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  1. Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has dismissed talk of his side being the new favourites for promotion. The Whites have made an impressive start to their Championship campaign, beating Stoke City and Derby County to move into second place behind Middlesbrough. Speaking ahead of Tuesday's EFL Cup tie against Bolton, Bielsa said it is too early to make assumptions. "If you think that we are favourites to go up, we have only played two games so far," he said. "We shouldn't trust this kind of affirmation because we've played only two games. "Two games are not enough to make conclusions on the team. We all know that. And you know that. "You ask me a question but you don't believe in it. We can't draw perspective after playing just 5 per cent of the Championship. Less than 5 per cent. "You ask me a question but I'm sure you don't share the concept that gives substance to the question because you have on one side the hope that comes from the fans and on the other side we have to make an analysis, you and me." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  2. Wales midfielder Joe Allen has signed a new four-year contract with Stoke City despite their relegation to the Championship. The 28-year-old was two years into the five-year deal he signed when he joined the Potters from Liverpool for £13m in 2016. Allen spent four seasons at Anfield after signing in 2012 from Swansea City, who first tried to buy him back in 2016 and were again linked with him last summer. "Tony Scholes made it very clear the club weren't interested in selling me," Allen told the club website. "That stance from the club, coupled with how settled I am here, how happy I am and how much I've enjoyed it, made it pretty straightforward for me." Stoke boss Gary Rowett added: "I'm delighted. "He's exactly the type of player we need because he's got Premier League quality and he's also got the mentality to handle life in the Championship in my opinion." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  3. Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill believes that Jonny Evans is likely to leave West Brom this summer and is good enough to join a top-six Premier League side. The 30-year-old - who is currently on international duty with the Wee Country - was part of the West Brom side that was relegated from the top flight at the end of this season. Evans was the subject of an offer from Arsenal in January, and is likely to attract further attention this summer, with a reported a £3m relegation release clause in his Baggies contract. Asked whether Evans has what it takes to play for a top-six club, O'Neill replied: "He's certainly capable of that. "He had a difficult second half of the season, but so did West Brom as a whole. "Jonny has all the attributes to play in a top-six side, there's no doubt about that. The price you can get him for is an absolute steal, given what people are buying players for nowadays. "I expect to see Jonny move in the summer and get a fresh start, hopefully at a big club." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  4. Rotherham United manager Paul Warne has signed a new three year deal following the club's promotion from League One. The 45-year-old led the Millers to an immediate return to the Championship in 2017-18, with victory over Shrewsbury Town in the playoff final. Assistant Richie Barker, 43, has also signed a new three-year contract with the South Yorkshire side. Speaking to the club's website, Warne said: "All of the staff are equally pleased that we've got the assurance of the new contract because they're people that I have brought in and they've worked really hard for us, so it's pleasing for them too to know that we have the backing of the chairman. "When myself and Richie took over, we wanted to leave a legacy and leave the club in better condition than when we got it. "There were funds available to spend on players last summer but the chairman kindly accepted our suggestion to spend it on developing the training ground and that will help us again this year and will be an asset for the club going forward." Barker added: "I think if you'd have told me that we'd be promoted from League One at Wembley this time last season then I wouldn't have believed it, but we were always striving to achieve that. "Initially our success was about making the football club better and in the short-term, that's resulted in a promotion and a really enjoyable day at Wembley." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  5. Paul Heckingbottom has been sacked as Leeds United head coach after less than four months in charge. The 40-year-old won just four of his 16 games, having left Barnsley to replace Thomas Christiansen in February, as Leeds ended the season 13th in the Championship table. Heckingbottom's departure means Leeds will start the season with a new manager for a fifth successive year - and whoever takes over will be the club's 10th boss since 2014. Managing director Angus Kinnear told the club website: "On behalf of the board of directors at Leeds United I would like to thank Paul for the commitment and passion he has demonstrated since he joined the club earlier this year. "Paul came to us during a difficult period in the season and has conducted himself in an exemplary manner despite results not going as any of us had hoped. "Our objective is to bring in a head coach with more experience who can help us reach the goals we have talked about since we became custodians of the club last summer. We are confident of making a quick appointment." