The Championship returned with a bang yesterday. Goals, controversy and some absolute magical football. Who made The72 team of the week? Find out here.
David Forde – Millwall – It was always going to be a busy day for the Millwall defence as they hosted fellow strugglers Barnsley, but with experience head David Forde between the sticks it looked like it was always going to be the Lions day and they secured their first win in seven when Scott Wiseman headed into his own net.
Chris Gunter – Reading – The Welsh international has been playing some of the best football of his career so far this season and was a threat going forward whilst a solid part of the Royals back line which never looked threatened. Gunter rightly thought he had earned his side a penalty when he was brought down by Grant Hanley, however referee Geoff Eltringham was unmoved and the game finished 0-0.
Marius Žaliūkas – Leeds United – Despite playing over half the game against ten men Leeds were put under a lot of pressure by Middlesborough. Žaliūkas, a Lithuanian international, was in control at the heart of the Leeds defence alongside Jason Pearce. When Leeds regained the lead through a Pearce header the pair kept Boro at bay to earn United a 4th consecutive win and a place in the top six.
Emerson Boyce – Wigan Athletic – The Lactics were put on the back foot for most of the game by an improving Brighton side who left the DW with a 1-0. The scoreline could have been much worse if it hadn’t been for the determination of Boyce. The fans favourite put his body on the line to keep Wigan in the game even though in the end it was in vain.
Joey Barton – QPR – One of the most controversial players in the English game is doing his talking on the pitch as well as his twitter account in recent weeks with another commanding performance for Harry Redknapp’s side. Many believed it was a bold move by Redknapp to bring Barton back in from the shadows at Loftus Road, but he is reaping the rewards as Rangers aim to keep pace with the early pacesetters. As comfortable 1-0 win as they come in which Barton assisted a wonder strike from Charlie Austin to secure the points.
Jamie Ward – Derby County – In a game of few clear cut chances at Dean Court Ward’s goal gave his side the points as they made the trip back to Derby from the south coast. A threat all game for the Rams through his pin point passing, deadly crosses and lethal efforts from range culminating in a perfectly timed run to slot home from close range past ex-Ram Lee Camp in the Bournemouth goal.
Jake Forster-Caskey – Brighton – The young midfielder is rapidly establishing himself as one of the Championship’s bright English stars alongside the likes of Will Hughes and Tom Ince. Another fine display away at Wigan as they came out 1-0 winners in a game that came to the boil in the second half. Forster-Caskey who had netted in his twp previous games was denied another by good hands from Lee Nicholls on several occasions.
Jamie Mackie – Nottingham Forest – Arguably the stand out game of the weekend didn’t disappoint in a dramatic game which was dominated by the home side. Mackie was a constant threat for Forest who trailed through a Sam Vokes’ penalty before Simon Cox equalised just before the interval and went on to control the second half and push for the winner.
Tom Ince – Blackpool – Tom Ince continues to put himself in the Championship spotlight as he spearheads Blackpool’s impressive start to the season. A rare game without a goal for the young forward as his side could only manage a draw away at Birmingham, although Ince did cross the ball which was headed home by the veteran striker Ricardo Fuller. After serving his five game ban Tom’s father Paul will return to the dugout next week as they host Sheffield Wednesday.
Ross McCormack – Leeds United – The first name on the team of week team sheet for the third week in succession for the Scottish international and he is firm favourite to pick up the player of the month award after netting his seventh goal in three games against Middlesborough as Leeds climbed into the play off places. McCormack now has twelve for the season, after taking flack from fans early in the season he has silenced the critics and the Elland Road faithful are chanting his name.
David Nugent – Leicester City – They say save the best till last and that is certainly the case with this weeks team of the week as Nugent netted a brace to help Leicester return to winning ways and maintain a place in the top two on goals scored. The Foxes trailed after just two minutes at Ipswich, but Nugent was a man on a mission and the clinical forward scored his 8th and 9th Championship goals of the season in his 100th appearance for Leicester.