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Category Archives: Championship

Tom Lawrence leaves Leicester for Derby

Derby have signed forward Tom Lawrence from Leicester for an undisclosed fee.

Wales international Lawrence, 23, has committed to what Derby describe as “a long-term contract” and is the Rams’ fourth summer signing.

Derby announced on their official website: “Derby County have moved to bolster their attacking options by completing the signing of Leicester City forward Tom Lawrence.”

Neither club has stated the sum involved but several newspaper reports have suggested Sky Bet Championship outfit Derby are paying £7million to the Foxes.

Lawrence spent last season on loan at Ipswich and was named the club’s player of the year after scoring 11 goals in 36 appearances.

He progressed through Manchester United‘s academy but made only one first-team appearance before moving on to Leicester in September 2014 and has also had loan spells at Carlisle, Yeovil, Rotherham, Blackburn and Cardiff.

Derby had previously signed Curtis Davies, Andre Wisdom and Tom Huddlestone during the summer transfer window.

Source: PA



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Hull reject second bid from Burnley for midfielder Sam Clucas

Hull have rejected an improved £10million offer from Premier League side Burnley for midfielder Sam Clucas.

The Tigers, determined to keep hold of Clucas after the departure of seven key players already this summer, were reported to have turned down an initial bid for the 26-year-old last week.

A Hull spokesman confirmed to Press Association Sport that Burnley’s latest approach had been rebuffed.

Clucas, a shining light for the Tigers last season as he played in all but one of their Premier League matches, had previously been linked with West Brom, who now appear set to sign Gareth Barry from Everton.

Tigers head coach Leonid Slutsky, appointed in June, is desperate to strengthen in his bid to guide the club straight back to the top flight.

The squad the Russian inherited has been depleted by the summer departures of defenders Curtis Davies, Harry Maguire, Josh Tymon and Andy Robertson, goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, plus midfielders Tom Huddlestone and Ahmed Elmohamady.

Should Clucas follow his former team-mates out of the KCOM Stadium, the departure of another prized asset would be a major blow to Slutsky’s plans.

Source: PA



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Chris Wilder doing it his own way ahead of Sheff Utd’s Neil Warnock meeting

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder stressed he does things his own way as he bids to replicate the success enjoyed by current Cardiff manager Neil Warnock at Bramall Lane.

Wilder is the ninth permanent Blades boss since Warnock steered them to the Premier League in 2006 and the two managers will lock horns in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday night.

Warnock, 67, is chasing his eighth promotion as manager and Wilder his fourth, while the Blades hope to end Cardiff’s 100 per cent start to the season.

“I know Neil just through coming down to Bramall Lane,” Wilder said before the trip to the Cardiff City Stadium. “He has managed at the top level, I don’t know him to speak to, just to say hi to.

“He had a very good spell here and made it a tough place to come. But I don’t take the lead off anyone in the way I manage, I do it off my own back. We are not trying to clone anything.

“These things always get chucked up, player connections, manager connections, but ultimately we are going to a football club who has an excellent manager, who knows his way around this division, so it is another challenge for us.”

Wolves, 2-0 winners at Derby on Saturday, are also looking to extend their winning run to four games in all competitions, but boss Nuno Espirito Santo’s impressive start could come under threat at Hull.

The Tigers’ Russian head coach Leonid Slutsky is also unbeaten in English football and his side dismissed Burton 4-1 at the weekend thanks to Abel Hernandez’s hat-trick.

Nottingham Forest and Ipswich are the two other clubs to have opened the season with back-to-back league wins and they bid to maintain momentum at Barnsley and at Millwall respectively.

Barnsley hope to kickstart their campaign following successive defeats to Bristol City and Ipswich, while Millwall registered their first point on Saturday after drawing at home against fellow newly-promoted side Bolton.

Harry Redknapp’s Blues, for whom new signing Isaac Vassell from Luton could make his debut, lie in wait for Bolton at St Andrew’s as they look to follow up their home weekend win against Bristol City.

John Terry has yet to taste victory since being fanfared in at Aston Villa this summer and Steve Bruce’s side face a tough task to get their season up and running at Reading.

