Wayne Rooney remains confident he can turn things around at Birmingham despite his side’s latest defeat, 3-1 to Sunderland,meaning he has picked up just one point from a possible 15 since taking charge.
Birmingham battled back after conceding an early opener to their former player Jobe Bellingham, with Koji Miyoshi levelling towards the end of the first half. However, Sunderland were the better side for the majority of the game, and after Dion Sanderson’s own goal restored the home side’s lead, Adil Aouchiche made the game safe with a close-range finish 14 minutes from time.
“The opposition we’ve played have been very good teams,” said Rooney. “The first couple of games, I didn’t think we were good enough, but there was obviously a lot of information we were trying to get across to the players. It was a big change in what they’d been doing. If you look at the last three games, then as a team, I thought there were positives.
“I’ve seen improvements, but we obviously need to start improving the results, and I really believe we will. I think the international break will help … it’s a good opportunity for us now to really spend some time with the players.”
League One roundup: Portsmouth stay top despite late Charlton equaliser
Portsmouth, the League One leaders, were left frustrated as they were held to a late 2-2 draw by Charlton at Fratton Park.
Abu Kamara’s opener was cancelled out by Alfie May in the 71st minute before Colby Bishop converted from the penalty spot to give the hosts the lead for the second time. But Charlton struck in the third minute of added time through Conor McGrandles for a share of the spoils on the south coast.
Oxford moved within a point of Pompey with a narrow 3-2 win at Leyton Orient, while Bolton made it five wins in as many league games with a 1-0 home victory over Blackpool. The hosts prevented the Seasiders from registering a single shot on target before George Thomason scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute.
Three first-half goals for Fleetwood saw them cruise to a 3-0 victory at home to Exeter. Ryan Broom struck after six minutes before Phoenix Patterson’s corner found Brendan Wiredu, who doubled the lead. Patterson turned scorer to seal the win.
In the early kick-off, Peterborough strolled past rivals Cambridge with a 5-0 win. Ephron Mason-Clark and Kwame Poku both scored twice before Liam Bennett’s own goal added to Cambridge’s woes.
Reading‘s winless run extended to nine league games after Shrewsbury scored twice in added time to snatch all three points in a 3-2 victory over the Royals.
Jamie Reid’s goal in the 14th minute of first half added time was enough for Stevenage, who won 1-0 at Wycombe, while Derby‘s James Collins scored twice and Craig Forsyth got in on the act as the seventh-place Rams won 3-0 to Barnsley.
Ten-man Lincoln scored in added time to give themselves a late point from a 1-1 draw with Port Vale, who were also reduced to 10 men.
Cheltenham‘s Liam Sercombe scored from the penalty spot to confirm a 1-1 draw with Wigan as Northampton moved a point clear from the relegation zone after an important 2-0 victory over Burton.
Elsewhere, Samuel Lavelle’s own goal was enough to give Bristol Rovers a narrow 1-0 win against Carlisle. PA Media
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While Leicester suffered late defeat at Middlesbrough through a Sam Greenwood strike, Ipswich returned to winning ways and moved level on points with the leaders after coming from a goal down to beat Swansea 3-2.
Ipswich fell behind after just seven minutes when Jay Fulton’s header found the back of the net, but Jack Taylor’s long-range strike drew the teams level after 17 minutes, Conor Chaplin put them ahead five minutes later and George Hirst converted a second-half penalty. Swansea’s Liam Cullen was sent off after receiving a second yellow card midway through the second half but the visitors still managed to pull one back through Jamal Lowe.
Sam Greenwood’s late screamer rouses Middlesbrough as Leicester falterRead more
Leeds kept up the pressure on the top two with a 2-1 win over Plymouth at Elland Road. Dan James gave Leeds an early lead and Joël Piroe doubled the advantage in another dominant first-half home display against opponents who had clearly come to play on the break. Steven Schumacher’s side grew into the contest after half-time and claimed a late consolation through Ben Waine.
