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English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread


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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

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Cardiff Secure Survival With Convincing Win Over Relegated Baggies

West Bromwich Albion 0 - 4 Cardiff City

Last week's narrow home win over Coventry at home was the biggest result of the season as it put the team on 42 points and 5 points clear, but this game was all about putting to bed any nagging doubts of some come back by a side below them. This result confirms a quite magnificent comeback by Cardiff.

West brom have been putting together a few decent results recently so this was never going to be a walkover, luckily after 7 minutes Semioli eased those nerves after side-footing in a pull back from the by-line to make it 1-0. Cardiff's 5-man midfield kept the ball well for the remainder of the half not allowing WBA any sort of sight at goal, and just 4 minutes from the break Zyranov hit a trade mark volley to make it a safe-looking 2-0.

After the break Cardiff took the foot off the gas a lot just happy to pass it round the team. Although in the 68th minute goal-machine Aduriz made it 3-0 with a bullet header from a corner. Then 4 minutes from the final whistle he added a second to make it 11 in 10 games and fully pay-back his transfer fee.

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Semioli gets the early winner at The Hawthorns

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Sky Sports Reporter : How do you feel about bringing this great club back from the clutches of relegation ?

"It's truly unbelievable, when I first arrived I was just happy to get a club in this set-up and I was getting ready for a season in the 3rd division. However with my early transfers I started picking up favourable results including a fine run of 4 wins in 5 games which gave me a slight glimour of hope. The little slump after that was worrying as I thought my hard work would count for nothing but thankfully the team has pulled together when it mattered and recorded 4 back-to-back wins to drag us way out of the danger zone with a game to spare"

Sky Sports Reporter : Now that your safe do you think you have what it takes to challenge at the other end of the table next campaign ?

"Well with the form I've produced so far there's no reason why that can't continue next year when I have a full season to set out all the targets I want. But there are other very good managers in this league plus 3 more coming up from Div 3 and from Div1 so it will be tough to make that step up"

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

Brentford Secure Pedro Leon on Loan.

After failing to Impress at SUnderland, Pedro Leon has been loaned to Brentford inorder to Re-energate his career. He has had many issues in the past few months and has finally been guranteed first team football.

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Manager SHehan De Kariyak said:

"Glad to get a supestar for my developing team. We have been relegated but it his a player like Pedro Leon that can gain us promotion and boost the morale of the entire team."

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

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Sheffield United Secures the services of Reyes

Sheffield United Football Club are pleased to announce that Jose Reyes has joined the blades on loan for the last few games of the season to help the club gain promotion to Division One next season.The creative Spanish player can play anywhere on the left and has a real eye for a goal and will be used as a sub coming on for Arron Hunt later in the second half period of the game..

Reyes below during this Mornings press conferance

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Jose has spoken on his loan move from Sunderland to the Blades"I 'am delighted be able to come in and help out Avram secure promotion to Division One,l have known Avram for some time and l know he's been a fan of me for some time ,so l am delighted to be here".It would be great to come on a secure the winning goal in the clubs most important game of the season coming up on Wednesday,we must win and Preston must lose,all we can do as a team is get 3 points and hope for the best".

Avram also added a few words during this mornings press conference"I really happy to have Jose on board for our most important games of the season,l have a real interest in him long term and if he plays well for us l could well be talking to the Sunderland manager over a perminant deal,though he got to perform and Sunderland may not want to sell so we shall see."I have enquired previously to his availibity,but the Sunderland managers always been keen to keep Jose so we shall have to see and to be honest someone would have to leave to make it happen,which l not sure l want that to happen,we have a well balanced squad at the moment"

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

'We will have title next season'

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Proud Tottenham manager Tom has today stated that his team are good enough to win the Division 1 title next season. Tottenham have won 5 of thier last seven games with victories over Liverpool, Burnley, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Arsenal. With the Tottenham team having confidence from the form they are in, they would want to entertain thier fans at the last game of the season on Wednesday against Birmingham.

Although there form shows they are more then capable of winning against big teams, there team isnt really big enough to compete and Tom will have to some wealing and dealing to bulk up there squad at the end of the season to try and get the title.

Tottenham's stongest team is:

Gomes - Gk

Chalme - RB Mexes - CB Terry - CB Ansaldi - LB

Lennon - RM Milner - CM Modric - CM Kranjcar - LM

Ibrahimovic - FWD Eto'o - FWD

Subs: Saviola, Bale, Bassong, Palacious, Assou - Ekotto

That Tottenham team is strong but needs to be bulked up with some quality players otherwise most of these players wouldnt beable to play every game next season.

Saying that, some of those players would easilly fit in to a winning Division 1 team. Players such as Terry, Mexes, Milner, Ibrahimovic and Eto'o.

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Star Players

But if Tom really wants to win a trophy next season, his team really needs more invesment to bulk up the squad.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

THE HIGGY PIGGY CHAMPIONSHIP

THE D - DAY

PICTURES FROM BRAMALL LANE - SHEFFIELD UNITED

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  • The sun maybe shines right now on Bramall Lane at 10 this morning - the home of Sheffield United, but will it be shining bright at about 10 tonight?

  • They host relegated and buried Doncaster tonight who will start life next season in League One. Can the Blades win and then give themselves a shot of automatic promotion to the top flight tonight?

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

"We hope to extend our sponsorship agreement" - HP Banks.

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Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Franz Heilmer, General Director at the Higgy Piggy Banks co. has said that they are hoping to extend their current sponsorship deal of the English 2nd division beyond this season and that it has been a privilege for them so far to sponsor such a league. The German has announced that the international universal bank, who's contract expires at the end of this season, are currently in negotiations for the extension.