Leandro Bacuna could make his Royals debut against former club after completing his switch at the weekend, while Jaap Stam’s side are chasing their first win of the season after being held at home on Saturday against Fulham, who travel north to take on Leeds.

Leeds head coach Thomas Christiansen has yet to savour his first league win at Elland Road after being held to a goalless draw three days ago by 10-man Preston.

Derby are next up for Alex Neil’s unbeaten Lilywhites at Pride Park, while Brentford look to bounce back from successive defeats against Bristol City at Griffin Park and Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough chase back-to-back home wins against Burton.

Source: PA



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Simon Grayson not getting carried away by Sunderland’s win at Norwich

Simon Grayson is keeping his feet firmly on the ground after hailing Sunderland’s performance in a 3-1 victory at Norwich.

Lewis Grabban returned to haunt his former club, with the former Canaries striker finding the net twice either side of summer signing Aiden McGeady’s fantastic first-time effort.

The Black Cats moved onto four points after two Championship games, following their opening day draw with Derby last week, but manager Grayson has already set his sights on their next challenge.

He said: “This is a tough place to come to and we knew they would be putting us under pressure in their first home game of the season, but I thought the the lads stuck to the game plan really well.

“Obviously when you defend well and then take your chances really well to go 3-0 up, you have got to be absolutely delighted.

“We were disciplined and well organised, sitting back and letting them have the ball in certain areas and then moving in when we had to.

“I was also really pleased with the finishing. Lewis is always going to cause sides problems and at this level, while Aiden is probably the most talented player I have ever worked with and is looking good value at only £250,000.

“It’s a great win and it has been a strong-ish start for us – but that’s all it is, a good start, and no-one is getting carried away.

“What has happened here is in the past – it’s all about what happens in the future now and what I will say is that I have got a good, hard-working group here – it’s a working class city and that’s what the people demand.”

Sunderland had to withstand plenty of pressure before taking the lead against the run of play after 27 minutes, with Grabban latching onto a flick from another former Norwich player James Vaughan before guiding the ball past Angus Gunn.

The lead was extended on the hour mark when McGeady blasted home a loose ball from the edge of the box, and 11 minutes later the points were in the bag as Grabban headed home McGeady’s superb cross at the back post.

Grabban later guided the ball into his own net while straining to clear a dangerous ball into the six-yard box – but by then the damage had been done.

Norwich boss Daniel Farke was disappointed with the result – but not the performance of his side.

“I thought it was a really good performance; we had 75 per cent of possession in the first half, just over 70 in the second, it was 13-1 in corners and we had a lot more chances than them.

“But in this game it doesn’t matter about your philosophy or your performance, it is about the results and it is down to the small things that we lost this game.

“For the goals, we defended sloppily and that cost us. For the first goal we failed to deal with their goal-kick and for the third we should have stopped the cross coming in.

“It is very frustrating but the fact that we dominated a game against a side who have only just come down from the Premier League is a good sign.

“They were well organised and sat deep and it’s not easy to score goals against a team like that. This just showed that you can always lose a game when you are not awake defensively for the full 90 minutes.”

Source: PA



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Lewis Grabban clips Canaries’ wings with match-winning brace for Black Cats

Lewis Grabban came back to haunt his former club as Sunderland came away from Norwich with three points from an excellent 3-1 win.

The on-loan Bournemouth striker scored twice either side of a superb effort from Aiden McGeady to help the visitors to their first Sky Bet Championship success of the season.

Grabban also scored a late own goal to provide some consolation for Norwich, who deserved better, but it was Simon Grayson’s side who ended up with a win to go with their opening-day draw,

Norwich made a bright start in their first home league match under Daniel Farke, with James Maddison winning an early free-kick on the edge of the box and seeing his curling effort deflected wide for a corner.

The Canaries’ possession-based game was keeping the visitors pinned back in their own half for long periods, but goalkeeper Jason Steele was not exactly overworked, and it was not until the 20th minute that he had to make his first save.

He comfortably gathered a low drive from Russell Martin after a typically slick move from the hosts and seven minutes later the home fans were silenced as Sunderland took the lead against the run of play.

A routine high ball forward was flicked on by James Vaughan and Grabban shrugged off the attentions of Christophe Zimmerman before calmly slotting the ball past Angus Gunn.

