LiveScore's 2022-23 Championship preview: Coventry to Millwall

Matthew Hill
LiveScore
Callum O'Hare remains a Coventry player despite intense transfer speculation this summer
Callum O'Hare remains a Coventry player despite intense transfer speculation this summer

LiveScore's Matthew Hill speaks exclusively to journalists and podcasters from all 24 Championship clubs ahead of the new 2022-23 campaign. Part two hears from experts on Coventry, Huddersfield, Hull, Luton, Middlesbrough and Millwall.

Coventry

Glenn Watkin, SkyBlueFansTV podcast (@SkyBlueFansTV1)

Did 2021-22 go the way you expected it to for Coventry? 

It went far better than most Cov fans were expecting it to after a very good start, with six home wins on the spin even seeing us top the league (albeit briefly) after beating Peterborough. 

However, the team ran out of steam as injuries and suspensions took their toll. 

An eventual finishing position of 12th was progress but fans in some quarters felt it was an opportunity missed to make the play-offs. 

What are your expectations heading into 2022-23? 

Personally, I think the minimum expectation for the upcoming season is to improve on last term, avoid any prospect of a relegation battle and continue to show progression on and off the pitch. 

I think if we keep hold of our big three players — Gustavo Hamer, Viktor Gyokores and Callum O’Hare — and keep them fit, we could be in the promotion picture. 

How is the mood around the club in general?

Very positive now, with a great pre-season bringing eight wins and some extremely positive performances from our new signings. 

The fact we’ve kept hold of our aforementioned stars despite advances from other clubs has boosted fan confidence and with more signings in the pipeline, our squad seems stronger than last season.

Which players should LiveScore users be keeping a close eye on? 

Nottingham Forest loanee Jonathan Panzo looks very promising based off his friendly exploits. 

Striker Fabio Tavares had a great season scoring goals for our Under-23s side and netted a stunning goal against Preston. 

Finally, midfielder Ben Sheaf. He was outstanding away at Southampton in the FA Cup, showing he isn’t out of place against Premier League opposition, and is adding goals and assists to his game.

Huddersfield

Huddersfield were rocked by the unexpected departure of Carlos Corberan earlier this month
Huddersfield were rocked by the unexpected departure of Carlos Corberan earlier this month

Matt Shaw, And He Takes That Chance HTAFC podcast (@takesthatchance)

Did 2021-22 go the way you expected it to for Huddersfield?

Not at all! Most of the football fraternity had us down for a bottom three finish, so to turn that around to finish in the top three was quite magnificent. 

The team started on shaky ground but finished on the firmest of footing having only lost twice in twenty-eight league games going into the play-off final. A truly phenomenal run.

What are your expectations heading into 2022-23?

We have lost some key players and a talented head coach, so I expect some pullback on last season's heroics. 

We still have plenty of key players in place and a raft of promising young players, so I suspect it will be one step back to hopefully go two forwards in the coming seasons. 

The likes of David Kasumu, Jack Rudoni, Etienne Camara and Brahima Diarra are all exciting prospects, so perhaps we will be mid-table this season with half an eye on a charge in 2023-24.

How is the mood around the club in general?

A little mixed, to be honest. Losing a playoff final can be a little deflating, as can losing your best players.

However, there is excitement and anticipation as to what the new intake of signings can bring to the club.

Which players should LiveScore users be keeping a close eye on?

Sorba Thomas is an easy pick, but I think Tino Anjorin could have a big season on loan from Chelsea. 

He was with us last season but injury meant he never got much chance to impress. Now fully fit, he could easily turn out to be Huddersfield's secret weapon.

Hull

Full-back Brandon Fleming is a youngster to watch at Hull this season
Full-back Brandon Fleming is a youngster to watch at Hull this season

Luke Flanagan, freelance journalist/Hull fan (@LukeOT92)

Did 2021-22 go the way you expected it to for Hull?

For me it did. At the start of the season, I thought staying up would mean Hull had done remarkably well considering they were limited to free transfers and loan deals. 

We had poor spells at different times of the season but overall I feel we did what needed to do. 

With the takeover in the background from the start of the season, that was always going to be a distraction until it actually happened. Acun be praised!

What are your expectations heading into 2022-23?

To build on last year. A top-half finish should be a realistic target now that there is a chairman in place who wants to compete and attract top talent, as well as grow the club worldwide with his profile. 

Signings like Nathan Baxter and Jean Michael Seri mean that we are attracting quality players and once the other rumoured additions get over the line, I’ll be more optimistic.

How is the mood around the club in general?

Very positive right now. The squad has been in Turkey for pre-season training before games back in the UK and although it appears Keane Lewis-Potter may depart sometime soon, it’s clear that the fans are 100% behind Acun and his dream. 

Season ticket sales quickly surpassed 11,000, so it shows there is an excitement for the new season and that the city is desperate for success again. 

Which players should LiveScore users be keeping a close eye on?

Allahyar Sayyadmanesh. It took the young Iranian a while to get up to speed with the league, but he was very impressive up front in the last two months of last term. 

He’s an exciting talent and with a full pre-season under his belt, he will surprise a few defences. 

Local lad Brandon Fleming is another exciting prospect at left wing-back who the fans adore.

Luton

Allan Campbell was one of Luton's star performers in an outstanding 2021-22 campaign
Allan Campbell was one of Luton's star performers in an outstanding 2021-22 campaign

Ian Robertson, We Are Luton Town (@WeAreLutonTown)

Did 2021-22 go the way you expected it to for Luton?

