Last season all three sides that were promoted to Championship from League One managed to survive their first seasons back in the English second tier.
Sheffield United performed consistently well throughout the season and were even amongst the automatic promotion chasers in the first half of the campaign, before a dip in form after Christmas saw The Blades finish in 10th six points off the play-offs.
Millwall endured a less spectacular opening half of the season but were showing that they could perform well at Championship level, after Christmas The Lions excellent form catapulted them into play-off contention, but Neil Harris’ side just missed out finishing in 8th place just three points off 6th.
Bolton Wanderers were the only newly promoted team to struggle at the bottom end of the league last season. A run of just one win in 12 games left Bolton second bottom heading into the final day of the season, however Phil Parkinson’s side beat Bristol City 3-2, with a dramatic late comeback after two late goals from David Wheater and Aaron Wilbraham. That win coupled with Barnsley’s 4-1 defeat at Derby ensured Bolton survived.
How have the promoted sides fared this season?
As this season enters the second international break the three newly promoted sides from last season, Champions Wigan Athletic, runners-up Blackburn Rovers and play-off winners Rotherham United have all made solid starts to life back in the Championship.
Wigan are currently in 12th place with 17 points from their opening 12 matches leaving them just two points off the play-off places. Paul Cook’s side have won four of their opening six home games and are unbeaten in their last 13 games at the DW Stadium stretching back to last season. However, on the road it has proved to be much more difficult for The Latics, with five defeats and just one victory from their opening six matches away from home.
The Latics have looked full of creativity and capable of scoring goals at home so far, with the likes of Nick Powell, Will Grigg and Josh Windass providing problems for opposition defences. However, away from the DW Cook’s side have found it more difficult to impose their attacking style on the opposition. Wigan have failed to score in their last four away matches, after scoring five in their first two, they will need to improve this record if they are to build on their solid start to the campaign.
Blackburn have performed even better than Wigan so far, sitting in 10th place with 18 points from their opening 12 fixtures. Rovers have only been beaten twice so far a record bettered only by 5th placed Nottingham Forest and 3rd placed Leeds United. However, Tony Mowbray’s side have drawn half of their games so far and were beaten for the first time in over a year at Ewood Park in their last home against Sheffield United.
Bradley Dack has been highly influential to Blackburn’s solid start having scored six of his sides 14 goals and registered two assists so far. The former Gillingham man scored the winner at Bolton in Blackburn’s last game before the international break, and if Rovers can both keep him fit and keep potential suitors at bay in January, he will have a major impact as to where they finish at the end of the season.
Rotherham have made a good start to the season considering they were heavily tipped for an immediate return to League 1 before the start of the season. The Millers are currently in 19th place two points clear of the relegation zone, with 11 points from their opening 12 fixtures. Paul Warne’s side have looked a very difficult team to face at the New York Stadium, winning three and losing just one of their opening six home matches.
However, Rotherham have lost all six of their away games which has extended their winless run away from home in the Championship to 31 games. If The Millers are to improve their record away from home they will need to improve defensively on their travels, so far this season they have conceded 19 goals with only Aston Villa, Reading and Preston conceding more. If they can replicate their performances at home in away games Rotherham should be able to pick up enough points to keep them in the division.