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English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Luis Muriel scored another brace to steer Preston to a 2-1 win over Newcastle. That's 14 goals for the on-loan striker, breaking the Chelsea 1-2-3 at the top of the goalscorers charts. It must be a Colombian thing, as Falcao has scored a total of 11 goals in 20 games this season.

Brighton away on Wednesday, where a victory will confirm a third straight play-off place.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Nottingham Forest 1-3 West Bromwich

Alex 87' | Miranda 23', Gourcuff 58', 61'

The City Ground (23,381)

Man of the Match: Antonio Cassano

WWWWWW | WWWWWD

21l5s7a.jpg

Albion back to winning ways away at Forest

Sunday 15th December, 2013

After a dissappointing midweek draw at home to Bolton Wanderers, Albion went to a Nottingham Forest side that had won their last 6 games, so it wasn't going to be easy for Journal's men at The City Ground. Albion started well, they had lots of the ball and chances and it wasn't a surprise on the 23rd minute when Brazilian defender Miranda put them ahead. After the goal it went fairly quiet until after the break, when on the 58th minute Gourcuff let fly outside the box to double Albion's lead, Forest were stunned. 3 minutes later and full of confidence, Gourcuff made it a brace, this time a sloppy goal for Forest to concede but the Frenchmen didn't care as he was set to send Albion to close the gap at the top of the league, again! Forest did pull a goal back late on, Alex scoring in the 87th minute giving the remains of the Forest fans something to cheer about.

With Rochdale losing, Albion closed the gap again and they now sit level with Rochdale, only Rochdale's plus one goal difference is keeping them above West Brom. Both Swindon Town and Rushden & Diamonds, the top two in division 3, won their games. Albion sit on 58 points as do Rochdale, with Swindon on 61 and Rushden on 62, with 3 games left it is set to be a great finish to the season. Another good result for Albion tonight is 5th placed Notts County lost their game tonight which see's Albion go 4 points clear in the play off places. After the game this is what Journal had to say:

"Another game and another 3 points, what more could I ask for? The team performed brilliantly, had we performed like that on Wednesday night we would of won that game too. This gets us in a very promising position with 3 games left in the season, but we wont get too carried away a lot can still change, its football. Our main focus now is to train hard up until Wednesdays clash with Stoke at The Hawthorns, a win there could confirm our spot in the play offs, a great achievement for this season."

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

My thoughts of the team turning the corner after wednesday night's win were well and truly shattered last night as Rochdale were thumped 5-1 at Hull City.We are back down to third.We need to win the last three now to even have a sniff of automatic promotion but i'm not holding my breath.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

First game in charge and it ended up a 0-0 draw against 5th placed Boston, ending a 3 match losing streak. All though, disappointing I didn't get the 3 points as Boston got two red cards in the first half. But still nice not to lost against a much stronger team.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Preston secure a third successive play-off appearance with a 2-1 victory over Brighton. Muriel scored his 15th goal of the season, with Kevin Mirallas securing victory with his 3rd goal of the season. Got Southend and Leicester as my final two games of the season, and as they are in and around the play-offs I'll be fielding a strong team for the rest of the season.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Second game in charge at Grimsby and managed to get my second draw, 2-2 against Peterborough. Chris Burke scored on his debut, and Leonardo Pais, the 19 year old (78 rated) got the second. That means in the 10 games Pais has played this season from midfield, he has scored an impressive 9 goals and 6 assists. Quite surprised with them statistics to be honest.