At the start of last season, I'd predicted we'd finish in around eighth or ninth position, so we were in or around the general area I'd expected. 

But the manner we went about our business was certainly above my expectations. We were relentless in our approach and attacking play. We really did take it to teams and didn't fear anyone else in the division.

What are your expectations heading into 2022-23?

It's a much tougher Championship this season. We've got a stronger squad this year, but I think we have more teams that'll be in the mix this season and therefore I'd be expecting us to be challenging for the play-offs, maybe just missing out. 

I have us down for seventh, currently. Progression as a team is the ultimate expectation, while cementing our place as a top-half Championship club is realistic.

How is the mood around the club in general?

As you can imagine, the mood around the club is fantastic, to say the least. Not only are we progressing on the pitch but we're progressing off it too. 

Structurally and ethically, we are creating a blueprint for how a modern football club can be run. A new stadium on the horizon and expanding training facilities, coupled with budgeting skills certain politicians should be taking notes from. 

Our custodians always say 'no trap doors' and for a football club to be run that way is rare. For one to be run that way and consistently move up the football pyramid is extremely rare.

Which players should LiveScore users be keeping a close eye on?

We have players at different stages of their progression. Two outstanding contributors in Elijah Adebayo and Allan Campbell will continue to impress, so keep a look out for them. 

But I think we'll have a couple more that will start inking themselves into the back pages and that's Gabriel Osho and Ethan Horvath. 

Osho has already shown us in glimpses that he's a great footballer but I think this season will be a big one for him, while Horvath is frothing to earn himself a place in the USA team for this upcoming World Cup. 

He's already shown his ability in pre-season and he fits that Luton Town mould.

Middlesbrough

Isaiah Jones and Middlesbrough are hoping to push for promotion this term
Isaiah Jones and Middlesbrough are hoping to push for promotion this term

Dana Malt, The Boro Breakdown podcast (@Boro_Breakdown)

Did 2021-22 go the way you expected it to for Middlesbrough?

It did in terms of final league position. The Nostradamus in me predicted seventh before a ball was kicked, with Boro missing out on the play-offs on the final day. 

But the narratives that made up the season weren’t so expected. The way Neil Warnock left, firstly, and then the very quick progression under his successor Chris Wilder too. The latter point I was not expecting, but it shows how good a manager Wilder is.

What are your expectations heading into 2022-23?

I expect a season of further progression under Wilder, who I believe to be the best manager in the Championship.

Delving a bit deeper into that, I expect more goals to be scored, which is bold of me to say right now when we only have two forwards on the books. 

Yet a wing-back duo of Isaiah Jones and Ryan Giles is mouth-watering. I also think we’ll place inside of the top six this time.

How is the mood around the club in general?

There’s an air of excitement, mixed in with intrigue. There’s still a lot to be done in terms of squad building this summer, but even without a star striker signing, the excitement all boils down to the men in the dugout. 

Chris Wilder, Alan Knill and Co have got people on Teesside fully bought into the journey and I think people can’t wait for the season to start so we can enjoy every second of it — even the bumps!

Which players should LiveScore users be keeping a close eye on?

If he stays put, Marcus Tavernier. I firmly believe that Tav will build on last season and keep improving on his goal contributions. 

If he leaves though, the man waiting in the wings is worth keeping an eye on, too — Riley McGree. He can be a great blend of a creative influence and a goal threat. 

There’s also the usual suspect Jones alongside fellow wing-back  Giles. Expect plenty of assists from those pair.

Millwall

Gary Rowett and Millwall could be dark horses in the Championship this term
Gary Rowett and Millwall could be dark horses in the Championship this term

Nick Hart, Achtung! Millwall podcast (@AchtungMillwall)

Did 2021-22 go the way you expected it to for Millwall?

In the end we finished ninth, at the end of what was a very inconsistent 2021-22 campaign. 

The Lions veered from losing streaks — where we couldn’t seem to buy a goal, let alone a win — to flirting with an unlikely run into the play-offs by the final day at Bournemouth. 

I’m sure that if you’d have asked any Millwall fan what they expected in August 2021, a mix of triumph and despair would probably have been what most of us expected (and were what we got).

What are your expectations heading into 2022-23?

The loss of our most creative player, Jed Wallace, to West Brom was a big blow of course, but the club has (by Millwall standards, at least) invested in the playing squad over the summer. 

This has led to a giddy feeling of optimism after a few seasons of Championship solidity at Zampa Road.

Harsh experience has taught me to expect mid-table respectability however, but to hope for another outsider play-off run in 2022-23 is fair.

How is the mood around the club in general?

I’d say optimistic is the current vibe at The Den — a rare but welcome commodity! 

Gary Rowett has built a good-looking squad. Fingers crossed we can find the back of the net more often, as that is what will govern our season I feel.

Which players should LiveScore users be keeping a close eye on?

Early tips are for George Honeyman to be a close contender for player of the season, based purely on his energy and running in the pre-season games. 

Much will turn on Benik Afobe’s ability to score goals, but watch out for Dutch ace Zian Flemming and striker Tyler Burey — both of whom will shoulder the weight of being Millwall’s ‘creatives’. A heavy burden, indeed.

Tags

ChampionshipCoventryHuddersfield TownHullLuton TownMiddlesbroughMillwall
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

Get instant notifications with the LiveScore app
app-storegoogle-play
cristiano Ronaldo