The View Outside The Premier League: Blackburn start life post-Kean and Walsall hit the heights
And so it finally happened. Blackburn Rovers went into Saturday's encounter with Charlton without Steve Kean at the helm. The Scot resigned this week - was it before he was pushed? - much to the relief of Ewood Park fans.
Unfortunately for the supporters Venky's didn't go with him but you can't have everything at once. A point at Charlton under Eric Black was a decent effort although it remains to be seen who comes in long-term. With players like Jordan Rhodes to control there should be no lack of applicants, though some top men might want to avoid Venky's influence.
Rarely has a manager attracted so much stick from his own fans over such a long period of time. Even now he resigned, so we won't know whether the owners would have pushed him - but it might be some time before Kean appears in a dug out again and it probably won't be in the top flight.
By contrast, Walsall's Dean Smith is a man basking in his fans' acclaim. A win at Bournemouth took the Saddlers to the heady heights of a play-off berth, which is some achievement after two seasons of grim relegation battles.
When Smith arrived at the Bescot the team looked dead and buried but he galvanised them and produced a remarkable escape. Last season wasn't as exciting but the club still avoided the drop to League Two. This year they started as bookies' favourites to go down but with the accent on youth the Saddlers are flying.
Most Walsall fans don't expect the team to maintain sxith place but they are enjoying watching the likes of George Bowerman and winger James Baxendale, a free transfer bargain from Doncaster Rovers. After some lean years the Bescot faithful deserve the chance to dream a little.
Bristol Rovers have had a fairly horrendous start to their League Two season but from the fans' viewpoint Mark McGhee's squad picked the right place to start a fightback.
A trip to Exeter City is a fair trek but in the far-flung South-West, this match counts as a derby game. The Grecians were going well but in typical fashion the derby match saw form go out of the window. Rovers bagged a precious 2-1 win which will hopefully ignite their campaign.
Derby County took a much-needed three points from the East Midlands derby on Sunday, taking advantage of the dismissal of Nottingham Forest's Dexter Blackstock.
A win over their bitterest rivals should buy Nigel Clough some time after recent weeks saw an outbreak of disquiet among Rams fans about the direction the team is taking.
The performance of the weekend by a striker came from Peterborough's Emile Sinclair who ran Hull City ragged at the KC Stadium. The Posh forward bagged a hat-trick based around his determination to take defenders on and the Tigers' back four failed to deal with him.
City were unbeaten at home and Posh were without a point, which just goes to show why so few people ever win the pools. Even this win left Darren Ferguson's side rooted to the bottom but at least they have a little hope again.