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Ups And Downs: Part 1

Posted: Mon 16 Jun 2014
Author: Mark Ridgway

Clubs Joining The Championship

The fixture release for the new Sky Bet Championship campaign is just two days away.

Blackpool face trips to Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City this season, after the trio were relegated from the Premier League.

While Norwich and Cardiff have met The Seasiders regularly in recent times, Fulham have been at the same level as Pool for just one season in the last 15 years.

We take a look at three of the six Championship new comers in the first of two articles. 

Norwich City
norwich strip
Despite looking reasonably comfortable going into the business end of the season, a tough run-in killed off Norwich City’s hopes of survival.

The dismissal of Chris Hughton, and appointment of Neil Adams, came with just five games remaining, but Adams will remain in charge for next season.

Gary Holt and Mark Robson have been drafted in to assist Adams, while Bournemouth’s leading goal scorer from last season, Lewis Grabban, is their only new signing to date.

Their last visit to Bloomfield Road came in the March of 2009, when Brett Ormerod and Charlie Adam scored in a 2-0 Pool win.

From Bloomfield Road to Carrow Road: 254 miles

Fulham
fulham strip
The mid-season appointment of Felix Magath did little to alter Fulham’s fortunes last campaign, but the German will remain at Craven Cottage for the new season.

A heavy defeat at Stoke City in May sealed their fate, but with just nine victories all campaign and the worst goal difference in the division, the damage was already done.

Established Premier League players such as Brede Hangerland, Steve Sidwell and John Arne Riise have since been released, with Shaun Hutchinson coming the other way from Motherwell. 

The last time they met Blackpool was in the 2013 FA Cup, when Kieran Richardson equalised in injury time, allowing Hangerland to score the winner in extra time and set up a trip to Old Trafford. 

From Bloomfield Road to Craven Cottage: 242 miles

Cardiff City
Cardiff Strip
A return of just seven wins ensured Cardiff City’s time in the Premier League would last just one season, as they finished bottom of the league.

Six points from safety in the end, similarly to Norwich and Fulham, The Bluebirds switched management mid-season, but only declined following the departure of Malky Mackay.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will remain at the club next season and he has moved quickly in the transfer window to bring in Adam Le Fondre, Federico Macheda, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Guido Burgstaller and Javi Guerra. 

On their way to the Championship title in 2013 Cardiff won 2-1 at Blackpool, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s strike not enough in a 2-1 defeat for The Seasiders.

From Bloomfield Road to the Cardiff City Stadium: 236 miles