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  6. Aston Villa have confirmed that captain John Terry is to leave the club after failing to gain promotion to the Premier League. Terry, 37, joined the Villans on a one-year deal last summer after leaving Chelsea and scored once in 36 appearances for the club. However, he could not help them return to the top flight after a two-year absence, as they lost 1-0 to Fulham in Saturday's Championship play-off final. Villa thanked defender the former England captain for "the effort and professionalism he showed". The club said in a statement: "John is a true leader and was everything and more that we hoped. Hugely popular and influential in the dressing room, he played a real captain's role in creating the incredible bond the players shared with our supporters, and vice-versa. "We hope he looks back on his time with Villa fondly and we wish him the very best as his career moves forward." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  7. Ipswich Town have confirmed the appointment of Paul Hurst as their new manager on a three-year deal. The 43-year-old has left Shrewsbury Town to take the reins at Portman Road and succeeds Mick McCarthy, who was due to leave at the end of the season but then quit early on 11 April. Ipswich confirmed on Monday that they had been granted permission to speak to Hurst having agreed a compensation package with Shrewsbury, who lost 2-1 to Rotherham United in the League One playoff final. "I'd like to thank Shrewsbury for giving me the chance to manage at League One level," Hurst told Ipswich's website. "It was an unbelievable season and just disappointing that we couldn't cap it off in the way we would have liked to. "I had an excellent relationship with everyone at the club and I'd like to wish Shrewsbury the best of fortunes but when this opportunity came up, it was just too good to turn down. "Ipswich are a big football club when you think of the stature and history it has in the game. When I was just starting to watch football I can remember the likes of Mills, Burley, Wark and Cooper and what a great team they had. "The club has a great reputation and always looks to be well run and I'm delighted to now be part of Ipswich Town, with an opportunity to make our own history. "I'm ambitious and I can't wait to get going and test myself at a higher level. The building blocks are here and it's my job to move the club forward. I'll be doing my absolute best to do that." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  8. Championship-bound West Bromwich Albion have appointed Darren Moore as their new manager on a permanent basis. The former Baggies defender led the club on an unbeaten run in April as caretaker manager with three wins and two draws following Alan Pardew's departure. Indeed, Moore was named Premier League manager of the month for April, following wins over Manchester United, Tottenham, Newcastle and a draw with Liverpool. Despite his brave efforts, Moore was unable to save Albion, who were 10 points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League when he took over, but has nonetheless been entrusted with the reins on a permanent basis. "I am obviously extremely proud to accept this role and also extremely excited. We have a big summer ahead of us, a lot of hard work we need to get in now," Moore told the club website. "I'm going all out to try and get those plans and personnel in place to make sure we've got everything ready. And we need to be because this is a tough league packed with great clubs. "But what an opportunity for us to move the club in the right direction." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  9. Queens Park Rangers have announced that Ian Holloway has departed the club as manager with immediate effect. The 55-year-old, who was in his second spell with QPR, guided the club to 16th in the table this season. Former England manager Steve McClaren, who has previously worked as a coach at Loftus Road, is the favourite to succeed Holloway. "On behalf of the Board we are hugely grateful to Ian for his incredible efforts during his time with us," said a club statement. "He joined us at a critical stage as we looked to reduce the wage bill, bring in younger talent and remain competitive on the pitch at the same time. "That is no easy task and it was down to his desire, love for the club and hard work that he achieved those goals. "However, we are now looking to take the next step as we continue to work through what is a vital period of transition for the football club." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  10. Paul Cook has signed a new four-year contract as Wigan Athletic manager after leading the club back to the Championship. The former Latics midfielder, 51, was appointed in May 2017 after guiding Portsmouth to the League Two title. Cook, whose side finished top of League One this term, also took Wigan to the last eight of the FA Cup, beating Premier League winners Manchester City. "It was always going to be a big challenge to win promotion immediately but a lot of hard work and endeavour has gone in from many people," he told the official website. "I sit here very proud of the success we have enjoyed this season but in equal measure aware of the challenges we face moving forwards into the Championship - an exciting challenge." Chairman David Sharpe added: "I'm absolutely delighted to see Paul commit his long-term future to Wigan Athletic, he has been the main reason behind our success this year. "I can speak on behalf of everyone associated with Wigan Athletic in saying that this is fantastic news." