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Championship review: Icon Vardy on Leicester farewell lap? Blackburn spiral; Hodge offers QPR hope

Jamie Vardy continued to roll back the years for promotion favourites Leicester City, Jon Worthington stepped up at Huddersfield and was rewarded with a stunning win and Blackburn Rovers continue to spiral out of control. All this and more from the latest round of the Championship...


Huddersfield Town

I've got to admit, I didn't much like Huddersfield's chances going into their game against Sheffield Wednesday this past weekend. The Terriers had sacked their manager Darren Moore and would go in with Jon Worthington in temporary charge.

When they eventually name a replacement for Moore that person will be manager number three of the season, never an ideal situation. The football had been cautious to the point of blunt under Moore, and visitors Wednesday knew that they could close to within two points of safety with a win.

It all felt to me like a tricky day for Huddersfield to navigate and when I checked in with the final scores on Saturday, a 4-0 home win was surprising to say the least. Equally surprising was the fact that approaching the final 20 minutes the game was still goalless, before the floodgates opened and the anxiety lifted around the club.

Firstly Matty Pearson headed home a set play and then three times in the space of ten minutes Huddersfield found themselves bearing down on the Wednesday goal. The chances were gobbled up and Huddersfield cruised through a vital relegation head to head. The gap between the two sides, that could have been two points, is now eight and gives Sheffield Wednesday a lot to think about in terms of getting out of the bottom three. All of the thoughts pertaining to Huddersfield can now go to appointing a new manager, perhaps this result will help the candidates forget about the revolving door at the John Smith's this past two seasons.


Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

There probably won't be too many more opportunities to write about Jamie Vardy as a current player, so I'm going to dive in and make the most of it. Vardy turned 37 last month, his contract is expiring in the summer, and all roads seem to be pointing to him being able to ride off into the sunset having helped Leicester secure the Championship title.

The Leicester striker's status as an icon of the English game has long since been secured, he was front and centre for the greatest title win most will ever see and his Premier League goal scoring exploits put him in highly elite company.

This season feels like a send off, a victory lap for Vardy and he's going out in the fashion all of us would expect. His cameo at the end of Leicester's 5-0 win at Stoke saw him add two more goals onto a gigantic career total and a gigantic total is what the Foxes are looking like putting on the board in terms of Championship points this season.

We have 16 rounds left to play and Leicester are on 72 points, projecting 110 which would break Reading's 106 point record in the modern 'Championship' era. If Vardy can stay fit and Leicester can stay the course we could see a fitting end to a fantastic career and would anybody be surprised if on the final day of the season at home to Blackburn, he's still scoring, winning and winding up the away fans in the process!


Blackburn Self Destruct

There's a worrying look of self destruction around Blackburn Rovers at the minute and if the current pattern continues this season could end in disaster. On the pitch Rovers are struggling badly and Saturday's home defeat to bottom three side QPR was the latest part of a horrible run that's seen them pick up just five points over the past 11 games. That run has sent Blackburn into the middle of a collection of teams trying to keep their heads above water, Rovers are three points off 15th place but more worryingly they're also five points off relegation.

Off the pitch things aren't looking great either with their owners The Venky Group continually struggling to get money out of India to support the football club. Manager Jon Dahl Tomasson offered to leave in the summer due to these budgetary constraints and he was intriguingly blocked by his own club from speaking to the media in the build up to the weekend's action.

The transfer window has been somewhat chaotic too, with club captain Lewis Travis loaned to fellow Championship competitors Ipswich and their most exciting young player Adam Wharton sold to Crystal Palace. Then there's the curious case of Duncan McGuire, the Orlando City striker who seemed set to join the club on deadline, but pending an appeal the deal looks to have collapsed due to an admin error over the players registration.

If that wasn't frustrating enough for the Blackburn fans, they had to put up with a similar issue last January as they tried and failed to complete a deal for midfielder Lewis O'Brien. All in all a pretty problematic turn of events at Ewood that needs turning around immediately.


Joe Hodge (QPR on loan from Wolves)

Anyone bringing in a loan signing prays they have the immediate impact that Joe Hodge had for QPR on his debut this weekend. Rangers headed up to Blackburn looking to reel them in towards the bottom three and with the game well in the balance at the hour mark Marti Cifuentes made a triple substitution.

In came Paul Smyth and two loanees, the experienced Isaac Hayden and a new name to me, Joe Hodge. The young midfielder has been on the periphery of the first team picture at Wolves the past couple of seasons but despite getting some minutes hasn't managed to break through, hence this loan down to QPR.

With the three subs into the game QPR quickly took the lead with Illias Chair's shot entering the net via post and keeper and then three minutes later, just seven minutes into his debut Hodge tapped in the second decisive goal. It's very clear with the arrival of Hodge and Hayden that QPR want to address that midfield area and this instant impact suggests in the short term at least, that problem is on the way to being solved.

Follow Benjamin Bloom on Twitter @BenjaminBloom

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