June 16, 2024

Southampton, Leicester City and Leeds United have all been relegated from the Premier League and will play next season in the Championship fighting for promotion

Millwall boss Gary Rowett says the Championship is set for another strong season but warned Southampton, Leicester City and Leeds United that things might not be easy for them following relegation.

Saints finished bottom of the Premier League table this season to end their 11-year stay in the top-flight, with Sam Allardyce’s Leeds coming in 19th and 2015/16 title-winners Leicester finishing 18th.

Rowett described the trio as being “very good teams” but, speaking to the South London Press, warned that there were always big teams in the Championship that fail to live up to expectations every season.

The Lions boss gave the example of Watford, who were relegated from the Premier League a year ago and were widely expected to be among those with a good chance of winning immediate promotion in 2022/23 before finishing 11th.

“They are all very good teams and very strong clubs,” said Rowett. “Leeds is always a very difficult place to go. Southampton are quite a young squad with the likes of Che Adams and Adam Armstrong who have played and done well in the Championship. Leicester is a club I played at for a while – it’s incredible to see them back in the Championship after being so good and winning the title.

“You don’t know (how those clubs will perform). There are so many things that happen. Clubs trying to stay in the Premier League have to change course and change direction away from where they were. They are all very different clubs to the ones they were in the Championship.

“I’ve been doing this now for a good few years and every season everyone says the same – It’s going to be a tougher league, or it’s going to be more open or there is no outstanding team this year. But if you actually look at the points and the teams, it always works itself out to be more or less the same. There are always two or three outstanding teams, there are always two or three that struggle – where you think they would be stronger. It is much of a muchness.

“It is going to be strong and certainly they (Leeds, Leicester and Southampton) are three teams who are going to be big ones in the division but it’s no different to Watford this year, it’s no different to other teams who have been there and wanted to get out. It’s a tough old league – it doesn’t really care about reputations.

“What you’ve got to do is earn your right to get out of this league. It’s a very difficult league to get out of, as we know.”


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