So still unbeaten after 2 games at Grimsby. Would be nice to remain unbeaten for the last two games to finish the season without getting a loss while I've been charge. Going to be tough as I've got Swansea and already promoted Oxford, who may need to beat me last game of the season to challenge for the top place. Would be nice to see if I can try and get out of bottom place, but it wouldn't really matter anyway as I'm already looking towards next season.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

4-west-bromwich-albion-678.gifWest Brom 3-0 Stoke Citystoke_city.ashx?w=100&h=100

Lovren 6', Cassano 41' + 79'

The Hawthorns (21,686)

Wednesday 18th December, 2013

f1bjvd.jpg

Play-off spot secured by Albion

Wet Brom tonight secured a division 3 play off place with a 3-0 win at home to Stoke City. Since Journal took over a promotion spot has been the target from the Englishmen but now West Brom have the opportunity to gain automatic promotion to division 2, with 2 games left. West Brom sit 3rd in the table 1 point behind Swindon Town and Rushden & Diamonds who are 1st and 2nd and with the two meeting on Saturday this means one of the clubs are guaranteed to drop points, offering Albion the chance, with a win over Birmingham to leap from one if not them both to gain entry to the automatic promotion spots, leaving an even more exciting finish a week today.

Albion showed urgency in their play from the first minute and it wasn't a surprise to see them go ahead after 6 minutes, Croatian Dejan Lovren finishing inside the box for the baggies setting the tone to this game, where they knew a win would secure a play off spot regardless of results elsewhere. Before half time the lead was doubled, Antonio Cassano with a headed goal past the struggling Guaita in the Stoke goal. The game was wrapped up on the 79th minute, in between half time and the third Stoke enjoyed their best spell of the game but Cassano sent West Brom up to third scoring his brace, not a good day for the potters. This is what Journal had to say after the game:

"I am pleased my team have made it to the play-offs, a target which I and the chairman set for the season when I took over here. With the 2 games remaining we will use these to try and secure automatic promotion to division 2 and with Rushden and Swindon both meeting each other on Saturday night it is important we get the win against Birmingham, which is a massive game for the club and fans. it is important we remain focus for the rest of the week now for the vital game on Saturday against Birmingham."

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Carlisle: Carslisle's 2-1 defeat at home to Port Vale on Wednesday all but put and end to our play off hopes with only 2 games remaining. Only 3 points off the play offs but with a considerably negative goal difference a place is virtually impossible now.

Still, went out and treated myself to 3 early Christmas gifts in the form of Augsburg main main, Andre Hahn, Lille 'keeper, Vincent Enyeama and Hoffenheim defender, David Abraham.

Alaixys Romao is available and I am still in the market for new faces if anybody has anybody available for the right price. Just drop me a line.

Ireland: Ireland confirm qualification to the World Cup despite a 4-0 defeat at home at the hands of Canada. I'm not sure how when the team bottom of the group pull of a result like that, but i'm not going to complain.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Preston jump two places to 3rd with a 3-0 victory over English Shield winners Southend at Deepdale. James McCarthy, Michu and Adam Lallana were all on target in a dominant display, which was only soured by an injury to Matt Lowton which rules him out of the play-offs.

Finished 3rd twice before, once when there wasnt play-offs and I was promoted automatically, and then in Season 14 when all four play-off teams finished on 61 points. History dictates that the team which finishes 4th wins the play-offs, with the last team to gain promotion when not finishing 4th was Wycombe in Season 14, who finished 5th.

Congratulations to Chelsea and Norwich on their promotion. Hopefully I'll be following you into the top flight.

The last match of the regular season will be my 777th consecutive game in charge of Preston :eek:

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Congratulations to Chelsea and Norwich on their promotion. Hopefully I'll be following you into the top flight.

The last match of the regular season will be my 777th consecutive game in charge of Preston :eek:

Thanks mate, congrats Norwich on the championship... Unless you lose and I win next game. ;)

Well done mate, 777 games is alot! :);)

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

birmingham_100x100.pngBirmingham 2-1 West Brom4-west-bromwich-albion-678.gif

Sau 27', Immobile 54', Sahin 89'

St Andrews (29,980)

Saturday 21st December, 2013

3ym81.jpg

West Brom slump to defeat at Birmingham

West Brom tonight missed the opportunity to climb into the automatic promotion spots after they lost their Midlands derby clash with Birmingham City at St Andrews. Despite securing a play off spot in midweek it was Albion's chance to sneak into the automatic promotion spots going into the final game of the season on Christmas day. They trail 2nd places Rushden & Diamonds by 1 point as they too tonight lost to 1st placed Swindon Town, who secured their automatic promotion to division 2, 1 point in the final game will see them crown champions.