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  11. The news emerged this week that some EFL clubs have expressed a wish to stop producing a matchday programme for each league match, concerned about falling sales and higher production costs. The EFL said in a statement: “At is summer meeting in June 2018, the EFL will vote on a proposal that will determine whether or not it is an absolute requirement to produce a matchday programme from the start of the 2018/19 season onwards. “A number of clubs have asked the EFL if the mandatory publication of a matchday programme can be addressed as a result of an overall decline in sales and the proliferation of digital and social media, which has the ability to deliver the same content in a more cost-effective manner. “Irrespective of the outcome at June's AGM, the EFL will continue to produce a match programme for its five competition finals - the Carabao Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and Sky Bet Play-Offs." I can well understand struggling clubs with poor gates having this view but as a fiftysomething fan who has purchased programmes from all over the country over 40 odd years this news saddens me deeply. In defence of their views, the unnamed club(s) have said that they can give their fans the same content (Managers Notes, match reports, team news, League tables) etc online via the relevant club website, twitter etc. However, in my view the social media revolution will have taken away an integral part of the matchday experience as well as a hobby for many thousands of fans - though secretly a lot of wives (mine especially) will be delighted. I still have and cherish the programme from the first EFL game I ever attended (Rotherham 1-1 Wrexham, 12th April 1971) and programmes from certain games I own stir memories good AND bad, you're not going to get that from a website. I would be very interested to hear other fans' views on this, good idea or not? Share your thoughts about this opinion feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  12. Sunderland owner Ellis Short has agreed to sell the club to a group led by Stewart Donald, the chairman of National League side Eastleigh, the Wearside club have announced. The Black Cats, who will play in League One next season, have also released manager Chris Coleman and assistant Kit Symons from their contracts. Coleman, 47, left his role as Wales national team boss to succeed Simon Grayson at the Stadium of Light last November but could not keep the Mackems up during his five months in charge. "Sunderland AFC announces that manager Chris Coleman and his assistant Kit Symons have been released from their contracts," a statement on the club website read. "The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Chris and Kit for their tireless efforts in what has been a hugely disappointing season for everyone involved with the club. "The club is unable to make further comment at this time." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  13. Sunderland manager Chris Coleman has admitted that he does not know where Jack Rodwell is at present. The £70,000-a-week midfielderhas not made a senior appearance for the Black Cats since September, despite their struggles at the foot of the Championship table. With Sunderland's relegation confirmed last weekend, Coleman was asked if he might give Rodwell a chance when his side travel to Craven Cottage to play Fulham. "I don't even know where Jack is, to be honest with you, so no, he won't be involved," Coleman said. "If there was a sniff of a first-team appearance, I'm not sure he'd be 100 per cent fit for it, so I don't think that's going to be the case." After an injury-plagued three-and-a-half years on Wearside, Sunderland offered to cancel Rodwell's contract in January in a bid to remove him from the wage bill. Rodwell decided to stay, however, on a deal which still has another year to run, and insisted in a well-publicised interview that he was fit and available for selection if called upon. Coleman added: "I'm quite sure we've gone down the legal route of that situation, and we're stuck with a player that doesn't want to play for Sunderland Football Club and wants to leave. "But then where's he going to leave and go to? There's the conundrum. He's here and he's got one more year on his contract. He doesn't want to play for us, so fine, go and play for somebody else. But the stumbling block is the contract. "We'll see, it's the end of this season now. I know Jack did that big article, that he wanted to play for England again, so to do that, he's going to have to go and play football somewhere. The proof is always in the pudding." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  14. The EFL has cleared Wolverhampton Wanderers of any wrongdoing regarding agent Jorge Mendes' role at Molineux. Wolves faced questions from rival Championship clubs last month but, after a 'comprehensive review', league officials have determined Mendes holds no official role at the club, owned by Fosun International, and is not deemed as a 'relevant person' and therefore will not be subject to the Owners' and Directors' Test. The EFL statement read: "Discussions between the EFL and management of Wolverhampton Wanderers have now concluded in regard to the matter of the relationship between the Club, majority shareholder Fosun and intermediary Jorge Mendes. "Following the commitment made in March, as a result of some concerns raised by a number of Championship Clubs, the EFL has met with Wolverhampton Wanderers to ensure compliance with the requirements of its regulations. At that meeting, a request for information was made by the EFL and following a comprehensive review of the detail subsequently provided by the Club, it has been determined that Mr Mendes holds no role at the Club and, as such should not be categorised as a 'Relevant Person' as defined by League regulations. On