THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

What WSC contributors got right and wrong

icon league1b8 August ~ Wolves lived up to the expectation of League One's contributors in 2013-14, and exceeded Adam Bate's who said: "The last time the club slipped from the top flight t the third tier in the 1980s we plunged all the way to Division Four, so it would be nice to stop the rot." That they did, staying in the top three from the third game and leading from March, ending on 103 points. Below them Brentford contributor Chris Dean was desperate to avoid "another go at the dreaded play-offs" and got his wish as they held off their rivals to gain the second automatic promotion place.

Play-off finalists Leyton Orient and Rotherham were the surprise high-achievers in the division. Tom Davies suggested there was "an unsettling and unusual surge of optimism" at Brisbane Road, before saying that a lot depended on whether they could "stop losing a shedloads of games in August and September". They didn't lose any, leading the table for the majority of the first half of the season, before slipping back to third in 2014.

L1table13-14Rotherham contributor Phil Kyte was expecting a hard season back in League One, saying that "anything more [than lower mid-table] will be a bonus". The rest of the contributors agreed, having the Millers in 15th place, but they defied expectations and beat Orient in the play-off final on penalties to return to the second tier for the first time in a decade.

Sheffield United were expected to gain automatic promotion by the division's contributors. That was at odds with their own fan Ian Rands, however, who couldn't "see past a season of consolidation, so just outside the play-offs". They actually spend until February battling relegation but a run of two defeats in their final 19 league games, plus reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, under new manager Nigel Clough left them in seventh by the end of the season.

At the bottom, Shrewsbury and Stevenage were relegated as predicted, though not by their own contributors. Jon Matthias couldn't see Shrewsbury finishing much higher than 16th, though it's unlikely he foresaw a final placing of 23rd, while Jonni Wedge thought Stevenage's season would be "another transition period" and predicted a "solid 14th". They finished bottom, eight points from safety.

"If we can stay solid at the back then we should avoid a repeat of last year's late-season collapse. Play-offs," said Tristan Browning of Tranmere's chances, while the other predications had them comfortable in tenth. A disastrous season in which their manager was sacked for breaking betting rules, a player suffered a serious illness, others were arrested for spot-fixing and there was a failed takeover before being relegated on the final day.

Rob Lees thought Carlisle were an "uninspiring outfit" with Greg Abbot in charge but he was sacked in September and they were eventually relegated under the leadership of Graham Kavanagh.

The WSC 2014-15 season preview will be in shops on Tuesday August 12

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