So, the Football League season is well and truly underway with just over a quarter of the fixture list completed. We’re now at the stage of the season where you start to get an idea of who’s going to achieve what when May comes around. With that in mind, in this article I’m going analyse the survival chances of the current bottom four teams in League Two.
Currently sitting rock bottom of the Football League with a worrying five points, Darlington are obviously the most fancied contenders for the drop. The club had to rebuild their squad from almost scratch in the Summer after their well documented financial troubles and it seems clear that the group of players acquired on a shoe-string budget probably isn’t strong enough to stay in the Football League.
There’s still a long way to go yet and new manager Steve Staunton managed to get the club’s first win of the season in only his second game in charge. However, the lack of general quality in the squad and funding would suggest that the Irishman needs nothing short of a miracle to keep them up. Relegation.
Placed just outside the relegation zone, newly promoted Torquay United would take that position come May. Captain Chris Hargreves is an experienced lower league head and his years spent in the bottom couple of divisions will be an invaluable asset in a relegation stuggle. Couple this with the hope that Scott Rendell can find the goal scoring form that earned him a big money move to Peterborough, I predict the Gulls will survive.
Occupying the other relegation spot at the moment on 11 points are managerless Grimsby Town. Outspoken manager Mike Newell was dismissed two weeks ago after the 2-0 home defeat to Rochdale left the club in a perilous position. There’s no denying that there’s some talent in the squad. Barry Conlon is a proven goalscorer at this level but the loss of young starlet Ryan Bennett to Peterborough will have hit them hard.
A lot obviously depends on who takes the vacant manager seat at Blundell Park. Caretaker manager Neil Woods hasn’t really set the world alight having overseen a defeat and a draw. The rumours of Hope Powell being in contention for the job would probably prove to be an unneccessary risk to take. I just can’t see them getting the right man for the job. Relegation.
Perhaps the most shocking sight of the season is to see Sammy McIlroy’s men lurking dangerously just outside the relegation zone. Having adapted to league football like a duck to water, many predicted Morecambe to push on towards the playoffs this year. Quite the opposite has happened, with just one win under their belt, nine draws and only four defeats are keeping their points total respectable. Despite this, McIlroy has the ability to pull a good result out of the bag when it’s needed, and for this reason I think they’ll survive.
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