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Monday, 12 November 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Dons end Blades' run and Appleton arrives at Blackpool


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Sqf hugh larkin

League One saw a meeting between the two pre-season favourites for promotion and MK Dons were able to end Sheffield United's unbeaten start to the season. It took a last-minute penalty to send the game the way of the home side and Blades boss Danny Wilson was livid with the decision.

It's been a strange kind of unbeaten run for the Blades; they've rarely been fluent and began the campaign with a fair few drawn games. There are memories of Huddersfield Town's momentous run in this division last season which saw the Terriers stutter along despite keeping their run intact. While no team like losing, this defeat might shake things up for Wilson's side.

United remain in second spot and handily placed to cement their hold on an automatic promotion place. Tranmere have slowed a little after their runaway start and the Blades still look a good bet to achieve what they just fell short of last season.        

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The Championship is still dominated by the theme of new managers and this week Michael Appleton became the latest new man in the hot seat. Most of the football world will sympathise with his move to Blackpool after he endured a year from hell at an imploding Portsmouth.

While Blackpool aren't the biggest spenders around, at least the new man will know how  many players he has to work with each week and Ian Holloway has certainly left a lot of talent to work with at Bloomfield Road.

The fascination will be how Appleton decides to employ his new found resources, in comparison to the ultra-positive but occasionally risky style pursued by his predecessor. Saturday's game produced a typical Blackpool score - 2-2 with the home side forced to come from behind for a point. The Tangerines may be the great entertainers but might they need to rein a bit to make a place in the top six.

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In League Two, Northampton Town pulled off a tremendous 4-2 result at Accrington thanks to a hat-trick from the muscular Adi Akenfenwa, which makes 10 for the sesaon for the striker. After the traumas of 2011/12, Cobblers fans will be grateful to see their side sitting safely in mid-table.

Since his arrival just under a year ago Adi Boothroyd has stabilised the ship in the East Midlands and presided over a positive record of 17 wins, 14 draws and 18 losses - not a bad performance considering the low morale at the club when he arrived.

The manager is restoring a reputation that took a bit of a dent at Coventry after he was touted for great things at Watford. The task now is to try and push on at the Sixfields and take the club closer to the play-off berths.

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Surprise of the weekend? Well Charlie Austin didn't get on the scoresheet for Burnley. This week the striker broke the club record of balding 70s bustler Andy Lochead and became the fastest to 20 goals in a season for the club.

Considering the talent that has been on display at Turf Moor across its long history that's some record to have. He's bagged no less than 17 in just 15 League outings and his colleagues have only put together another 13 between them.

Burnley fans don't know what to think. They love his scoring feats but are all too aware that when Jay Rodriguez bagged 21 League goals last season, he was soon on his way to the Premier League.

For both Swindon and Burnley, Austin is netting at better than a goal every other game in League football which is always a rare statistic in the modern game.

Related Articles:

TVFOTPL: Holloway gets a place at the Palace and it could be Dons v Dons in the cup

TVOTPL: Palace show resilience and the Gills are on a roll

TVOTPL: Middlesbrough enjoy another away day and Bournemouth down Tranmere

TVOTPL: Barnet fluff their lines but Tranmere put on a show

TVOTPL: Helguson boosts Cardiff and Stevenage go second

TVOTPL: Blackburn start life without Kean

TVOTPL: Wolves pile misery on Posh, Tranmere score for fun

TVOTPL: Bellamy sparks Cardiff and Tubbs strikes for Bournemouth

TVOTPL: Magpies go top and Cod Army batters the Shrimps

TVOTPL: Mackail-Smith double sinks Burnley

TVOTPL: Wycombe washed out but it's raining goals in Blackpool

Leeds, Forest, Wednesday or Blackburn: Who will gain promotion to the Premier League this season? Our writers and esteemed guests have their say

Blackpool: Holloway's men hit the ground running

TVOTPL: Week One

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Hugh Larkin

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