Championship wrap: Austin filling Rodriguez’s goal void at Burnley
Burnley striker Charlie Austin is filling the void left by Southampton's Jay Rodriguez at the club, writes James Pozzi
Austin filling Burnley’s Rodriguez shaped hole
Since signing for the Lancashire club from Swindon in 2011, Charlie Austin has developed from lower league prospect to one of the division’s stand out strikers. Sitting at the top of the scoring charts with nine goals to his name, the Clarets’ hit-man has been in sparkling form, despite his side’s indifferent start to the season. Burnley manager Eddie Howe will be hoping Austin’s goals will fire his team – who find themselves in 16th place – up the table. After netting a hat-trick last week, Austin was on the score sheet again on Saturday, but he was unable to prevent his side losing 4-3 to a resurgent Wilfried Zaha-inspired Crystal Palace. Club legend Willie Irvine, who holds the Burnley record for 29 league goals in the 1965/1966 season, has backed Austin to break his long-standing record. And at this rate, you wouldn’t bet against this from happening.
Foxes would be wise to stick with manager Pearson
Leicester City climbed into second place after Saturday’s 2-0 home win against Bristol City, their fifth straight league victory. David Nugent’s strike and Robins defender Richard Foster’s own goal secured all three points for the Foxes in a welcome win for manager Nigel Pearson, just days after the club’s owners denied they are planning to sack him. Having returned for a second spell at the club where he won promotion from League One in 2009, Pearson’s unspectacular yet steady style of management has seen his side shoot up the table after a poor start which resulted in three successive away defeats. After two seasons of heavy investment from the club’s Thai owners missing the mark, the pressure will be on Pearson to finally deliver and get the club back into the top flight for the first time since 2004.
Charlton seal best result of the weekend
Newly promoted Charlton, who secured the League One title at a canter last season under boss Chris Powell, picked up an excellent 2-0 away win at a faltering Blackpool on Saturday. Working on a tight budget and popular with the club’s fans, Powell has that rare luxury of operating under reduced pressure as he looks to consolidate the south London club’s Championship status. With goals from Leon Cort and highly-rated Chris Solley, who was linked with West Ham United in the summer, the Addicks now lie in 15th and have put a bit of breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone. However, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway was less delighted as his side have now lost three of their last four games, and have fallen to eighth in the table. With a talented squad of players and still rich with parachute money, the Blackpool boss will be hoping to address the slide to prevent himself joining the ranks of under pressure managers.
Mackay’s resilient Cardiff getting the job done
Synonymous with playoff failure throughout the last decade, Cardiff City find themselves top of the table just before the international break. Under boss Malky Mackay, who saw his side eliminated from last season’s play-offs in the semi-final stage, the Bluebirds proved their resilience with a 2-1 away win at Ipswich, who despite their poor form this season, proved tough opposition. Having recently beaten Birmingham and Blackpool, Mackay’s Cardiff are finally being able to mix a steely resilience to compliment their squad’s unquestionable talent. Two goals from veteran striker Heider Helguson secured the away victory, and despite an eventful summer that included the controversial change of club colours from blue to red, Cardiff look good bets to finally end their play-off heartache as they look to match Welsh rivals Swansea City and get into the Premier League.
International break arriving at right time for Leeds
Leeds picked up a rare win over Barnsley in the Yorkshire derby at Elland Road on Saturday, with boss Neil Warnock admitting the international break has come at the right time for his tired and thin on the ground squad. A first-half Luciano Becchio penalty was enough for the home side, who were largely outplayed by Keith Hill’s men – Barnsely can consider themselves very unlucky to come away with nothing. Leeds have enjoyed a solid start to the season and find themselves in seventh. With the Middle Eastern investment saga still dragging on and the need for reinforcements never greater, the experienced manager will hope his side are rejuvanated for their next outing – the small matter of another Yorkshire derby at struggling Sheffield Wednesday a week on Friday.