From the off Birmingham City were no doubt the better side, West Brom just couldn't get out of the blocks and it was no surprise for the 3,000 travelling West Brom fans when Sau put the ball in at their end for Birmingham on the 27th minute, home fans jubilant, away end quiet. There was just nothing on for Albion and shortly after the re start Immobile slotted home for City, putting them 2-0 ahead and the West Brom fans were left wondering what was happening to their side. Sahin pulled a goal back for the Baggies very late on but it meant nothing, another missed opportunity for Albion to seal the gap and go ahead of 2nd placed Rushden.

It is safe to say the final day, as anticipated, it set to be a very very exiciting finish. With 3 teams (Rushden & Diamonds, West Bromwich Albion and Rochdale) all still in the chase for the automatic promotion spots, just 2 points separating 2nd and 4th spot all 3 teams will still believe they are in with a chance to go up along with Swindon Town, if not, it will be the anxiously waited play-off spots for 2 of them. After tonights game at St Andrews Journal spoke to the media gathered outside his teams dressing room:

"Today has been a very off day from the side, it is key though that we are in a fresh state of mind for the season decider on Wednesday night because in a repeat of tonight, we will settle for the play-off spot without even challenging the teams around us for automatic promotion. Our opponents on Wednesday, Reading, lost tonight so they too aren't having the best of spells either, we hope we can take advantage of this especially with our tremendous home support that will no doubt back us anyway for the whole 90 minutes."

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Got a reality check last night on how hard this challenge may be as my Grimsby got beat 3-0 by a Swansea team who are in the bottom 4. Was always going to be hard given the difference in quality between the two teams, and it didn't help that Swansea won their last 3 games on the bounce.

Due to the lack of depth in the squad and current injuries, I had to put 20 year old Packwood at CB, which must of made the job a lot harder at the back against a strong Swansea attack. However, in total we only had one less shot than Swansea and we actually had 6 on target - compared to the 3 on target Swansea had. Annoying how every shot on target Swansea had went in, and all my chances didn't mean nothing, but I guess that's just football. So overall, despite us losing 3-0, the scoreline didn't really show the true picture if you believe in the stats.

Last game of the season is against already promoted Oxford, who will be going for that first spot. All I can play for is to try and not finish bottom place. On loan defender Ben Davies is injured, so his Grimsby career looks over. Paul Caddis is back for the last game, so I will be doing all I can to upset the odds and try to get a win to push us on for next season.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Got a reality check last night on how hard this challenge may be as my Grimsby got beat 3-0 by a Swansea team who are in the bottom 4. Was always going to be hard given the difference in quality between the two teams' date=' and it didn't help that Swansea won their last 3 games on the bounce.

Due to the lack of depth in the squad and current injuries, I had to put 20 year old Packwood at CB, which must of made the job a lot harder at the back against a strong Swansea attack. However, in total we only had one less shot than Swansea and we actually had 6 on target - compared to the 3 on target Swansea had. Annoying how every shot on target Swansea had went in, and all my chances didn't mean nothing, but I guess that's just football. So overall, despite us losing 3-0, the scoreline didn't really show the true picture if you believe in the stats.

Last game of the season is against already promoted Oxford, who will be going for that first spot. All I can play for is to try and not finish bottom place. On loan defender Ben Davies is injured, so his Grimsby career looks over. Paul Caddis is back for the last game, so I will be doing all I can to upset the odds and try to get a win to push us on for next season.[/quote']

Can I recall Davies? He may be fit for the play-offs.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

4-west-bromwich-albion-678.gifWest Brom v Reading62154-3100.png

Wednesday 25th December, 2013

The Hawthorns

2crtu2o.jpg

West Bromwich Albion: Turn 38 Preview

Christmas day is a big day for West Bromwich Albion fans, with the club still in contention to possibly gain automatic promotion to division 2 instead of going through the hassle of the play off spots, which they qualified for last week against Stoke City. If West Brom win against Reading at The Hawthorns and 2nd placed Rushden & Diamonds fail to win West Brom will gain automatic promotion. Rochdale could be also in with a late shout, if both Rushden and Albion fail to win and Dale their goal difference could take them into the automatic promotion spots, so its all to play for on the final day.

