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After QPR get rid of Dowie – where does this leave Birmingham, Wolves and Reading at the top of the Championship?

It is very rare that a day will go by without a significant news story breaking about the English Championship. It is a very exciting league with numerous twists and turns throughout a season. With this in mind, perhaps it is no surprise that Queens Park Rangers have sent their manager Iain Dowie packing after just 15 games in charge.

The former Charlton boss replaced Luigi de Canio in May and leaves the club with them sitting 9th in the table. I suppose he has simply been a victim of a new board that expects too much too soon. The QPR owners would have been expecting the team to be firing on all cylinders by now and the football odds made them one of the favourites for promotion.

The reality is though, that Dowie’s team had only recorded one win in their previous six games and even though they find themselves just one point off the play-offs – this recent run of form was obviously not good enough for the relevant people. This is rather harsh, but with Roberto Mancini being lined up as a replacement, I guess Dowie never had much of a chance. The QPR owners want their type of people in charge. Perhaps Dowie was never actually in their long term plans.

The interesting point to be made of all this though, in my opinion, is how it will affect the other teams vying for promotion. They would have all been expecting an onslaught from QPR at some stage, so will that still be the case? Well, first of all, let’s look at the top three team’s current situation and see if there is any room for a rejuvenated QPR to fit into.

1st (27 points) – Birmingham: Currently top of the table, the Blues seem the most comfortable of the top teams and are grinding out 1-0 wins frequently. When they find their best form, they could really push on.

2nd (25 points) – Wolves: Mick McCarthy’s side have suffered a rather worrying dip in form. In fact, they have lost three out of their last four games. The latest was a 5-2 drubbing at Norwich and they will be starting to doubt their credentials.

3rd (23 points) – Reading: The most significant factor about Reading is that their home form is so good. They have won every game at the Madjeski so far and have scored 21 goals along the way. Many football bets are being placed on this continuing as well.

So, with 18 points currently on the board, QPR have some catching up to do if they are to match their pre-season ambitions of automatic promotion. As much as Dowie’s men were still in with a shout, the board obviously wanted to act before it was too late. Had they continued in the same vain for the next few weeks, automatic promotion would have been very unrealistic.

As it is though, the likes of Birmingham, Reading and Wolves will all be interested to see a) who QPR appoint and b) whether they start to show the form many expected them to. Because, everything considered, the top teams in the Championship will still be wary of QPR and their potential January spending power.

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