Leeds could fill the sports pull outs on their own
Whether it is on the field or off it, Elland Road has had a lively weekend even by the clubs own dramatic standards. The big news from deadline day came from Leeds, but in the form of a manager sacking. Reports surfaced that the prospective owners headed up by Massimo Cellino had relieved Brain McDermott of his duties. This caused a riot on social media, so much so that by kick off in the derby game against Huddersfield the club released a statement revealing that McDermott was still very much in charge. What then transpired on the pitch completed one of those stories that seem suited to the West End theatre than the world of professional football. From the outset Leeds supporters showed their support for McDermott and the players acted in kind with arguably their performance of the season. A Ross McCormack hat-trick and goals from Jimmy Kebe and Alex Mowatt ended an eight game win-less run for Leeds as well as the bragging rights over rivals Huddersfield. Today seemed to be the return to normality with Brian McDermott reporting for training and addressing the media with class and further added to his reputation as one of the real gentleman of football.
Leicester are getting promotion and the title rapped up in double time
The Foxes are setting records, winning games and stretching the gap between themselves and the rest of the Championship. A ninth win in succession away at Bournemouth showed some grit and fight from the league leaders. The Cherries have been improving all season and are a tough test for any side at Dean Court, Leicester could certainly vouch for this. They spent long spells of the game without the ball, but importantly ensured that Bournemouth rarely got a shot at goal and if they did Kasper Schmeichel was a match for it. In true champions style the odds on favourites netted a winner with less than ten minutes to go through January signing Kevin Philips who has already showed his worth in just a few games at the club. With Queen Park Rangers and Burnley drawing with each other in the early kick off there was a real incentive for Leicester to get the win and they obliged. The Foxes are now ten points clear of second place QPR and a further three points clear of third placed Burnley.
Sheffield Wednesday are pulling out the big results
Stuart Gray has returned to management like a duck to water. It seemed as though his Wednesday side would be continuing their unbeaten run at home to Barnsley with a draw, not the ideal result but avoiding defeat would have been the aim. That was until some late, late drama at Hillsborough. Coming into the game it was a more important game for Barnsley as they looked to keep in touch with those just above the relegation zone, which includes opponents Wednesday. It did not start well for the visitors with new signing Emmanuel Frimpong taking an early bath following two bookings. The Owls failed to take advantage of the extra man and for a brief spell it was 10 v 10 when Jermaine Johnson was sent off for a reckless challenge. Barnsley had another sent off in added time when Jacob Mellis seemed to be competing with Johnson for worst tackle of the game. With a lengthy spell of added time the tension was growing and Wednesday showed that character needed to survive through Chris Maguire who drilled home to win a huge and feisty South Yorkshire derby.
Reading are on the charge
At the turn of the year Reading were lacking confidence and seemingly struggling to mount a serious claim for a play off spot. The Royals have shifted up through the gears throughout January and another impressive win over Millwall on Saturday suggests there is no sign of them stalling in the near future. A crushing 3-0 away win is a real marker for the rest of the season in a game that they controlled from the first whistle to the last. The strike pair of Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak have built a good partnership after just a few games on the pitch together in the Nigel Adkins era. Between them they have scored nine goals in the last four Championship games resulting in nine points out of a possible twelve. The new year has seen the Royals win all bar two of their six league games; drawing at home to Forest and losing away at Ipswich. To match the goalscoring plaudits the defence has been watertight with just five goals conceded in their last six league games. This great recent run has cemented sixth place for the Royals with a four point gap to Ipswich in seventh. They can also start to look up, just nine points separating them from QPR in second place.