Loan Roundup – April 26-27
Posted by nickogs20 on April 29, 2008
With three having helped steer their sides clear of the threat of relegation and another having already celebrated clinching the League One title, this past weekend was all about our other four loanees’ continuing pursuit of promotion to the Premier League.
Lee Martin will sadly play no further part in Sheffield United’s unlikely bid for a play-off place, his injury-ravaged season now over after his return from a long-term injury lasted just 20 minutes. Lee replaced Ugo Ehiogu midway through the first half of the Blades’ 2-1 win over Bristol City but, typical of the luck he’s had with injuries this season, he only lasted until half-time after suffering ruptured ankle ligaments. Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell has confirmed the winger’s season is almost certainly over.
Hull are already sure of a play-off place, and a dramatic late winner against Crystal Palace at the KC Stadium from skipper Ian Ashbee leaves them with an outside chance of automatic promotion going into the final weeked. Not only that, but the Humberside outfit’s victory – in which Fraizer Campbell opened the scoring with his 15th goal of the season – has kept vanquished Palace within reach of a clutch of sides just outside the play-off places. Sheffield United, as mentioned, are one of those, and also within striking distance are Danny Simpson‘s Ipswich and Darron Gibson‘s Wolves, both of whom just about kept in touch with away draws at Preston and Coventry respectively. Danny played the full 90, while Gibbo was replaced with a couple of minutes to go having picked up a booking. Ipswich host Hull, Wolves entertain Plymouth at Molineux while Sheffield United make the long trip to relegation-haunted Southampton on what promises to be a dramatic final day in the Championship.
Significantly less drama and, more unfortunately, significantly less playing time for Kieran Lee, who again was an unused substitute as QPR lost 3-0 in a meaningless game with Norwich at Carrow Road. Rumours of a permanent move become harder and harder to believe with every game that Kieran doesn’t make it onto the pitch despite QPR’s position in mid-table no mans’ land – after a bright start this is a loan move that hasn’t worked out as hoped for one of the most talented all-round footballers in the reserve setup at United, and next season might prove to be make or break.
Little drama for Febian Brandy either, with Swansea already champions of League One and in party mood. Brandy played the last 18 minutes as sub as the Swans, with the pressure well and truly off, hammered Leyton Orient 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium. Jonny Evans was again an absentee for Sunderland, missing the 3-2 win over North East rivals Middlesbrough that confirmed the Wearside club’s Premier League safety, while Michael Barnes continued his efforts to earn a full-time contract at Shrewsbury by impressing for their reserves.