West Bromwich suffered their first defeat since the Journal take over on Saturday night, will this affect the teams mentality against Reading on Wednesday night? Will they bounce back even stronger with a win? Will their be many changes to the starting 11 despite the loss? How will it end? These are all the questions Journal answered late tonight, this is what he had to say to the varied questions:

"I gave my team today a day off training. I feel they looked tired on Saturday night, not that I am blaming this fully for the reason we lost but it could of played a part in our performance. I think this will help the squad a lot going into Monday mornings training session as it will make them more alert going into Wednesdays clash with Reading, coming to training tomorrow morning with fresh heads for the very crucial week that follows.

I've reiterated already of how much I don't want to unsettled my squad for the season finish, and we have reached our target yes to get into the play offs but with the opportunity to go up automatically I don't want to risk this, so no, unless needed, I will not be making any changes for the game on Wednesday night against Reading at The Hawthorns.

Its safe to say that for the neutrals the finish to the season will be great to watch but agonising for the supporters of West Brom, Rushden & Diamonds and Rochdale, who we cant forget in this race for automatic promotion who play already relegated Stoke City and have a superior goal difference to us and have 1 less than Rushden, but a big win would see them overtake Rushden if they fail to win.

Like I say we will focus on our game fully and blank out results elsewhere on Wednesday night, we need the win no matter what, whether it is to gain promotion or remain in the play off spots, going into the play offs of the back of a win will go down well with our squads confidence, which may not be at the highest after Saturday night, but I'm sure our squad can overcome the tough task of Reading. I would also like to congratulate Swindon Town on their promotion to division 2, and all they need is a point to be crowned as deserved champions on Wednesday night."

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Leicester City v Preston North End

Preston North End team news

Preston fans will be given the opportunity to wish Craig Bellamy one last farewell, as the Welsh international will captain the side on what will be his last ever appearance for Preston. Bellamy signed on a one year deal from Reading earlier in the season, however has been restricted to just one first team appearance due to injury and the form of other players.

Matt Lowton picked up an injury in the win against Southend, with either Angel Rangel or Nenad Tomovic expected to deputise. Jordan Henderson will miss the match through suspension, Leroy Fer is expected to partner James McCarthy in central midfield. Manager James Burrow has said he may give a few youngsters a run-out after the impressive showing against Blackpool in last weeks friendly, and true to his word, Saido Berahino, Jon Flanagan, Johannes Geis and Jon Williams have travelled with the squad.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

As a bit of an early Christmas present, I'm going to open up the Preston North End vaults ahead of my 777th consecutive game in charge.

newsquad.jpg

^Here is the oldest recorded image of my squad. Unfortunately I cannot get a date^

jovetic.jpg

^Stevan Jovetic when I signed him. He's still here, 336 appearances later^

EC106-Div134.jpg

^My ill-fated attempt at making a turn-by-turn graph^ You may notice Preston are near the bottom, I was relegated that year^

pneyouthsquad.jpg

^The Preston squad of the future. Aaron Ramsey and Leroy Fer would go on to leave before coming back (and in Ramsey's case, to leave again)^

squadnumberpage-1.jpg

^Yet another idea I pitched to SM, years later it still hasn't been implemented^

Prestonsquad-Jun09.jpg

^This squad does have a date on it, June 2009. It was not long after this that I sold Joe Hart. Oops!^

UpsonPNE.jpg

^An example of when I dabbled in graphic design for the now-extinct EC106 website^

ENGLANDSHORTLIST.jpg

^Finally, my "Capello-Index" from my time as England manager. I would look around every game which England players were playing and make a note of their match rating. I would then call up players with the highest average rating. It didnt work. (I did end up winning the World Cup last season with England)^

That's it from the history books, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I probably won't be on much tomorrow apart from quickly checking my scores, so good luck to everyone stil in the hunt for titles/promotion/play-offs!!

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