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Monday, October 1, 2012
Clough burns Forest, goodbye Steve Kean

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.

Clough burns Forest

Nigel Clough will always be loved at the City Ground, but Nottingham Forest fans must be getting tired of him leading their east midlands rivals Derby to victories against them. Clough's men ran out 1-0 winners on Sunday, in a game that saw Forest reduced to 10 men for virtually the entire second half after Dexter Blackstock was sent off for elbowing Rams' captain Richard Keogh. The result means Clough has been on the winning side seven times against Forest as Derby manager - losing just twice. Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll, whose team are down in 17th position in the Championship, was left frustrated by the refereeing decision that defined the game. "I thought the action taken against Dexter might have been a little bit harsh, especially as he had been the target for systematic punishment," he said.

Goodbye Steve Kean

It wasn't just John Terry, retiring from England duty, who faced an "untenable" situation last week. The long-suffering Steve Kean finally called time on his troubled tenure at Blackburn - claiming he'd been forced out by the club's owners Venky's. Read a statement from Kean: "For reasons that I cannot discuss on legal advice, it is with deep regret, given my hard work and service for the club for a number of years, that I have been forced to resign as manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club with immediate effect, due to my position as team manager becoming untenable." Kean's assistant Eric Black oversaw a 1-1 draw against Charlton on Saturday, and is widely expected to be given a chance to prove his credentials over the next few months. Former Rovers player Tim Sherwood has distanced himself from speculation that he might also be in contention for the long-term role.

Redknapp watch

The out-of-work Harry Redknapp is queen of the gossip columns right now. First there were the Bournemouth rumours, which were quashed fairly quickly. And now we have 'Arry linked to a return to management with Premier League side QPR and Leicester in the Championship. The Trawler will leave the QPR business to the big shots. As for Leicester, the Daily Mail say the club's Thai owner Vichai Raksriaksorn believes Redknapp would be a better option than current manager Nigel Pearson. Expect Redknapp to be linked to several other posts before you reach the end of this article.

All hail the Pope

Port Vale striker Tom Pope is the leading scorer across England's professional leagues this season, with a return of nine goals from nine games in League Two. When you consider he managed just five goals in over 40 appearances last season and has only once reached double figures for a campaign in his career, it appears something has clicked for the 27-year-old. Pope scored the winner at Bradford on Saturday, and has played a big part in his team's strong start - which sees them second in the table behind Gillingham.

Not one for the neutrals

Coventry manager Mark Robins will be remembered by many for scoring the winning goal for Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final replay against Oldham. Suffice to say, leading his team to a 1-0 win against the Latics in League Two probably is not quite on the same level - especially given the nature of the contest. "It was one of the worst games I've ever seen," Robins said. It was still City's first league win of the season, however, and the first of Robins' reign at the club.

Beckford makes Terriers debut in loss

Jermaine Beckford joined Huddersfield on an emergency loan from Leicester last week, but the striker could do nothing to stop his team going down 3-2 at home to Watford in the Championship. Watford's winner was scored from the penalty spot by Troy Deeney, who was playing his second match since being released from prison after serving three months for affray.

Di Canio corner

Simon Ferry's goal earned Swindon a 1-0 win at Shrewsbury in League One and some long-awaited praise from his manager Paolo Di Canio. "In the last few weeks I have been tough with him," Di Canio said. "In the last few games he has played he had chances and we have told him to shoot. "He was obliged to shoot because he was five yards from goal. The ball bounced in front of him and he got his body in the perfect position and it was an intelligent finish. I was very happy."

Leeds takeover group revealed

GFH Capital have been revealed as the Bahrain-based investment company working on a takeover deal at Leeds. The group announced their intentions to the Bahrain stock exchange and are said to have been negotiating with Leeds owner Ken Bates all summer. Here's what they want to do: "(GFH Capital's) intentions, if successful in its acquisition, is to move the club back to the Premier League as quickly as possible and help to build a sustainable future for the club, both on and off the field."


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