With 15 teams already confirmed as Championship sides next year Nigel Pearson has already begun to look at how his own Championship outfit will look. Jack Hobbs has been given a contract, and after a shaky start it can hardly be said he doesn’t deserve it. The turning point in Hobbs’ season came at Selhurst Park and the injury to Alexsander Tunchev. Hobbs had often been too reliant on the Bulgarian to bail him out, but took responsibility well with commanding displays like the one he produced at Millwall. Performances like that are to be expected consistently next year.
609 minutes on the pitch have been enough to secure Wayne Brown a deal at City too. Brown made 44 appearances for Hull during 2007/08 and it’s perhaps that Championship experience in a promotion winning team that has encouraged Pearson to make the former Tiger’s move permanent.
Once again, Pearson is showing his priorities. Leicester will enter the Championship, just as they did League One, with one golden rule: don’t concede. Don’t expect anyone to remain on the halfway line at corners for the remainder of this manager’s reign. That said, when you have the best defence in the Championship, who can fault the approach?
Crewe enter tomorrow’s game needing results to go their way before their match even becomes a factor in the battle to avoid the drop. If Brighton lose and Carlisle fail to win the Railwaymen will have an opportunity to reach safety. But even then they must do something that they have never managed in their 132 year history, beat Leicester City. Leicester’s last four trips to Crewe have all finished level. History is certainly not on Guðjón Þórðarson’s side.
Crewe’s horrible recent form has undone all the good work the ‘Iceman’ had managed since Christmas, lifting Crewe from bottom in late January to 17th in late March. A winless run of nine matches has made Crewe’s survival chances slim at best, in reality their fatal blow came at Stockport on Tuesday. Amazingly, if Crewe had won that game it would be the Hatters facing almost certain relegation thanks to their 10-point deduction. Still when a side goes seven games without a win at home the only respectable response is introspection.
It took a while to find a statistic where Crewe fare better than City, but the Railwaymen have shared the goals better than the Foxes this season. For what it’s worth 20 Crewe players have scored in League One this season compared to Leicester’s 15.
If there is one crumb of comfort for Crewe it lies in Leicester’s record on the final day of the season. Not since the last game at Filbert Street in 2002 have Leicester City won on the last day of the season. Indeed, the Foxes have won only one final day match in the last 11 years. City won’t get many better opportunities to put that little record to bed.