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I’ve finally got round to looking at the fixtures for next season – our return to the Championship. And I’m surprised.

When we first won promotion, it seemed to me that we would be playing clubs at a stratospheric level – Premiership standard clubs, clubs that are recognised as ‘BIG’ clubs.

But guess what – having now looked at them all in terms of matches we’ll actually be playing, most of them don’t seem quite as daunting.

Cardiff (simply because they were relegated with a failure bonus of £30-million or so better off than the rest), Derby and Norwich  are all, maybe, in that bigger category – simply because of their history and standings over the past few years. Wigan also have some Premiership money left in the kitty and came close to promotion last term under Uwe Rosler.

Middlesborough, Blackburn, Brighton, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Ipswich, Watford and Wolves – well, they’ve all been established second tier clubs for some time (Wolves dipped into League One last season but, in truth, won it at a canter)

Which leaves Birmingham, Blackpool , Bolton, (all in financial trouble apparently), Bournemouth, Charlton, Fulham, Huddersfield, Millwall, Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday at around our expected level.

So what’s to fret about? As of now, all of us – big, rich, small, poor – no matter what our past, we’re all Championship clubs, starting off as equals. We’ll all see some players come and go over the next few weeks too.

Hopefully our home form of the past couple of seasons will continue more or less, so that leaves four clubs who would expect to beat us on their patches, nine against whom we’d only have to raise our game a bit more than usual, and ten we’d expect to be at or around our own level.

Worry? Well, believing that most teams will mainly play football in our kind of style (i.e. not third tier hoof ball, relying purely on aggression), it seems as if my initial belief that we’ll finish our first session in the Championship around tenth place, or maybe even a little higher, to be around right.

Naw – it doesn’t seem anywhere near as daunting as I thought at first.

Larry Signy