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Burns on Blues: Buckle up for League Two rollercoaster

IF ANY club knows how tough the challenge of getting out of League Two is then it is surely Wycombe.

THIS week Blues reporter Greg Burns launches his new column on all things Wycombe. With the new season just three days away he takes a look at how League Two may pan out this season and gives his final predictions.

IF ANY club knows how tough the challenge of getting out of League Two is then it is surely Wycombe.

Blues spent four seasons trying to climb back up into the third tier losing in the play-off semi-finals to Cheltenham in 2006 and Stockport in 2008.

They finally cracked promotion a year later when they limped over the line to snatch a third place finish.

But after just one season they are back.

And anyone who thinks they will waltz their way up into League One need only look at how the division played out last season.

Until the final two weeks of the season up to eight clubs were in with a shout for a play-off place.

I have no doubts that Gary Waddock has built a squad capable of getting Wycombe out of the division but with their play-off record they need to set their sights firmly on the top three.

They will have fierce competition and I believe the division will be even tighter this year.

Ex-boss Peter Taylor has assembled a decent squad at perennial underachievers Bradford City this season and has also taken former Wanderers Tommy Doherty, Lewis Oliver and Lewis Hunt to Yorkshire with him.

The pressure on the club is huge and I feel that will hinder them this season but they should still stumble over the automatic promotion line.

I have a sneaky feeling for Oxford United. Back in the Football League after four seasons there is always room for a fairytale story each season and they may provide it.

With James Constable up front and with a point to prove they could have a great season.

Gillingham were dragged down by Wycombe last season after ending in free-fall. Former favourite Andy Hessenthaler has taken up the hot seat but saw hotshot striker Simeon Jackson move to Norwich. That could cost them an automatic spot and they will miss out altogether if they don't fix their woeful away hoodoo.

I will be amazed if Rotherham manage to keep hold of striker Adam Le Fondre by September and that could see them have to settle for a play-off spot at best while if Morecambe can overcome the disappointment of last season they could book a place in the end of season lottery themselves.

Two defeats in their final 12 games saw Port Vale push hard but eventually miss out on a play-off spot last season.

Boss Micky Adams will have them ready to go again and I feel they could be a surprise package this term.

So that just leaves Wycombe.

They have the quality within the squad to make big strides. Jon-Paul Pittman, Ben Strevens and Scott Rendell look ready to share the goalscoring load while Kevin Betsy looks to be heading into the new season in superb form.

Defensively, they look like a completely different outfit.

Dave Winfield looks a commanding presence at the back and Nikki Bull could be the best goalkeeper in the division this season.

Much will depend on staying free of injuries because the squad is small and being able to have the patience to break down the majority of teams who will come to Adams Park and defend for their lives.

It will be a slog. It will be a battle. There will be squeaky bums. But ultimately, I think they will snatch the League Two title.


1. Wycombe

2. Oxford United

3. Bradford

4. Gillingham

5. Morecambe

6. Rotherham

7. Port Vale

Relegated: Barnet, Acrrington Stanley


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