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Saturday, 19 April 2014, 15:00

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Saturday, 12 April 2014, 15:07

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Andy's FL72 Review

Clough out, McClaren in at Derby

Last Updated: 06/10/13 at 15:26 Post Comment

Clough: axed by Derby after defeat to Nottingham Forest

Clough: axed by Derby after defeat to Nottingham Forest

ANDY SAYS: After four-and-a-half years in charge for Nigel Clough, I think it would have been all about the play-offs and the owners have seen enough in nine games to think they are off the pace and probably thought: 'Why are we not up there with Burnley who have had a fantastic start to the season?', so they have made the change. Derby put in a fantastic performance to win 5-1 at Millwall a few weeks ago, but I think the home form had a lot to do with Nigel's departure as they were perhaps not producing what they were capable of at Pride Park. Steve McClaren is a safe pair of hands and a very good coach, but I don't think there will be money to spend, so he will have to work with the young players like Will Hughes and Mason Bennett just like Nigel did. I think Derby will find it tough to make the top six as I reckon there are other sides with a bit more quality but the owners believe this change will make the difference.

Championship pacesetters QPR and Burnley

ANDY SAYS: It's all about promotion for QPR with the players that they've got and they need to get the job done like Cardiff and Hull did last season; those two teams were very strong defensively and QPR - who have seven clean sheets in nine games - are trying to be the same. Burnley, though, have a little-and-large strike partnership of Danny Ings and Sam Vokes who have 16 goals between them so far; they are both instinctive and can finish chances but whereas Vokes is a target man and solid in the air, Ings buzzes around and drops off into the pockets and creates as well as scores. Those two have responded really well with Charlie Austin leaving the club but Burnley's season may well depend on keeping them fit.

Leyton Orient's draw with Walsall

ANDY SAYS: Walsall were 1-0 down and a man down at a side with a 100 per cent record so showed tremendous character to come back; Dean Smith will be delighted and I think his team are dark horses for a play-off place. Orient, though, now have eight wins and draw and that is special for a team with not the biggest squad, while Preston are riding high with five wins in a row and three clean sheets in that time. However, at the other end, the Iain Hume-Kevin Davies partnership is really developing and their willingness, application and desire to get their club promoted is clear. Bradford, meanwhile, have real resilience and are threatening to get promoted for the second year in a row, with their strike partnership of James Hanson and Nahki Wells so important.

League Two stories

ANDY SAYS: Mansfield were under the cosh and rode their luck but to come away with a 1-0 win against a Chesterfield side that are really in form was outstanding. Both of League Two's newly-promoted teams, Mansfield and Newport, are in the top eight and have real confidence at the moment as they are used to winning games. Exeter are up to sixth after beating Fleetwood and have a real chance of getting promoted under Paul Tisdale, whose masterstroke to put Scott Bennett up front at the weekend paid off with the defender scoring two very good goals. Plus, Oxford showed great character after losing at home to Chesterfield to beat Hartlepool 3-1 and get a brilliant away victory.

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e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

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