Second and third divisions
QPR shuffle pack to maintain sequence
Saturday 18 October 2003
Brighton, four points clear at the top of the Second Division, say they are in no hurry to appoint a successor to Steve Coppell, although one suspects they might change their mind if Queen's Park Rangers continue to progress at their current rate.
The disappointment of losing to Cardiff in last season's play-off final has failed to dent the spirit of Ian Holloway's team, whose prosperity, 18 months after coming out of administration, is a tribute to the skills of their manager in rebuilding his side on next to nothing.
Rangers are unbeaten in 10 matches, their most impressive sequence by far in the two and a half years in which the former Bristol Rovers' manager has been in charge. Taking into account last season's barnstorming finish, play-offs included, they have lost just three League games in the last 26.
Today they travel to Peterborough, who have yet to win in six home Second Division games this season, with a slight dilemma because the on-loan centre-back Arthur Gnohere has been recalled by Burnley and Clarke Carlisle has had flu. Having been impressed by the form of several fringe players in the midweek defeat of Kidderminster in the LDV Vans Trophy, Holloway has options.
A thumping LDV defeat at Plymouth prompted the Bristol City chairman, Steve Lansdown, to apologise to supporters, but today's trip to Wrexham offers a chance to make quick amends. Danny Wilson's team, one of the pre-season promotion favourites, have drawn almost half their games but remain in touch with the pace-setters.
Third Division newcomers Doncaster should learn something about their chances for promotion at the first attempt when in-form Mansfield Town visit Belle Vue. The South Yorkshire side's neighbours from north Nottinghamshire have won five of their last six matches to move into second place behind Hull City, but Doncaster's recent form is also impressive.
After a run of six matches without a win from mid-August to mid-September, the Conference play-off winners have struck a rich vein of goals, scoring 16 in their last five matches to climb from 17th to fifth with a haul of 13 points.
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