Amex Stadium

Next Game

Brighton v Southampton

Thursday, 31 July 2014, 19:45

Friendly Match

London Road Ground

Last Game

Peterboro 2 - 1 Brighton

Saturday, 26 July 2014, 15:00

Friendly Match

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.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

Footer 365

Champions League: John Collins claims Celtic will have to be at best to get past Legia Warsaw

John Collins says Legia Warsaw pose a huge threat to his dream of Champions League football with Celtic this season.

Premier League: Daniel Sturridge confident Liverpool can shine without Luis Suarez

Daniel Sturridge believes Liverpool have the squad to handle Luis Suarez's exit and will challenge for top honours.

Transfer news: Simon Mignolet backs Liverpool target Divock Origi and welcomes Pepe Reina return

Liverpool are closing in on Divock Origi and the Belgium youngster has been tipped to shine in the Premier League.

Mail Box

Don't You Worry About Southampton...

We can't help but agree with one mailboxer who tries to calm the crisis-mongers gathering around Southampton, while we have mails on Man United's squad...

No Wonder Wenger Doesn't Buy British

That's if reports that Calum Chambers cost Arsenal £16m are to be believed. The English premium shows no signs of disappearing. Plus, worrying about poor Southampton...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property