Scunthorpe look to have hit form at the right time
Iron showing their mettle in League One
The wisdom of firing Graham Alexander in March with Scunthorpe perched in the playoff places was rightly questioned by many stunned commentators – yet it’s beginning to look like a stroke of genius from Iron owner Peter Swann.
The Scunny chief, unhappy at an extended winless run studded with draws galore, took an almighty punt by sacking the man who had led the club to the playoffs just 12 months earlier when they were pipped by Millwall.
In came caretaker Nick Daws, the second time he has been handed temporary control, and the transformation has been remarkable.
It’s played seven, four wins, three draws and no defeats under Daws and Scunthorpe look well worth a punt to get the better of first Rotherham, then Shrewsbury or Charlton, and head back to the Sky Bet Championship.
A few tweaks here and there plus the reintroduction of the mysteriously overlooked Conor Townsend have given Scunthorpe a lift.
The race for the third promotion spot has a wide-open feel to it.
The bookies like Rotherham and Charlton, who finished fourth and sixth. They are happy to take on Shrewsbury, who had been in the top two for much of the season, finished third and boast the best round-robin record in this four-team mini-league with 12 points from a possible 18 against their three rivals.
Paul Hurst’s men have done pretty much everything right all season before fading under the onslaught from Premier League outcasts Wigan and Blackburn. They reached the EFL Trophy final – which they lost to Lincoln – and one win in seven suggests they may have run out of steam at the wrong time.
Rotherham, under Paul Warne, have arguably been as big a surprise package as Salop given how pitifully they came down from the Championship 12 months ago. The turnaround at the New York Stadium has been little short of sensational and the Millers are full of confidence.
The same is true of Charlton, the odd one out in that they are the only one of the three not being managed by Rotherham teammates of the early 2000s.
Again, the late arrival of their new interim manager – Lee Bowyer – has coincided in an upturn in fortunes and the fact that they’ve beaten Plymouth, Rotherham, Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Blackburn in the past six weeks suggests they are bang in form.
1pt 100-30 Betfair, Hills, Paddy Power
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