Outgoing Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney said that HPBC is "a widely respected company with a strong pedigree in sports sponsorship". "Their support is a huge boost to our clubs and represents the enhanced reputation of the Football League in the commercial marketplace."

HPB major shareholder and West Ham manager Ahmed Gharib has also said that he is hoping that negotiations for the contract extension to be completed soon.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

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Everyone's Behind Swansea In Survival Battle With Stoke

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Swansea City have it all to do on the final day, in there survival battle with Stoke City

Swansea are generally favoured by the majority of the managers in EC5579 as they go into the most important match so far under the reign of Aidan Radford, facing Preston needing to avoid defeat at the very least to survive ahead of unpopular Stoke City. Swansea have looked safe on numerous times this season, but a terrible run going into the end of the season has put them right at the depths of relegation, and they slipped into the relegation zone just a few games before the end of the season. They could have gone down on Saturday, but Swansea's side put in a rare strong performance as they beat Bristol City away from home quiet comfortably 3-1 with goals from Kevin Doyle, Eidur Gudjohnsen & Raul Garcia. There Divison 2 status is on the line, and despite having matches such as a Play-off Semi-Final and a Shield Final last season this is the biggest game for them whilst under the charge of local boss Aidan Radford. If things don't go well for them tonight, they'll have to drop down from Divison 2, a league where Radford has really enjoyed and has really settled in, and enter Divison 3 where anything can happen. Swansea have done a lot of preparation going into the game, and are hoping for a win desperatley whilst looking for Bristol City to avoid defeat, as they hope to be in Divison 2 next season.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

THE HIGGY PIGGY CHAMPIONSHIP

THE D - DAY

PICTURES FROM THE LIBERTY STADIUM - SWANSEA CITY

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  • A day in the life of Swansea as per usual? It may look it but the nerves around this city are madness on the footballing side. Football brains, or just Swansea's neutral citizens, they all know the importance of this evening. Relegation will bite and crunch on them if that becomes a reality tonight. Can they get their positive result they need?

  • Preston are currently on their way to Swansea on their team bus. Victory tonight will seal their place in next season's Premier League Division - tonight is as big for them as it is for the Swans you know.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

THE HIGGY PIGGY CHAMPIONSHIP

THE D - DAY

PICTURES FROM ASHTON GATE - BRISTOL CITY

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  • Should Swansea get a positive result tonight against high flying Preston North End - all eyes concerned will beem onto the match proceeding at Ashton Gate, Bristol no doubt. A Bristol City victory here would then see the Swans survive the drop! Bristol City of course face 17th placed and edgey Stoke City - a team of course who were relegated from the Premier League in Season 1. Could they be in for a rather disasterous back - to - back relegation? Below - The Stoke City Team Bus at 17:25 PM

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

THE HIGGY PIGGY BANK'S CHAMPIONSHIP

CHAMPIONSHIP CHECK - UP - THE FINAL TURN - D - DAY

Well tonight - the regular playing season hits the end. Its been some season though hasnt it folks? Whatever your league, Whatever your interest? Whatever your style? Whatever your belief? Whatever your goal / dream? Whatever your ultimate ambition to gain at the end of it all? Tonight marks turn 38, and the huge majority, it will be the last night of action of this hugely entertaining season. Tonight things will go out in no doubt a big bang we anticipate!!! Nowhere more than in the Higgy Piggy Championship. They have been incredible sponsors this season, and tonight we hear in depth from the man behind them - Higgy himself. What are we waiting for? Lets rock and roll!!!! Lets preview tonights massive ties!!!

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Leicester City © vs Reading

Positions = 1st v 4th

Newly crowned Championship champions Leicester host playoff chasers, and in serious business no doubt - Reading. Tonight there is due to be a trophy presentation at the Walkers Stadium, where the Foxes will receive the coverted trophy from The Higgy Piggy Banks Ltd, and Higgy himself. So party time on their behalf, but will Reading be planning a party of their very own too? Can they make the cut for the end of season promotion playoffs? Defeat here tonight will put their position in big doubt indeed!

Theyve been there for it all, and backed us for another remarkable season. Nobody thought season 1 could be topped quite like this! Higgy, our sponsor - spoke to us this week, and gave us his feelings!

Q: Firstly, how privileged do you feel to have sponsored this season's Championship division?

Certainly, I'm very proud to have sponsored one of the most entertaining leagues in europe this season and can only hope to extend the sponsorship beyond this season.

Q: Which team has suprised you the most?

Leicester City, Matty has done a great job this season, after finishing 6th last season behind the likes of Swansea I would have expected another fight for a play-off position.. but Matty has really taken the step up and has had a great season, will be interesting to see how he does in the EPL next season.

Q: Baring that in mind, Who do you think has been the biggest overachievers and underachievers?

Swansea are definitely the biggest underachievers this season, I predicted that they would not succeed but was slaughtered before the season begun.. seems like I should make more of these predictions.. Swansea definitely have a squad good enough to make a decent fight for promotion, yet they are languishing in the relegation zone.

As for the overachievers, I'd probably say Peterborough United, Dan picked up a side that probably wasn't even good enough for Division 3 and yet in the last two seasons he's managed to bring the squad forward and pick up some good results and maybe next season he can finally challenge for a place in the premier league.

Q: Leicester have won the league and have claimed the Higgy Piggy Bank trophy itself. Do you think they deserve it in your eyes?

