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When do Blues play the newcomers?

21 June 2017

Your guide to the newcomers in League One and the fixture date...

Blackpool

Blackpool returned to League One at the first time of asking, having been relegated the season before just six years after making their bow in the Premier League.

It’s been a turbulent few years for the Tangerines to say the least. Coupled with their fall down the divisions, off the field conflict between the owners and fans has garnered plenty of media attention.

As a result, their Bloomfield Road ground is often sparsely filled as fans continue to boycott matches in their droves, choosing not to show up in protest against the owners.

Despite this, boss Gary Bowyer has galvanised his side on the field, and after confirming their place in the play-offs on the final day he masterminded their instant return to League One.

Fixture @ Roots Hall: Saturday 30th September 2017

Fixture @ Bloomfield Road: Saturday 17th March 2018

Distance from Roots Hall: 271 miles

Doncaster Rovers

It certainly hasn’t been boring being a Doncaster Rovers fan in recent years, with the club enjoying triumphant promotions and enduring agonising relegations a total of eight times in 20 years.

In those two decades, Donny have risen out of Non-League football after five seasons in the Conference, before reaching the heights of the Championship – beating Southend along the way.

Since ending the Blues’ hopes of a return to the Championship in 2008, Doncaster spent five of the next six seasons in the second tier before slipping back down to League Two. 

But after just one season at the bottom level of the Football League, Darren Ferguson’s side comfortably booked an immediate return to League One with five games to spare.

Fixture @ Roots Hall: Saturday 10th March 2018

Fixture @ Keepmoat Stadium: Saturday 7th October 2017

Distance from Roots Hall: 184 miles

Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle return to League One after a six-year absence, having been relegated from the third tier at the end of the 2010/11 season.

That was their second successive relegation having been in the Championship the season before, with the club struggling under the weight of financial problems.

After going into administration, Argyle almost slipped out of the league altogether, but their fortunes began to turn around after a successful takeover with four successive top-10 finishes.

Last season was the best of the bunch, having missed out agonisingly the season before in the play-off final, Plymouth secured automatic promotion with a second place finish. 

Fixture @ Roots Hall: Saturday 19th August 2017

Fixture @ Home Park: Saturday 31st March 2018

Distance from Roots Hall: 294

Portsmouth

It wasn’t all that long ago that Portsmouth had won the FA Cup for the first time in their history and, the following season, walked out of Fratton Park to take on AC Milan in the UEFA Cup.

Times certainly have changed for the South Coast club, who have been dogged by financial problems ever since that day at Wembley in 2008, slipping down the leagues as a result.

But after the Pompey Supporters’ Trust took over the club in 2013, Portsmouth have seen a turnaround in their fortunes, and after four years in the fourth tier they made it back to League One.

And they did so by snatching the League Two title on a dramatic final day of the season in front of just shy of 18,000 at Fratton Park, their first piece of silverware in nine years.

Fixture @ Roots Hall: Saturday 17th February 2018

Fixture @ Fratton Park: Saturday 18th November 2017

Distance from Roots Hall: 118 miles

Rotherham United

Rotherham United returned to League One after a dismal season ended their three year stay in the Championship, with the club finishing rock bottom last term.

The Millers had previously been in the second tier between 2001 and 2005, but two relegations in three years saw them drop down to League Two.

Back-to-back promotions shot the Millers back into the Championship by 2014, with Rotherham claiming the League Two title before immediately going up again via the play-offs in League One.

But they didn’t enjoy the best of times in the Championship with two successive 21st place finishes, before they finally succumb to relegation back to League One last campaign.

Fixture @ Roots Hall: Saturday 24th March 2018

Fixture @ AESSEAL New York Stadium: Saturday 12th August 2017

Distance from Roots Hall: 195 miles

Wigan Athletic

It doesn’t feel that long ago that Wigan Athletic were in the Premier League and causing one of the biggest cup upsets in FA Cup history by beating Manchester City in the final.

The reason it doesn’t feel that long ago is because that was only 2013, and in the subsequent four years Wigan have yo-yoed between the Championship and League One. 

Whilst in the Premier League the Latics were heralded by many for overachieving under Roberto Martinez, but since he left following their relegation Wigan haven’t quite recovered.

Last season three different managers weren’t able to keep Wigan from making an immediate return to League One with Latics unquestionably looking for stability this coming campaign.

Fixture @ Roots Hall: Saturday 10th February 2018

Fixture @ DW Stadium: Saturday 14th October 2017

Distance from Roots Hall: 236 miles

 

Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers are three-time champions of England and are one of only six sides to have ever won the Premier League since its inception in 1992.

Their title win in 1995 was their first top-tier title in 81 years, but they were unable to capitalise on that success and were relegated from the top-flight just four years later.

Although they managed a return to English football’s top table, they found themselves back in the Championship in 2012 amidst mounting fan backlash over their ownership by Venky’s.

Rovers have seen attendances dwindle as fans continue to protest against their Indian owners, with the club becoming the first Premier League winners to fall to the third tier.

Fixture @ Roots Hall: Saturday 5th August 2017

Fixture @ Ewood Park: Saturday 7th April 2018

Distance from Roots Hall: 257 miles


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