Championship Analysis – Nottingham Forest take bragging rights in derby with Leicester

Nottingham Forest beat Leicester in the East Midlands derby to halt the Foxes’ great run of form and boost their own promotion hopes. It was a vital win for Forest, who were in poor form going into Saturday’s clash at the King Power Stadium, and vulnerable, having suffered a last-gasp defeat to fellow promotion hopefuls Blackpool the previous week.

For Leicester it marked a first home defeat of the season and ended a run of three consecutive wins. It was a particularly disappointing result for Nigel Pearson’s side as it meant they failed to take advantage of slip-ups for Burnley and QPR, who were held in their respective clashes with Bournemouth and Reading.

Indeed, Forest were the only team in the top six to win and it was enough to overhaul Reading in fifth spot and claw them back into the promotion picture, although Billy Davies was keen to play down the situation. “I enjoyed it because it was a very important three points,” the manager said.

But it’s only three points, and there is no point at this stage of the season getting too down or too excited if you are in or out of the top six,” he continued. “I’m just delighted as a manager to see the players take on board what they worked on last week. We worked very hard on the shape of the team and the tactics and the strength and weaknesses of the opposition,” Davies added.

QPR’s draw brought the Hoops level on points with Leicester but Harry Redknapp’s side remain third due to their inferior record in the ‘goals for’ column. Blackpool also missed a massive opportunity to close the gap on the leaders when they succumbed to an injury time defeat against Ipswich.

The player of the weekend was Leeds United’s Ross McCormack, who netted all four of his team’s goals in a 4-2 win over Charlton at the Valley. Those goals were the first Chris Powell’s side had conceded in four matches, although the game nearly didn’t take place due to a heavy downpour in south London on Saturday morning. McCormack will be particularly glad it did as he now sits top of the goalscoring charts and naturally Brian McDermott was a happy man.

We’ve been trying to find the best position for Ross because if you give him chances he will score,” McDermott said. “I’m delighted for him because when they pulled it back to 2-2 it could have gone either way. Is he good enough for the Premier League? Absolutely. But we won’t worry about that yet – hopefully he can keep doing that for us,” the Leeds boss added.

At the other end of the table, Yeovil remain bottom after a late Wigan goal proved the difference between the two sides at Huish Park in Sunday’s action. Still a game behind due to their Europa League exploits, the Latics will break into the top six if they can take advantage.

Elsewhere, life for Sheffield Wednesday outside the relegation zone proved short and not very sweet after a 3-0 defeat to Derby, coupled with Birmingham’s 3-1 win at Huddersfield, was enough to dump them back below the line.

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