When are the Football League play-off finals 2017? What are the

Football Championship League

Japanese Football Stadiums / September 29, 2016

Jamaal LascellesNewcastle’s captain, Jamaal Lascelles, rallies fans at the final whistle after victory against Cardiff City at St James’ Park. Photograph: TGSPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock

Brighton remain second as Reading soar to fourth, Rotherham’s winless run continues and a disappointing start to life at Wigan for Warren Joyce

• It might not be in full swing but the managerial merry-go-round is certainly up and running. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was sent packing by Queens Park Rangers on Saturday evening after they scrambled to a draw at Nottingham Forest. Idrissa Sylla headed home a late equaliser for QPR at the City Ground, where both teams were reduced to 10 men. Britt Assombalonga put Forest in front before half-time, four minutes after Karl Henry picked up his second booking. But Sylla found an equaliser – and his sixth of the season – five minutes from time after Hildeberto Pereira was sent off. Announcing his dismissal, QPR said: “The club appreciates Jimmy’s efforts during his time in charge and wishes him all the best for the future.”

• Newcastle United fended off a late Cardiff City fightback to earn a seventh successive win and remain top of the tree in the process. Christian Atsu, who failed to make a Premier League start on loan at Bournemouth last year, was restored to the starting lineup by head coach Rafael Benítez, and the winger sent the hosts on the way to victory after just three minutes. Yoann Gouffran doubled Newcastle’s lead before visiting manager Neil Warnock rang the changes, making three in as many minutes. Peter Whittingham, one of the substitutes, found the net with practically his first touch before the majority of the 51, 257 fans at St James’ Park celebrated that once elusive winning feeling once more.

Brighton • Second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion kept the pressure on the leaders, with an impressive 2-0 win at Bristol City. Perhaps Steve Sidwell was watching YouTube clips of Xabi Alonso on the team bus, after his audacious lob beat a frantically back-peddling Richard O’Donnell, before dedicating the goal to Anthony Knockaert’s late father. That goal rocked Lee Johnson’s side, with Jamie Murphy adding a second from outside the box shortly after to continue Brighton’s peerless away form – Chris Hughton’s side have lost just once on the road in their past 15 games.

Brighton celebrate Steve Sidwell’s opener by holding the shirt of Anthony Knockaert, left out of the travelling squad, aloft. The winger’s father, Patrick, passed away on Thursday. Photograph: Allward/JMP/Rex/Shutterstock

• Huddersfield Town, remember them? David Wagner’s side were torn apart by Fulham at Craven Cottage last week and, unsurprisingly, kept things low-key for the first 45 minutes before a tight affair at home to Birmingham City sparked into life after 69 minutes. For a moment Elias Kachunga’s fifth goal of the season had given Huddersfield a whiff of back-to-back league wins, only for Lukas Jutkiewicz to equalise four minutes later. The draw keeps Birmingham on the edge of the play-off pack while Huddersfield remain third.

• Norwich City were also humbled 5-0 last week, by Brighton, with the captain Russell Martin labelling the performance “rubbish” and “embarrassing”. And although not in quite the same manner, Alex Neil’s side suffered another defeat, this time by a rampant Leeds United after academy graduate Ronaldo Vieira’s injury-time winner. Aston Villa remain on the up, too, after stretching their unbeaten run to five matches under manager Steve Bruce. Jonathan Kodjia’s double secured a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers, who went ahead through Southampton loanee Sam Gallagher. Kodjia, the former Bristol City striker, has now scored six goals since Bruce’s timely arrival.

Garath McCleary and Chris Gunter Garath McCleary and Chris Gunter celebrate with Reading’s manager, Jaap Stam, as Warren Joyce, who was appointed Wigan Athletic manager on Wednesday looks on. Photograph: JASONPIX/Rex/Shutterstock

• Warren Joyce’s tenure as the Wigan Athletic manager got off to the worst possible start, after watching his side fall behind inside 57 seconds against high-flying Reading. Garath McCleary’s opener was also the quickest in the division this season. They were two goals down after five minutes, when McCleary added his second of the afternoon. Yann Kermorgant completed the rout from the penalty spot, after John Swift was fouled in the box by Wigan’s Max Power. Jaap Stam, the Reading manager, who was never hell bent on this managing malarkey, has guided his team to fourth in the league. “Nobody can expect Reading for next season to get promotion or get into the play-offs, ” Stam said over the summer. Mick McCarthy, the Ipswich Town manager, meanwhile is almost certainly not surprised by anything anymore. “You’re only ever two or three moves from going from God to dog, ” he said this week. He’s God this week, though, after Ipswich secured only their second away win of the season at Sheffield Wednesday. The defender, Luke Chambers, scored the winner three minutes from time.

• Only one match in the second tier ended bereft of goals, as Burton Albion played out a bore draw at home to Barnsley, who are now unbeaten in three games.

Preston’s Callum Robinson cups his ears after scoring in the 3-1 win at Rotherham United. Photograph: Chris Vaughan - CameraSport/CameraSport via Getty Images

• Wolves confirmed Paul Lambert as their new manager shortly after their 3-2 defeat by in the early kick-off, and despite sitting only three points above the relegation zone, they already have the Premier League in sight. “Ourselves and Paul share the same vision and the same mission, to achieve promotion from the Championship as soon as possible and then aim for a higher goal in the Premier League, ” said the Wolves director Shi. Elsewhere, Rotherham United’s winless run was extended to 12 matches, after Preston North End racked up a 3-1 victory away from home. Preston’s top scorer Jordan Hugill, Callum Robinson and Marnick Vermijl grabbed the goals to move up to 11th in the table, after recording their fifth win in eight matches. And Fulham claimed bragging rights in the west London derby on Friday night with a 2-0 win over Brentford.

Source: www.theguardian.com