Championship

Winners & losers from gameweek 44 in the Championship

Ross Jackson
Apr 27, 2021, 6:00 PM GMT+1
Watford achieved promotion back to the Premier League
Watford achieved promotion back to the Premier League / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
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All bar three of the clubs in the Championship have just two games of the regular campaign to play and the loose ends are beginning to be tied in this season's second tier.

Gameweek 44 was a huge round of fixtures as a number of sides either secured their place in the play-off spots or strengthened their bid for survival, and there was even a promotion party down at Vicarage Road.

You can probably guess who one of our 'winners' spots goes to this week, so without further ado let's get down to the winners and losers from the latest gameweek of Championship action.

1. Winners - Watford

We couldn't possibly start anywhere else.

After just one season away from the Premier League, Watford booked their place in next season's top flight with a 1-0 victory over Millwall on Saturday afternoon.

Having sacked Vladimir Ivic midway through the season, the Hornets have done brilliantly to regroup and push on following a tricky few months prior to the hectic Christmas schedule.

Xisco has transformed the club's season since his arrival in December and they truly deserve their place back at English football's top table.

2. Losers - Sheffield Wednesday

When Sheffield Wednesday travelled to Middlesbrough on Saturday, hopes would have been high that they could take at least a point from their clash against a Boro side who look to have been on the beach for well over a month.

The Owls failed to capitalise against Neil Warnock's men and instead they let Yannick Bolasie and co walk all over them.

Boro came away with a comfortable 3-1 win and with Darren Moore's side still four points from safety with two games remaining - not to mention the fact Rotherham have two games in hand over them - their status as a Championship club looks like it could be disappearing.

3. Winners - Barnsley

Barnsley secured their place in the play-off spots
Barnsley secured their place in the play-off spots / Jan Kruger/Getty Images

When the Manager of the Season award is handed out at the end of the campaign it'll be an absolute travesty if it's not given to Valerien Ismael.

The Frenchman has breathed life into the Tykes' season and having looked destined for yet another relegation battle they've now notched themselves a play-off spot.

Their scrappy 1-0 win over Rotherham on Saturday did the trick and while they were perhaps fortunate to come away with the three points on the afternoon, they're undoubtedly the in-form side heading into the play-offs.

4. Losers - Reading

Barnsley's gain is Reading's loss.

The Royals have been one of the most entertaining sides in the division this season and they looked good value for a play-off spot at the very least.

However, inconsistency has cost them and their 2-2 draw at home to Swansea has confirmed they'll be a second-tier side once again next season.

In truth, Veljko Paunovic's men did well to take anything from the game having trailed 2-1 with just minutes remaining, but that'll be scant consolation given the early promise they showed in the opening months of the campaign.

5. Winners - Birmingham

Lee Bowyer has done a superb job since being appointed Birmingham boss last month.

The former Charlton manager has guided his side to safety, picking up five wins from his eight games at the helm and perhaps more importantly suffering just one defeat.

The Blues are now looking up at a possible mid-table finish rather than glancing nervously over their shoulder at the sides below them, and their 2-1 win over Derby on Saturday courtesy of a Lukas Jutkiewicz brace mathematically confirmed their place in the Championship next season.

6. Losers - Wycombe

While Birmingham can begin planning for life in the second tier next season, Wycombe's 2-1 defeat to Cardiff means they'll be preparing for life in League One.

The Chairboys have looked up against it since the very start of the season, though their mini revival over the last few weeks offered slight hope they could do the unthinkable and scrap their way to safety.

However, they're now six points from safety with a significantly worse goal difference than all of the sides above them and just two games remaining, meaning Gareth Ainsworth's men are realistically - if not mathematically - heading for League One.

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