David Nugent just loves playing against Ipswich - and if it happens to be at Portman Road so much the better! The experienced Leicester striker turned Saturday’s Championship clash on its head with a second half double as the Foxes maintained their push for automatic promotion.
Ipswich fans must be sick of the sight of Nugent who took his remarkable goal tally against Town to 13 from 12 games. Eight of those have come at Portman Road where he also scored for England Under 21s back in 2006. Talk about happy returns!
Nugent completed an excellent Leicester comeback after David McGoldrick’s early opener for Town with his eighth and ninth goals of the season to celebrate his 100th appearance for the club in style, prompting Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy to say: “He’s arguably the best striker in the division.”
The former England international has re-discovered a rich vein of form this season and Portman Road was the perfect place for him to continue the run. City boss Nigel Pearson said: “David obviously enjoys playing there, and took his goals really well.
“But he’s been doing that for much of the campaign. He gets into good areas and has been taking a lot of his chances. He has a manager who backs him and teammates, like Lloyd Dyer and Danny Drinkwater, who are there to support him.”
Dyer has also been a model of consistency this season and he claimed an assist for both Nugent’s goals at Ipswich. His speed, skill and directness have been a key factor behind Leicester’s early season success and it seems that when he’s on song City are playing the same tune.
Like two-goal hero Nugent, Bolton’s weekend match winner Jermaine Beckford is another striker reinventing his career in the Championship after sampling Premier League football and having flirted with the international scene.
Former Everton forward Beckford’s fifth goal in six games – taking advantage of a massive keeper error by Watford’s Manuel Almunia – helped Bolton build on their recent improvement after a desperately poor start to the seasonand put his name in the frame for PFA fans’ player of the month.
Much to the delight of Trotters boss Dougie Freedman who said: “You go along through a season hoping to pick up two or three of the little opportunistic goals where it drops for you and Jermaine Beckford is the master at that - that's why I brought him to the club and he's won us the game.”
Another of Beckford’s former clubs, Leeds United, are also on the rise and that has been due in no small part to their own goal poacher extraordinaire Ross McCormack who followed up his four-goal wonder show at Charlton a fortnight ago with another crucial strike against Middlesbrough at the weekend.
Leeds boss Brian McDermott says: “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. But we won't worry about that yet - hopefully he can keep doing that for us."
Strikers certainly seem to be the fans’ flavour of the month at the moment with the likes of Charlie Austin (QPR), Danny Ings (Burnley) and Jamie Ward (Derby) also putting themselves in contention for the November award. But who gets your vote as we approach the end of the month?