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Championship Chat: All hail Ginger Mourinho

James Marshment salutes Sean Dyche following Burnley's promotion, feels for 'doomed' Barnsley and slams Brian McDermott's 'confusing' tactics.

The Sky Bet Championship is often overlooked for the glamour and glitz of the Premier League, but there's much to be celebrated in the second tier as we find out in this weekly Thursday column.

The race for promotion, and the bid to stay in the second tier, is likely to be as competitive as ever, as we examine all the key talking points from the weekend, and also take a look at what's to come in the matches ahead.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the story comment box, below, or follow me on Twitter here.

To see all the latest Championship goals, click here.

Goal of the week: Steve Cook, Bournemouth v Ipswich

Unbelievable tekkers for a central defender, Cook, with his back to goal, executes the perfect bicycle kick to volley the Cherries level during their 2-2 draw at Ipswich on Easter Monday. A strike that Marco van Basten in his pomp would be proud of.

Worthy of mentions: Michael Kightly, Burnley v Blackpool; Michael Kightly, Burnley v Wigan; Charlie Austin, QPR v Watford; Dale Stephens, Brighton v Blackpool; Stephen Dobbie, Blackpool v Brighton; Ross McCormack, Leeds v Barnsley.

Team of the week: (4-3-3) Kasper Schmeichel; Ritchie de Laet, Jamaal Lascelles, Wes Morgan, Craig Forsyth; Joey Barton, Michael Kightly, George Thorne; Rudy Gestede, Marvin Sordell, Matt Derbyshire.

Special mention this week goes to Charlton striker Marvin Sordell, who scored his first senior hat-trick in the remarkable come-from-behind win at Sheffield Wednesday to help nudge the Addicks ever-closer to Championship survival.

Quote of the week: Nigel Pearson, Leicester

You have to admire the professionalism of the Leicester chief, who continues to set the bar ever higher for his Foxes players.

Once promotion was achieved, he outlined his aim to win the Championship title, now that's been achieved, he's told his players to hit the 100-point mark.

"We want to finish the season well," he said. "We have a moral obligation to do that anyway but the added incentive of getting the highest points total the club has ever got is there.

"We've equalled it and we've got two games left and we have the opportunity to win six more points if possible. Whether we can do that or not remains to be seen but we'll have a go at it."

It's that determination to continually better yourself that should see the Foxes acclimatise well to life in the Premier League under Pearson.

Player of the week: Michael Kightly, Burnley

With Derby still on their coat-tails, Burnley needed two positive results from their Easter fixtures at neighbouring Blackpool and Wigan - two games which, for differing reasons, were always going to prove tricky.

But just when you need your experienced, big-game players to come to the party, that's exactly what Burnley got in Michael Kightly, who scored an absolute corker in each match to help the Clarets achieve promotion glory and start the mother of all parties in BB10.

Disappointment of the week: Barnsley

They seem to have more lives than a cat when it comes to avoiding relegation, and the last-day survival last season will live long in the memory for Tykes fans.

But one year later and it seems their time in the second tier is drawing to a close, with the back-to-back Easter weekend losses to Leeds and Derby all-but sealing their fate.

The Tykes avoided the drop with a total of 55 points last season, but this season's tally of 39 with two games to play proves they've fallen backwards this season, and also shows that changing your manager isn't always the answer.

Danny Wilson returned to the club in the week before Christmas with the club bottom of the table, but the return of one of their more popular bosses, has not had the desired affect and relegation now seems a certainty.

Game of the week: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Charlton 3

At 2-0 after just eight minutes, Charlton fans must have been fearing another of those days at Hillsborough.

But, led by an Marvin Sordell hat-trick, Charlton hit back to record a 3-2 victory and close to within one win of securing their place in the second tier for another season.

Watch highlights of the game in the video above.

Result of the week: Bournemouth 2 Sheffield Wednesday 4

I gave Bournemouth plenty of praise in a recent column for their dash up the table that has put them in with a shout of the play-off places.

Although they remain in the hunt, their prospects were massively hampered by Good Friday's hugely-unexpected 4-2 home reverse to Sheffield Wednesday.

The Owls always looked in control of this one, although it wasn't two late goals by Leon Best and Chris Maguire, both scored whilst Bournemouth themselves were pushing for a winner, that the victory was secured.

Gaffe of the week: Brian McDermott's confusing tactics

Terrible results have been the story of Leeds and Brian McDermott's 2014 and his tactics in the 2-0 home reverse to Nottingham Forest on Easter Monday were baffling to say the least.

Starting with an unfamiliar diamond in midfield, only to find themselves 2-0 down after 16 minutes, McDermott reverted to a 3-5-2 (5-3-2 when not in possession) in the second period.

Up in the stands, and with a great view of how Leeds lined up, I could see just how confused the players were by the set-up. The fact that this confusion contributed to both Forest's goals does little in my eyes to further McDermott's claims to stay in the Leeds United hotseat.