Yes, definitely. they deserved to win the Ligue, but the outcome could have been different, with Preston giving them a decent challenge for the title.. in the end it was determined by a few details. In my opinion Leicester need to believe that they are small to return again as great. They will continue to be competitive and it will be interesting to see how they do in the premiership. Everyone had high hopes for Watford and QPR, but they've both gone straight back to the HPC.

Q: Preston and Sheffield United are still fighting it out for 2nd place, who will win that battle do you think?

I'm gonna have to say Preston, they just hammered Sheffield a week ago and I think they deserve it more, although Sheffield have also had a great season. However, Sheffield have the easier game and may just edge it, they face Doncaster who are already relegated and have nothing to play for. While PNE play relegation candidates Swansea who will give their all to stay in the HPC.

Q: Also theres a big relegation fight still on. Can Swansea possibly go down?

Hard one, not quiet sure to be honest. All of Swansea, Coventry and Stoke have very tough games. With Swansea's game arguably being the hardest, but Conventry and Stoke's recent form has been very worrying.

Very hard to call.

Q: A huge playoff battle too. Lots of teams involved. Who will be your 4 teams in the playoffs?

Sheffield United, Reading, Hull City and Derby.

Q: How much have you enjoyed being the sponsor? Its not something that comes along every day.

As I've said, it's been a pleasure, definitely been much more entertaining and surprising than I expected at first.

And I can only hope that I am successful in extending the sponsorship deal.

Q: Final question from you. Name me your team of the season please?

Leicester City, definitely.

Baring that last question in mind, Matty scooped the Sponsors Association Team of The Season Award this afternoon at The HP Banks HQ. He'll be in the prizes again tonight for sure, and hopefully he'll enjoy every second of it. Truly deserved, and what a season!!!

Prediction: 2-1

Swansea City vs Preston N.End - LIVE ON BBC 2 & BBC HD - COVERAGE STARTS AT 7:30 PM GT

Positions = 18th vs 2nd

  • Oh my word Swansea. Oh my word Preston. The nerves are building every minute that ticks to kick off tonight. All the Swansea fans and neutrals from around the city are a bag of nails - no joke! Theyre very concerned. Their team could really get a financial kicking tonight in the gullies. Can the manager bare the embarrisement, and ultimate shame? Aidan Radford's managerial career could hit a low point tonight, emotionally more than anything one feels. Can Swansea ever come back if they find their faite for the worst tonight? Its simple, if Swansea can better Stoke's result tonight - they will survive! However, equal or worse Stoke's experience, then its all over and in the doom. This is a big, big game. Preston only need a win to seal themselves as a Premier League side, and force Sheffield United to the daunting and unpredictable playoffs. Oh my!

Prediction: 1-2

Bristol City vs Stoke City - LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 3 & HD 3 - LIVE COVERAGE STARTS AT 7:50 PM (GT) - (ALSO VIA RED BUTTON ON SKY SPORTS 2 & HD 2)

Positions = 10th vs 17th

  • This game is critical for tonight. Stoke come to Bristol City who will have memories of last season's end of season stutter. Defeat at the weekend to doomed Swansea meant Bristol slipped to 10th, and now a real outsider for making the playoffs. They host nervewreckers Stoke City tonight who face a very possible back - to - back relegation story. Swansea will be eager to pressurize the Potters by a positive result to promotion seekers Preston. Stoke dont like pressure - nobody does in their situation anyhow! Who can predict tonights events???

Prediction: 1-1

Sheffield Utd vs Doncaster Rovers ®- LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 2 & HD 2 - FROM 7:30 PM (GT)

Positions = 3rd vs 20th


  • Sheffield Utd are fighting for 2nd tonight, and they'll have belief. The fact they face doomed Doncaster tonight inspirs them only more. A win here, and a favour from Aidan's survival searching Swansea will do the job at the final hurdle. Hmmmm.

Prediction: 3-1

Hull City vs Coventry City

Positions = 8th vs 16th


  • One of a number of teams in with a decent playoff shout is certainly Hull. They have hit peak form at no better time in the world. This could promote them - and yes, that would no doubt be rather incredible baring in mind they are relegation candidates not too far back. It would be a lesson to any bottom half of the league manager wouldnt it. Baring all that mind - Coventry could also go down tonight, but the odds are against. They'd need to lose this, and then see Stoke beat Bristol, and Swansea defeat Preston. Unlikely,, but remember what this is - EC5579!!!

Prediction: 2-0

Blackpool vs Barnsley

Positions = 5th vs 12th


  • Clustered and in the middle of the playoff battle Sandwich - its Blackpool. All they need is to beat Barnsley and theyve surely done it. Barnsley's seasons up, but they'll be happy to have survived their debut season in this league.

Prediction: 4-2

Cardiff City vs Middlesbrough

Positions = 15th vs 7th

  • They have produced arguably one of te best ever survival missions ever. Thats Cardiff, and their manager - Dudeskin. He's a contender for Manager Of The Season no question mark. Tonight the pressure is off, and they could easily end the playoff dream of Middlesbrough in the process. Good times it'll be at Cardiff City Stadium after all.

Prediction: 1-0

Millwall vs West Bromwich Albion ®

Positions = 9th vs 19th

  • Milwall have not only survived in their first season in the 2nd tier of EC5579 - but they are right in the playoff race mixer. Can they defeat relegated Baggies tonight, and give themselves a good shout of making the elite playoff top 4? It'll be tough, especially for results elsewhere to help!

