitive messages that won’t work with direct mail and other mediums.Communicating with customers can get expensive. With a piece of direct mail, for example, you have to pay for the design, paper, and postage. SMS, on the other hand, is very affordable – costing just pennies per message. When you’re sending a message out to thousands of customers, this can save you a considerable amount of money.There are few better ways to increase customer engagement than to use SMS to stay on top of your customers’ minds.4 Ways You Can Use SMS in BusinessNot sure where to begin with SMS? Here are some ways you can seamlessly integrate it into your business moving forward:1. Testing Customer EngagementBusinesses are always looking for ways to determine which customers are fully engaged and which ones are absent. There are a variety of ways to answer this question, but SMS is one of the more effective solutions.You can easily use SMS to test engagement by sending out a short, simple message like this: “Receive 40 percent off your next order by showing us this message at purchase.”With a generous offer like this, you’ll see who is interested and who has moved on. It’s not a foolproof method, but it’s a pretty good indicator. If nothing else, it shows you which customers are persuaded by deals and how effective coupons and promotions can be in future situations.2. Providing News and UpdatesMost businesses send out news and updates via email, but did you know that less than one out of every four emails are actually read? By contrast, SMS has a 98 percent open rate. This makes it the perfect medium for disseminating important, timely content. You just need to make sure you use a link shortener. Otherwise, your message could intimidate the recipient.“A link shortener is simply turning a long, extensive URL into a shorter one,” TextMarks explains. “Using a shorter link can make your message appear more user-friendly and increase its readability. It can also save valuable character space and maintain the concise message you want. Also, link shorteners have no negative impact on SEO, so long as the link works and the conversion is a 301 redirect.”3. Generating LeadsDid you know that 77 percent of U.S. internet consumption comes from mobile devices? If you want to take full advantage of this, you need to adopt SMS as a tool for generating additional leads. Something like a “Click-to-Text” button on your website may be enough to create a little traction.4. Providing Customer ServiceMost people are within arm’s reach of their phone at any given moment. Whether it’s in a pocket, purse, or desk drawer, it’s never too far away. This makes SMS the ideal medium for delivering timely customer service.SMS can be used to send out a tracking number for a package that will be delivered. It’s also ideal for notifying customers of store closures, delays, backorders, and other similar issues. From the consumer side of things, it can allow customers to check their order status or make a change to an order after placement.5. Offering CouponsWhen it comes to SMS, millennials are the sweet spot. And if there’s one thing we know about millennial consumers, it’s that they love finding discounts and deals on the products and services they purchase.SMS is the ideal medium for sending coupons and deals to customers. With the right platform, you can even send out personalized coupons that target customers based on past purchase behaviors, current location, and demographic information.6. Launching Text-to-Win ContestsIn order to be highly successful with text messaging, you need a big list of engaged SMS subscribers. There are lots of ways to build your list, but one of the quickest and most effective is to launch a text-to-win contest.A text-to-win contest is extremely simple. You launch a contest in which people must send a text message to a specific number and opt-in to your subscriber list. A handful of people are then chosen at random to be winners. Prizes may include cash, free products, coupons, or brand swag.When launching a text-to-win campaign, the key is to advertise and promote it in as many places as possible. You can do this on your website, via social media, or even through physical channels like print advertisements or in-store displays.7. Real-Time RemindersIt’s becoming increasingly common for restaurants to use SMS as a channel for handling reservations and letting guests know that their table is ready. It’s much simpler and more cost-effective than using the traditional hardware and software that restaurants have relied on in the past.From the restaurant’s perspective, this also serves as a convenient method for building an SMS subscriber list. Once a customer opts in, the restaurant can use the subscriber’s information to send out offers, coupons, and news updates in the future.8. Customer Surveys and PollsMany businesses rely on customer feedback in the form of surveys and polls in order to stay abreast of what’s happening in the marketplace. Unfortunately, traditional methods of polling – whether face-to-face or online – are costly and time-consuming. You either have to hire a team of people to go out and ask questions, or you have to pay for expensive placement and promotion online. With SMS, you can avoid both of these options.SMS is quick and responsive. The average mobile user picks up their phone hundreds of times per day and is quick to respond. SMS is also renowned for its accurate responses. Because of the anonymity and privacy, SMS survey respondents are less likely to have their responses be influenced by the individual asking the questions.Another advantage of using SMS is that it’s digestible. You can send one question at a time, which eliminates the risk of a recipient becoming overwhelmed. And if an individual chooses not to complete the survey, you can still use the feedback that was provided.9. Additional SecurityYou can never be too safe in today’s marketplace. Cybersecurity threats are all around us, and you don’t want your business – or your customers – to become compromised. One of the best ways to keep your customer accounts safe is to require (or at least offer the option) of two-factor authentication.With two-factor authentication, a user needs to know something and have something in order to successfully log in. The know refers to a standard password. But once the user puts the password in, they’ll then have a one-time pin code sent to a pre-approved mobile device via SMS. The user takes this pin code and then uses it to complete the log-in process. By requiring the user to have a specific device, it’s much less likely that a hacker will gain illegal access to the account.Most SMS solutions have some sort of verification system built in – or at least have the ability to integrate an API for this purpose. If you’re running an online business or other account-based enterprise, this is certainly something to consider.Start Using SMS TodayIf you’re looking for a powerful way to engage your customers, don’t overlook SMS. It’s a versatile touchpoint that businesses of all sizes and industries can utilize with overwhelmingly positive results. Spend some time crafting a strategy and give it a try. You’ll learn what works through trial and error. Related Posts center_img Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

Venus Williams uses patient approach to rise over improved Caroline Garcia

first_imgVenus Williams admitted she needed one set to fathom Caroline Garcia’s tactics in their first meeting for more than three years after the American edged the Frenchwoman 6-7(3) 6-2 6-3 in their WTA Finals last-four showdown on Saturday.The pair split two matches in 2014 but Garcia has improved almost beyond recognition this season to claim back-to-back titles in China and climb to a career-high world number eight in the rankings.”I haven’t played her in a long time. It’s hard to gauge what to expect, coming across the net,” Williams, who will play Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in Sunday’s final, told reporters.”She’s improved her game so much. Of course I had a lot of respect for her. I think in the second and third (sets) I was able to figure it out a little more.”She played so well. You never know when the last point is going to end and going to go your way. To see that match over, I was excited.”The 37-year-old American owns an impressive 7-0 win-loss record over Wozniacki but Williams is taking nothing for granted as she attempts to add a second WTA Finals title to her list of honours following a previous triumph in 2008.”At this level, I think we’ve both improved our game. You have to improve to stay on tour. So I will see what she’s doing, see what’s working,” Williams added.Garcia was naturally disappointed to have lost out to Williams but keen to highlight how satisfying her season had been since opting to forego Fed Cup duties for her country to concentrate on her singles game.advertisement”It’s only a lot of positive things about this season. It’s a great end of the season. A lot of things happened. I learned a lot,” the 24-year-old said.”I’m playing much better than I did at the beginning of the year but I feel like I have so much to improve. It’s like it never ends. You can still work as much as you want.”You will never reach your full potential. You have to still keep going, and that’s great, actually. With this experience of the WTA Finals, I feel like I have so much more things to keep working on.”last_img read more