this basis there is no requirement for him to submit to the Owners' and Directors' Test. "As part of the discussions the Club has been reminded of its continuing obligation to keep under review the status of both existing Relevant Persons, but also any other individuals who may at some point acquire the status of Relevant Person, and advise the League (and, given the recent promotion, the Premier League) accordingly. "The EFL would like to place on record its appreciation to the management of Wolverhampton Wanderers for their help and assistance in resolving this matter within a sensible and appropriate timeframe." Wolves released a statement shortly after the EFL announcement stating they welcomed the EFL's confirmation the club had complied with its regulations. "After meeting with EFL representatives and providing further written detail, a comprehensive review has concluded with confirmation that the EFL is satisfied there has been no breach of its regulations," read a Wolves statement. "We have always maintained our clarity on both FA and EFL regulations, which have been complied with explicitly since the change of ownership at the club in July 2016. "We believe the release of these findings will bring to a conclusion any speculation surrounding the club's operation and extinguish any concerns held by other clubs." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  15. Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has defended the club's controversial decision to tour Myanmar in the close season. The Championship club have been urged to scrap the planned trip, which has been branded "morally corrupt" by shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan. Violent clashes between Myanmar's government troops and militants are ongoing in several areas of the country, and the governing regime has been accused of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims. But writing in an open letter to fans, Radrizzani said he had visited the country many times and that it was "somewhere very close to my heart". He wrote: "The club is not receiving any fee to play. Rather I see this both as a personal initiative to support local football and a way to introduce the name of Leeds United in the fastest growing country in Southeast Asia. "I believe the tour will have a positive impact on the local community in parts of the country we intend to visit. This was a carefully considered decision and we knew it would be controversial, but this is about people not governments. "It has never been my intention, nor that of the club, to get involved in a political debate in Myanmar. However, if because of the tour we further highlight the ongoing serious issues in certain areas of the country, then maybe that is a positive thing." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  16. Sunderland CEO Martin Bain has claimed that a number of parties are interested in buying the club. Current owner Ellis Short has long admitted to wanting to sell the club and with Sunderland's relegation to League One confirmed, Bain says there is clarity for any potential buyer to formulate a deal. “There are a few parties who are currently looking at the club in a meaningful way,” Bain told Chronicle Live. “I would really hope that now the club knows its position in terms of which league it will be playing in, that might give some clarity to any potential buyer to formulate their thoughts and a deal. “I have one single priority at the moment, to try and assist a sale and help full diligence be done. “We have an owner who is very actively trying to sell the club and that will be the game-changer for Sunderland AFC. “We hope that a new owner comes in, will have a better financial backdrop than what there has been in recent years and will be able to provide that spark. “What we have at the club is good people, passionate people, a wonderful fanbase, fantastic facilities. “I feel positive because anybody who looks at the club now, can see that it is a distressed asset but one that has all the fundamentals. “These things give you hope that someone will see this and see that it is a fantastic club to acquire. “It surprises me that it has not been sold before now, maybe that is people seeing what is under the bonnet when they look.” Bain added that, despite the club's debt, Short will not put the club into administration. "Ellis funds the club's losses, I have spoken to him and he has assured me that he will continue to do so", he stated. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  17. Sunderland have issued a statement after dropping into League One in which they admit that the club is in a "period of uncertainty". The Black Cats were relegated to the third tier of English football for only the second time in their history following the 2-1 Championship defeat at home to Burton Albion on Saturday. "Confirmation of relegation has been the culmination of what has been a demoralising season for everyone," the statement read. "We began the campaign realistic in the knowledge that with the backdrop of relegation from the Premier League and our financial position, it would be a significant challenge to make an immediate return to the top flight. "However, it was not envisaged nor expected that we would subsequently be facing the prospect of League One football, which makes this position all the harder to take. "Despite the difficulties we have faced, our fans have been a shining light. They have continued to back the team in their thousands, which has been incredibly humbling to see. "We are truly sorry that we have not been able to give them the positive outcome such tremendous support deserves. "This is also a huge blow for our staff, who have worked