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Exclusive: UEFA Pro Licence Coach Kevin Nicholson discusses the EFL Promotion Battles

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As one of the brightest young coaches in the English game, Kevin Nicholson knows a thing or two about the approaches football teams and managers take to win games.

But, who’s he tipping to succeed across the Football League this season, then, from what he’s seen so far? We caught up with him to find out…

Championship

“Leeds have made the best start – the league table doesn’t lie after five matches so Bielsa has had an immediate effect on the group.

“I think Middlesbrough under Tony Pulis will be extremely strong and very difficult to beat and obviously they are unbeaten so far.

“Aston Villa once again, they have a manager who has had plenty of success in getting teams promoted from the league and they came close to going up last season.

“And then the two teams probably off of the radar slightly that will do well are Brentford – for the fact they have one of the youngest teams in the league right now, which is refreshing to see and they have a very good manager in Dean Smith.

“As well as them, Blackburn. To have come up from League One last season and made an unbeaten start after five matches is testament to the job that Tony Mowbray has done so far.”

League One

“In League One, Peterborough have got that 100% record with five wins out of five and look a very strong side. Steve Evans is proving once again that he finds a way to win football matches on a consistent basis and that’s why he is always in employment and why clubs are always interested in taking him on.

“Sunderland are obviously the biggest club in the league and will have the expectation of getting promoted and have made a good start.

“I think it says a lot that three in the top six have been in the Premier League; Sunderland, Barnsley and Portsmouth and even at that level there are really big clubs striving to get back up the leagues and that’s what makes it a really tough division.

“I’d mention Grant McCann at Doncaster too who took over at the start of the season and has started well with only one loss in the first five. He proved himself to be a promising manager at Peterborough before losing his job but has started really well at Doncaster.”

League Two

“In League Two already I would say it would take a lot for anyone to beat Lincoln or MK Dons.

“Anyone that finishes above them will get promoted this season. I think they are different types of teams; Lincoln are a strong, powerful side that are difficult to play against and MK Dons look good with Paul Tisdale who is well on the road to forming an identity there and so I think they’ll be the two to beat in League Two this season.

“As well as them perhaps a side people didn’t think would be up there yet is Yeovil with Darren Way who have started well. From when he arrived, season on season they have improved as a team and he’s doing a great job.”

ScoopDragon Football News Network

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