We are only three games into the new Championship season but Ian Holloway’s Blackpool are already clear at the top of the table.
The Seasiders have kept hold of Ian Holloway, after he was linked elsewhere in the summer, and to win their first three matches is some achievement – especially after the heartbreak of losing in the Play-Off final to West Ham back in May.
When teams get so close to achieving something they’ve been working so hard for, it can take a while to get over the disappointment – a ‘hangover’ I think they call it. The same can happen when it comes to using financial betting sites on a regular basis.
But Blackpool have started like a train and that bodes well for the rest of the campaign. Holloway’s men have to be considered worthy promotion contenders.
Of the relegated sides, Blackburn have started the best, with two wins and a draw. And with all the upheaval at Ewood Park – with most of the Rovers faithful still wanting boss Steve Kean removed from his post – it has come as a slight surprise.
Teams coming down from the top flight often struggle with life outside of the big time initially, but Blackburn, to their and Kean’s credit, are sitting in third and looking to bounce back at the first attempt. If they can keep off field distractions to a minimum, Rovers should be there or thereabouts with the quality at their disposal.
Wolves and Bolton have four points from nine and for me, will both be challenging for a top six slot come the end of the season but Sheffield Wednesday – promoted from League One last season – are perhaps the surprise package so far.
With two wins and a draw from their first two encounters, Dave Jones’ outfit have earned their place amongst the early pacesetters and looking at the recent records of promoted teams, the Hillsborough club will feel confident of a good season.
Both Norwich City and Southampton have secured back-to-back promotions in the last two years and Wednesday are certainly a big enough club to mount a challenge. Jones is vastly experienced in this division and will know what it takes – even if he couldn’t get over the finishing line when in charge of Cardiff City.
As is always the way in the Championship, there are numerous clubs capable of getting promoted and we’d be here all night if I went through all the possible contenders.
But for me, Leeds United will surely go close as well under the guidance of promotion specialist Neil Warnock. It promises to be yet another fascinating season in the second tier.