Brighton star on Derby County: 'They've definitely caught the eye'

In a recent blog by Brighton and Hove Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith, he told readers of the impression the Rams left on him and why Leicester City and Burnley men are his picks for the best performers of the season.

Forgotten Brighton frontman Craig Mackail-Smith written a Teamtalk blog in which he praises all aspects of the Championship's current top three.

On the subject of which players have been the best performers of the season, the 30-year-old backed just Leicester City and Burnley players.

'The clubs at the top of the Championship have had the best performing players so far,' said Mackail-Smith

'James Vardy and David Nugent up front and Wes Morgan at the back for Leicester have been outstanding, then Sam Vokes and Danny Ings at Burnley have been in great form.'

It's none-too-surprising the striker's pick for best performers are from the league's current top two. This is often the case, which is why they're at the right end of the division.

However, the former Posh striker also reserved praise for the league's third-placed side Derby County, saying: 'Derby have also impressed me.

When we played them at the beginning of the season we went 1-0 up then they played us off the pitch. They pass the ball well have a lot of through runners with Craig Bryson, Paul Coutts and Will Hughes in midfield, they've definitely caught the eye.'

Although the praise for the Rams midfield admissible, the name-drop of Paul Coutts comes across as a strange one, since he has spent the majority of the season injured. Nevertheless, the former team-mate of Mackail-Smith did play during that game and was credited by many as the man of the match.

Out of the three sides mentioned, it looks like it's Derby County who will have to go up the hard way, as Burnley and Leicester City, especially, have managed to cut themselves free from the chasing pack.

All three sides have enjoyed fantastic seasons and it wouldn't be surprising to see all three sides playing in the Premier League next season.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch