5 improved Championship players - Blackburn, Wednesday and Derby men feature

Blackburn Rovers Goal Celebrations

Bournemouth, Derby, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday players feature.

The Championship season is drawing to an end and a number of players have put in performances this season to enhance their reputation. Here are five who we feel have taken a big step forward.

Ratings and statistics from whoscored.com…

Simon Francis: 7.45 – Bournemouth (pictured right)

Francis hasn't missed a minute of league football for Bournemouth in this season or the last two. The 29-year-old has been a consistent performer at right-back as the club has moved up the leagues and has seamlessly made the transition into Championship football. The defender has six assists to his name, with three of those coming in the 4-1 defeat of Leeds. Only Kieran Trippier has a higher rating from right-back. 

Jake Buxton: 7.42 – Derby

Since coming on for the injured Shaun Barker against Nottingham Forest two years ago and scoring the winning goal, Jake Buxton's career has gone from strength to strength. The centre-back has rarely made a mistake this season and has impressed not only with his defending but with his long-range passing as well. His progress has been amazing to watch seeing as he was playing non-league not too long ago. 

Tom Cairney: 7.41 – Blackburn

Cairney has the third highest pass succession rate in the league, at 87%. The 23-year-old is very strong on the ball, and puts in as much work defensively for his team as he does going forward. The centre-mid who can play on the right was initially on loan from Hull but made the switch permanent in January. He hasn't featured since picking up an injury against Reading but will be a huge player for Blackburn next season. 

Craig Forsyth: 7.27 – Derby

The highest rated left-back in the league, with Chris Cohen still injured, Forsyth has changed his position since joining from Watford where he was used in midfield or as a wing-back. Energetic bursts are a key part of his game and has been a standout player in the Derby team this year, not missing a minute all season. 

Chris Maguire: 7.14 – Sheffield Wednesday

With six goals and two assists in just 16 appearances, Maguire spent a month on loan at Coventry at the beginning of the season, scoring twice in League One. Since returning the 25-year-old put in a man of the match performance against QPR, bagging a goal, and has played his part in Wednesday's impressive season. 

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