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Sports Mole's Championship Team of the Week

Sports Mole selects its best XI from Gameweek 17 in the Championship, as well as highlighting the biggest numpty and the best goal.

Round 17 in the Championship gave us 31 goals and two red cards as Burnley lost their grip on top spot.

The Clarets' 12-game unbeaten run was ended at Huddersfield Town as Leicester City went three points clear at the summit with Queens Park Rangers also going down at Doncaster Rovers.

The two South Yorkshire sides, now at the bottom of the pile, both sacked their managers after defeats this weekend.

Rockbottom Barnsley got rid of David Flitcroft after a humbling loss at home to Birmingham City, while Dave Jones is no longer in charge of Sheffield Wednesday after they fell to Blackpool.

Owen Coyle became the third managerial casualty of the weekend when he was dismissed by Wigan Athletic earlier on Monday after yesterday's 3-1 defeat at home to Derby.

Here, Sports Mole picks out its best XI of the weekend as well as highlighting the biggest numpty and the best goal.

Shay Given (Middlesbrough)
Neutral football fans will be delighted to see Irish veteran Given back between the sticks and he kept a clean sheet on his debut as Bolton Wanderers were seen off 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium.

Paul Caddis (Birmingham)
Blues right-back Caddis scored his first goals for the club by opening the scoring at Oakwell with a dipping drive before adding a second from the penalty spot as Barnsley were brushed aside 3-0.
Grant Hanley (Blackburn)
The division's top scorer was silenced as Hanley and the Rovers defence kept out Ross McCormack and Leeds United, coming away with a narrow 1-0 victory at Ewood Park.
Tommy Smith (Ipswich)
New Zealand international Smith was recently trying to get to the World Cup finals in a playoff against Mexico. He may have failed there but was on target for the Tractor Boys as they squeezed past Charlton Athletic for a second consecutive away victory.
Liam Davis (Yeovil)
The shock result of the weekend came at Vicarage Road as then-bottom Yeovil Town put three past Watford. Davis set up one of the goals and also made a crucial last-ditch tackle as the Glovers moved up to 22nd, five points from safety.

Garath McCleary (Reading)
Royals winger McClearly provided two assists on Friday night as the visitors inflicted a second home defeat of the season on Nottingham Forest.
Richie Wellens (Doncaster)
Now 33, Wellens put in a classy performance for Donny against the likes of Joey Barton, Jermaine Jenas and Niko Kranjcar.
Craig Bryson (Derby)
Derby County have now won six games away from home, more than any other side in the league, after a 3-1 victory at Wigan. Bryson set the Rams on their way with a curling free kick in just the third minute.
Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth)
Ritchie was making his first start of the season for the Cherries and is likely to be in the team again tomorrow after an impressive display against Brighton & Hove Albion that was capped with a good free kick to open the scoring.

Ricardo Fuller (Blackpool)
Blackpool manager Paul Ince returned to the dugout after a five-game stadium ban and heaped praise on Fuller following Saturday's 2-0 win over Wednesday. The journeyman striker scored the opener at Bloomfield Road with a well-taken first-time flick from a corner.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Often overshadowed by David Nugent in the Foxes' attack, Vardy was the star this week as he netted a brace against Millwall to help Leicester go clear at the top.

Numpty of the Week

Tom Heaton: The keeper made life difficult for stuttering Burnley when he let Oliver Norwood's speculative volley from at least 30 yards through his grasp. It set Huddersfield on their way to victory as Burnley lost their first league game since August.

Goal of the Week

Ashley Barnes (Brighton) vs. Bournemouth: Barnes is having an extended run in the team because of Leonardo Ulloa's injury and he showed manager Oscar Garcia what he is capable of with a stunning half-volley. He looked to be in a harmless position when he received a throw-in with his back to goal, but juggled the ball onto his left foot before arrowing a left-footed shot into the top corner.


Click here for more stories about Shay Given

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AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe smiles during a pre-season friendly on July 13, 2013
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