Adam Armstrong extended Southampton’s reputation for late goals as his 79th-minute winner clinched a 2-1 victory over promotion rivals West Brom. Will Smallbone had put Saints ahead early on before Kyle Bartley levelled the scores, with West Brom almost leading when Darnell Furlong hit the crossbar. But Armstrong coolly prodded in his ninth goal of the season to grab the league-high eighth goal Saints have scored in the last 15 minutes of their matches. It extended Southampton’s unbeaten run to eight matches while halting West Brom’s three-game winning streak.
League Two roundup: Leaders Stockport pull off comeback win over Swindon
Stockport, top of League Two, twice went behind before they scored late on through Odin Bailey and Callum Camps to confirm a 4-2 win over Swindon.
Tranmere broke their losing run of four when they beat fellow strugglers Forest Green 3-0 at Prenton Park. Tyrese Omotoye conceded an own goal to give the hosts the lead before Kristian Dennis and Rob Apter made it three, but Forest Green’s Dom Bernard saw red in the second half to round off a forgettable day on the road.
Crewe‘s Courtney Baker-Richardson netted a dramatic late penalty to confirm a 1-0 win over play-off rivals Notts County.
Wrexham‘s Ollie Palmer scored in the first minute in a 2-0 victory over Gillingham, while Mansfield made it four wins from four with a 2-1 win at Salford.
Dom Telford’s early goal was cancelled out before George Ray gave Barrow a 2-1 victory over Bradford and Crawley confirmed a 3-1 victory over Accrington courtesy of Danilo Orsi’s double.
Grimsby beat Morecambe 3-2 after they scored a quickfire double – in the 47th and 49th minutes – to claim their first win in five.
Ali Al Hamadi netted twice to give nine-man Wimbledon a 2-0 win over Doncaster as George Thomson gave Harrogate a 1-0 victory on the road at Walsall.
Elsewhere, Colchester were held to a 1-1 draw with Sutton as Newport and MK Dons drew 0-0. PA Media
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Norwich struck twice late on to come from behind and beat Cardiff 3-2, easing the pressure on their under-fire manager David Wagner. The Canaries silenced the Cardiff City Stadium crowd as Christian Fassnacht poked home his third goal of the campaign in the 22nd minute. Cardiff responded well and saw Josh Bowler equalise in the 39th minute before Callum Robinson headed them in front on 43 minutes. But Ryan Wintle’s own goal made it 2-2 in the 82nd minute before Adam Idah slotted home two minutes later as Norwich ended their six-game winless run in dramatic fashion.
Liam Delap’s stoppage-time goal consigned struggling Huddersfield to a 1-0 defeat at Hull. The visitors were resolute as Hull dominated possession, but were finally outsmarted when Delap thrashed home from a central position.
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QPR and Bristol City played out a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road. City defended well in their first match under Liam Manning in a solid but unspectacular start to his reign, while QPR’s Martí Cifuentes will take some encouragement from his team’s display in his first home game. But the west London side have now gone 11 matches without a win, continue to struggle to create clearcut chances and remain one off the bottom of the table, having won only once at home in more than a year.
Joe Edwards enjoyed an impressive start to life as Millwall manager as his side hammered Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 at Hillsborough. Goals from Murray Wallace, George Saville, Wes Harding and Brooke Norton-Cuffy gave the Lions a convincing victory in Edwards’ first game at the club, while Wednesday’s miserable Championship campaign continues.
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A resurgent Watford continued their march up the table, Mileta Rajovic’s double helping the hosts heap further misery on Rotherham in a 5-0 thumping at Vicarage Road. Valerien Ismael’s side endured a difficult start to the campaign, but are now six games unbeaten and eyeing the top half after their biggest victory of the season.
Despite just six places separating the two sides heading into the game, the gulf in class was evident throughout as Rajovic’s brace and second-half goals for Edo Kayembe, Tom Ince and Matheus Martins proved no more than the hosts’ domination deserved.
Coventry ended their run of four defeats with a 0-0 draw against Stoke.