So.. The end of the season.
The title was secured at the beginning of March, with victory over Rochdale seeing that taken care of.
Unfortunately, we didn’t survive unbeaten until the end. 38 matches went by, until we were defeated by Bolton, 2-1 at the Macron Stadium, it didn’t stop us in our pursuit, however, of a record points and goals total in League 1.
122 points, and 116 goals, with a difference of 73, left us 36 points clear of 2nd place, and 52 clear of 6th place, this saw us go up with Bolton.
Goals came from everywhere in the side, like I wanted them to. Kazaiah Sterling hitting 37 in 60 (30 from 45 in the League) from his position on the left wing, John Marquis chipping in with 24 from 50 (16 from 34 in League), and Alex Kiwomya 23 from 57 (19 from 42 in the League). Only a couple of players failed to score.
Competition wise, upsets of Fulham, Aston Villa (in a ridiculous 6-5 victory) and Liverpool in the FA Cup saw us face Manchester City, who eventually knocked us out after going to Extra Time.
The Carabao Cup was never on the cards, and a 2-0 defeat to Leicester (the only time we failed to score all season) in the 2nd round put us out.
In the Checkatrade Trophy, a success was had, blitzing the group, then qualifying for the final after beating Bolton on penalties, setting up a match with Shrewsbury. This was won before half time, being 3-0 up by the 40th minute, before James Coppinger scored a 64th minute winner to secure a 4-0 win.
Theres a heck of a lot to try and do before next season, a lot of the players expect us to get relegated, I think a mid table push is on. However, there will be movement of players, as I shift some deadwood out, and hopefully replace them with the sort of talent that I can get a couple of seasons hard work out of before moving them on.
Staff wise, my U23 and U18 managers are leaving at the end of the season, being replaced by Andy Butler and James Coppinger, both of whom are retiring.
Elsewhere, Arsenal won the Premier League, with Bristol City, Ipswich and Leeds all being relegated. Tottenham won the FA Cup
West Brom bounced straight back to the Premier League, along with Stoke, who won the Playoffs, a Steve McClaren managed Wolves finished 2nd. At the bottom, MK Dons and Charlton returned to League One, and were joined by Nottingham Forest, who were relegated on the last day.
Luton joined ourselves and Bolton in going up, defeating Peterborough 3-1 in the playoffs, at the bottom, Gillingham, Scunthorpe, Lincoln and Walsall were relegated.
Newport and Eastleigh dropped out of the league, with Colchester, Exeter, Barnet and Stevenage promoted to League One, the latter through the playoffs.
Accrington returned from the Conference at the first opportunity, with Hartlepool also gaining promotion.
I’ve got a few irons in the fire for signings and staff, more on that in the next installment.