Championship round-up

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The Independent Football

Plymouth Argyle 0 Burnley 0

Burnley denied Sheffield Wednesday permission to speak to their manager, Steve Cotterill, about the Hillsborough vacancy, but it was goalkeeper Brian Jensen whose saves earned a hard-won point and kept the Clarets' unbeaten away record intact, lifting them into fourth place. "Even if it had been an approach from Real Madrid, what I would have done is try to concentrate on the game, because that was the next thing in hand," Cotterill said. But if Real lose to Barcelona today, who knows?

Sheffield Wed 3 QPR 2

Steve MacLean's late penalty winner for Wednesday, after two goals by Rangers' Dexter Blackstock had cancelled out Marcus Tudgay's early double strike for the Owls and level at 2-2, did little to quieten the barracking aimed at chairman Dave Allen, who sacked Paul Sturrock last week. "I think they [Wednesday's players] have been selling their previous manager short if they can put in that sort of performance," QPR manager John Gregory said. "Paul Sturrock must feel a bit aggrieved because today those boys gave everything for the cause."

Southampton 1 Stoke City 0

Stung by three consecutive defeats, the Saints revived to beat Stoke thanks to Czech midfielder Mario Licka's 25-yard drive. "He is a player with terrific potential and hopefully scoring a goal like that will give him the confidence to express it," George Burley, the Southampton manager, said. "We have not been playing badly but it was important to get a win and get the confidence back up." Stoke boss Tony Pulis was disappointed with the Potters' finishing. "We have to start being more clinical in the final third," he said.

Southend Utd 1 Ipswich 3

Billy Clarke, Ipswich's 18-year-old substitute, scored their first goal on the half-hour and then two more in the first five minutes of the second half by Sylvain Legwinski and Alan Lee settled things. Jim Magilton sang Clarke's praises. "He is going to be a special player. We normally like to put him on after an hour but he is desperate to play and desperate to score goals." Steve Tilson's side scored a late consolation through Simon Francis. "We didn't play well enough and we didn't pass the ball well enough," Tilson said. "We gave the ball away too often."

Sunderland 2 Barnsley 0

Defeats at Stoke and Preston had Sunderland manager Roy Keane expressing concerns over inept defending, but a clean sheet and goals in the final 10 minutes by Dean Whitehead, after good work by Nyron Nosworthy, and Chris Brown, a downward header from Ross Wallace's cross, earned them the three points. "A lot of great teams win games in the last few minutes," Keane said. "We are not there yet. We must be patient and have to keep going. If you have not got perseverance you won't get anywhere."

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