It was rough justice for Norwich, but they nearly went two down five minutes before the break when George Honeyman found himself free in the area after poor marking from a free-kick, only to shoot weakly straight at Gunn.

Norwich soon began building up a head of steam again after the interval, and Martin nearly restored parity on 56 minutes after Maddison’s corner had been headed on.

But it was Sunderland who scored next, making it 2-0 with a real beauty from McGeady.

The Irishman was lurking on the edge of the box when a corner was only half cleared and, after being picked out by Lee Cattermole, he fired in a superb first-time effort with his left boot to give Gunn no chance.

Farke brought on Nelson Oliveira in an attempt to get back into the game, having left the striker out for his squad in midweek following an angry goal celebration at Fulham the previous weekend.

But it would not faze the visitors, who made it three on 71 minutes when McGeady beat his man on the left before whipping in a gorgeous cross to the back post which was headed in from close range by Grabban.

Norwich looked dead and buried but pulled one back six minutes later. A deep free-kick was headed back into the danger area and Grabban managed to hit the target at the wrong end when trying to hook the ball clear in the six-yard box.

It was suddenly game on and Martin saw a fierce drive come back off an upright before Marley Watkins had a goalbound effort blocked at the death.

Source: PA



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Nathaniel Mendez-Laing bags brace as Cardiff stroll to victory over Aston Villa

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing bagged a brace as Cardiff made it two wins from two at the start of the Sky Bet Championship season with a 3-0 victory over a shell-shocked Aston Villa.

The Bluebirds, who opened their campaign by beating Burton last weekend, took the lead midway through the first half when Mendez-Laing rose to head home Junior Hoilett’s cross to the far post.

Hoilett turned goalscorer on the hour mark with a close-range header before Mendez-Laing cut in from the left before firing into the top corner in the 71st minute to leave Villa well beaten.

Nottingham Forest joined the Welsh club on six points but were pushed all the way in a 4-3 defeat of Brentford.

John Egan’s header gave the Bees a deserved lead but two brilliant strikes from Andreas Bouchalakis, either side of Daryl Murphy’s tap in, pushed Forest into the ascendancy just after the restart.

Andreas Bjelland narrowed the deficit but Kieran Dowell restored Forest’s two-goal cushion, only for Neal Maupay to set up a tense finale, with Forest just about hanging on to condemn Brentford to a second defeat of the season.

Abel Hernandez’s hat-trick inspired Hull to a 4-1 victory over 10-man Burton, for who Jackson Irvine went from hero to villain.

The Brewers midfielder cancelled out Hernandez’s opener just after the half-hour mark but was then given his marching orders moments later.

Kamil Grosicki helped the Tigers regain the lead shortly after the resumption while Hernandez scored twice more to lift the hosts to an ultimately comfortable win.

Fulham had Tomas Kalas dismissed after 39 seconds but managed to leave Reading with a 1-1 draw.

Kalas was given his marching orders after hauling down Modou Barrow and it seemed the Royals would capitalise on their man advantage when they went ahead through Liam Kelly but Lucas Piazon’s late goal grabbed a point for the Cottagers.

Goals from Craig Gardner and Jacques Maghoma lifted 10-man Birmingham to a 2-1 win over Bristol City, who had gone ahead in the opening minute through Bobby Reid.

Second-half substitute Maikel Kieftenbeld was sent off in the closing stages but the Blues managed to hold on for their first three-point haul of the campaign.

Strikes from Barry Douglas and Ivan Cavaleiro saw Wolves maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the season as they eased to a 2-0 success at Derby.

Ipswich are also on six points after goals from substitutes David McGoldrick and Martyn Waghorn helped them edge out Barnsley, beaten 2-1 despite taking the lead through Tom Bradshaw.

Millwall and Bolton claimed their first point of the season after a 1-1 draw at The Den. George Saville’s opener just after the interval was cancelled out on the hour by Filipe Morais’ free-kick.

It was an identical scoreline at Hillsborough as substitute Sam Winnall’s strike gave Sheffield Wednesday a share of the spoils after Jamie Mackie had put QPR ahead.

