EFL: Harry Redknapp's departure among five things you may have missed

By Owen Phillips & Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Harry Redknapp
Birmingham City won four of Harry Redknapp's 13 games in charge in all competitions

A trio of managerial departures and a three-year wait for a goal are just some of the standout stories from an action-packed Saturday in the English Football League.

On a day when two former Premier League stars also went head-to-head in the dugout, BBC Sport takes you through five things you might have missed...

Thanks for your hard work...

It was a busy day at board level in the EFL on Saturday, with P45s up for discussion, contracts being closely scrutinised and three under-pressure bosses ultimately paying the price for dismal starts to the season.

We are only a few weeks in but strugglers Birmingham City, who last season sacked Gary Rowett with the Blues on the verge of a play-off place, started the ball rolling by making Harry Redknapp the first Championship managerial departure of the season after a run of six straight defeats.

Two more went in League Two, with Chesterfield's Gary Caldwell the first to be sacked. The 35-year-old Scot lasted longer than Redknapp's five months in charge, but that's not saying much because his reign was only for eight months.

And completing the trio was Michael Brown. The combative former Tottenham and Sheffield United midfielder, 40, is now seeking new employment after losing his job as Port Vale boss.

If you are a losing manager in the EFL, this weekend, it might be best to turn your phone off.

Kewell and the top-flight League Two gang

Liverpool's 2005 Champions League winning starting line-up
Harry Kewell (top right) played 23 minutes against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final before going off injured

When Harry Kewell was part of the Liverpool side that won the Champions League in 2005, Crawley Town had just finished in their then-highest position in the football pyramid, reaching the heady heights of 12th in their first season in the top level of non-league football.

Now boss of Crawley, Kewell's managerial adversary on Saturday was another thirty-something with an impressive playing pedigree.

It's fair to say that former Bolton, Newcastle and West Ham midfielder Kevin Nolan has also enjoyed more glamorous days at work.

But Nolan is enjoying his time in League Two and had the upper hand when Notts County and Crawley met, the Magpies earning a fourth successive win thanks to Jorge Grant's strike.

The 35-year-old, who is still registered as a player, has managed more than 100 goals during his career, most of them as a Premier League player. The magic seems to be rubbing off at Meadow Lane.

Harry Kewell (left) and Kevin Nolan
Harry Kewell (left) and Kevin Nolan - 2017
Harry Kewell (left) and Kevin Nolan
Kewell and Nolan, the 2009 version

Kewell's side are not having the greatest of times, lying 20th in the table with just two wins. But at least the Australian is still in a job.

The same cannot be said of Caldwell and Brown, but there are still plenty of former top-flight players plying their trade as bosses in League Two.

Shaun Derry, Keith Curle, John McGreal and Mark Robins are all still keeping Kewell and Nolan company.

Hats off to long-serving Grecians boss

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale, the Football League's longest-serving manager, was appointed in June 2006

Eleven months ago Exeter City fans were far from happy. Bottom of the Football League, they had only won two games at home all year and the Exeter City Supporters' Trust - which owns the club - voted to serve notice on manager Paul Tisdale's contract.

Fast forward 329 days and the Grecians could not be in a more different position. Seven wins and a draw from eight sees them three points clear at the top of League Two.

It's their best-ever start to a season and comes off the back of an excellent finish to the last campaign, when Tisdale's side lost just six times between the middle of November and the end of the season as they reached the play-off final at Wembley.

New record signing Jayden Stockley, who reportedly cost £100,000 from Aberdeen, grabbed his second goal in as many games on Saturday as Crewe were brushed aside 3-0 to keep promotion hopes well and truly on course at St James Park.

Exeter say they are close to agreeing a new deal with Tisdale. Perhaps the EFL's longest-serving manager will be going back to his paymasters - the club's fans - and asking for an even better deal if this run carries on.

After all, following Leeds United's loss against Millwall, only Exeter and Shrewsbury remain undefeated in the EFL.

Worth the wait for Warnock

Stephen Warnock
Former England defender Stephen Warnock now has 19 career goals from a 15-year career totalling more than 500 appearances

If sixty seconds is a long time in football then three years is practically an ice age.

Stephen Warnock's long wait for a goal is finally over though, the 35-year-old Burton Albion left-back grabbing the opener in their 2-1 win over Fulham.

The former England defender's last goal came in August 2014, the winner as Leeds United won 1-0 against Bolton.

Since then Warnock had made 99 scoreless appearances for Leeds, Derby County, Wigan and Burton before ending his drought against the Londoners.

There must be something in the Championship air. Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse was also on target on Saturday, his first goal since April 2015. It's just the second time he has netted in 176 appearances for the Tractor Boys.

A delayed meeting for EFL's basement boys

Christian Doidge scores for Forest Green against Port Vale
Christian Doidge's equaliser against Port Vale was just Forest Green's 10th goal in the EFL

Forest Green might only be 13 years younger than Port Vale, who were founded in 1876, but until today their league paths had never crossed.

Vale - one of EFL's oldest clubs - have never dropped out of the top four divisions, while until this season the Gloucestershire village of Nailsworth had never hosted league football.

Despite their different pasts, their present was very much the same as they occupied the League Two relegation places going into Saturday's eighth round of matches.

So it was perhaps no surprise that they ended their first-ever league encounter in a 1-1 draw at Vale Park.

The result cost Vale boss Michael Brown his job, with the Potteries side sitting at the very bottom of the EFL.

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