Most players fancy themselves from free-kicks. The majority only get to take them if they stay on after training to bend them into an empty net, or if they grasp the opportunity to have an occasional lash from 25 yards in the warm-up, but that doesn't stop lots of footballers believing they should be given the set-piece duties.

A lot of managers have preconceptions when it comes to selecting who has them. It will often be the guy that's always taken set plays throughout his career, a cultured midfield player, or as is often the case one of the squad's stronger characters. Some lads just aren't even considered, even though they might actually turn out to be better.

Last week, in the absence of his regular specialist, Bristol City boss Derek McInnes held a free-kick competition in training to find himself an alternative, and Albert Adamoah took the spoils. Then as fate would have it, with the scores level at 2-2 against Sheffield Wednesday with two minutes left to play, up he stepped to smash home the winner - with his first ever free-kick goal.

I think it was a fabulous idea from the Robins boss. I've been part of penalty competitions in training to determine who gets to take them in a shoot-out but never have I heard of a free-kick tournament, and you have to say it paid off.

I've witnessed plenty of on-pitch squabbles between free-kick takers but no one can argue that Adamoah doesn't deserve to take them from now on, can they?

Another player who has been making a few headlines recently is Derby County teenager Will Hughes. He's only 17 but has played 22 matches this season already for the Rams, which goes to show what a key man he's become in this, his breakthrough campaign.

I like the look of him as a player. He's slight, but he's brave on and off the ball and has energy to burn. Looking at his natural ability - and the way he's performing at such a young age - Will Hughes is probably going to be a very well-known footballer in the years to come.

Can Derby County keep hold of him? That's always the quandary for an npower Championship club that possesses a youngster that the big boys are keeping a close eye on. He's been linked with some of the Premier League's most famous clubs, and as a result they may have to fend off some bids in January.

Nigel Clough will be loving the fact that he can give a kid like Hughes his chance to shine, but it must also be frustrating for him to know that the better he does, the more likely it is that he'll be bought by someone else. It happened at Ipswich Town with Connor Wickham, and I'll be surprised if the Rams board are able to resist the temptation to cash in if they receive a sizeable offer.

On a less positive note it was sad to see so many empty seats at Ewood Park for their Friday night clash with Cardiff City. I know it was freezing cold and that the match was on TV, but I was still surprised to see such a small attendance for the visit of the Welshmen. I believe it was Rovers' lowest home gate in the league for 19 years, which is sad.

As a player it's not easy to walk out on front of a smaller than normal attendance. Believe it or not, players feel guilty if the crowd is low because it's a reflection of the way they've been performing.

I played for Ipswich in the top flight when we had 28,000 and also when we were struggling in front of less than half of that. It's a bit demoralising, but as professionals you shouldn't let it affect you too much.

It's down to you as a team to play better, improve results and enjoy the praise and attention once the crowds flock back.

Henning Berg is under a lot of pressure already at Ewood Park because he hasn't won a game in front of the home fans yet.

Mind you, Blackburn really shouldn't get too down in the dumps about sitting in 13th place. Remarkably just five points separate sixth-placed Watford from 17th-placed Burnley.

This is the npower Championship, so we come to expect it, but there really is still everything to play for right across this unpredictable division.