At the top of the Championship, one team who are perhaps performing better than many people expected are Burnley. The Lancashire club got off to a flying start and many pundits were waiting for them to slide down the table, but they remain in second place in the league table as things stand with just 14 games remaining.
The Clarets boss Sean Dyche, or the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ as the Burnley fans like to call him, has done a tremendous job at Turf Moor. With fewer resources than many of the other clubs fighting at the business end of the standings, it is remarkable that they have maintained their lofty position for so long.
When you think that they lost their top goalscorer at the start of the season when Charlie Austin left to join rivals Queens Park Rangers, it is even greater testament to the job that Dyche has done there.
Forwards Danny Ings and Sam Vokes have stepped into the void left by Austin’s departure and, to be fair, he really hasn’t been missed with the strike duo notching an impressive total of 42 goals between them so far this season.
So where as Burnley appear to be over-achieving in the Championship, Austin’s new club QPR are almost certainly under-achieving.
Harry Redknapp’s squad is assembled with a large number of international and rather expensive players who, on paper, you’d think should be doing a great deal better than their 4th position in England’s second tier.
But having watched them in recent weeks, you’d wonder how they are as high in the league table as they are. They have lost their last three matches and look a shadow of the side you’d expect to see with such a costly squad.
Harry has ‘had to’ wheel and deal with an ‘emergency loan’ in the last couple of weeks, bringing in West Ham attacker Ravel Morrison to Loftus Road in a bid to stop the rot and get their promotion push back on course.
I’m not entirely sure it is an emergency when they have the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Niko Kranjcar, David Hoilett and Yossi Benayoun at their disposal who all play in that attacking midfield role, but that’s a debate for another day.
With the calibre of players in their squad, they really should be making an instant return to the top flight. As it is, Burnley may have less quality in their ranks but they are all pulling in the same direction and that may be the difference which gives them a better chance of promotion ahead of Rangers.