From the Back Pages, October 15: Luis Suarez: I was Liverpool’s driving force in title chase last season

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Luis Suarez claims Liverpool would not have made a title bid last season and booked a Champions League place without him. (The Mirror)

John O’Shea now has one hundred caps and three goals for the Republic of Ireland.As Martin O’Neill and his team edge forwards towards an unlikely shot at qualification for the European Championship finals, that second statistic is currently somewhat more important than the first. (Daily Mail)

Rio Ferdinand was charged last night with misconduct by the FA for an allegedly sexist tweet he posted on transfer deadline day six weeks ago, in which he used the slang term “sket”. The Queens Park Rangers defender has recently been involved in a commission led by Greg Dyke, the FA chairman, examining how to improve English football and was briefly considered by the governing body to be a Fifa vice-presidential candidate. (The Times)

Sam Wallace: England fans should cut Raheem Sterling some slack and remember how far and fast the 19-year-old has risen. (The Independent)

ENGLAND UNDER-21s have qualified for next summer’s European Championship after a 2-1 victory over Croatia in the second leg of their play-off. (The Express)

In Gord we trust. The battle cry of the Tartan Army was vindicated by a rousing display by Gordon Strachan’s revitalised Scotland as they came from behind to Krzysztof Maczynski’s earlier opener, went ahead with goals from Shaun Maloney and Steven Naismith before being hauled back to parity by Arkadiusz Milik late in the match. (The Telegraph)

Wigan’s Ben Flower has been banned for six months following his “malicious” double punch on Lance Hohaia in the second minute of the Grand Final, receiving the longest initial suspension of the Super League era and ensuring he faces a 13-match absence. (The Guardian)