Round-up: Lacklustre Leicester show Levein the task ahead

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Although Craig Levein will not be taking charge of Leicester City until tomorrow morning, the Foxes' new team manager was given some idea of the task confronting him when they drew their fifth consecutive match, 0-0 with lowly Cardiff City, in the Championship at Ninian Park.

Although Craig Levein will not be taking charge of Leicester City until tomorrow morning, the Foxes' new team manager was given some idea of the task confronting him when they drew their fifth consecutive match, 0-0 with lowly Cardiff City, in the Championship at Ninian Park.

The Welsh side, struggling two points above the bottom three, struck the woodwork three times - Gary O'Neil was denied twice - as they fashioned the better chances.

"The new manager watched the game," acting Leicester manager Dave Bassett said. "Whether he will be content with the present squad or feel he has to make changes will be left to him."

Levein already has some ideas. "I look at the team and we have some experienced players. It's glaringly obvious that the club lack some younger players, preferably homegrown younger players. That's something in time we hope to rectify."

Perhaps Ipswich Town will be his model. Their 3-0 defeat of Preston North End at Portman Road, Shefki Kuqi, Tommy Miller and Darren Bent on target, lifted Joe Royle's side into the automatic promotion places.

"Our team is evolving all the time," Royle pointed out. "It is a different side from two years ago and everyone has played a part, the free transfer men and those who have come up from the youth scheme." And tactics? "We work all week trying to get our midfield players forward. That's why we have such a spread of scorers."

Sunderland moved up to fifth thanks to a 2-0 win over Brighton at the Stadium of Light, goals from Julio Arca, two yards out, and Liam Lawrence from a penalty after he had been fouled earning the points. "After an indifferent start we are now on par with last season," Sunderland's manager, Mick McCarthy, said. "Who knows, we might go one better this time."

In the other play-off places, West Ham United's poor away form - they have not won in five away games - saw them let slip a lead at Plymouth Argyle. In the 44th minute, the Hammers captain, Steve Lomas, headed them into the lead, but Argyle's captain, Paul Wotton, a second-half substitute, scored from a free-kick. It stayed 1-1. West Ham slip to sixth.

Just outside the play-offs, Stoke City earned their first win in eight games when substitute Chris Greenacre's first goal of the season was enough to beat Millwall 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium, while Watford moved above the Lions after two headed goals by Heidar Helguson set up a 2-1 win at relegation candidates Nottingham Forest.

Bottom-of-the-table Rotherham are still without a League win this term after they threw away a two-goal lead at Derby County and lost 3-2. In the eighth minute Chris Swailes headed in a Paul McLaren corner and Rob Scott added the Millers' second before Grzegorz Rasiak got one back for Derby. In the second half, goals by Paul Peschisolido and Jamie Vincent, his first since arriving from Cheltenham, completed the Rams' raid.

It looked bleak for struggling Gillingham when Ian Cox was sent off in the 12th minute against Wolves at the Priestfield Stadium after he pulled down Kevin Cooper. But Matt Jarvis fired home for the Kent side six minutes later and a poor Wolves could not break them down. It stayed 1-0.

Luton Town, top of League One, had lost three consecutive matches but opened up a six-point lead when they beat Bradford City 4-0. Wrexham, threatened with extinction, drew what could be their last league game 2-2 with Hull.

Comments