tirelessly throughout the season under testing circumstances and uncertainty. "We applaud them for their resilience and dedication; they are fans of the club too and like our supporters, they are hurting. "Whilst naturally we feel devastated today, there remains a burning desire from within to re-build and re-invigorate the club. "As we look at how to best achieve this, it must be recognised that we are in a period of uncertainty in relation to the club's future ownership and the resolution of this will be the driving factor in how we move forward. "Sunderland AFC is so much more than a football club. It is an institution that has been at the very heart of its city and community for almost 140 years. "It is built on a deep-rooted passion that is proudly passed from generation to generation and it is this enduring and unwavering passion that gives us the strength and fortitude we need in times of challenge. "It is through the unstinting support of our fans that Sunderland AFC will rise again." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  18. Mick McCarthy has announced his departure from Ipswich Town with immediate effect following Tuesday's 1-0 win over Barnsley. The 59-year-old was due to leave the Championship club at the end of the season, but departed four games early, alongside assistant Terry Connor. McCarthy was asked in his post-match news conference about fans' negative reaction to debutant Barry Cotter being substituted. "I won't have to listen to that again, that's my last game," McCarthy replied. "I'm out of here." The news was confirmed on the official website as the veteran coach said: "I spoke with Marcus (Evans, owner) at the weekend and we agreed that it was in the best interests for me, the players and the club that I move on now. "I said I would see the season out but it's been a new experience and it's not one I have been enjoying to be honest. I have continued to do my job to the best of my ability but there is something missing and I'm not comfortable with that. "I have had a great time here and worked with some great people and to all those who have given me wonderful support over the last five and a half years - and there are many - I want to put on record my personal thanks. "The players here can look forward to a new challenge with whoever comes in and I want to wish them, the staff and the club the best of fortunes. I'll also be looking forward to a new challenge elsewhere. I've still got a lot of football in me." Ipswich head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug has taken interim charge with the team 12th in the Championship, ahead of their trip to Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  19. Ipswich Town have confirmed that manager Mick McCarthy will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. The former Republic of Ireland boss has been in charge at Portman Road for almost six years and had been the longest-serving manager in the Championship. However, the 59-year-old will be moving on after holding talks with owner Marcus Evans on Wednesday, and assistant manager Terry Connor will also leave the club when his contract ends this summer. Evans told the club website: "Mick and I had a discussion and we both agreed that this was the best way forward for him and for Ipswich Town. "It never got to the point where we actually talked about a new contract, it just felt right that it was time for us both to look at different options. "Mick will see out his contract here and then we will look to make an announcement regarding his successor in due course. "When Mick arrived, we looked to be on the way to relegation. He saved us from that and then took us to the play-offs within two years. "In his six years here he has made us a very competitive club in what is a very competitive league. No one looks forward to playing Ipswich. "In the meantime, I want to put on record my sincere thanks to Mick for the job he has done here as our manager and urge supporters to get behind him and the players so that we can finish the season as strongly as possible." McCarthy added: "I had a good discussion with Marcus and we feel this is the right thing to do for me and for Ipswich Town. "I have loved my time here and I am proud of what I have achieved over the last six years, and the relationship I have enjoyed with the players and all the staff at the club in that time. "I won't be leaving with any regrets. I have given everything for Ipswich Town and I will see out my contract in the same way." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  20. Ipswich Town have confirmed that they will clarify the future of manager Mick McCarthy before the end of next month. The 59-year-old has managed the Blues for the last six years but there have been many suggestions that he will depart Portman Road at the end of the season. McCarthy took over a Town side which was bottom of the Championship in 2012 and led them to the playoffs two seasons later, but since then fans argue the club has stagnated. Ipswich owner Marcus Evans told the club's official website: "As I'm sure you are aware, Mick's contract is up at the end of the season and I'm fully aware that there will be supporters who will be waiting to see how that situation develops. "I continue to have a very good relationship with Mick. We talk regularly and we will sit down and discuss the best way forward for this football club in the next few weeks. And that is the sole concern for me - what is best for Ipswich Town. "Supporters will know the result of that conversation in due course but it will be made public well in advance of the early-bird deadline." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  21. Joe Jones

