With Burnley gaining promotion to the Premier League today, Queens Park Rangers now know who they must face in the 2009-10 season.
First and foremost a massive congratulations to Burnley who have had a very long season, but can leave with one of the biggest prizes in English football – a place in the Premier League.
On the flip side there always has to be a team that comes up narrowly short and Kevin Blackwell`s Sheffield United were that side this year. Quite who will be in charge when the R`s go to Bramall Lane next season could be in question as Kevin Blackwell gave a stern indicator that his future could lie away from the red half of Sheffield.
Joining us in the Championship are the elated League One sides, with champions Leicester City looking ambitious on their arrival back in the Championship with several names already linked with moves to the Walkers Stadium.
Rangers will also travel to London Road once again to face prospective managerial target Darren Ferguson. Fergie Jr steered Peterborough United to a runners up finish in League One and QPR will look to bring them back down to earth with a bump after two successive promotions.
Scunthorpe United were the surprise playoff victors in League One fending off Tranmere Rovers on the final day of the season to make the top six, before dispatching of Milton Keynes Dons and Leeds slayers Millwall on their way to playoff glory.
The three deflated sides to drop into the Championship will all be expected to provide stern tests to QPR`s promotion credentials next season with West Bromwich Albion looking to belie their bottom placed finish and bounce back in style like they did at Loftus Road two years ago.
Middlesbrough are another side who flattered to deceive this season with manager Gareth Southgate coming in for stern criticism from supporters who maybe didn`t appreciate the excellent job that Steve McLaren did in making them Uefa Cup finalists.
The final of the trio are Newcastle United, a side blighted by their inability to achieve their own potential and arguably scuppered by the wishes of their loyal fanbase. Keegan they got, Shearer they got, millions were spent and still they underachieve in dramatic proportions.
The season is now shaping up to be one of toughest in recent memory with plenty of financial clout populating the top teams in the division. One thing is certain, QPR missed out on promotion in arguably one of the poorest Championship divisions for quite some time.
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