Following yesterday’s managerial changes I’m happy to admit that I know far more about the situation at Bristol City than I do about what’s been going on at Crawley.
Bristol City were amongst the favourites to be promoted straight back to the Championship but as I pointed out before the season began, they’ve never been a yo-yo club. Having spent the vast majority of their career in the football league shuffling between the second and third tiers of English football, this season’s less than impressive start under Sean O’Driscoll had been either a sign of ‘transition’ or the return to the dark days of three decades ago when City almost disappeared entirely. Whichever side of the argument you were on depended almost entirely on how old and how gullible you were.
The situation at Crawley is far more straightforward. Having not won since mid October – but having not lost this month – the Red Devils weren’t performing spectacularly badly but according to some rumours Richie Barker was being lined up as a replacement for Guy Whittingham at Portsmouth and that may have hastened his depature.
Back to onfield matters and Wolves went back to the top of the table after beating Tranmere; Leyton Orient blew the lead twice at Bristol City whilst Brentford and Preston continued their impressive recent performances with victories against Peterborough and Port Vale respectively. At the foot of the table Crewe and Notts County cannot escape the bottom four regardless of results tomorrow.
It’s the final leg of the three game mini season tomorrow and so far the only team with two wins is Oldham, who entertain Bradford on Sunday. Peterborough, MK Dons, Coventry and Crewe have lost both games this week and with Coventry travelling to Buckinghamshire this weekend it’s possible that the Sky Blues might end up losing all three.
Other games of interest: Peterborough entertain Wolves and there’s a trio of ‘top v bottom’ games at Leyton Orient, Notts County and Preston. Posh have been in the doldrums recently – five straight defeats can’t really be described as anything else – but curiously they have a very good record at Molineux having only lost once in five league games there.
Sheffield United have already lost at Wolves and Brentford this season and although the Blades have not lost at Leyton Orient for just over 30 years I’d be surprised if they came away with anything. Notts County have lost narrowly to Wolves and Preston at Meadow Lane and if their most recent games against Brentford are anything to go by it’s not inconceivable that the Magpies could earn a point: seven of the last ten meetings on the banks of the Trent have been draws. The last time Bristol City played at Deepdale they won 4-0 but they’ve never won consecutive league games at Preston and with only two away wins in the league in almost a calendar year it wouldn’t be a big surprise if the Somerset Robins finished off an uncomfortable week with another defeat.
Back next week with the second round of the FA Cup.