Prediction: 3-1

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

PREMIERSHIP CHECK-UP REPORT

TURN 38, SEASON 2

So, were there, the final night of division 1 action in EC5579 for season two, a season that has seen not just seen new comers to the division, but it's seen a number of sides break into the top four, as a matter of fact, three of the four sides that currently sit in the top four, weren't there at the end of last season.

So, with the top four decided on now, with Liverpool currently sitting four points clear of fifth place Fulham. But there is still one more position to be decided, and that's the final relegation position. Aston Villa currently sit in eighteenth, but will they complete a fine comeback tonight and survive? or will they drag either Newcastle or Burnley into the bottom three?

There is also the matter of top spot, either Portsmouth, Manchester City or Manchester United can win the league tonight, United currently sit on top spot, and only need a point tonight to win the league. But if they loss, and Portsmouth can win, and make up a +4 goal difference, Portsmouth will win, that is if Manchester City fail to win, yet they'd have to make a +11 goal difference to even move up to first.

So let's get my final check-up review started.....

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Aston Villa vs Manchester United

Positions: 18th vs 1st

  • Villa need a win tonight, and what a hard game to try and get it in. But after a 2-1 win against Everton on Saturday, confidence in the camp will be high, and Villa will be ready for tonight, knowing that nothing less than a win will do.

  • United on the otherhand will need anything more than a point to lift the title, and after the disappointment of last season, this will put a huge, smug grin on United fan's faces.

Prediction: 1-2

Sunderland vs Everton

Positions: 11th vs 6th

  • Nothing huge is up for grabs in this game. But Sunderland could lift themselves into the top half of the table, something that all Sunderland fans will want to see after there disappointing form which has seen them drop to 11th.

  • Everton on the otherhand, can't take a top four finish tonight, but without Mesut Ozil, Frank Lampard and Bastien Schweinsteiger for tonight's game, Everton may look to youngsters.

Prediction: 2-2

Arsenal vs Fulham

Positions: 14th vs 5th

  • You'd be more likely to see Fulham in the bottom half of the table, rather than Arsenal, but this season Arsenal's injury plague has seen the side come close to being relegation threatened, but a couple of wins put Arsenal into fourteenth, and make them safe. But without Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas, Miralem Pjanic and Bacary Sagna.

  • Fulham on the otherhand are expected to give débuts to both Maxi Rodriquez and Darren Bent, who both completed transfers to the club this week.

Prediction: 0-1

Liverpool vs Blackburn

Positions: 4th vs 9th

  • With three top strikers in Villa, Chamakh and Higuain at hand for Liverpool tonight, goal's should be expected, and with 19 goal man Dimitar Berbatov out with a broken nose Blackburn could struggle for goals.

Prediction: 3-1
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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

THE HIGGY PIGGY CHAMPIONSHIP

CHAMPIONSHIP CHECK UP - A LOOK AT THE PLAYOFFS

Season 3's Playoff Bonzana - Starring:

SHEFFIELD UNITED - FINISHED 3RD - MANAGER = BRAIN SANDALLS

DERBY COUNTY - FINISHED 4TH - MANAGER = STEFAN SCHWENK

HULL CITY - FINISHED 5TH - MANAGER = IAN ELTRINGHAM

BLACKPOOL - FINISHED 6TH - MANAGER = BISCUIT

LATEST BOOKIES' ODDS - SOURCE = SKYBET

Hull City - 5/1 (Fav)

Sheffield Utd - 7/1

Derby County - 8/1

Blackpool 10/1

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

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Swansea City 1 - 0 Preston North End

72, Raul Garcia

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The Big Picture

Scenes after the final whistle, with Radford celebrating with a song as Swansea keep there Divison 2 status

Swansea City have done it, after a long hard season with plenty of times where they'd have been forgiven for thinking they were safe, but they dropped down to a terrible position and looked completely against it. But they've fought back with first a great away win at Ashton Gate against a strong Bristol City to keep themselves in it, and then against 2nd placed Preston who needed something to go up, with a win but Preston were celebrating aswell as they secured Promotion as Sheffield United could only draw. But even on the biggest day of the club in the last two seasons there are negatives, with Carlos Cuellar out for three weeks meaning he'll miss the start of the next season along with Ryan Giggs out for three games down to suspension as the clubs captain was shown red in the second half of the game. Swansea had a lot of pressure on them, as not only were they going to go all out for a win, but there opposition were going to aswell as Preston needed a win to help them to promotion, so Rob Walsh's side were desperate for a win. Swansea kept with a lot of the same team, but with Eidur Gudjohnsen doing so well against Bristol City he was included in the Swansea squad and Gabriel Agbonlahor was left on the bench, with Peter Crouch just edgeing him to keeping his place in the Swansea starting line-up.

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Eidur Gudjohnsen was brought into the Swansea squad, after impressing against Bristol City on Saturday

Anthony Stokes had a chance for Preston straight away, just one minute into the match Stokes found himself on the ball in the box but his effort was poor and it fell straight to Handanovic who wasn't troubled. Eidur Gudjohnsen then came very close for Swansea, with a fantastic effort as he took the ball very well and with a snapshot Rui Patricio made a superb reflex save to put the ball out safely for a corner. Lucas Podolski then came within inches of giving the away side the lead, Podoloski got past his man and had plenty of space inviting him to take a shot, his effort was a strong one and had to be met with a strong save from Samir Handanovic to tip the ball just about onto the crossbar and out of play. Preston hit the bar straight afterwards aswell, with Anthony Stokes having his second effort of the game. Stokes hit a strike from some distance, which flew past Handanovic but his effort crashed against the bar. Then with 10 minutes to go, Preston hit the bar for the third time as they found themselves unlucky not to be in the lead going into half-time as Josue hit the bar from distance. Then Simon Davies was shown red going into half-time, narrowing Preston's hopes of a possitive results in the match as Davies was dismissed for a two footed tackle.