Leeds drew a blank against 10-man Preston, who had Ben Pearson sent off with 30 minutes remaining but escaped Elland Road with a goalless draw.

Source: PA



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Boro boss Garry Monk insists Ben Gibson is not for sale

Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk is adamant that Ben Gibson is not for sale.

The highly-rated defender, who was called into the England squad last season, has been strongly linked with Southampton and West Brom.

Boro have reportedly rebuffed offers worth around £20million following their relegation from the Premier League, and Monk insists the club are determined to hold on to the 24-year-old centre-back.

“You want to keep your most important players and the chairman (Steve Gibson) is very strong on that,” Monk said.

“We don’t have to sell anyone. It’s a stable club financially and it’s a great place to go and work.

“We’re looking to get the squad together, work hard and wait for that window to close.”

Ben Gibson is the nephew of Boro chairman Steve and Monk, who was appointed manager in June, says the player is committed to the Sky Bet Championship club.

Asked if he was expecting more bids for Gibson, Monk replied: “Not particularly, no. But I’m not concerned, I’m not focused on that.

“You can never say never, but in terms of Ben’s commitment to the club and the owner’s idea of what’s needed to be done it aligns with what I’m thinking so it’s fine.

“I can’t believe it (the transfer window) goes into the season.

“It’s ridiculous and should have been shut last week, but we’ll stay focused on the season ahead.”

Boro are fancied to bounce back into the top flight at the first attempt after spending more than £40million on new players this summer.

Striker Britt Assombalonga came in from Nottingham Forest for a club-record £15m, while Danish forward Martin Braithwaite, Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson and the West Ham pair of Ashley Fletcher and Darren Randolph also joined.

“We’ve done the bulk of what we wanted to do,” Monk said.

“We’ve been very good as a club in terms of incomings and maximising our outgoings.

“We still have a couple of bits planned – comings and goings – but in terms of balancing what we’ve spent and what we’ve brought in we’ve done very well.”

Source: PA


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Hull snap up former Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson

Hull have signed midfielder Sebastian Larsson following his recent release by Sunderland.

Sweden international Larsson, 32, one of several high profile names to depart Sunderland in June, has put pen to paper on a one-year deal.

“I’m delighted to be here and I am really looking forward to this fresh challenge,” Larsson told Tigers TV.

“I had some options to consider, but I felt this was the best move for me to make and I can’t wait to get started now.”

Larsson, who started out in England at Arsenal, spent six years at Sunderland after joining in 2011 from Birmingham.

He has made over 500 appearances in English football and has 90 caps for Sweden.

Hull have now made six summer signings under head coach Leonid Slutsky following the arrivals of Ola Aina, Fraizer Campbell, Kevin Stewart, Ondrej Mazuch and Michael Hector.

Source: PA


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Double injury blow for Thomas Christiansen in Leeds’ victory over Bolton

Thomas Christiansen is waiting to discover the seriousness of injuries to Gaetano Berardi and Matthew Pennington after Leeds opened their Sky Bet Championship campaign with an entertaining 3-2 win at newly-promoted Bolton.

Homegrown midfielder Kalvin Phillips celebrated his new contract with a first-half brace which sandwiched a predatory header from Chris Wood and made it 3-1 at the break.

Bolton, who scored through Gary Madine during the first half, cut Leeds‘ advantage with a second-half penalty from Adam Le Fondre but Leeds held on for victory.

Both sides suffered a double injury blow as Leeds lost left-back Berardi and on-loan Everton defender Pennington to a dislocated shoulder and ankle injury respectively.

Bolton saw skipper David Wheater forced off early in the second half with a back problem before Josh Vela was carried off on a stretcher in the closing stages with a serious ankle injury.

Christiansen added: “Berardi’s injury was his shoulder and Matthew Pennington’s was his ankle.

“We will know more in the next couple of days. It’s disappointing, but at the same time I was very pleased with the contribution of Conor Shaughnessy and Vurnon Anita.

“They came on and did well, so there were negatives and positives and overall I enjoyed it a lot.

“It was a tough game, which I expected, against a tough opponent, and a result I had dreamed of.

“We need to recover now and focus on Port Vale in the League Cup on Wednesday.

“It’s good to start the season like this and now we have a few games at Elland Road where we will have even greater backing from our supporters.”

