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Football | English Championship

Leonid Slutsky © Gallo Images

Sheffield destroy Hull, Wolves win



Former Russia coach Leonid Slutsky's hold on his job at Hull City looks to be in danger after four goals from Leon Clarke gave Sheffield United a 4-1 win over his side in the Championship on Saturday.

Slutsky admitted earlier in the week he would accept the sack if it came and his side slipped to fifth from bottom after their third successive defeat. They are just four points above the drop zone.

Clarke's second-half scoring spree lifted Sheffield United up into second place two points off leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers, who comfortably beat Fulham 2-0 on Friday.

Slutsky said his players lacked mental strength when they concede a goal and he was scratching his head to come up with an answer to resolve it.

"I don't have the answer why," said the 46-year-old Russian, who resigned as coach of his country after they failed to get past the first round at Euro 2016.

"It's my job, I agree. It's not a question about somebody, it's about me.

"It is a very difficult time for me and of course I am worried. Now I have a lot of questions in my head and I don't have the answers. I will find the answers."

United manager Chris Wilder praised not only 32-year-old Clarke but also his other players for showing a steely determination to come back from 1-0 down.

"Leon (Clarke) was outstanding and he has been. His performance was first-class," said Wilder.

"The belief the players had in themselves and each other was outstanding and it was a fully deserved result."

Earlier on Saturday Cardiff City had missed out on reducing Wolves' lead to just a point as they went down 2-1 away at in-form Bristol City in a match they finished with 10 men.

Two of the chasing pack suffered surprise defeats, as Derby County's seven-match unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt halt in a 4-2 home defeat to last season's beaten play-off finalists Reading.

"We didn't start great. We didn't get close enough," Derby manager Gary Rowett bluntly told the BBC.

"I'm not going to make excuses, it just wasn't good enough."

Aston Villa have bounced back after a terrible start that placed question marks over manager Steve Bruce's future but they too suffered a reverse, losing 2-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Even worse for Villa was the sight of two of their experienced players, John Terry and Scotland international Robert Snodgrass, going off injured in the first half.

The club revealed later that Terry may have suffered a broken metatarsal.

"I took a gamble on Robert Snodgrass, but you could see he was in discomfort from some bruised ribs," Bruce told the BBC.

"We think John Terry's injury is a broken metatarsal and he's in hospital now having the scans. It doesn't look so good at the minute."

After being relegated from the Premier League last season, Sunderland now face a fight to stay in the second tier.

The Black Cats are bottom after Bolton Wanderers, who have been operating on a shoestring budget due to severe financial problems, climbed above them with a fine 2-1 win at home to Norwich City.

However, crisis-ridden Sunderland, who sacked manager Simon Grayson in midweek, could climb out of the bottom three if they beat neighbours Middlesbrough on Sunday.



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