FL72 Review: Garry Birtles reflects on the Football League weekend
Every Monday night, the Sky Sports experts will review the weekend's Football League action on FL72. Check out Garry Birtles' thoughts on the latest round of fixtures...
Last Updated: 07/05/14 4:41pm
Blackpool ease relegation fears with shock win at play-off hopefuls Wigan
GARRY SAYS: Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston paid for 3,000 tickets so the club would have a good following at Wigan. To do that and get that sort of support behind you is absolutely brilliant – and then they produced the goods, too. That’s a coupon buster. I’m sure everybody had Wigan down for the win. Wigan started the game really well, they were on top but fair play to Blackpool, they withstood that and came back and won the game. Their first win in eight gives them a massive chance of staying up.
Yeovil relegated for first time, despite highest-ever finishGARRY SAYS: I’m sure they’ll see it as failure because they’ll have wanted to stay up. Gary Johnson is brutally honest when you interview him and says what he thinks – but if there’s anybody who can get them back up at the first attempt it’s him. The problem Yeovil have is their location. It’s a beautiful part of the country but players now look for the biggest wage packet, understandably, and look to not uproot the family if they’ve got children, if they can help it. That puts Yeovil in a worse position than many other teams – and their budget isn’t the greatest.
Shrewsbury relegated as Peterborough win to book play-off
GARRY SAYS: It’s always a surprise when managers like Graham Turner get the sack. Would he have saved Shrewsbury? Who knows, he may have done with his experience. It’s very difficult to say. But again it’s a team that maybe struggles to attract players to the football club, with their low budget. It’s been a long hard season and the problem down at the bottom of League One is everybody has been winning games. Notts County have won six out of the last eight and still aren’t safe. The battle down at the bottom has been absolutely fantastic. Nobody has given in or thrown the towel in – and that’s why Shrewsbury are relegated.
Peterborough can be dangerous in the play-offs. What they’ve always done over the years is score goals. They’ve been very attack-minded under Darren Ferguson. They’ve got that mantra of ‘we’ll score more than you will’. It doesn’t always work but when you’ve got Britt Assombalonga scoring the goals he has and goals from midfield as well, they are possibly one of the favourites. And because of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win they’re on a high. They’ve been to Wembley and done it, and they’re on the ascendency.
Three clubs promoted to League One
GARRY SAYS: They say about horses for courses and in football it’s about getting the right manager for the right set-up and obviously Keith Hill fits Rochdale really well. To get them up on a smaller budget is absolutely superb. He’s a football man. You love to listen to him because he talks real sense.
Russ Wilcox lost his first game in 29 in charge of Scunthorpe but got promoted on Saturday. The irony! The defeat doesn’t matter, promotion was the paramount thing for them. Sometimes it’s in your hands, sometimes other people help you out. There were celebrations at the end of the day and what a run they’ve been on since Russ took over there. They’ve been brilliant. They’ve been up in League One before, so they know what it’s all about as a football club, and hopefully they can talk about what went wrong last time, build on those things and get a decent budget to get decent players in and add to the squad that has already got them promotion this season.
Chesterfield lost the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final to Peterborough and you thought the season might just go downhill for them but the response from losing that final has been absolutely fantastic. They’re unbeaten in five and that speaks volumes for the players, who picked themselves up after a Wembley defeat, took it to the end of the season and deservedly got promotion.
Torquay drop out of the Football League
GARRY SAYS: I’m disappointed for my old team-mate Chris Hargreaves, who I played with at Grimsby many years ago. It’s sad for him to see them go down. But he’s the sort of lad who’s full of confidence and I’m sure if they stick with him he’ll have a good go at getting them back into the Football League. We know how difficult it is, though, once you’ve disappeared from League Two. A number of teams have struggled and it won’t be easy. They’ve had ten 1-0 defeats at home this season and the margins are that small.