Manchester United left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is poised to join Leeds on loan and at least one more centre-back is also on Christiansen’s radar.

The Dane left out Liam Bridcutt, Stuart Dallas and Ronaldo Vieira – all regulars last season – and he explained: “These are the problems I have as coach.

“It’s good that I have to choose, but bad that I have to leave players out. Only 18 players can play and today I’m happy with the decision I took.”

Wood hit 30 goals last season and continues to be linked with a number of rival clubs, but Christiansen said: “It’s very important to keep Chris Wood, but you never know what will happen.”

Bolton boss Phil Parkinson bemoaned his side’s injury blows and defensive frailties as they lost their first game back in the Championship after one season in League One.

Parkinson said: “The worry for us is that Wheater had to come off with a problem he had in the week during training.

“Josh looks like he’s going to go to hospital and we need to keep our fingers crossed in the next 24 hours that it’s not too bad.

“But when Josh Vela went down and stayed down, I was instantly worried because he’s a tough lad and he very rarely goes down.

“We conceded some uncharacteristic goals when you consider the defensive qualities we showed last year.

“But in the second half we showed a good reaction, especially when you’re 3-1 down in the first game of the season in front of the TV cameras.

“I thought we gave it everything to try and get back in the game. We got it back to 3-2 and nearly got something from it.”

Source: PA


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Kalvin Phillips bags brace as Leeds take maximum points from Bolton

Kalvin Phillips celebrated his contract extension with a first-half brace as Leeds United got new head coach Thomas Christiansen’s reign off to a winning start with a 3-2 victory at newly-promoted Bolton.

The 21-year-old homegrown midfielder, who this week penned a deal extending his stay at Elland Road until 2021, opened the scoring early on and struck again before half-time to give Leeds a 3-1 interval lead.

Chris Wood, who scored 30 goals last season, made it 2-0 after Phillips’ opener but Gary Madine pulled a goal back for the Trotters before Phillips’ second restored Leeds’ two-goal advantage.

A second-half penalty from Adam Le Fondre was reward for Bolton’s spirited display after the break but Leeds held on to take the spoils in an entertaining clash at a rain-soaked Macron Stadium.

Bolton boss Phil Parkinson handed debuts to new signings Stephen Darby and loanee Josh Cullen following their summer arrivals from Bradford and West Ham respectively.

New Leeds head coach Christiansen has made a raft of new signings and included three debutants in his starting line-up.

German goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald got the nod ahead of Rob Green, while on-loan Everton defender Matthew Pennington and Ezgjan Alioski also started.

But it was homegrown product Phillips who opened the scoring in the seventh minute with superb right-footed shot.

Pablo Hernandez won a corner and – from his delivery on the right flank – Phillips connected sweetly with a powerful strike which flew past Mark Howard and into the far corner.

Bolton posed a threat from set-pieces but struggled to create clear-cut goalscoring opportunities.

Leeds then grabbed a second goal on the half-hour mark when Kemar Roofe delivered a deep cross from the right flank and Alioski headed the ball back across goal to Wood, who nodded past Howard via the underside of the crossbar.

Leeds lost left-back Gaetano Berardi to dislocated shoulder and he was carried off on a stretcher in the 36th minute and replaced by new recruit Vernon Anita.

Bolton hit back three minutes later when Madine capitalised on uncertainty from Wiedwald by heading home a deep inswinging corner by Josh Vela.

But Leeds had their third in the 42nd minute when Wood broke the offside trap from Hernandez’s pass and squared the ball to Phillips, who fired into an empty net.

Alioski almost added a fourth in added time at the end of the first half when he blazed wide from Roofe’s dangerous right-wing cross.

Bolton captain David Wheater was replaced by Reece Burke in the 52nd minute and Leeds also lost Pennington to injury in the 64th minute.

The Everton youngster was replaced by Conor Shaughnessy, who soon conceded a penalty in the 67th minute when he pulled Madine’s shirt and Le Fondre smashed the ball home from the spot.

Hernandez then hit the bar with a superb 20-yard strike moments later as Leeds held on for victory, while Bolton had Vela carried off on a stretcher late on.

Source: PA


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