Celebration of the week: Burnley winning promotion

Their fans went mental and rightly so after the 2-0 win over Wigan booked a return to the Premier League after a four-year absence.

It's a given this day and age that fans will spill on to the pitch in the event of securing promotion. Who wouldn't want to share that special moment with players and fellow fans? After all, it's a historial moment.

And the Burnley fans did not disappoint with what seemed like the majority of the 19,125 in attendance that day spilling out on to the pitch.

Tremendous scenes!

Hot topic of the week: Burnley promoted - but the hard work starts now

Forget Bournemouth's brilliant season, or the ease in which Leicester have cruised towards the Championship title, the real success story this season is Burnley and how a squad so small, and a football club with such a limited wage and transfer allowance can secure promotion.

The fact that Burnley have reached the Promised Land ahead of free-spending rivals QPR, as well as several bigger clubs such as Nottingham Forest and Leeds, is testimony to what is a well-oiled machine at Turf Moor.

The credit for Burnley's rise rests entirely at the door of manager Sean Dyche, who has done an incredible job and has my backing as the Championship Manager of the Year.

Last summer, Burnley lost talismanic striker Charlie Austin to QPR, but his exit has not been felt with Sam Vokes and Danny Ings forming the most prolific partnership in the division.

Dyche again takes credit for getting the best out of Vokes, who before this season was something of a journeyman striker who always looked capable of good things, but never quite hit the heights expected of him.

It's not just Vokes who Dyche has given belief to this season, there are several players in the Clarets squad, who can rightly feel they've enjoyed the best season of their careers to date.

Dyche also brought in experience when it counted: Michael Kightly last summer, and Chris Baird and Ashley Barnes in January - shrewd captures, who all played their part in helping the Clarets over the line.

Of course, the hard work for Dyche and the Burnley board starts now and keeping their best players from the clutches of admirers will be their first priority.

Ings, Vokes, Tom Heaton, Jason Shackell, and my personal favourite, Kieran Trippier, have all had exceptional campaigns and retaining their services will be paramount if they're to have any chance of avoiding relegation next season.

But that's a problem for another day. In the meantime, congratulations to Burnley Football Club and in particular, Sean Dyche, aka the Ginger Mourinho.

What's to come...

Live on Sky:

Brighton v Yeovil, Friday 7.45pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports 1HD

Burnley v Ipswich, Saturday 12.15pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports 1HD

By James Marshment, follow me on Twitter here.


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Headlines for Birmingham City this week

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  • Championship Chat: All hail Ginger Mourinho


  • James Marshment salutes Sean Dyche following Burnley's promotion, feels for 'doomed' Barnsley and slams Brian McDermott's 'confusing' tactics.

  • Transfer news: Lee Croft in talks with St Johnstone as clubs monitor his situation


  • Lee Croft is in talks with Scottish Cup finalists St Johnstone over a new contract, but Sky Sports understands that a host of clubs are in the running for the 28-year-old.

  • Regional Rumours in the Press: Everton eye Cleverley


  • Everton are plotting an £8m bid for Tom Cleverley, Newcastle want Jack Colback, while Ashley Cole will be handed £70,000 a week at Real Madrid.

  • Birmingham City striker Federico Macheda insists he is happy in England


  • On-loan Birmingham City striker Federico Macheda has insisted he is happy playing in England - but admits his future is likely to be away from parent club Manchester United.

  • Sky Bet Championship: Rampant Blackburn batter Birmingham 4-2 at St Andrew's


  • A Rudy Gestede hat-trick helped Blackburn to a 4-2 victory over Birmingham in the Sky Bet Championship on Monday.

  • Sky Bet Championship:


  • Birmingham boss Lee Clark insisted his side could survive in the Sky Bet Championship, despite their 4-2 mauling at home to Blackburn, while Rovers boss Gary Bowyer praised hat-trick hero Rudy Gestede.

  • Championship: Nottingham Forest help play-off chances with 1-0 win over Birmingham


  • Nottingham Forest avoided notching up a 13th Sky Bet Championship game without a win - and kept their faint hopes of making the play-offs alive with a 1-0 win over Birmingham.

  • Championship: Forest boss Gary Brazil hopeful on play-offs after win over Birmingham


  • Nottingham Forest caretaker boss Gary Brazil has told his players to go to Leeds on Monday and prove they can still barge their way back into the Sky Bet Championship play-off reckoning after Saturday's 1-0 victory over Birmingham.

  • Championship Chat: Bowyer job on line


  • James Dixon praises the clubs for the Hillsborough tributes, slams Blackburn, talks up QPR's promotion chances and tips Millwall to stay up.

  • Transfer news: Lee Clark would prefer not to add loanees at Birmingham


  • Lee Clark has relied heavily on loan deals at Birmingham City, but admits such agreements are far from ideal.

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