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Monday, August 27, 2012
Whittingham's a winner

Will Tidey

Welcome to The Trawler, your weekly submersion through the teeming waters of life in the Championship, League One and League Two. You might be surprised what you find down there.

Whittingham treble downs Wolves

Cardiff midfielder Peter Whittingham was the standout player in the Football League this weekend, scoring all three as his team beat Wolves 3-1 in the Championship. Whittingham's first came from the penalty spot, his second with a classy finish from the edge of the box and his third was a superb free-kick. Whittingham's manager Malky Mackay is convinced the 28-year-old has the talent to be a star at the highest level. "It pleases me that we have turned down two aggressive bids from Premier League clubs," Mackay said. "But he knows where this club wants to go and he is keen to play his part in that and I'm delighted he has signed an extended contract."

Sewer rat scores and signs

How quickly things change in football. Leeds manager Neil Warnock once labelled El-Hadji Diouf "a sewer rat", but after the Senegalese striker scored in their blockbuster 3-3 draw with Blackburn on Saturday it was confirmed he's signed for Warnock's team on a short-term contract until January. Jordan Rhodes made his Blackburn debut at Elland Road, after becoming Rovers' record signing by completing an 8 million move from Huddersfield on transfer deadline day. The 22-year-old didn't register a goal, but you'd have to believe it's only a matter of time before he starts returning on his fee.

Di Canio corner

As Trawler regulars well know, Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio comes largely uncensored. On Saturday, the fiery Italian substituted goalkeeper Wes Foderingham after just 20 minutes, with his team 2-0 down and on the way to crushing 4-1 defeat to Preston in League One. Di Canio, unsurprisingly, did not hold back in the post-match press conference. "He is one of the worst players I have ever seen," Di Canio said of Foderingham. "There was no reason why I could not change him for a substitute. He was the worst player against Stoke in midweek but we won that game 4-3. Any player can make a mistake but it was his arrogance and ignorance that was the worst I have seen from a professional. Not as a person but as an athlete. If he does not say sorry to the fans, he will be out of my team. I don't mind, these are my rules." Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand joined Swindon fans in coming to the defence of Foderingham on Twitter. He's also earned praise for reportedly spending the remainder of the match signing autographs among the away fans at Deepdale. Will Paolo say sorry? He'll say something, you can guarantee that much.

Justice for Cliff Byrne

Oldham's 1-0 win at Portsmouth in League One will not be remembered fondly by Latics defender Cliff Byrne, who was sent off in a case of mistaken identity. Shortly after Jonathan Girouds' fluke goal put Oldham ahead, Pompey's Jonathan Obita clashed with a player we now know to have been Connor Brown. Obita was sent off, and with him went Byrne - despite the fact he hadn't done a thing wrong. Oldham plan to appeal the decision. "I think they realise it was a mistake, so hopefully common sense will prevail," said Oldham manager Paul Dickov.

Brighton sign four

Brighton manager Gus Poyet was a busy man on transfer deadline day. The Seagulls completed deals for four players before 11pm struck - being Swansea pair Andrea Orlandi and Stephen Dobbie, Osasuna midfielder David Lopez and Southampton's Dean Hammond. All were signed too late to feature in Brighton's 3-1 win at Burnley on Saturday, which lifted Poyet's men to fourth in the Championship and included a double from striker Craig Mackail-Smith to take his season tally to four. Poyet dubbed Mackail-Smith's performance "incredible".

Sammon leaps into Derby hearts

New signing Conor Sammon scored on his home debut for Derby as the Rams battered Watford 5-1 at Pride Park. Sammon arrived for 1.2 million from Wigan and the powerful striker was instrumental in his team's Championship victory on Saturday. Said Derby manager Nigel Clough: "Conor took his goal really well and also showed he's a real team player. He has the qualities to make him an important player for us." Gianfranco Zola blamed the demise of his Watford team on their inability to defend set-pieces. "I apologised to the players because I underestimated the value of Derby at set plays," Zola said. "I said to the players that it was my fault."

Post-match entertainment

Bristol Rovers' 3-0 defeat to Morecombe in League Two so incensed their manager Mark McGhee he made his players sit through a replay of the whole game afterwards. "They are not going home until we have watched the DVD and people have taken responsibility for what went wrong," McGhee said.

The nil-pointers

Four games in and three Football League teams are still without a single point. Peterborough are the Championship's bottom club after losses against Leicester, Millwall, Leeds and Birmingham. In League One, Leyton Orient and Scunthorpe both have 100% records of the worst type. After a 2-0 loss to Hartlepool, Scunny's goal difference is already a rather spectacularly bad minus 10.

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