It’s time for your monthly EFL Championship roundup. Last month we took a look at where the race for the playoffs stands.
Today, we take a look at the relegation battle. And it’s just as competitive.
I’ll put the number of teams under threat of relegation at seven: Queens Park Rangers (39 Pts), Birmingham (38), Rotherham (37), Cardiff (35), Huddersfield (31), Blackpool (31), Wigan (31).
It’s hard to believe that a side like QPR, who were in the automatic places back in October, would be in the conversation. But this club have not won a match since December 17 and have a tricky run-in. Granted, an eight-point gap over the bottom three is a sizeable margin. They’ll stay up under new boss Gareth Ainsworth.
Speaking of new bosses, Neil Warnock is back on the touchline with Huddersfield. His reign got off to a solid start with a 2-1 win over Birmingham in what was a classic Neil Warnock managed game, but an away trip to Burnley proved fruitless. I think he was a good hire by Huddersfield (signed through end of season) and a little man management can go a long way. But I struggle to see where they can pick up wins this month where they have to play Coventry, Bristol (who haven’t lost all calendar year), West Brom, Norwich and Millwall.
Perhaps what’s most welcoming to Huddersfield would be even two more hapless teams: Blackpool and Wigan. Blackpool exceeded expectations last year after promotion from League One, and I have a hard time seeing Mike McCarthy saving this club. Ditto for Wigan, whose return to the second tier will be short lived. That wasn’t helped with the 58-day managerial tenure of Kolo Toure, who failed to win a single match while at the helm.
Elsewhere there is Cardiff City. It’s difficult to stay up in any league when your top goalscorer is at five goals for the season. They had one impressive win lately - against a shoddily structured Birmingham on February 14 - but aside from that they look like a club that could be playing in the third tier next year.
The race for relegation:
Probably safe: QPR, Rotherham, Birmingham
Toss up: Cardiff City, Huddersfield
Doomed: Blackpool, Wigan
Fitzie’s track of the day: Give Me Love, by George Harrison
And now for your links:
Alasdair Gold’s latest video on Oliver Skipp appreciation, Cristian Stellini and more
Polish amputee Marcin Olesky wins 2022 Puskas Award
Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson on owning woodland, the challenges of the club and more
Blackburn Rovers’ Tyrhys Dolan on what the death of his friend taught him about life and loss (Warning: Article contains mentions of suicide)