NIGEL Clough believes Sunderland will be one of the four strongest challengers for automatic promotion this season
Relegated from the Championship last season alongside the Brewers, Sunderland return to the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday (kick off 3pm) having made a strong start to the campaign.
The Brewers manager said: “Quite a few of the leagues are bit topsy-turvy at the moment but I don’t think League One is. The top four will probably be the top four and the automatic promotion will come from that group. Portsmouth, Peterborough, Sunderland and Barnsley look the strongest teams in the league and everyone else is trying to play catch up.
“I don’t think anyone doubted that Sunderland would be up there – a strong squad, 30,000 people at home. It takes us ten home games to do that, so you see the sort of difference in revenues there. They will fill the away end as their support is never in doubt.
“With Sunderland it’s the expectation as much as anything. Everyone expects them to bounce back up and it’s a very difficult league even for them.”
But Clough knows his team are rapidly improving as well.
He said: “Our last four performances after the poor second half at Oxford have been of a good consistent standard and our fans have been very positive. I couldn’t believe how many we took to Accrington on a such a bad day. They appreciated what a good performance it was and we appreciate their support. Our supporters have been brilliant in the last few weeks and have really got behind us.”