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This Weekend’s Football League Talking Points

It’s that time again – here are the talking points from this weekend’s Football League.

Rotherham claim the bragging rights

Without question, when the fixture list was announced the big one for Rotherham fans will have been their clashes against South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United – and a 3-1 win on Saturday means the Millers are halfway to claiming the bragging rights.

The early season predictions were that the Blades were likely to be competing for promotion honours, with newly promoted Rotherham languishing in mid-table. Yet Sheffield United, now in their third straight season on League One football, find themselves in 20th position and with just four points. This is hardly the sort of start that David Weir will have hoped for, whilst many will be wondering how low the club can sink.

In contrast, the Millers have now risen to fourth spot thanks their come from behind victory, further to that they are one of only four clubs to remain unbeaten. Steve Evans men are undoubtedly still riding on the wave of momentum generated by last season’s promotion push, and the way things are going they could well be set for another.

Step up nothing for Bantams

Another side who have belittled the supposed gulf between League Two and One are Bradford, who after half a dozen games occupy fifth spot.

Phil Parkinson’s men produced a superb display on Saturday to dispatch previously unbeaten Brentford 4-0 at Valley Parade, with last season’s losing play-off finalists simply outplayed – although they were not helped by seeing keeper David Button sent off after just 27 minutes.

That win represented a third successive home scalp, a run which has seen them score ten goals without reply. The victory also saw Nahki Wells contribute his seventh goal of the campaign, having retained his services on deadline day despite persistent rumours Bradford look to have one of the division’s most potent strikers.

It remains early days but the Bantams look a club very much on the way up.

Coventry back in the black

Having started ten points in the negative and amidst an entire manner of off field disruption and financial issues, things looked exceptionally bleak for the Sky Blues.

Yet Sunday’s win over Carlisle moved Coventry off the bottom of the League One table, and more importantly got their points tally off the mark. The Sky Blues are now five unbeaten and have shown a teriffic level of resolve to continue battling despite the many challenges facing the club – whilst supporters are fairly feeling at a loss with their side, the players are doing them proud.

Oxford lay down promotion marker

Oxford returned to winning ways after two successive draws with a thoroughly impressive win over promotion hopefuls Burton at the Pirelli Stadium. That win represented the Brewers first loss of the campaign, giving significant indication that Oxford could well be serious contenders this time around.

The most significant moment in the contest came when Burton’s Ian Sharps saw red on 36 minute with the game still goalless – from there Oxford took full advantage to record a 2-0 win, in the process maintaining their 100% away record.

Having been tipped to finish just outside the top sides, Oxford are currently defying those odds and if the early season form is anything to go by then they could be one of the sides to beat.

Hartlepool continue struggle to adapt

Having been relegated from League One last season, Hartlepool would have hoped to have made a solid start to life in League Two after six games.

Things though have not gone to script with Pool’s possessing just two points from their opening six games – a return that has left them rooted to the relegation zone. Their latest defeat at home to Wycombe did at least offer some reason for celebration, given that in their previous five games they had failed to score a goal.

Nevertheless the goal they did score was merely a last minute conciliation in a 2-1 defeat and there will be many fans already having nightmares of a second relegation on the bounce.