Some real shocks this weekend in the Championship with all of the bottom five that played picking up maximum points and just two of the top twelve claiming victories. Find out who made the team of the week here.
In goal this week is Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele. The former Peterborough man was in outstanding form between the sticks to help Barnsley pick up a shock victory over promotion chasing Nottingham Forest. He was forced to make a number of saves and coped admirably, claiming a well deserved clean sheet to go alongside the three points.
The defence this week is made up of Brighton’s Matt Upson, Millwall’s Shane Lowry and Bournemouth’s Tommy Elphick. Upson has featured in the team of the week on several occasions this season and in a scrappy game at the Amex he stood strong especially when defender Gordan Greer was sent off early on in the second half. Millwall were the coupon buster on Saturday as they managed an against the odds win at Derby. Lowry was at his best in the Lions defence as they held on for long periods of the game after taking the lead just before the interval to record Millwall’s first win in eight games. Bournemouth managed back to back clean sheets for the first time all season and can thank Elphick for ensuring they achieved this feat at Blackpool. The skipper was strong in the tackle and marshalled his troops alongside fellow ex-Brighton man Steve Cook. The pair have rekindled the great partnership they built to help the Cherries gain promotion last year.
A very creative midfield four this week consistenting of Doncaster’s David Cotterill, Bolton’s Mark Davies, Q.P.R’s Ravel Morrison and Barnsley’s Dale Jennings. Doncaster provided the second shock of the weeked responding to their 5-0 defeat at Bournemouth last week by beating Huddersfield 2-0, who themselves ran out 5-0 winners last weekend. Cotterill was at it from the off for Rovers providing a dynamic and creative threat that caused Huddersfield all sorts of problems. He rounded off his display by netting the second goal of the game when he slotted home a Mark Duffy Cross. Davies has not featured much for Bolton this season, but showed what Dougie Freedman had been missing yesterday with a great display of central midfield play. After winning 4-0 against Blackburn last week, the Trotters ran out 5-1 winners at Elland Road with Davies netting the fourth with a calm header. Ravel Morrison is definitely a Premier League player and proved that in one of the performances of the season at Birmingham. His brace was more than enough to cruise past Birmingham with a exquisite free kick followed by a simple finish to end the game as a contest. Morrison is a real starl for the future, so much so that Blues boss Lee Clark described him as “the best since Gazza”. Hefty praise to live up to, but hopefully he does not follow the off-field antics that marred Gascoigne’s exceptional raw footballing talent. Jennings will always be remembered as the man that went from Tranmere to Bayern Munich and then to Barnsley without playing a game. You can not doubt his talent though. From the off you could see he was something special. A solo run and blistering shot stung the hands of Darlow in the Forest goal. In the second half he went one better with an almost identical run finishing with the ball rifling into Darlow’s net.
Another front three in the team of the week, who this weekend netted five goals collectively. Ishmael Miller is on a one man mission to fire Yeovil out of the relegation zone. A brace against Sheffield Wednesday either side of half time claimed the points and stretched their unbeaten run to five games. Miller now has seven league goals for Yeovil since joining on loan in November. Lukas Jutkiewicz is arguably the Championship’s in form player. The striker netted again for Bolton against Leeds in their demolition of the Yorkshire side. Jutkiewicz has four goals and two assists in his last five games. We almost made it through a team of the week without a football cliché but this one is too hard to resist. Prior to Middlesbrough’s game against Ipswich yesterday Danny Graham had scored just once in fourteen months and Boro had not scored for twelve hours of football. Just like buses Graham netted twice in the first half on Saturday in the space of sixteen minutes with a poacher’s goal to open the scoring and a neat header on half time.
The star man in this week’s team is Barnsley’s Dale Jennings. The 21 year old has had an eventful few years but hopefully can lock down a first team space and show everyone what he can offer. If yesterday’s performance is anything to go by there may be sides sniffing around for him in the summer, but for now he is focussed on helping Barnsley achieve another great escape. Barnsley needed something special to kick start the final few months of their season and Jennings’ winner could be just the tonic they were looking for.