With a full set of Championship fixtures the72 midweek XI has taken shape. Who made the cut? Find out below.
Jack Butland – Barnsley – The talented English keeper has been picking the ball out of his net far more times than he would have liked in the opening 18 games of the season, but he will not mind conceding the odd one if his side get a win like they did on Tuesday away at in form Brighton. He will be especially pleased with his evening shift as he made several vital saves to deny Brighton a way back to level terms, the best save being an effort which he tipped onto the bar from Craig Conway early on in the game.
Casper Gorkss – Reading – After popping up with a rare goal for the Royals to help them win at promotion rivals Forest on Friday, Gorkss returned to his task of being a comanding prescence at the back for Reading in a far from stress free 1-0 win at home to out of sorts Charlton. After taking the lead through a Billy Sharp goal Reading should have been able to control the game and close it out, but Charlton pressed well and forced Gorkss and his fellow defenders to battle till the end to secure the three points.
Jason Pearce – Leeds United – The centre back is establishing himself as one of the leagues best defenders with consistent displays week after week and he showed that again against Wigan who failed to really test Paddy Kenny thanks to excellent work from Pearce and co. He also continued to show his presence at the other end nodding the assist for McCormack’s first of the evening.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto – QPR – The full back has been dealt his fair share of criticism in his years at Tottenham for his gung-ho mentality and a general disregard for his defensive responsibilities. His display against Bournemouth however was a model performance as he kept the Bournemouth danger man Matt Ritchie very quite all game. Going forward he supported Hoilett well and the left side was formidable for Rangers as they eased to a 3-0 win.
John Lundstrum – Yeovil Town – It would have been no surprise if Yeovil had fallen badly at home to Blackpool following there heroic victory away at Watford. You forget though that the Somerset side do not like to follow the script. Lundstrum showed his class throughout on Tuesday evening under the lights at Huish Park and earned his side successive wins for the first time at the level and sees them on the cusp of breaking out of the bottom three. The Everton loanee’s goal from close range midway through the first half was the difference as Blackpool saw red three times in the final five minutes.
Craig Bryson – Derby County – The appointment of Steve McClaren has sparked a revolution at Derby who are finally getting the results that their brand of aesthetic football deserved and Craig Bryson has been at the centre of it. The box to box midfielder’s low cross was met by the on rushing Chris Martin who squeezed the ball home to give County a first half lead. The Scot has made a great start to the season and now has seven assists to complement his goal tally of seven making him one of the best attacking minded midfielders in the Championship.
Oliver Norwood – Huddersfield Town – The Burnley born midfielder has made a great start to his second season at Huddersfield and bagged the winner for Town as they came out 1-0 victors in a big game away at Bolton. The Manchester United academy graduate is becoming hot property in the Championship with four league goals from midfield already this season, with two in two games and a handful of assists.
Junior Hoilett – QPR – The pacey winger was at his direct best in Rangers 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Loftus Road. A combination of teasing crosses and lethal shots caused problems all evening. Hoilett got his reward when he slotted home from 12 yards to all but secure the game for his side. With Hoilett in this sort of form defences will have to consider double marking him as his pace and power can take the game away from any side at this level.
Ross McCormack – Leeds United – It may be a new month but Ross McCormack is still in the mood for scoring and after failing to find the net at the weekend he came back with a bang on Wednesday evening. A brace for the Scotsman at home to Wigan was more than enough to help Leeds climb to 7th in the Championship table and heap more misery on manager less Wigan. McCormack has now netted nine goals in his last six games.
Connor Wickham – Sheffield Wednesday – Football is a funny old game. Before Wednesday’s match against Leicester they had only won once all season and loanee Wickham had only netted two goals. Both of those statistics were doubled over the 90 minutes as Wickham led his side to a much needed victory. The Championship is a harsh learning ground and it spits out many who are not at the level to perform. Wickham however, seems to have found his feet and could be the goal scorer that resurrects Wednesday’s woeful start to the season.
Charlie Austin – QPR – Clinical, efficient and ruthless sum up the performance of Austin against table sliders Bournemouth. Early on QPR were starved of chances as the Bournemouth defence came to battle hard and not give an inch. It only takes one mistake though for someone of Austin’s pedigree to seize his chance and boy did he prove it. With ease he slipped round the Bournemouth centre back and slotted past the on rushing Lee Camp to stun any major hopes Bournemouth had of getting a win. Far from his barnstorming best but Austin did what he is paid to do and helped Rangers climb back into the top two at the expense of Burnley.