    Reading appoint Paul Clement as manager

    Championship strugglers Reading have confirmed the appointment of former Swansea City and Derby County boss Paul Clement as their new manager. The 46-year-old replaces Jaap Stam, who left the Madejski Stadium by mutual consent on Wednesday. Alongside his two managerial stints in England, Clement had previously worked as an assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Reading are just three points above the relegation zone in the second tier after winning one of their last 18 league games. A Reading statement said: "Reading Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Clement as first-team manager at Madejski Stadium." Chief Executive Ron Gourlay added: "I am delighted to have secured the services of a hugely experienced forward-thinking manager like Paul, who I have personally worked alongside during our time spent at Chelsea. "Not only has he coached at some of the greatest clubs in Europe, winning trophies, league titles and European honours and working with some of the greatest players in the world, fundamentally he also has a rich understanding of English football having managed in both the Championship and the Premier League in recent years. "Now, everyone at Reading Football Club is fully behind Paul and his squad of players as, together, we initially set our sights on an eight-game battle and continue to strive to the take this club forward." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  22. The EFL has issued a statement about the postponement of Sunday's Championship match between Derby County and Cardiff City. The match at Pride Park was called off on Sunday morning, just hours before the scheduled 12pm kickoff, due to the snow and adverse weather conditions around the stadium. The Rams said: "Following persistent heavy snowfall in Derby overnight, the surrounding areas at Pride Park Stadium have been left in an unsafe condition for supporters, staff and officials." However, the decision was described as "scandalous" and a "disgrace" by Cardiff boss Neil Warnock, while the Bluebirds supporters' club has called for an EFL investigation on the matter. An EFL spokesman told the Derby Telegraph: “The decision to postpone (the) fixture was made first thing on Sunday morning following discussions between Derby County, Derbyshire Police and the local Safety Advisory Group (SAG). “It was taken in the interests of spectator safety and followed heavy overnight snow falling in the Derby area which had built up on the roads surrounding the stadium. “Cardiff City were informed of the decision and the reasons behind it as soon as it was reached. An announcement was made at 8.30am. “The EFL is satisfied from the information shared with us that these were the reasons the match was postponed and will provide Cardiff City with the opportunity to provide any additional information/evidence they feel is relevant, before responding further." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  23. Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock has described the decision to postpone Sunday's Championship fixture away at Derby County as "a disgrace". The match was scheduled for a midday kickoff, but with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures in the East Midlands, police and Rams officials cited safety concerns for the cancellation. Cardiff, who came into the fixture on a seven-match winning run, could have reduced the deficit to league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers back to three points with victory at Pride Park. "It's a disgrace quite frankly," Warnock told Sky Sports. "I am sorry, I can't accept that today - it's not safe? "We have come out from the middle of the countryside in the coach and the roads have been perfectly all right, so I just don't know where they are coming from with this. "It leaves a sour taste for all the people that have travelled. I am very disappointed obviously, I am not overly surprised if I am honest. "When I heard Gary (Rowett)'s remarks earlier in the week - 'if we can get over this weekend's injury crisis with this game we should be all right after the event'. "You look at the game two weeks ago against Fulham here, it was 10 times worse. There were snow ploughs outside. "As you see here the car parks are clear, all the shops are open. We have got some of our fans outside that have travelled some distance. "We have got some Derby fans outside that have come from miles away and you see all the comments." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  24. Championship basement side Sunderland have suspended Darron Gibson with immediate effect after the footballer was charged with driving with excess alcohol. The midfielder is alleged to have been involved in a crash which wrecked a number of vehicles on Saturday morning, hours before Sunderland's 2-0 home defeat to Preston North End. A club statement read: "Sunderland AFC has suspended Darron Gibson with immediate effect, after the player was charged with driving with excess alcohol on Saturday 17 March. "The football club has commenced a full investigation into the matter." Sunderland chief executive, Martin Bain said: "We expect the highest standard of behaviour from our players and should any individual fall short of those standards then robust action must be taken." The 30-year-old joined Sunderland in January last year on an 18-month deal after a five-year spell at Everton but is out of contract in the summer. