The Championship is widely considered to be one of the most competitive leagues in the world.
Due to its unpredictable nature, attention is drawn from numerous countries across the globe and in 2009, the league was the fourth most watched in Europe, attracting an audience of 9.9 million fans.
Evidently, The Championship is very enticing for the neutral. However, for the managers trying to navigate their way out of the league and into the top division, the pressure is unendurable.
So how will the QPR, Reading and Wigan Atheltic cope in a league where the margins between relegation, mid-table mediocrity, play-off and promotion positions are so minuscule?
Redknapp’s latest signings arguably demonstrate his intentions for the forthcoming Championship season.
Karl Henry and Richard Dunne aren’t the most technically gifted of players, but are largely considered to be the ‘100%’ type, who will battle tirelessly to secure victory for their team.
The addition of these two players to the Rangers squad implies that Harry is constructing a team that knows how to grind out results.
QPR have also signed Danny Simpson from Newcastle but their squad could look much more depleted come August the 3rd. Loic Remy’s departure looks inevitable as West Ham and Newcastle are thought to be potential suitors for the Frenchman, while Julio Cesar, Esteban Granero and Ji Sung Park could all make a return to the Premier League.
Considering Chris Samba, Jay Bothroyd, Tal Ben Haim and Djibril Cisse have already fled Loftus Road; Harry Redknapp will definitely need to strengthen his squad soon.
However I’m not entirely convinced Redknapp can shake off the turbulence at Loftus Road and unite the squad in time for the start of the season.
Therefore I predict a steady start for QPR but see them ultimately finishing strongly and competing in the end of season play-offs.
Wigan have made some stellar signings this transfer window, bringing in seven players thus far.
The northern club have had to let Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo leave the DW Stadium but have aptly replaced them with Premier League quality in Grant Holt and Marc Antoine-Fortune.
The former was still widely considered to be capable of having another Premier League season in him by Norwich fans, so his signing could be a fantastic coup.
The Latics have also enhanced the defensive aspect of their squad with the signings of Scott Carson, James Perch and Thomas Rogne. Carson and Perch have made numerous appearances for top flight sides over the years so they should also make the Wigan side superior.
The signings of Chris McCann and Stephen Crainey are also impressive and given that Wigan have thus far kept hold of their British starlets, McManaman, McCarthy and Ben Watson, they may have one of the best squads in the Championship for 2013/2014.
Ultimately, if Owen Coyle can harness and sustain the exuberance and tenacity of last year’s unfortunate Wigan side and combine it with the quality of their new players then Wigan should comfortably occupy one of the two promotion places.
Unless another side takes the Championship by storm I predict that Wigan will be Champions come May 2014.
Nigel Adkins’ arrival at the Madejski Stadium in March wasn’t immediately successful as The Royals were relegated with four games to spare.
Although, one positive of his eight game Premier league reign was that he has somewhat successfully implemented a new style into Reading Football Club. Now, Reading are a team who like to pass the ball and keep possession.
Adkins will be hoping that the new style will bear fruits for the hooped side this season as he has publicly said numerous times that promotion is the sole aim.
With the recruitment of the experienced left-back Wayne Bridge, holding-midfielder Danny Williams and the high-profile signing of former Real Madrid man Royston Drenthe, promotion certainly seems possible.
Reading also signed academy products Alex Pearce and Hal Robson-Kanu to new contracts early on in the window, fending off interest from top flight suitors.
Albeit, I still think Reading need one more quality signing, probably in attack. Adam Le Fondre is better at performing the substitute role and Jason Roberts is still injured, so a new forward may be a priority if Pogrebnyak departs.
All in all, I definitely expect Reading to be challenging Wigan for one of the two automatic promotion places.
Take my predictions with a pinch of salt though because this is the Championship; anything can happen!
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