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Championship Top Men: Going for goals

Eleven different clubs have representatives in an attack-minded Championship Top Men, TEAMtalk's team of the week from the second tier.

Last Updated: 06/05/13 at 14:11 Post Comment

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Here's TEAMtalk's final top XI of the season from England's second tier. We explain our selections and then invite you to pick your team of top men. We're looking for the players who caught your eye with dazzling displays or powerful performances in the most recent round of Championship action.

You can choose any formation and there's no limit on how many players you can pick from each team - so have a think, then get involved.

TEAMtalk's Top Men (3-4-3): Marshall; Buxton, McShane, Sylvestre; Jedinak; Stanislas, Knockaert, Kermorgant; LuaLua, Vaughan, Rhodes.

David Marshall - Cardiff City

Cardiff may have conceded two goals on the final day, helping Hull City to join them in the automatic promotion spots, but the champions would have seen their season end on a low were it not for Marshall. He denied Nick Proschwitz from the spot in the dying stages at the KC Stadium, preventing the Tigers from going 3-1 up and paving the way for Cardiff to surge down the other end of the field and win a penalty of their own - which they converted.

Lewis Buxton - Sheffield Wednesday

Victory on the final day ensured that Sheffield Wednesday avoided being dragged into trouble, with four points eventually separating them from the drop zone. They ensured that they finished on a positive note after easing out free-falling Middlesbrough at Hillsborough. A 2-0 victory was secured with the minimum of fuss, with Buxton and his defensive colleagues collecting an 11th clean sheet of the campaign.

Paul McShane - Hull City

As already mentioned, Hull City did just about enough in their final fixture to get over the promotion line and book their return to the Premier League without the need for a play-off lottery ticket. In the end a point was all the Tigers need to wrap up second place, and McShane was the man to get the goal which earned Steve Bruce's side a top-flight place - with the defender turning in a controlled volley just past the hour mark in a 2-2 draw with Cardiff.

Ludovic Sylvestre - Blackpool

Blackpool proved to be party poopers at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday as they dashed Bolton's play-off dreams. The Trotters headed into the game sat inside the top six and aware that a victory would be enough to cement that standing. They got off to the worst possible start, as Sylvestre helped Blackpool into an early 2-0 lead and, despite hauling themselves level, Bolton were unable to turn the tie around and ended up missing out on goal difference.

Junior Stanislas - Burnley

Burnley ended the season inside the top half, with back-to-back victories seeing them to an 11th-place finish. They overcame Ipswich on the final day in a meeting between two sides that had nothing to play for - a rarity on Saturday. Stanislas stepped off the bench to put them on their way to a 2-0 success, with the flying winger crashing home a spectacular 25-yard drive on the hour mark which fizzed into the top corner.

Anthony Knockaert - Leicester City

Leicester travelled to East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest more in hope than expectation, with the Foxes considered to be outsiders for a play-off place. They were, however, to end the afternoon inside the top six and still in the promotion chase. A nervy derby encounter at the City Ground saw them prevail 3-2, with a dramatic late twist allowing Leicester to keep their season alive. Knockaert struck in stoppage-time to edge Nigel Pearson's men above Bolton and into sixth place.

Mile Jedinak - Crystal Palace

It has been a difficult end to the regular season for Crystal Palace, but they were able to win on the final day to ensure they will enter the play-offs in a positive frame of mind. They found the going tough against a Peterborough side scrapping for their second tier lives, and trailed on two occasions. Two late goals eventually saw the Eagles to a 3-2 win, with Jedinak grabbing the winner and condemning the Posh to life in League One.

Yann Kermorgant - Charlton Athletic

As Charlton and Bristol City headed into the interval of their clash at The Valley, there was little indication of what was to follow in the second 45 minutes. The game was goalless at half-time, but ended 4-1 to the hosts. Kermorgant was the man to open the floodgates in spectacular style as he rocketed Charlton in front. The Addicks forward added a second shortly afterwards, and rock-bottom City offered little resistance from there on in.

Kazenga LuaLua - Brighton & Hove Albion

Wolves required a minor miracle on the final day to beat the drop, and ended up slipping through the trapdoor without putting up much of a fight on the South Coast. Brighton were never going to be in the mood to offer any favours, despite being assured of a play-off place. Momentum is crucial to them at this stage of the campaign and they stretched their unbeaten run to nine games as LuaLua bagged a brace in a third successive victory.

James Vaughan - Huddersfield Town

Nerves were shredded at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday, with Huddersfield and Barnsley both sweating on their Championship status heading into a crucial clash. In the end, both finished outside of the bottom three and can look forward to another second tier campaign next term. A 2-2 draw proved to be enough for the Terriers and Tykes, with on-loan frontman Vaughan grabbing a late leveller for Huddersfield.

Jordan Rhodes - Blackburn Rovers

The 2012/13 campaign was a forgettable one for Blackburn, as they struggled to get to grips with life away from the Premier League and changed their manager on an alarmingly regular basis. The only real highlight for Rovers was the form of summer signing Rhodes, as he justified the sizeable fee Blackburn shelled out for his services. The Scotland international netted in a 1-1 draw with Birmingham on the final day to take his return for the season onto 30 in all competitions.

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