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English Football League: The Championship New Boys

As the Championship season enters the back end of September, Stuart Connolly gives his insight into how some of the new players in the league are faring so far. 

The Sky Bet Championship season may only be six games old but it’s fair to say that some new players have taken life in this division in their stride, while others have found that their new surroundings may take some time to get used to.

Nottingham Forest have had an excellent start to the season in the league and the cup, winning six of their previous eight games in both competitions. Their reward in the Capital One Cup – a trip to White Hart Lane. Much of their early season form is thanks to new signings Michael Antonio from Sheffield Wednesday and Britt Assombalonga from Peterborough. Assombalonga is currently joint top goal-scorer in the league with three other players on five goals in six games.

Britt seems to be taking his chances with ease second time round following a handful of first team appearances for Watford between 2011 and 2013. Forest broke their transfer record to bring the 21-year-old to the City Ground and so far it is easy to see why. If Britt can keep up this impressive form then Forest may be back in the Premier League for the first time since their relegation into the old division 1 in 1998-99.

Another of the Championship’s new boys who is fitting in nicely is Igor Vetokele of Charlton Athletic. The Addicks signed the Angolan International from FC Copenhagen in mid-June and the 22-year-old, with five goals in his first five appearances has picked up the Championship player of the month award for August.

Igor has been key to Charlton so far with his side still unbeaten in the league. The Angolan will be hoping to add more honours to his resume after winning the Danish Superliga in 2012-13 with old club, FC Copenhagen.

Lewis Grabban is no stranger to this league having spent three years in it with Crystal Palace from 2005-2008, but he only played ten games across those three seasons, he also had one season with Millwall in 2010-11 but he only made one appearance. He will be hoping to emulate his form of the past two seasons for Bournemouth, the first of which helped earn the South Coast club promotion from League one. Last season he scored 22 goals making him 4th placed joint top goal scorer.

This form earned him a move to newly-relegated Norwich City. He is currently joint top goal scorer with five goals in five appearances. He will be hoping he can keep the goals coming to earn Norwich promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

One player who has definitely struggled so far this season is Ross McCormack of Fulham, despite being last season’s top goal scorer with Leeds United. The Scottish international only has one goal to his name in a Fulham shirt, which came against Brentford in the Capital One Cup.

The London club’s early season form of no league wins in six has left them rock-bottom with one point. McCormack will need to bring back the form which earned him that £11 million move or Fulham could be facing back-to-back relegations. Is it time for a change of personnel at Fulham? Or can Felix Magath lead them out of this rut that they’re in?

 Stuart Connolly, Pundit Arena. 

Featured image By Adam Stone (originally posted to Flickr as Craven Cottage) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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