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Hot Streak: McClaren and Ince reunion inspiring dramatic Derby revival

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Hot Streak: McClaren and Ince reunion inspiring dramatic Derby revival   When Steve McClaren returned to Derby County back in October, it’s fair to say he had some making up to do. Having made his desire to take the Newcastle job plainly obvious, the former England boss left the club in disappointing circumstances.   It all served to mask what was an i...

Team Focus: Middlesbrough's Promotion Push Built on Solid Defence

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Team Focus: Middlesbrough's Promotion Push Built on Solid Defence   It had to end at some point, but the manner was terribly cruel. Middlesbrough must have felt awfully sore to concede that injury-time goal to managerless Bristol City last weekend, which left them seconds from breaking an 88-year-old record for 10 consecutive clean sheets.     Ther...

League Focus: Premier League Core has Helped Hull to Championship Summit

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League Focus: Premier League Core has Helped Hull to Championship Summit   For all the Championship's promise of the unpredictable, the expected names are sitting near the top of the table and those predicted to suffer are finding things difficult. The pair of financially-stable teams relegated from last season's Premier League occupy two of the top three places, b...

League Focus: Reading the Championship's Surprise Package So Far

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League Focus: Reading the Championship's Surprise Package So Far   Embryonic stages these may still be, but if there is a major surprise package this season; then Reading appear the most likely. They have won five of their last six games and Steve Clarke, courtesy of 13 summer signings, has brought the Berkshire side from mid-table obscurity last campaign t...

League Focus: Brighton Lead Way in Typically Unpredictable Championship Start

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League Focus: Brighton Lead Way in Typically Unpredictable Championship Start   Five games in and already the Championship has shown its inherent dislike for predictors and tipsters, vainly attempting to figure out the most unpredictable division of all. Everybody laughed on 3 August when Brighton tweeted that vine of Bobby Zamora saying “I’m back” whi...

Manager Focus: Can Newcastle fans dare to dream under McClaren?

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Manager Focus: Can Newcastle fans dare to dream under McClaren?   The passion, euphoria and ambition that once engulfed Newcastle United around the turn of the Millennium has become a thing of the distant past on Tyneside under the harrowing ownership of Mike Ashley. However, with Premier League clubs set to benefit from the windfall of the new £5.1...

League Focus: Watford and Bournemouth Seal Promotion But Who Will Join Them?

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League Focus: Watford and Bournemouth Seal Promotion But Who Will Join Them?   After a season that had captured the imagination like no other, the Championship’s final day is going to be something of an anticlimax. Only the final playoff place and, possibly depending on Rotherham’s result against Reading tonight, the last relegation spot will be left to pla...

League Focus: Inescapable Inconsistency Set to Decide Championship Promotion Race

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League Focus: Inescapable Inconsistency Set to Decide Championship Promotion Race If those in power at the Championship's promotion-chasing clubs needed any more reason to motivate their players as the season approaches its final quarter, a £5.1bn television deal will have whetted their appetites for the big time sufficiently. And yet, it seems the players chasing the top ...

Team Focus: Post-January Squad Depth Leading Derby Towards Promotion

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Team Focus: Post-January Squad Depth Leading Derby Towards Promotion Darren Bent has had a curious career. His talent has never been doubted but the most frustrating thing about the 31-year-old is how easily he can flit from prolific to profligate. For each season like the 24 league goals he scored for Sunderland in 2009/10, there was a campaign like 2007/08 at Tott...

Match Focus: Derby & QPR Face Off in Football's Most Valuable Match

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Match Focus: Derby & QPR Face Off in Football's Most Valuable Match   There are two big games this Saturday. In the evening over 300 million people across the world will be tuned in to watch Real Madrid play Atlético in the Champions League final. It will lead the news agenda and dominate online discussion, but a few hours earlier in London, Derby Count...

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