Champ'ship Top Men: Saved by the Bell

Derby County provide three players in the latest TEAMtalk Championship Team of the Week, with Cardiff's Craig Bellamy leading the line.

Last Updated: 11/12/12 at 13:29 Post Comment

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Once a week, TEAMtalk will select our premium XI from England's second tier, explain our selections and then invite you - our loyal army of readers - 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 second tier.

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.

Championship Top Men (4-4-2):Henderson; Brayford, Buxton, Collins, Cresswell; Haroun, Meyler, Hughes, Adomah; Gayle, Bellamy

Goalkeeper

Stephen Henderson - Ipswich Town

The on-loan West Ham goalkeeper played a key role in the shock result in the Championship at the weekend as lowly Ipswich stunned in-form Millwall to win 3-0 at Portman Road. "Hendo kept us in it," declared Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy after the game and he was not wrong. The 24-year-old keeper made three impressive first-half saves that proved critical as the home side weathered the storm to ultimately win in style.

Defence

John Brayford - Derby County

The Rams right-back is developing a fine reputation and delivered another quality display as Derby outplayed Leeds to win 3-1 at Pride Park. The 24-year-old has emerged as a target for Premier League club West Ham and that interest is unlikely to go away if the ever-present full-back can continue in this vein - contributing to a seventh game unbeaten at home for Nigel Clough's side.

Jake Buxton - Derby County

Buxton was also a key figure in nullifying the threat of Leeds at Pride Park. The 27-year-old centre-back even popped up with what turned out to be the winning goal of the game - his first goal in 15 matches after scoring three times in Derby's first two contests of the campaign. The win has lifted the Rams into the top 10 in the Championship.

Danny Collins - Nottingham Forest

The Forest skipper endured a difficult evening at Ipswich recently but the central defender was back to his best to produce a commanding performance as the Tricky Trees eased to a 2-0 home win over Burnley at the City Ground. This was Forest's third clean sheet in their last four home matches and Collins has been the man organising that improving defence.

Aaron Cresswell - Ipswich Town

The ever-present left-back recently hailed the arrival of McCarthy as Ipswich boss and few are benefiting from the reassuring presence of the experienced manager as much as Cresswell. The 22-year-old signing from Tranmere is growing into his role in the team and has now been a part of three consecutive wins for the Tractor Boys.

Midfielders

Faris Haroun - Middlesbrough

The Belgium international has become a cult hero at the Riverside Stadium according to his own manager Tony Mowbray and that is likely to continue if Haroun can repeat his impact at Peterborough on Saturday. The midfielder, who was making his return from an injury lay-off, scored twice inside the first 20 minutes to set Boro on their way and lift Mowbray's men back up to third in the Championship table.

David Meyler - Hull City

Tigers chief Steve Bruce knows all about Meyler from his time at Sunderland and the Black Cats loanee has impressed in his brief spell so far. His lively showing in Saturday's 2-1 win at Watford included the crucial header for the opening goal. Bruce will be hoping the Irishman's arrival can provide the impetus to help Hull to promotion and with this win taking them to fourth in the league the early signs are promising.

Will Hughes - Derby County

The 17-year-old midfielder is surely destined for the top flight and if he can come up with many performances like the one against Leeds on Saturday then it could even be with Derby. Hughes set up Conor Sammon for the opening goal and then nearly found the net himself following a tricky run only for Paddy Kenny to save at full stretch. The youngster was perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty late on but in the end it was his quality that helped win the match for his side.

Albert Adomah - Bristol City

The 24-year-old right-winger helped heap further misery on beleaguered Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones as Bristol City won 3-2 at Hillsborough. Adomah had won a training ground free-kick competition on Friday and showed it was no fluke when he stepped up to fire a wonderful late winner past Chris Kirkland in the Owls goal.

Strikers

Dwight Gayle - Peterborough

The only player in this team not to be on the winning side at the weekend, Gayle was part of the Peterborough side beaten 3-2 at home to Middlesbrough but earns his place here thanks to two goals. The 22-year-old is on loan from Dagenham and is unlikely to be going back to the lower leagues on this evidence - his 20-yarder gave Posh a lifeline and a neat finish grabbed the equaliser only for the visitors to win it late on.

Craig Bellamy - Cardiff City

The former Blackburn forward returned to hurt his old club at Ewood Park on Friday as Cardiff hammered Rovers 4-1. Bellamy scored with an emphatic finish after having already struck the crossbar before the interval. The veteran departed late on to applause from both sets of supporters.

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