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Window polish

Before we talk about which Championship sides flourished during the January Transfer Window, I must highlight two teams who may flounder as a result of selling prized assets.

Last Updated: 14/02/14 at 08:07

Jack Hobbs joined Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis in January

Jack Hobbs joined Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis in January

I was stunned that Brighton allowed pivotal players Ashley Barnes and Liam Bridcutt to leave; in light of Albion's financial losses it might make business sense, but in footballing terms it makes their chances of grabbing a play-off place more difficult.

Without Barnes' goals and Bridcutt now gone, not to mention the fact midfielder Andrew Crofts is out for the season with a knee injury, the Seagulls may struggle to even get a top-10 place.

Charlton, meanwhile, two points adrift of safety, have chosen to offload their two star players, Yann Kermorgant and Dale Stephens; these two bring goals and creativity so the Addicks have severely hindered their chances of survival.

Strengthen

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I expected Wigan to be very active in January and that proved to be the case.

Latics boss Uwe Rosler was disappointed to miss out on centre-half Jack Hobbs but managed to strengthen all departments with Nicky Maynard and Martyn Waghorn (attack), Josh McEachran (midfield) and Markus Holgersson and Tyias Browning (defence) coming in.

Rosler's new charges all fit into the system the German prefers and he will hope their contribution will close the seven-point gap that exists between them and the final play-off place, something which is achievable as they have two games in hand on most of the teams above them.

After the potentially derailing injury to top scorer Charlie Austin, QPR boss Harry Redknapp used a scattergun approach, acquiring the services of no fewer than four strikers of different experience and style.

Two of them made an instant impact in the six-goal thriller with Burnley, with Kevin Doyle and Modibo Maiga netting debut goals, and Brazilian Dellatorre is described as one for the future.

Rangers also snapped up Man United youngster Will Keane, a player I thought, until he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury a few years ago, was the best player for his age in the country.

At the back, meanwhile, Aaron Hughes could prove a brilliant signing as he can cover the centre-half and full-back positions and has a wealth of experience.

Pressures

Nottingham Forest's acquisitions have also impressed me.

Hobbs, who not only had Wigan on a list of suitors, will resume his excellent partnership at the heart of the defence with Jamaal Lascelles having turned his loan spell from Hull into a permanent stay.

Danny Fox will be an able deputy to Forest captain Chris Cohen at left-back and like fellow new recruit, David Vaughan, will be able to cope with the pressures of the run-in, with both players having promotions under their belt.

Billy Davies also dipped into the European market to collect centre half Kevin Gomis and striker Rafik Djebbour so Forest's 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions now has a better chance of continuing.

Middlesbrough's double capture of Danny Graham and Lee Tomlin also excites me.

Graham scored bundles of goals for Watford in the Championship and the Boro fans will make him feel loved again, while his telepathic relationship with Stephen Dobbie at Swansea could be replicated with Lee Tomlin.

Tomlin, the nearest thing I have seen to Dobbie, has been desperate to get a move ever since Peterborough slipped out of the Championship, and he and Graham could strike up a deadly duo for new Riverside boss Aitor Karanka.

If Nathaniel Chalobah and Daniel Ayala make Boro more solid and harder to penetrate, my old club could have a very interesting end to the season.

Significant others

1) Bolton's capture of Liam Trotter and Bournemouth's signing of Kermorgant - two players who have shone for Millwall and Charlton respectively despite the Londoners' struggles

2) Barnes to Burnley as cover for either Danny Ings or Sam Vokes, and Billy Sharp's return to Doncaster will be a timely boost for both clubs as the season comes to a climax

3) DJ Campbell will help Millwall, too, while Leicester's acquisition of 40-year-old Kevin Phillips is a masterstroke as they try to cement a place in next year's Premier League

Good luck to all the players who moved and here's hoping they settle quickly, impress their new fans and enable managers to pat themselves on the back for having the vision and foresight to buy or loan them.

And finally...

I'd just like to mention Lee Clark's adaptation of The Young Ones at Birmingham.

Trusted by top managers because of his style of play and ability to mentor young players, Clark had six of his starting XI for the 3-3 draw with Derby under the age of 22.

Hungry recruits are given the latitude to express themselves at St Andrew's and they will be hoping to enhance their reputations whilst in the Midlands, just like West Ham's Ravel Morrison did.

Going to Birmingham has huge benefits for our country's next stars.

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