Round-up: Warnock rejects rumours of 'big-name' QPR replacement

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The Independent Football

Neil Warnock has moved to end talk linking him with a move away from newly-promoted Queen's Park Rangers, following speculation that the club's directors were poised to appoint a big-name replacement.

"I want to reiterate to our supporters that, having spoken to the board at QPR – Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Amit Bhatia – in the last few days, they have assured me that my future is not in any doubt whatsoever," said the QPR manager. "They're looking forward to helping me acquire the players to make next season just as successful as the one we've just enjoyed."

Claudio Ranieri and Marcelo Lippi were rumoured as potential targets but this statement appears to confirm that Warnock will remain for the start of the Premier League in August.

One of this season's Championship managers who did depart last night was Barnsley's Mark Robins, who resigned after disagreements with the board over next season's playing budget.

In yesterday's play-off action, MK Dons struck three times in nine minutes to secure a 3-2 win over Peterborough in the first leg of the League One semi-final at Stadium MK.

Craig Mackail-Smith opened the scoring for Peterborough, tapping in his 33rd goal of the season, before the home side rallied early in the second half with strikes from Daniel Powell, Sam Baldock and Angelo Balanta.

The visitors' Charlie Lee was then dismissed for a second bookable offence but Peterborough were handed a lifeline late on when Stephen Gleeson was controversially adjudged to have tripped Mark Little inside the box. The Dons midfielder received a red card and Chris McCann scored the resulting penalty.

Following League One's other semi-final play-off on Saturday, Huddersfield manager Lee Clark has praised his goalkeeper Ian Bennett after the 39-year-old saved both Danny Ings' penalty and Steve Lovell's follow-up effort. "My goalkeeper has been a phenomenon – he has been a calming influence all season," Clark said. Kevin Kilbane, had opened the scoring for Huddersfield at Dean Court before Bournemouth's Donal McDermott made it 1-1.

The Torquay manager Paul Buckle was delighted after the Gulls beat Shrewsbury 2-0 in the first leg of their League Two semi-final play-off on Saturday. "I am immensely proud. It was an outstanding performance – but we could have won by more." Chris Zebroski and Eunan O'Kane struck for the home side.

In last night's League Two play-off semi-final encounter, two first-half goals ensured a 2-0 win for Stevenage at home to Accrington Stanley. Goals from Stacy Long and former Accrington player Joel Byrom gave the hosts some breathing room before a tense second half in which both teams missed good chances.