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Cook ‘desperate’ to lead the rebuilding of England side

Pilgrim's progress: the long journey north

Despite the appalling weather sweeping the country, a bunch of hardy Plymouth Argyle supporters made the 410-mile trip to Tyneside last night for the club's FA Cup third round replay with Newcastle United. One of those who made the trek, Mark Havard, shares his experience:

Lovenkrands hat-trick sees off Plymouth's limp challenge

Newcastle United 3 Plymouth Argyle 0

Business Diary: We were working from home – honest, boss

Orange knows what all last week's snowbound workers were doing: its customers sent an unprecedented 984,000 picture messages on their phones on Thursday alone – double the normal. Most showed people larking about in the snow.

League round-up: Moore the merrier as Albion respond to Di Matteo rant

On a day when most of the top six sides in the Championship faced teams in the relegation dogfight, West Bromwich Albion seemed least affected by any Boxing Day lassitude, beating Peterborough United 2-0 at the Hawthorns to cut Newcastle United's lead to eight points. Posh started well but Albion took control in the second half, and just after the hour Luke Moore's left-footed shot and Ryan Bennett's header into his own net set up West Brom's win. Posh slip to the bottom of the pile.

League round-up: Church attendance ensures the Royals make their point

Three Championship clubs removed their managers during the course of last week taking the season's cull to seven. None of them reaped the immediate benefit of a win, two had encouraging results, but at Hillsborough it was bad business as usual when Sheffield Wednesday, under caretaker Sean McAuley, lost 2-0 to Swansea City, midfielder Darren Pratley scoring after five and 36 minutes to move the Swans up to fifth. The Owls stay in the bottom three. "There is a fear and a lack of belief," McAuley said of his squad. "The ability is quite good but they are definitely not playing to their potential levels."

Neil Dougall: Versatile and creative Scottish international footballer

The Scottish international Neil Dougall was a jack of most footballing trades and a master of several as he helped Birmingham City and Plymouth Argyle to a trio of divisional titles in the decade and a half after the Second World War.

Mariner handed reins to try to keep Plymouth shipshape

The former England striker Paul Mariner has taken charge of football activities at Championship strugglers Plymouth Argyle following a management reshuffle.

Mariner takes over as Plymouth boss

Former England striker Paul Mariner has taken charge of football activities at Coca-Cola Championship strugglers Plymouth after they announced a reshuffle of their management team.

A Matter of Life and Death, By Ronni Ancona & Alistair McGowan

Comics are match of the day

Football League Fan Zone 19/10/2009

Every game – by the people who care most
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