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Simon Davies is shown red at the end of the second half, giving Swansea a boost to there survival hopes

Going into the second half and the top scorer for Swansea so far into the season, Gabriel Agbonalhor was brought onto try and prove to be a good influence for the Swansea team as he replaced Peter Crouch upfront. Jeronimo Cacau had the first real chance of the second half though, he shot from inside the box but Samir Handanovic comfortably palmed the ball away from danger. Lukas Podolski troubled Samir Handanovic with just 20 minutes to go, making Handnaovic back-peddle as Podolski looked to chip him but Handanovic managed to tip the ball up and over the crossbar. Not long after and the opening goal of the match was scored, and it was in favour of the home side as there survival battle looked a lot stronger. A corner was whipped in by Ryan Giggs, and was headered away by Koscielny but not strongly enough as it fell straight to Raul Garcia on the edge of the box as he struck on the half volley straight into the roof of the net. But there chances of hanging onto the lead were cut as soon as the goal was scored, as straight from the restart the usually calm and cool Ryan Giggs jumped in nastily and got nowhere near the ball and was shown a straight red card to his dismay, as he handed the captains armband to Joleon Lescott as he walked off the pitch. There wasn't any chances left in the match though, and Swansea had enough to hang onto there Divison 2 status as Bristol City won 1-0 away to rivals Stoke City to see Stoke relegated to Divison 3, and Swansea left to fight another day in Divison 2 football.

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Raul Garcia scores the winning goal, which keeps Swansea in Divison 2

The win leaves manager, chairman, players and fans in delight as a pitch invasion was sparked at the final whistle, and although the players and manager where whisked away immediatly at the final whistle they did return. They came out in the stands where the champagne corks flew off, and after what will be one of the toughest seasons ever in Swansea boss Aidan Radford's career, Swansea had managed to survive relegation from Divison 2. Although this was nowhere near the heights of last seasons 5th placed finish and English Shield final there was a lot to take out of it. Although the Divison 3 Youth Cup place of Swansea is currently uncerain, they did manage to reach the Final but were beaten by Charlton at The Valley, but nethertheless they had achieved some success in the competition Radford had created. They managed to take the first ever win in the Swansea-Leicester derby, despite Leicester's dominance of the Divison but the most they took out of it was the final two turns, where the players that had been performing poorly stepped up and gritted out two vital wins to keep them up. In the end they finished 16th, hoping above Coventry and now they'll look to push on and get a top half finish for next season if they can get things tactically right. Radford might not be up for any manager of the season awards, but he might just get the Personality of the season award after keeping up his good work from last season off the field.

Radford commented on the Game, in a Post-Match Interview:

I'm delighted with the win, we were in such a difficult position with two games to go, but the players had grit and obviously wanted to succeed. They played brilliantly well in both fixtures, and in each one they full deserved the three point. I'm going to give the players a week of full deserved rest but for team spirit they've got to all go together, but they can do what they like. I'm off for a few days now, going to a couple of places but when i get back this'll be history and we'll be preparing for another season in Divison 2.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

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Manchester City End of Season Review

Division 1: 2nd

English Cup: Winners (Beat Sunderland 2-1 in the Final)

English Sheild: Second Round (Lost to Everton 2-1)

Player Of The Year: Alexandre Pato

Fans Player of The Year: Juan Manuel Mata

Young Player of The Year: Alexandre Pato

Top Goalscorer: Alexandre Pato

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Brazilian Star Pato Picks up three awards.

The season started brightly for Manchester City under manager Josh Ward, with a victory over reigning champions Liverpool at the City of Manchester Stadium. The rest of June saw City go on to record a further four victories with the highlight a 4-1 victory over London Club Arsenal. However June was a mixed month as it also saw City loosing five games as well. The worst was a humiliating 3-0 loss to French Side Auxerre.

As the month of July approached City were on a two match loosing streak and were up against Chelsea however it didn't go to plan as Chelsea ran out easy winners with a 3-1 victory. Another loss followed this, this time to Dynamo Moskva. This angered the fans and some even called for manager Josh Ward to be sacked from the job . However City got a good change in fortune and saved Ward's job for the time being as they embarked on an impressive five game winning streak. With the highlight being an 8-0 drumming of Adam Devitt's Hereford United. However a sudden change in form saw City go on another downward spiral of five games with out a loss. This however was the end of Josh Ward. A 3-0 defeat to fierce rivals Manchester United saw Ward loose his job.

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Aguero was one of the goals scorers that lost Ward his job.

On the 25th July Manchester City Owner Sheik Mansour acted quickly in finding a replacement and offered the job to the Hereford Manager Adam Devitt to the surprise of the rest of the league. Without hesitation he accepted. The team were sitting dangerously close to the relegation battle with his first challenge being against local rivals Manchester Untied. They faced their local Rivals for the second time in a week, however this time it was in the cup and at Old Trafford. City ran out 2-0 winners and from that moment Devitt looked as if he was destined to do great things at City. However the honeymoon period was over and City were brought back down to Earth with a 0-0 bore draw with struggler's Watford that was followed by a 4-1 defeat to Birmingham.

However things got better for The Blues as they started August with a six game winning streak including 6 wins and 1 draw with the best match being against Exeter as the scrapped through thanks to Eden Hazard who grabbed a late goal to send the Manchester side into the Quarter Final. This run was then ended by title challengers Portsmouth lead as they out two past Shay Given to give Portsmouth all three points. City ended the month of September with a further three wins and booked a place at Wembley against Bolton after knocking out Wolves in the Quarter Finals thanks after coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2.

