What can be learnt from matchday seven of Championship action?
Leeds United are finally looking good
A 3-1 victory at Bournemouth may just be the catalyst the Whites needed to get their season up and running. Despite being dominated by the hosts, three moments of sublime skill - including a free-kick that will unlikely be bettered this season - saw Neil Redfearn claim three points from what may have been his final game in charge. For too many games this season, Leeds have attempted to assert their control over the game, and have ultimately been punished by moments of madness. However, Tuesday’s victory represented a change in mentality, and the players appear to have benefited from it. The Whites host Huddersfield this Saturday, with the visitors in free-fall - it may just be the start of an incredible run that could see them rise to the upper echelons of the Championship table.
Cardiff’s calls for Tony Pulis should be heard
Having lost 1-0 at home to Middlesbrough on Tuesday, Bluebirds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won just five of his 25 games in charge since taking control in the Premier League, and has claimed just one point from the last 12 on offer. He was due for talks with the Cardiff hierarchy on Wednesday night, and although he has yet to lose his job, fan support for the appointment of Tony Pulis has been swelling. Welsh-born Bluebirds fan Pulis recently left his role as manager of Crystal Palace, and, if he would be willing to drop to the Championship, there is no better candidate to lead Cardiff back to the top flight - having been promoted three times in his career.
Watford are finally showing mental strength
Having recently appointed Oscar Garcia as head coach, the Hornets slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Charlton in his first game in charge. Despite dominating the play, and registering a remarkable 20 shots, Watford never really looked like winning. In the wake of the defeat, Garcia was admitted to hospital, with chest pains causing him to miss Tuesday night’s trip to Blackpool. Without him, Watford once again dominated, winning the game with a Matej Vydra penalty. However, Blackpool missed a penalty, and the last 10 minutes saw a resurgent Tangerines fight for a point. When once Watford were well known for their inability to defend late in games, they looked solid in defence, with Troy Deeney making a goal line clearance, and numerous blocks in the six-yard box. To do that, without a manager present, showed a remarkable character from the Hornets squad - one that will be needed if they intend to achieve promotion.
Forest returned to the top of the Championship table yesterday, extending their unbeaten run to seven games with a 5-3 victory at home to Fulham. It was a game that pitted £11 million Ross McCormack against £5.5 million Britt Assombalonga - two of the most expensive transfers from the summer window. Despite McCormack opening his season tally, and then doubling it, Assombalonga netted a hat-trick - taking his tally to eight in seven games. However, it is not just Assombalonga making a difference, but a number of other Forest new-boys. Michail Antonio scored and registered an assist last night, whilst central defender Michael Mancienne also claimed an assist. They spent highly during the summer window, but it appears as if they spent wisely as well.
Fulham look doomed, despite good display
Scoring three goals would, in most cases, guarantee you at least a point, and doing it away from home is even harder. However, Fulham conceded five to Nottingham Forest, stretching their run of games without a win to seven. They are one of two clubs yet to win a game this season - with Blackpool being the unfortunate other - and, with the manner of their defeat on Wednesday night, it doesn’t appear as if that will change any time soon. However, one highlight to come from the defeat was with Ross McCormack, who finally found the back of the net for the first time this season, with his two goal return offering promise for the remainder of the year.