Presenting the inside scoop on the latest Football League news

Team of the week: The Championship

A good weekend for the top teams amongst some outstanding performances in the Championship. Who was good enough for The72 team of the week? Find out here.

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Paul Robinson – Blackburn Rovers – Robinson’s return has come at a good time for Rovers as they pick up some form and it is likely to continue with Robinson immediately showing he is at his best. A difficult game against strugglers Doncaster was made easier with Robinson between the sticks. The former England number one calmed his defence and commanded his area with ease.
Ritchie de Laet – Leicester City – Going into the clash against Derby Nigel Pearson probably briefed his defenders to remain in shape and not to give Derby space to play. When Ritchie de Laet popped up with a superb solo effort to open the scoring midway through the first half that did not quite seem the case. The full back was at his best keeping the recently free flowing Derby attack stagnant. He did put through his own net, but this did not take the shine off of a great win and performance for both the Foxes and De Laet.
Emerson Boyce – Wigan Athletic – The Wigan vice-captain has been at the heart of their recent improved form, alongside Gary Caldwell he marshalled the defence and kept a recently dangerous Bournemouth side rather quite all game giving the wealth of attacking talent at club the chance to threaten. The 3-0 victory was the Lactic’s four consecutive clean sheet and has stretched their unbeaten run to six games.
Reda Johnson – Sheffield Wednesday – The Wednesday defender had one of those games that will live long in the memory on a personal level and for his club. The defender opened the scoring when he was picked out by Kieran Lee in the first half. His finished showed talents of a front man not a full back. He was on the charge all game down the left flank and caused the Leeds right back all sorts of problems, whilst keeping Kebe under his thumb. Johnson added an assist to his performance late on when his long ball found its way to Coalan Lavery who scored his first Championship goal for Wednesday.
Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City – Drinkwater has taken Championship midfields up and down the country by the horns in recent weeks winning the key battles in the middle of the field. He continued this on Friday night against one of the leagues best midfield units, Derby, featuring the pair of Will Hughes and Craig Bryson who have been grabbing the headlines of late. Drinkwater was industrious all game and set the Foxes on their way with a calming influence in the middle of the park. 
Kieran Lee – Sheffield Wednesday – Lee has plied his trade as a full back over the recent years, however Stuart Gray’s decision to switch Lee into the centre of the park has been a master-stroke. In the Yorkshire derby on Saturday Lee pulled the strings of the Wednesday team like a man who had been playing in the role since their youth. His ball into the box in the first half made it’s way to Reda Johnson who tucked it away. Lee was not done there, another great ball in was finished by Atdhe Nuhiu just before half time. His performance was as much about his work without the ball as it was with it. He won the fire fight in midfield which set up Wednesday to a magnificent victory.
António Semedo – Sheffield Wednesday –  The third representative from Sheffield Wednesday’s romp over Leeds in front of the Sky Sports’ cameras. Alongside Lee, Semedo was the engine room of the Wednesday side, never giving Austin and Mowatt of Leeds a seconds rest. His work rate and attitude has been a revelation under Stuart Gray and he was picking up all the second balls and was faultless in the tackle.
Mustapha Carayol – Middlesbrough – With the game looking like it was drawing to an uneventful, close enter stage right Mustapha Carayol. The Gambian lit the game up in the last ten minutes after coming on as a substitute in the second half. His first was a great solo effort when he cut in from the right side and bent his shot into the near corner of the goal . With time looking all but up Carayol added another, firing home from a Albert Adomah to add gloss to the victory. The win kept Middlesbrough’s great recent form going and heaped more misery on Paul Ince and Blackpool.
Niko Kranjcar – Queens Park Rangers – It is safe to say QPR have not been at the best in recent weeks and have been reliant on some moments of brilliance to get them some vital wins. Kranjcar has been improving as the season has gone on and got QPR going on Saturday after a slow start when he slotted the ball away to calm their nerves. He still has clear Premier League class and is going to be a vital member of the Rangers team as they seek a top two spot.
David Nugent – Leicester City – The goal scoring forward showed his intent from the off on Friday evening, playing with great energy and a physical presence to trouble the Derby back line. He was involved early on and dealt a swift one-two with De Laet as the full back opened the scoring. Early in the second half Nugent got his reward for his efforts by getting on the score sheet himself, when his shot cannoned into the Derby keeper, before ricocheting back off of Nugent into the empty net. He put the game past Derby with his 2nd and Leicester’s 3rd from the penalty spot just after the Rams had got back into the game.
Danny Ings – Burnley –  Transfer speculation is growing by the week around the young striker but he seems to be thriving in it. He scored again for the Clarets netting the opener in a far from easy game at Huish Park. Despite the signing of Ashley Barnes from Brighton, you have to think that it is essential that Burnley keep hold of their goalscoring machine if they have serious aspirations to gain automatic promotion.

Star man

Kieran Lee: A great tactical switch from Stuart Gray to employ Lee in a central birth. Was a metronome in the midfield and his deadly delivery assisted two of Wednesday’s six goals. David Nugent should be mentioned. A great workmanlike performance from the forward netting twice for his side and leading the line well. He was a close second.
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