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PFA Fans' Player of the Month update: Championship
The recent announcement that Leeds managing director David Haigh has committed a seven-figure investment to the club represents a massive boost for United, whilst on the field Ross McCormack is also investing in the future of the Yorkshire outfit with his power-packed performances.
McCormack has enjoyed a spectacular month so far, scoring twice in the 2-0 win over Yeovil before following up his four-goal wonder show against Charlton with another key goal in the more recent victory over Middlesbrough which lifted the club into a play-off place.
Leeds boss Brian McDermott believes that McCormack is capable of playing at an even higher level and says of his star striker: “We’ve been trying to find the best position for Ross because if you give him chances he will score. Is he good enough for the Premier League? Absolutely.”
With three league wins on the bounce so far in November, Leeds are now up to sixth in the table – just one point ahead of fast-improving Derby for whom striker Jamie Ward has helped secure a near-perfect start to Steve McClaren’s Pride Park reign following the surprise exit of Nigel Clough.
Ward has scored five times in his last seven games for the Rams although his latest strike – the winner at Bournemouth last Saturday – came at a price as he picked up a knee injury which resulted in him being sent to hospital for what the club described as a ‘precautionary’ scan.
Ward would be a big miss for the play-off chasing Rams who have picked up 13 points from 18 under McClaren and who travel to Wigan at the weekend full of confidence and eager to take a further step towards the top six. Midfielder Will Hughes has also been key to Derby’s development.
The young England Under 21 international, despite his tender years, has constantly been linked with a move to a bigger club – even Barcelona are said to be interested (!) – and more recently the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United are said to be lining up a January bid.
Derby fans can only hope that, whilst the club would cash-in to the max on the magnificent young midfielder, that should one of the big guns make an acceptable offer, they will loan Hughes back to the Rams until the end of the season. As was the case with Wilfried Zaha last term.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Leicester continue to show their class and have sent out a message to early pace-setters QPR and Burnley that they are a force to be reckoned with – and that has been due in no small part to the goalscoring form of David Nugent.
The former England international took his league tally to nine last weekend with a brace at Ipswich, a team he has now put to the goalscoring sword 13 times in his last 12 games against the Tractor Boys. Nugent is in arguably the best form of his career, and hopes his reward will be a new Leicester contract. The 28-year-old, whose current deal expires next summer, says: “I really hope we can sort out a new contract because I want to stay here. The lads are quality and the coaching staff are quality. I am really enjoying being at the club. This is my third year so, hopefully, I can stay for a few more years.”
Also making a claim for this month’s award in the Championship are previous winner Danny Ings, who continues to impress for Burnley, and his Turf Moor pal Sam Vokes, along with Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes. But you may have other ideas as to who is deserving of the PFA’s November honour.
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