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Will the relegated sides bounce back?

For Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers life in the Premier League had begun to feel like home again.

Both Rovers and Bolton had avoided the drop for 11 years, with Wolves establishing themselves as a Premier league side for the past three seasons.

Once relegated however, the objective of immediate promotion does not always go to plan, with neither team willing to take a look into Leeds’ dismal campaign in 2003-04, and the years which followed (asides the financial implosion) - it can go from bad, to worse for any club.

The past years has seen the standard of the Championship has vastly improved, and you can be sure a wakeup call is in order for these three relegated sides.

These teams will need to show the strength, resilience and team spirit which aided them in reaching the Premier League, as well as maintaining a healthy position.

A top ten finish may be Blackburn’s best hope

Of the three teams which will replace those that were relegated, the quality between the six clubs is almost parallel – something which makes it all too unpredictable, on who will succeed, and who will fall.

For the first time in 11 seasons, Blackburn saw themselves finishing 19th in the Premier League under manager Steve Kean.

Club legend, Henning Berg believes it will be very hard for Rovers to bounce back up again next season, saying that: ‘‘You look at the situation between the owners, the manager, the players and the fans, and it is very difficult to see a club going in the right direction together.’’

Given the nature of how The Riversiders went down, along with a disorganized ownership, a top six finish and the playoffs may be the club’s best opportunity to play top tier football once more.

For Bolton, the huge thorn in their side is their lack of finances, which will not only result in the club losing out on singings, but will surely result in losing a number of important players before next season starts.

Bolton’s best hope for promotion will be sooner, rather than later

Owen Coyle (pictured), who will be retained as the Wanderers’ manager, will need to work hard on his squad, which inevitably is set to lose key players following their relegation.

The Wanderers’ highest hopes in a return to the top will be most attainable within the next two or three seasons - like several clubs in the championship, the longer the stay in Championship football, the less likely it is to progress to the Premier League.

Bottom finishing Wolves, will have an extremely hard run next season.

Sacking Mick McCarthy in the middle of last season failed to improve the side’s league position - unless a new experienced manager is brought in, the likelihood of a return to the country’s top league looks increasingly thin.

Unlike Blackburn and Bolton, Wolves have a smaller, cheaper squad which will be best suited to Championship football – the question is whether they can improve their quality next season.

By Alex Fitzgerald

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