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Monday, June 17, 2024

Why Ten Hag is living on borrowed time

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Who Will Occupy the Final Relegation Spot in the Championship

The final day of the Championship season is so close, and the future of one of three clubs will be decided by about 1:45 pm (UK Time) on Sunday afternoon.

The three clubs who could be joining Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic in League One are Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City. Three teams with top flight history but could be about to ply their trade in the third tier of English football.

Blackburn Rovers- 22nd place

It has been an awful year for the Lancashire side who find themselves occupying the final relegation spot; as things stand.

The club has been surrounded by ownership issues with several demonstrations against the way the Venky family are running this famous club. The fans even joined up with local rivals Blackpool in protest against the way their clubs were run.

The season did not start well with the North West travelling manager Owen Coyle failing to gain any sort of momentum before being relieved of his duties in February, leaving the club having won just eight league games.

Tony Mowbray has since taken the reins and tried to steady the ship at Ewood Park. However, he has failed to turn draws into wins during his tenure, and these two points dropped have cost them dearly.

The only way Blackburn can stay up is with a win and bettering Forest’s goal difference or a draw if Forest loses their game.

However, a win and a Birmingham loss or draw would also keep them in the division. They play Brentford away, who have nothing to play for, so there is every chance a few youngsters could make an end of season appearance for The Bees.

Nottingham Forest- 21st place

Another terrible season blighted with ownership problems. The former European Cup winners have also staged protests against their owner Fawaz Al Hasawi as they also feel their club is being poorly run.

These distractions off the pitch have undoubtedly affected matters on the pitch as the side have just not turned up this season.

Just two wins in eight games has left Forest teetering on the edge of relegation, hoping that they do not slip into League One for the 2nd time since 2005 (where they stayed for three seasons).

It is a sorry state of affairs for Forest considering they were hoping to escape this division the other way!

However, with a one goal difference over Rovers all they have to do is match whatever the 22nd place side do. But a win and Birmingham slipping up with a draw or a loss would see them overtake Harry Redknapp’s side due to their superior goal difference.

They now have to get the obstacle of Ipswich Town out of the way at The City Ground which will be no easy task as Mick McCarthy will want to finish higher than his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Birmingham City – 20th place

There we have it; it’s a hat-trick for ownership problems. The Midlands club have had severe problems with their former owner Carson Yeung over the years but this season was meant to be different under the new owners.

However, with the sacking of Gary Rowett, “global appeal” appointment of Gianfranco Zola and the owners not speaking to the fans for several months, things have not played out how they should have.

This season should have ended so differently. Before Rowett was sacked they were 8th in the league standings, and a real playoff momentum charge was taking place, but since then Zola only managed two wins in his time as manager.

Now The Blues have turned to Harry Redknapp to save their season and with them just one win away from guaranteed safety it looks like it might pay off.

Birmingham are currently in the strongest position to survive as they are 2 points clear but they know that a win is of paramount importance if they want to stay up their own way and not rely on other results.

However, a draw with either Forest or Rovers dropping points would also aid their survival.

Who will go down then?

It will obviously go right down to the wire this one but it will make for great viewing when all the scores are flying in on Sunday afternoon.

In my opinion, I feel that Birmingham are safe and will just get over the line, even if they are crawling over it. So, it is between Blackburn and Nottingham Forest.

There could be some place switching, but ultimately I am going to say that Nottingham Forest will go down. The reason why is because Blackburn are in better form than their relegation counterpart which should see them survive. Whereas, Forest have been inconsistent in their previous four games despite a shocking win against Reading.

I, for one, cannot wait to see how this unfolds and who will be staying in the division for another season.

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