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Kornilenko Started the fight back against Wolves

City then went on an amazing 12 game unbeaten streak. During this great run City managed to get to their first major cup final since 1981 as the beat Ash's Bolton Wanderes after being 1-0 down at the break. New goalscoring hero Alberto Gilardino netted an 85 minute winner to secure the date in Wembley against holders Sunderland who had managed to get to the final once again.

City arrived at Wembley in great form and were seen as favourites by some however others backed Sunderland due to their experience of winning it last year. City fans were left jubilant as they won their first major trophy since 1976. Alexandre Pato was the hero once more as he scored a brace in the 2-1 victory and he and Devitt were quickly fast tracked to city legendary status.

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City Hero Pato celebrates his brace

The streak continued for 1 more game until being beaten by Fercasti's Everton with a 2-1 defeat. However things got quickly back on track with a 3-2 win over rivals Manchester Untied to close the gap on them at the top of the table. A small dip in form saw them loose there next game to struggler's Watford who proved to be a bogey team for city as they couldn't even score against the Hornets in both league games. This was followed by an epic 4-4 draw with Birmingham which dinted City's title hopes. They then finished off with 4 straight Victories which saw them finish in second place two points behind rivals United. However this was City's most successful year for a long time as they qualified for the Champions League and Won their first major trophy for nearly 40 years. City fans will be hope full more more glory next season.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

New Crew joining Crewe!

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A controversial past three weeks with Crewe Alenandra has brought the club into Global news for the first time. Three weeks ago the club was in debt and ex-owner John Bowler failed to repay the clubs loans. Many Crewe fans were anxious to see who the new chairman would be be, but they were shocked to see who took over, non other than Cheryl Cole.

Cheryl had reportedly been scene in Crewe's stadium ''Gresty Road'' but those reports were rubbished off. One week later she was again spotted in Gresty Road and people were wondering why she would be in Gresty road. The following day news was out that John Bowler had left the club and a new take over bid was in place, by Cheryl Cole.

Fans in shock, media in shock and players in shock. All asked the same question, ''Why?'' Two days later Cheryl had her first press conference at the club and was asked numerous questions, ''Why did you buy a club as poor as Crewe Alexandra?'' Cheryl simpely replied, ''I need a new challenge, and I know the perfect manager to make this club big''. That meant that it was time for poor old Crewe manager ''Jacko'' to hang up his boots as Cheryl unveiled ''The perfect manager to make this club big''. Aaron Hartnett.

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After arriving at the club only five days ago Hartnett had his first interview today:

Reporter: Hello Aaron, thank you for giving up your time for this interview, we hope to keep it brief.

Hartnett: No problem, glad to speak to you.

Reporter: Only five days at the club, what are you're first impressions?

Hartnett: This is a new experience to me in managing a club like Crewe and so far I must be honest I love every bit of it. The fans are great, very positive and encouraging and I hope over the coming seasons they will be a 12th man for us. The pitch is in good condition and the staff are all hard workers, my only complaint would be the stadium itself. It looks a bit tacky and the capacity is just not enough, but thankfully Cheryl has promised to invest that.

Reporter: What are your aims for this club in the coming season?

Hartnett: Im aiming to at least reach the playoffs this season but my big plans are more long term

Reporter: Could you give us a brief in-sight into these ''big plans?''

Hartnett: The overall goal is to build a young team filled with potential. In good time these smaller young players I will sign will turn into the next world beaters and we will no longer be a small club, the revolution has already begun.

Reporter: Will we see any further signings? Has Cheryl backed you on the transfer front?

Hartnett: With the signings of great youths such as Trinks and De Bruyne the squad is already taking shape, but no doubt more young players will arrive throughout the season, and expect a huge signing later tonight or early morning tomorrow, a legend is on the verge off signing for Crewe, a player that will alone lead us to the playoff spots or even higher.

I have agreed with Cheryl that we will adopt the ''Sell To Buy'' transfer technique for the first season and instead of investing in the team Cheryl will invest in renovating the stadium.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

Cheryl Denies any link with Crewe.

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Cheryl seen leaving the leicester city training ground this morning.

After a recent report that Leicester City chairwomen has brought Crewe Alexandra the nations sweet heart cheryl tweedy has come out and denied she has spoke too or has any links with crewe or there manager Aaron Hartnett.

After recent allegations emerged that i have brought Crewe i can say that these reports are nonsense and i will be taking legal action' date=' i am the owner and Chairwomen of Leicester city and im very happy with the role i find myself in at the moment. Ive been hearing groans from some of our fans that im not involved enough with the club but with my recent bout of malaria and my commitments on the X factor its been hard, I'm fully committed too Leicester city. Me and Mat have weekly conversations about where we want to take this club and we are both reading from the same hym sheet. I would also like to assure fans that there will be money made available for players in the close season.[/quote']

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

EC5579 - SEASON 3 CHECK UP REVAMP!

BRAND NEW CHECK UP HOSTS

The Premier League Division = Lawro' (Tom_MFC)

The Championship Division = SwanseaJack

The League One Division = Dale147

League Two = TBC??

BRAND NEW** -The UEFA Champions League = Bail

The Europa League = Rob Walshe

The FA Cup = SwanseaJack & Villa888

The Carling Cup = Villa888

PLEASE NOTE: These Changes DO NOT OPERATE UNTIL AFTER THE FINALS OF THE SEASON 2 PLAYOFFS!

