Blades Fan Column: Top two looks out of reach but this division is so unpredictable

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough
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Recent results show just what an unpredictable division this one is.

Coventry, fifth from bottom and without a win in five, were playing better than United even before Jose Baxter was sent off.

Chesterfield, fifth not long ago, have not won since they sold Eoin Doyle.

Colchester beat Bristol City, and Crawley won at Swindon. They also beat Barnsley 5-0 but lost 5-0 to Donny, who climbed into the top six.

They then promptly lost 3-0 at Port Vale. Vale themselves have been in the top six recently, as have Oldham, Notts County, Fleetwood and Rochdale.

Now Bradford City appear to be the team on the rise, and Walsall and Gillingham have had good runs.

A few weeks ago Nigel Clough remarked that the top two had both recorded 54 points from 23 games, an average of 2.35 points per game.

He then pointed out that never do two teams get 108 points over the season.

Occasionally one gets over 100, but what is certain is that averaging two points per game will win you promotion.

In 2011/12 Wednesday got 92 and went up; United got 90 and didn’t.

Bristol City are now averaging 2.09 per game, MK Dons 1.94.

At that rate United will need to get 88 or more points to finish second: 36 more points from 15 games.

That’s 12 wins and three defeats, or 11 wins, 3 draws and a defeat.

Possible, but not probable, and that doesn’t even account for Swindon, Preston or MK Dons improving their own records by much less than United have to improve theirs.

Other than that, the play-offs it will surely be.

Best not to think about that prospect at the moment, but at least United now the depth of squad to cover most eventualities.