Sky Bet Championship best stats XI of October: Leeds, Wolves and Cardiff players feature
By Martin Laurence, Whoscored.com
Last Updated: 02/11/17 3:52pm
Three months in and the Sky Bet Championship standings are starting to take shape.
A number of sides that had struggled previously had a strong record in October and as such are represented in WhoScored.com's team of the month, joined by some increasingly familiar faces towards the top of the table...
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Goalkeeper: Jason Steele (Sunderland) - 7.1
While it was another disappointing month for Sunderland, and one that ultimately saw Simon Grayson sacked, things could have been a whole lot more bleak were it not for Steele. Despite missing the 3-3 draw with Bolton, the former Boro stopper produced more saves than any other Championship keeper at a rate of 6.3 per game.
Right back: Joe Bryan (Bristol City) - 7.46
Full-back Bryan is enjoying an excellent start to the season and has been key to Bristol City's success thus far, with the Robins moving up to fourth in the table. The 24-year-old produced 13 tackles to rank among the league's top-10 players, while only one managed more interceptions over the month (14).
Centre back: Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff) - 7.67
Cardiff's staying power at the top has owed much to an excellent defensive record, with the Bluebirds conceding just twice in four appearances in October. Manga was the only Championship player to rank among the top five for both tackles and interceptions (14 apiece) and made 37 clearances last month.
Centre back: Sean Morrison (Cardiff) - 7.66
Joining his team-mate at the back, Morrison was a rock for Neil Warnock's side and is such a dominating aerial presence to be able to call upon. He won the most aerial duels in October, with 37, and matched that tally - along with that of Manga - in terms of clearances to boot.
Left back: Adam Reach (Sheffield Wednesday) - 7.47
Reach's versatility was put to use over October, fielded at both left-back and left midfield, and he posed a threat from both positions as the Owls began to build some momentum with home victories over Leeds and Millwall. The 23-year-old scored twice to directly earn the side three points across their win over the Lions and the draw with Barnsley.
Right midfield: Sammy Ameobi (Bolton) - 7.86
The star man last month, Sammy Ameobi's return to the Bolton side has coincided with some much-needed optimism at the club. Prior to October the Trotters had just one point to their name and the Newcastle graduate had started just once. However, having started all four matches last month, the winger scored in three of said outings, with each of his goals earning at least a point to take Phil Parkinson's side to eight for the season.
Centre midfield: Massimo Luongo (QPR) - 7.69
Australia international Luongo continued to prove what a strong performer he is at this level with another notable month for Ian Holloway's side. The Hoops went unbeaten and pulled off shock victories over Wolves and Sheffield United, who were both top at the time of their meetings, with the midfielder making his presence felt. He produced the most tackles in October (18) and registered an assist in the 2-1 win over Wolves.
Centre midfield: Samuel Saiz (Leeds) - 7.45
While it was a bad month for Leeds in general, summer signing Saiz continued to shine brightly. The Spaniard scored twice in their only victory during October - a 3-0 win at high-flying Bristol City - while registering a third assist of the season in defeat to in-form Derby.
Left midfield: Diogo Jota (Wolves) - 7.77
On the subject of summer signings shining bright, Jota continues to prove a gold star acquisition for table-topping Wolves. While the 20-year-old added just one goal and one assist to his tallies in October, his trickery was a real asset on the counter, completing the third most dribbles in the Championship (14).
Forward: Leo Bonatini (Wolves) - 7.66
While Jota steals the headlines, the man with whom he has forged an impressive partnership racked up five goals last month to share the lead in the scoring charts on nine. Bonatini only started three games, amassing 267 minutes of action in October to score at a rate of one goal every 53.
Forward: Idrissa Sylla (QPR) - 7.52
The QPR striker hadn't had many opportunities to impress this season prior to October, but he certainly managed that to help Holloway's men make significant strides up the table. Four of the 26-year-old's five league starts came last month and he scored in three of those, while offering a real outlet to win 24 aerial duels and help the Hoops relieve pressure at the back.