ALSO:

HP Banks Sponsorship with The Championship now out of the hands of Lawro, and in the hands of SJ - will they remain the sponsors for Season 3?

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

EC5579 - SEASON 3 CHECK UP REVAMP!

BRAND NEW CHECK UP HOSTS

The Premier League Division = Lawro' (Tom_MFC)

The Championship Division = SwanseaJack

The League One Division = Dale147

League Two = Scout Maker

BRAND NEW** -The UEFA Champions League = Bail

The Europa League = Rob Walshe **

The FA Cup = SwanseaJack & Villa888

The Carling Cup = Villa888

BRAND NEW ** SEASON 3 World Cup Qualifiers / World Cup = Scout Maker, ??, ??, ??, ??

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

Fulham sign Gonzalo Castro

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(Castro's Leverkusen days are over)

Fulham are happy to announce the signing of 23 year old Defender Gonzalo Castro. Castro will move to Fulham in a straight swap for Fulham's promising young French Midfielder Moussa Sissoko. Castro, who had attracted interest from Sunderland, Blackburn and Bolton, was desperate to leave Leverkusen after he was an unused sub for fourteen games last season. Fulham, who recently swapped Marques Cris and Miguel Palanca for Darren Bent, have found themselves short in defence and with Sissoko not getting regular game time, saw the Castro deal as an everybody wins situation. It is likely that Castro will take Stephan Lichtsteiner's place at RB. Fulham, who were without Lichtsteiner in yesterday's match against Arsenal looked very shaky and you can bet the defence of Stephen Warnock, Nathaniel Clyne and Gabriel Heinze will not be playing together for too long.

Sissoko, who was one of Gadga's signings, was a key player for Fulham when he joined, but recently has fallen down the pecking order due to the signings of Jeremy Toulalan, Steven Gerrard, Stephen Warnock and now Maxi Rodriguez. Sissoko made over 31 appearances for Fulham, scoring five goals, making four goals and gaining one Man of the Match award. Fulham are set to give Castro and Darren Bent their debuts on Saturday when Fulham play Burnley in a friendly. Fulham also face Brentford next Wednesday and Reading next Saturday in which Fulham manager Dan Forester has said he will be trying out some different formations in those friendly matches.

Forester's thoughts on the transfer

Gonzalo is a fantastic player who we have been looking at for a while now, German striker Deniz Naki and German Goalkeeper Rene Adler whom Gonzalo knew from Leverkusen have been helping him settle in. It's dissapointing to lose Moussa but we told him that he wasn't guaranteed first team football and that we understood if he wanted to leave, he decided his future lay elsewhere and was happy when the bid was accepted, we wish him the very best in Germany.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

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Walshe has concerns for side

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Preston boss Mr. Walshe has concerns over his squad for next season.

Preston North End fans were in full voice last night when they heard of the news that their side won promotion due to Doncaster Rovers earning a shock draw against promotion rivals Sheffield United. However, Preston boss Mr. Walshe today came out expressing his concerns at his squads ability to cope on the top tier of English football. Walshe came into Preston with a two season plan to gain promotion but instead his team emerged as shock cannidates for promotion. Walshe's quick promotion has left him in two minds - joy and doubt. He's delighted that his side gained promotion but very concerned that he may end up over-paying to secure even better players as he fears his side may struggle in the Premier League.

When Walshe attended his first press conference since last night he seemed an aggitated figure. His hands were shaking and his hair was unusually out of sorts, something Walshe is not known for as he is regarded as a tidy figure. When asked why he was so tense he admitted "I'm delighted we've gone up, but it's all come too fast, we don't have the capabilities nor the resources to survive in Premier League. We paid a lot of money to sign Yuri Zhirkov, a figure which I'm sure will be easily justified as Yuri is one of the calmest and most quality players I've ever met. Yuri himself saaid to me he knows the team are going to be tagged as relegation favourites but he wants to prove the doubters wrong, including me as I'm a doubter of our ability."

On the topic of securing top players Walshe again stated that Lukas Podolski wanted out of the club "Lukas doesn't want to play for us anymore so I'm afraid we are going to be forced to sell him on. I've already made a formal bid to replace him and I'm sure we will have a deal warapped up in the next 36 hours."

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

EC5579 - SEASON 3 CHECK UP REVAMP!

BRAND NEW CHECK UP HOSTS - CORRECTIONS

The Premier League Division = Lawro' (Tom_MFC)

The Championship Division = SwanseaJack

The League One Division = Dale147

League Two = Scout Maker

BRAND NEW** -The UEFA Champions League = Bail

The Europa League = Rob Walshe **

The FA Cup = SwanseaJack & Villa~FC

The Carling Cup = Villa~FC

BRAND NEW ** SEASON 3 World Cup Qualifiers / World Cup = Scout Maker, Ashh, ??, ??, ??

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

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Rodwell wants out

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Jack Rodwell has today spoke out about his desire to play top flight football, this comes after West Brom got relegated from Division 2 to join Division 3 next season, Reporters spoke to the club after claims that Rodwell wasn't happy at the club and the club told us that "We would have liked to have kept Jack but he is a young lad that wants to make his mark as a top class player and at the end of the day it is what the lad wants he dosen't feel that he can achieve his ambitions at this club so has handed in a transfer request to us, we will be said to see him go"

It is believed that West Brom want in the region of 15mil or a part-exchange deal.

