Char­lie can shoot QPR into the Prem

The Football League Paper - - NEIL WARNOCK -

I’VE won a play-off both ways. Once where I just missed out on au­to­matic, like Derby. And once where crept in at the death, like Brighton. That’s why I’m not a big be­liever in this idea that you need form go­ing into the play­offs. I think it’s who­ever turns up on the day.

Just look at last year. Crys­tal Palace weren’t play­ing very well at all in April yet they beat two in­form sides in Brighton and Wat­ford.

The play-offs are about the width of a post, the eye­sight of a lines­man – it’s that fine a line that it usu­ally boils down to luck. It makes pick­ing a win­ner very tough.

In the Cham­pi­onship, Wi­gan have looked a lit­tle bit jaded in the run-in, but what else would you ex­pect of a team who’ve played 60 games? They’ll need to re­group and they’ve def­i­nitely got the play­ers to do it. The ques­tion is, have they got the en­ergy?

At Derby, Steve McClaren is prob­a­bly go­ing for pro­mo­tion a year ear­lier than he ex­pected when he took the job. They’ve got the best mid­field – Craig Bryson and Jeff Hen­drick are as good a pair as any­body in the di­vi­sion – and are full of con­fi­dence.

But if I had to put money on it, I’d go for QPR. They’ve still got the squad, still got the in­di­vid­ual class. They’ve got play­ers with big-game ex­pe­ri­ence. And with Char­lie Austin fit again, they’re a much more dan­ger­ous side.

In League One, it’s hard to look past Pre­ston. With their points tally, they’d have ex­pected to be up al­ready. Si­mon Grayson has done a great job.

But at the same time, only a fool would write off Rother­ham. Steve Evans’ men have proved this sea­son that they can beat any­body on their day and they’re a team who never know when they’re beaten.

Peter­bor­ough should just see this as a free shot re­ally. Let’s be hon­est – with 18 de­feats, they are in­cred­i­bly lucky to have crept in. But with Britt As­som­ba­longa ca­pa­ble of scor­ing against any­body, they’ll be a threat in a one-off game.

Ori­ent have been the sur­prise of the sea­son. They’ve done fab­u­lously and I hope they don’t go in dis­ap­pointed at hav­ing led the ta­ble for so long. They should just see the play-offs as a re­ward for a great sea­son.

As for League Two, it’s in­cred­i­bly tight.You may as well just put the four teams in a hat and pick one out.

Fleet­wood have the money and strength. Bur­ton have the ca­ma­raderie in the dress­ing room.York haven’t con­ceded a goal in months. And Southend, who looked like they’d blown it months ago, must now be on a huge high af­ter squeak­ing in.

My head says Fleet­wood but, as a for­mer man­ager, I’d like to see Bur­ton make it through.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

DAN­GER MAN: Char­lie Austin cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing for QPR

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