EFL: More Covid-19 tests needed, a milestone win and a bittersweet hat-trick

Karl Robinson
Karl Robinson's Oxford United side next play at Gillingham next Saturday

Oxford United manager Karl Robinson has called for more Covid-19 testing for English Football League clubs after his side's match with Crewe Alexandra was called off less than an hour before kick-off.

The game was postponed after Crewe's Omar Beckles received a positive test result on Saturday morning.

Tests cost about £100 per person, a price which is prohibitive to some clubs who have little income as they are unable to play in front of supporters because of the rise in coronavirus cases.

This was just one of the stories you may have missed from the fourth weekend of the EFL season...

'Wealth seems to be going before health'

"I want to carry on playing, but the testing has to be correct for us to carry on playing," Robinson said.

It is not mandatory for EFL clubs to test staff, but Robinson wants football authorities to help pay for more testing in order to keep players safe.

"It seems to be that the wealth of certain organisations is going before the health of the players," he told BBC Radio Oxford.

"I can't sit here any more and protect people. The fluffy guidelines we that we get, the inconsistency we're getting with the testing protocols, the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) are doing absolutely nothing and not once contacted us.

"It might be nice if the PFA phoned us and actually came down and checked our protocols to make sure their players were safe, but that might be a little bit too much hard work for them," Robinson added.

Crewe's squad and coaching staff will all be tested on Sunday or Monday. Meanwhile, no new date has been confirmed for the match.

"We've either got the option of individually testing and making sure that clubs are, for want of a better word 'clean' going into every fixture, and every training session, or we have to take the complete opposite stance and acknowledge that it's going to be around and I don't think that's really acceptable for anyone," added Oxford captain John Mousinho.

"The funding is the problem, it's a real issue and where that's going to come from because the cost of testing is just astronomical."

Warnock wins his 1,500th game as a manager

Neil Warnock
Neil Warnock's first taste of management came with non-league Gainsborough Trinity in 1980

When Neil Warnock first took charge of a football match, Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, Argentina were holders of the World Cup (for the first time) and Moscow had just hosted the Olympics.

Fast forward four decades, 16 clubs and 18 different stints as a boss and the 71-year-old Yorkshireman has taken charge of his 1,500th game - and came away with three points.

The Middlesbrough manager guided his side to a 2-1 victory over Barnsley - their first win of the season and first at the Riverside Stadium since 26 December last year.

It moved Boro up to 10th in the Championship after four games as Warnock tries to spread the stardust that has seen him get the likes of Cardiff, Sheffield United, Notts County and QPR promoted to the top flight.

It was also a return to the dugout for Warnock after a positive test for coronavirus.

"It's not the same watching on the internet. I need to be able to quietly and softly cajole my players, don't I?" he joked with BBC Radio Tees after the win.

"We have played well all season, but we gave silly goals away. It was nice today, even though we gave the penalty away I thought we deserved it today, we should have scored more goals.

"Some of the quality of the football was good today and to get that win off your back is so important with two weeks' international break."

Harness hat-trick downs old club Burton

You have to go back to New Year's Day for the last hat-trick in League One, scored by Coventry striker Matt Godden in a 4-1 triumph over Tranmere.

Portsmouth's Marcus Harness ended that run on Saturday at his old club Burton, as Pompey came from behind for their first league victory of the season.

Midfielder Harness only scored six goals in 83 games for the Brewers but it was strangely inevitable that he would run riot on his first return to the Pirelli Stadium as an opposing player.

However, he showed some sympathy for his former employers after claiming the match ball.

"It's bittersweet obviously, but I'm over the moon," Harness told BBC Radio Solent.

"I've been looking forward to coming back - and it's been nice to see some old faces - but it's always nice to score goals so it's just what I've got to do, I guess, and I'm happy to do it."

Pressure builds on Lamouchi after another defeat

Sabri Lamouchi
Sabri Lamouchi's Forest side have scored just one goal in four Championship matches this season

Nottingham Forest have had a nightmare start to the season - played five, lost five is their record in all competitions.

Forest's Championship rivals Wycombe and League Two side Grimsby are the only other sides who have failed to win a point this season - and the Mariners have only played twice because of positive coronavirus tests.

But Forest fans have to think back to 1 July for their last victory - a 1-0 win over Bristol City.

It is a run of 11 games without a win in all competitions - a record that hurts even more as their 4-1 final-day loss at home to Stoke City saw then pushed out of the final play-off place on goal difference last season after Swansea won by the same margin at Reading.

There has been an overhaul of the squad this summer - 12 new first-team players have come in, while 11 have left.

Their latest loss was against the team they last beat - and Forest can look at positives as Bristol City goalkeeper Dan Bentley pulled off some excellent saves in the second half as they tried in vain to turn around a 2-1 deficit.

But Lamouchi was not impressed.

"It's just unacceptable to start to play in the second half," he told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"We should play the whole game like that, we should start minute one with the same spirit as the second half.

"It was easy for them to play against us, to score, and for us this is not professional, we need to wake up and understand that everyone needs to take responsibility."

Asked if he would still be the manager when Forest next take to the field in two weeks' time at Blackburn, Lamouchi replied: "This is a good question, but I don't have the answer."

Wanderers finally get off the mark

Eoin Doyle
Last season's League Two top scorer Eoin Doyle celebrates his first of the campaign in the 2-1 win at Harrogate

Before today you had to go back to 1 February for Bolton's last win in any competition.

Wanderers were relegated to League Two at the end of last season but were tipped to bounce straight back up.

However, they opened this campaign with a run of five straight defeats in all competitions and lost their first three league games without scoring a single goal.

They ended their 13-match wait for a win with a 2-1 success at Harrogate on Saturday.

They weren't the only team who normally play in white to finally get their season up and running this weekend.

In the Championship, Derby County, wearing their third-choice pink kit to raise money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Now charity, picked up a 1-0 win at Norwich and Tranmere recorded a 2-0 victory at home to Scunthorpe in League Two.

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