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Re: English Championship 5579 -Match Report/Transfer Gossip Thread

THE HIGGY PIGGY CHAMPIONSHIP

THE PLAYOFFS - SEMI FINALS NIGHT

Its a memorable night in store for us tonight as no less than 6 more sides will have their season's ending in a far amount of dissapointment tonight. They'll be axed from our end of season promotion playoffs, leaving another 6 in with a glorious chance of the feeling of success on a big evening on Sunday. Who'll prevail at the first challenge of the playoffs? The Semi Finals. Here we go...

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THE HIGGY PIGGY CHAMPIONSHIP

Sheffield United vs Blackpool - LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 2 & HD 2 - LIVE COVERAGE FROM 7:30 PM GT

Finished Positions = 3rd vs 6th

  • So they were chasing down Preston for most of the season, and at times even had their noses in front, but in the end - the playoffs was always meant to be for the Blades, and Brain Sandalls. Whats worse? A rather poor 3-3 draw with Doncaster on the final game of the season - Wednesday night - has left them really doubting themselves now. Tonight, their reward for finishing 3rd in the league is a home semi - final tie to playoff outsiders Blackpool. Last season, the Tangerines were fighting relegation to League One under Mark Farine. He carried ship for a small duration of this season, and even ahd them flying high in the top 2, but since then he moved on - Biscuit came in, and has earnt them a very good playoff spot - a good over achievement I'd of thought maybe. Today we caught up with Blades boss Brain Sandalls:

Q: Well 2nd was never to be, but now its all about winning the playoffs right?

We are very dissappointed to have only drawn against Doncaster,but we have a chance to put that right tonight against Blackpool.

Q: Is your team mentally strong enough to get over missing out on automatic promotion?

Without doubt,my teams mental strenght is somethink l ve no need to worry about

Q: Blackpool visit Bramall Lane tonight. After your rather erratic 3-3 draw with Doncaster on the final day of the season, and only 2 days have gone since then, is there a hint of panic stations all of a sudden here?

we are all pretty calm,we have the quality to win we just need to go out and perform as we can.we must pay respect to Blackpool ,but not to much.we deserve to be in a play off position and l believe we have got what it takes.

Q: How confident are you of overcoming your Seaside opposition tonight? We all know what they did in real life after all when they came 6th in the league!

We have a very good record against them in the league,but tonight is differrant.They have a good team and a good manager and if we dont perform to our best they will take advantage of that.

Q: Do you think a win tonight is the confidence booster you need to win these playoffs come Sunday evening?

Certainly it would help the players dont really need a confidence boost though,we have what it takes we just have to perform .

Q: You have also seen your side knocked off bookies favirotes, despite finishing 3rd in the league. Does this sort of concern you?

Means absolutely nothink to me ,are these the same bookies who predicted swansea for promotion earlier this season.Not a betting man and footballs way to unpredictable.

Q: Finally, anythin to say to your opposition tonight in Biscuit and Blackpool?

I dont really know Biscuit,but he has done a great job so far at Blackpool and l wish him good luck whatever the result.

Good words from Brian, who dare I say sounds a lot more nervous than he did when we heard from him not long ago. Can you blame him? They were a side destined for the top league mid way through this season, and now it really is on a knifes edge! They really need to win tonight, and they need a certain Roque to fire!

Prediction: 1-1 - (Sheffield United to win on penalties)

Derby County vs Hull City - LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 3 & HD 3 - LIVE COVERAGE FROM 7:30 PM GT

Finished Positions = 4th vs 5th

  • Two sides with a real spring in their step tonight! Nobody more in partical than the visitors in Hull City! They are rocking this league right now, and on blistering form. That alone could easily win them the playoffs. Tonight is the acid test for both sides though. All those things about 'Hull are the Form Side now' counts for nothing tonight. They have a daunting away trip to Pride Park and Derby County, who are searching for a very impressive back - to - back promotion. From League One, to Premier League. It would show it can be done wouldnt it! Today we have heard from new Hull manager Ian Eltringham:

Q: Well its been a rollercoaster of a season so far for Hull. From clear pre season title favirotes, to struggling with relegation and losing their manager Sam Wainwright. They then got Chewett who began a mini revival, then he left - everyone thought the season was over. Now your here, and your team are just on fire and have made the playoffs! As far as your concerned, you must be delighted though?

A: When I was appointed as Hull City manager we were in 13th position with 5 games to go. I felt there was a slim chance for us to make the play-offs but we'd have to win our remaining games to make it possible. That was the challenge we set and I'm delighted we were able to achieve it.

Q: Its always proved it would be tough to make the top 6 this season, like you did. How important do you think being the no.1 form side in the league is?

A: The play-offs can be a lottery but I believe the momentum we've built up during our last 5 games can help to push us all the way to division 1.

Q: How highly do you rate your squad of players you currently have?

A: Everyone can recognise the quality we have in our squad with players such as Reina, Lucio and Fletcher at our disposal. On our day we are capable of beating anyone.

Q: Finally, You have been set as the Bookies Favirotes to win the playoffs at this early stage. Unlike when you was pre season title favirotes, can you match expectation with reality?

A: If we carry our recent form into the play-offs it will be difficult for anyone to stop us. I believe we'll be a division 1 club next season.

And there my point is proved. This team is oozing confidence all of a sudden. With all the uncertainty theyve had this season, theyve now never looked more certain. Ever perhaps. If they go up, I wouldnt be too fast to bank on them coming straight back down again. This team have pedigree - and under firm footing like Ian, theyve got a lot. However - Derby stand in their way tonight, and with them being the home side, could we see the Rams reall cause a stir tonight and book their ticket to Wembley insted for Sunday?!

Prediction: 1-2 - Tiger time at Wembley on Sunday!

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