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  25. Fulham vs. Queens Park Rangers Fulham continue to steamroll their way through their fixture list - they're unbeaten in 15 now and have 12 wins among that run, including four in a row going into this game, to remain in a great position for a playoff place. QPR are also in form, winning their last two, but Craven Cottage is not a place you want to be playing at now, and I think Ryan Sessegnon and co will deliver a fifth win in a row. Score prediction: Fulham 3-1 QPR Barnsley vs. Millwall Barnsley's form remains dodgy but, from their last five, they have managed one win and two draws, a decent enough platform to build on, but build they must as they remain just three points above the drop zone. Unfortunately for them, Millwall's current form is on a par with the likes of Cardiff and Fulham, with five wins and a draw from their last six and unbeaten in 11. The Tykes will provide a stern test but I fancy the Lions to roar at Oakwell. Score prediction: Barnsley 1-2 Millwall Birmingham City vs. Hull City Birmingham boss Garry Monk will hope to have David Davis available for the first time when Hull visit St Andrew's, the captain having missed the last six matches, and given the Blues have lost their last seven league games, some inspiration is definitely needed. Hull, meanwhile, have mounted a great run to surge nine points clear of the bottom three and I can see them adding to their current two-match winning run against a side fast running out of ideas. Score prediction: Birmingham 0-2 Hull Brentford vs. Middlesbrough Jekyll & Hyde FC, aka Brentford, have drawn only once in their last 15 matches - they're a hard team to call in terms of form, but they have been better at home than away, which will stand them in good stead when they face a Boro side unbeaten in five and hoping to make it four wins on the trot - and the omens are good for the visitors, whose recent record against the Bees is superb - nine wins in their last 10 matches, and five wins in a row at Griffin Park. Score prediction: Brentford 0-2 Boro Bristol City vs. Ipswich Town Bristol City's playoff ambitions remain hanging by a thread given a woeful run of form but they will be hoping to edge closer to the top six, if not edge back in if results go their way, when they host an average Ipswich Town side reeling from a shock 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Hull City last time out. The Tractor Boys have been much better on the road, however, and I fancy them to deal another blow to the Robins' playoff hopes. Score prediction: Bristol C 0-1 Ipswich Leeds United vs. Sheffield Wednesday Another side whose form has tumbled in recent months, Leeds are 11 points adrift of the playoffs with nine games left, with just two league victories in their last 14 games, so that'll most likely be another season in the Championship for them. They'll be facing a Wednesday side in terrible form but which at least managed to stop the rot with a 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers last time out, but with neither side high on confidence, I'm going for a draw. Score prediction: Leeds 0-0 Sheff Wed Norwich City vs. Reading Norwich aren't doing tremendously well at the minute, with just two wins in their last 10, and will most likely be missing Alex Tettey, but they'll be up against a Reading side with just one victory from their past 17 Championship games and looking nervously over their shoulders at the bottom three, just six points away. For me, Norwich will just shade it. Score prediction: Norwich 2-1 Reading Sheffield United vs. Nottingham Forest Sheffield United could have leading scorer Leon Clarke - who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury back for their home game against Nottingham Forest, and it will be a welcome boost for a Blades side that has been struggling for consistency in recent months. Forest's bad patch is now a thing of the past, however, and are unbeaten in their last six, but I still think the Yorkshire side will have enough for at least a point. Score prediction: Sheff Utd 1-1 Forest Sunderland vs. Preston North End Rock-bottom Sunderland are fast running out of time to avoid a second consecutive relegation but will be missing goalkeeper Jason Steele, who was sent off for handling outside his area during last weekend's 1-0 defeat at QPR, making the task even more difficult for the Black Cats. Preston fell to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Fulham last time out but they're still hoping to reach the playoffs and I can see them winning at the Stadium of Light, which is more of a bastion of darkness at present. Score prediction: Sunderland 0-2 Preston Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Burton Albion The leaders of the pack have seen their lead at the top of the table evaporate from double digits to just three points, as Cardiff City continue to rack up win after win, but they staved off a complete nullification by thrashing Reading last time out, and Burton should in theory offer just as little opposition, but at the same time, there will be nerves among the Wolves faithful as well as the players when faced with an opponent that they should in theory hammer, so I'm going to go against the logical option and claim that this will end all square. Score prediction: Wolves 0-0 Burton Bolton Wanderers vs. Aston Villa Six points clear of the bottom three, Bolton continue to look over their shoulders but they're getting draws here and there now which can be built on. Villa, meanwhile, have the opportunity to move back within four points of second-placed Cardiff, who do not play until Sunday, and I think they've learned their lesson from QPR and will take a seemingly straightforward game at the Macron much more seriously for victory. Score prediction: Bolton 0-2 Villa Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.

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