This Weekend’s Football League Talking Points

As we start a new week, here is a look back at the talking points this weekend from the Championship, League One and League Two.

Burnley show no let up

Early season leaders Burnley continued their remarkable start to the season on Saturday beating an Ipswich side who had previously only lost once on their own patch. The visit to Portman Road looked a potential banana skin for Sean Dyche’s men, but the Clarets came through a tight game to clinch a sixth victory on the spin. What was particularly impressive was that for once prolific pair Sam Vokes and Danny Ings failed to score, yet they still picked up the result.

Those expecting Burnley’s early pace to tail off might need to start reconsidering that view, so long as their relatively small squad can steer clear of injuries there is no reason to suggest that they aren’t in for the long haul.

Tykes stop the rot

Without a win in six and having lost five of those games, Barnsley were in dire need of a result as inconsistent Middlesbrough rolled into town. Thankfully that was obtained, although the Oakwell faithful were made to sweat as a seemingly unassailable 3 goal lead which they maintained until the final ten minutes evaporated. Two Albert Adomah goals in the space in 3 minutes left Barnsley to cling on to what looked at one stage a comfortable victory.

The win leaves David Flitcroft’s men still in the bottom three – a position that will be all too familiar after several successive relegation scraps. Flitcroft will be hoping that his side are not left needing to perform miracles again in the second half of the season to retain their status, as lightning might not strike twice. This win at least ensures Barnsley remain in touching distance of safety.

Bristol City continue freefall

Having propped up the Championship table last season, Bristol City now find themselves holding that all too familiar bottom position in League One. Whilst Wolves and Peterborough have made light of the new surroundings the Robins are now one of only four sides across the top four divisions to have not tasted victory.

Successive draws had at least suggested a change of fortunes but a last minute defeat at Crewe leaves City back at square one. Despite their toils last time out there was hope amongst fans that under Sean O’Driscall things would pick up, with the likes of Sam Baldock and Jay Emanuel Thomas expected to flourish. Confidence though now looks at rock bottom, O’Driscall last week received the dreaded vote of confidence – he will know that time is surely running out to turn things around. With the players they have you have to think that if they can get a little bit of momentum the potential is there to shoot up the league.

Blades off the mark

There was finally reason to cheer as the gloom was temporarily lifted around Brammel Lane as Sheffield United picked up their first league victory in ten games – a run that had seen them slip embarrassingly to the bottom of League One and cost David Weir his job.

The win takes them outside of the relegation zone – it is far too early to be talking about revivals but after a start to the season which has left Blades questioning when the pain and long term suffering was ever going to end – any positive result is welcome. Whoever takes over from Weir will have to carry significant expectations of a fan set who are becoming increasingly frustrated considering this is now a third season in League One. At least this weekend though those supporters can carry a smile on their face.

Hartlepool revival gathers pace

Three games ago Hartlepool had won just one of nine and were alarmingly looking in danger of participating in a second successive relegation battle – the previous of which ended with relegation to League Two.

Colin Cooper was coming under increasing pressure due to that start, however the club have turned round their fortunes in quite dramatic fashion – Saturday’s one nil win over Plymouth signalling a third successive victory. Their previous two wins came on the road against high flying pair Mansfield and Exeter.

The win at Victoria Park might not have been quite as eye catching but Cooper will see it as equally important to pick up a hard fought home victory. Having taken nine games to clinch just six points, Pools have now doubled that and some more in the space of three fixtures – indicating they are over their relegation hangover.

Southend continue to baffle

Few teams form has been as hard to work out as Southend’s, a successful start of three straight wins was followed up by four loses on the bounce – suggesting their opening return was somewhat of a flash in the pen.

The last three games though have indicated otherwise, with Saturday’s win over high flying Fleetwood bringing about a third victory in as many games. Further to that in beating both Burton and Oxford in their previous two games, the Shrimpers have seen off three promotion chasing sides in successive games.

Phil Brown’s side now find themselves back in the playoff spots, the big question though is whether they can this time bounce back quickly once their current winning run is brought to an end.