Do you want to write for Squarefootball? Contact us on Twitter for more details.

« Liverpool: Carling Cup success or a top four finish - what would you rather have? | Squarefootball homepage | Liverpool: Has Dirk Kuyt Finally Had His Moment In The Sun? »

Monday, 27 February 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Relegation Battle In The Championship Will Go To The Wire

Bookmark and Share

Sqf hugh larkin

The Championship is living up to its reputation as one of the most competitive leagues in Europe. All the teams near the bottom have been battling hard in recent weeks and Nottingham Forest proved that nothing can be taken for granted by winning at Birmingham.

This is the same Blues side that were on a great run and undefeated at St Andrews against a Forest side who were in freefall three weeks ago and couldn't buy a goal from anywhere. Perhaps Chris Hughton's team had to come unstuck eventually but few would have picked the East Midlands side as the ones to do it.

The game was a personal triumph for Dexter Blackstock who has endured a nightmare with injuries and hadn't hit the target for fully 15 months - then the striker came up with two in one game.

The win put a bit of daylight between Forest and the bottom three but it was just as well they did get three points, as Millwall and Coventry City were also winners and Doncaster Rovers are still showing signs of life.

Portsmouth's descent into administration has dragged them back into the mire and Bristol City are hovering in a precarious position again after their initial improvement under Derek McInnes.

Ipswich Town surged clear of the pack recently and it begins to look as if the three teams for the drop will come from the current bottom seven, through Peterborough have clawed out a handy 10 point cushion to the drop zone.

Ipswich, Derby and Watford are all on 40 points and each would have to endure a dreadful run to be dragged back into the bottom three. Millwall's win at Burnley could be critical for them - six points separate the Lions from resurgent Coventry.

All season the Sky Blues have been losing games by tight margins but since Christmas Andy Thorn's squad have been getting the edge in enough games to raise belief that they can clamber to safety. This contest looks set to go the last day.


In League One Sheffield Wednesday staunched a run of damaging defeats in the best possible way by beating arch-rivals Sheffield United. Chris O'Grady's second half winner leaves the Owls just two points adrift of the Blades in the pursuit of automatic promotion.

Only one automatic spot seems to be on offer because Chris Powell's Charlton show no signs of faltering - with a 10-point lead the League One title is theirs to lose.


Paulo Di Canio's first campaign as a manager is shaping up to be a remarkable one. His Swindon side have now hit the top in League Two and he's steered them to Wembley for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.

The Robins have found a consistent vein of form in a division where so many teams have reached the peak only to fall backwards. Southend, Crawley, Shrewsbury and Cheltenham have all had their moments but after a slow start- and a few controversies, inevitably- Di Canio has got his players performing with all the passion and intensity that he was famed for.


In the Blue Square Premier Fleetwood Town have finally been able to put some daylight between themselves and Wrexham. The Welsh side fell to an unexpected loss at struggling Stockport County and the Lancashire club now hold a five-point advantage in the race for the title - but Wrexham do have a game in hand.

A cluster of recent ex-League clubs are battling for a play-off berth. Luton Town, York City, Grimsby Town, Mansfield Town and Kidderminster Harriers are all in the pack behind Wrexham, as are Southport, who lost their Football League place way back in 1978.

Related Articles: - Football News & Transfers

The View From Outside the Premier League: Forest Force Vital Win and Plymouth Enjoy an Away Day Romp

The View From Outside the Premier League: The Gulls Fly High but the Owls Crash Land

The View From Outside the Premier League: Hughton's Birmingham maintain their promotion push

The View From Outside the Premier League: The Onward March of Crawley and a New Era at Accrington Stanley

The View From Outside the Premier League: West Ham go top as Coventry shock Middlesbrough

The View From Outside the Premier League: Birmingham hit six while Southampton get back in the groove

The View From Outside the Premier League: Robins Fly High and Rhodes Terrorises Wycombe

The View From Outside the Premier League: West Ham close in on stuttering Saints as Leeds United leave it late

The View Outside the Premier League: Sheffield pair see out 2011 in style but it's misery for Northampton Town

The View From Outside the Premier League: Southampton dominate at the Dell

Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield serve up a Christmas cracker

The View From Outside of The Premier League: Southend Fall at Cheltenham and Crawley Take Full Advantage

Southampton lose again as Bristol Rovers stage Goal of the Season competition

FA Cup Second Round: How many non-league sides will reach the Third Round?

Bristol City are on the march as Northampton crumble

Huddersfield make it 43 games unbeaten as Northampton Town are smashed by Shrewsbury

The View From Outside the Premier League: Fleetwood sit on the Chairboys and Swindon show their class in the FA Cup

Arsenal, Coventry and Leicester: Can a new ground be blamed for a lack of success?

Leicester get the blues in front of the TV cameras yet again

When will the Bristol giants finally wake up?

Sven's Leicester are moving onwards and upwards

Derby lead the Midlands challenge

A great week for Notts County

MK Dons title charge is looking good

Boro make a statement on intent

Southampton keep marching onwards and upwards

Yeovil look up for the fight

AFC Wimbledon and Crawley tipped to take League Two by storm

Follow sqfMelvin on Twitter


Hugh Larkin



Twitter & Facebook

TweetBook? Face-itter? No, not Face-itter; TweetBook it is.

sqF writers* on Twitter

Get in touch with sqF if you want to be added ...
* Past & present

sqF on Facebook

Squarefootball on Facebook


Our laughable attempt to raise revenue.

    • Buy on Amazon
    • Buy on
    • Buy at Tesco
    • Buy at Lulu