I can deliver 'Strongest' Bluebirds are ready to deliver the goals the Premier dream, for Cardiff, insists ace Hudson.Byline: STEVE TUCKER
C ARDIFF CITY skipper Mark Hudson will tonight lead out what he believes is the strongest Bluebirds side he has been part of.
ROBEarnshaw.has scotchedtalk of a transfer window move by insisting he has 25 goals in him for Cardiff City this season.
Malky Mackay's men get the Championship season under way at home to newly-promoted Huddersfield tonight.
The Bluebirds cult hero appears to have slipped further down the strikers' pecking order pecking order
Basic pattern of social organization within a flock of poultry in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank. For groups of mammals (e.g. with the summer arrivals of Craig Bellamy For the rugby league football coach and former player, see .
Craig Douglas Bellamy (born July 13 1979 in Canton, Cardiff) is a Welsh international footballer. He currently plays for West Ham United in the Premier League. , Heidar Helguson and Etien Velikonja .
The Bluebirds boss has had a busy summer in the transfer market with the highly-rated Jordon Mutch Jordon Mutch was signed from Derby County's youth team for an undisclosed fee by Birmingham City in July 2007. Mutch was at the centre of a controversy when he was due to be put on the bench for the League Cup game against Blackburn Rovers after the FA erroneously stated that this would , Asian star Kim Bo-Kyung, Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson and, most recently, hometown hero Craig Bellamy, all arriving.
Butthe 31-year-old isdesperate to force his way into Malky Mackay's plans after being a bit-part player last term - and insists he is set to improve with age.
Hudson, 30, is entering his fourth season at Cardiff and every year has seen his side just miss out on going up.
"What people forget is that I'm looking to get better," said Earnshaw., one of the few professionals still active in British football with over 200 career goals.
But now the no-nonsense centre-back believes the Bluebirds are set to launch their fiercest assault on promotion yet.
"Iwant to improve and get better and that's what I think I've done in pre-season -
"I've got a few minutes and I feel I've played well because I've had those minutes.
"This is the strongest squad we have had since I've been here," said Hudson.
"Sometimes I don't quite say it, but I feel I should. I think I've got 20-25 goals in me - I've got that edge, sharpness and hunger - and I "When I look around I think to myself 'yeah, we've got a really good chance this year' and I believe everyone want to do it for Cardiff City."
in the dressing room feels the same way. The squad is brilliant.
These are bold words from an individual who has usually let his boots do the talking during a goal-laden career.
"We've kept everyone together and we've added. The squad is stronger, you just need to look at the quality we've brought in.
But it is evident that Earnshaw. has enjoyed his pre-season and wants to play his football for the club where he has scored 119 goals in 227 appearances .
"You look at the likes of Craig Bellamy, Jordon Mutch and Kim Bo-Kyung and there's real quality, while we've added strength in depth too.
"I'm not looking tomove," he said. "I don't think the manager has finished in the transfer market yet, so there's going to be competition which is what you want.
"We needed that because at times last season we were running a bit thin, so this can only help us.
"You need cover and that competition for the shirt every day.
"The lads playing want to keep the shirt and those out of the team want it. You welcome that."
"You can push yourself so far - and I think I've done that in pre-season - but you'll have to ask the manager where he sees me after August.
Supporters will get their first chance to see the 'second coming' of Wales star Bellamy after his high-profile return from Liverpool.
"I'm only thinking of playing and banging some goals in, my focus has always been the same - and then it's out of your hands whether Bellamy, 33, - who has signed a two-year deal - spent the 2010-11 season on loan at Cardiff from Manchester City.
Under former manager Dave Jones
"It's great to hold onto the armband arm·band
A band worn around the upper arm, often as identification or as a symbol of mourning or protest.
Noun 1. armband - worn around arm as identification or to indicate mourning .
I love leading the team out and it's an honour to do it," said Hudson.
"Craig is a leader anyway with or without the armband.
"It's great to hold onto it, but I would be the same whether I had it or not.
"Craig will bring what he brought in last time, a high level of quality and professionalism.
"Craig is at Cardiff City again and I'm sure in his first season back he will want to get us up. We need to go along with that."
Cardiff's Robert Earnshaw Robert Earnshaw (born April 6, 1981) is a Zambian-born Welsh international football player. He is a striker presently playing for Derby County. Early life
Earnshaw, nicknamed "Earnie", was born on the outskirts of the north central Zambian mining town of Mufulira on 6 . celebrates in familiar style after opening his pre-season account at Cheltenham PICTURE: Huw Evans Agency Before tonight's game there is expected to be a demonstration by fans unhappy at the club's switch to red shirts at home from the traditional blue.
you're playing or not."
Hudson said it was a move that was out of the hands of the players and insisted it would not put any extra pressure on the dressing room.
And Earnshaw.'s fabled enthusiasm has not been diminished by the bodies supposedly in front of him when the Championship. kicks off against Huddersfield tonight.
"The only pressure we have comes from where we have been for the last few years and the pressure of getting to the Premier League," he said.
"I don't feel I'm further away (after the summer signings) because I've got to be confident in who I am and where I am," he said.
"It's all about getting this club in there and it does not matter if we are red or blue.
"I'm not going to say I'm the best striker at the club, but I'm looking to be .
"We are Cardiff and the players want to get Cardiff into the Premier "So whoever comes in and whoever the manager wants to sign that's out of my control.
our hardest to do that."
"It doesn't mean they're better just because they're new, all that matters tome is I've got an edge to my game.
If Cardiff are to put the disappointment of recent campaigns behind them and win promotion they must do it in a Championship which looks stronger than ever.
"The important thing is to take the chancewhenitcomesbecauseI hope I'll still be at Cardiff."
Last year's relegated sides - Bolton, Wolves and Blackburn - are all fancied to bounce back and Hudson admits it is going to be a long and hard campaign.
There were, however, familiar benchduties for Earnshaw.onWednesday night as Wales slipped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Llanelli. The Caerphilly-raised forward won his 58th cap at Parc y Scarlets and admitted that Wales were "They always say it's tougher, but it is," he said.
"Look at Blackburn, they've spent a lot of money and brought in Premier League players This is a list of Premier League players. This includes players that have appeared 300 or more times for a club that played in the English Premier League at that time.
second best with the Chris Coleman Chris Coleman is the name of several people, including:
"Wolves haven't really let anyone go and the teams who have come up are going to be tough.
"It's going to be a very hard league. Consistency is the key, if we can get that and with the size of the squad we have we should be there or thereabouts."
"We didn't do the things we've done in the past to make us a good team and we were way off the pace.
Huddersfield, alongside Charlton "It was really disappointing because and Sheffield Wednesday, were promoted from League One and boss Simon Grayson Simon Nicholas Grayson (born 16 December 1969 in Ripon, North Yorkshire) is an English former footballer and now a manager. Throughout his playing career he primarily operated on the right side of defence however, he was also utilised in midfield. will be desperate for the Terriers to make an impact on the second tier.
we didn't have their edge." But Earnshaw. has told worried Welsh fans not to read too much into it with the World Cup opener against Belgium only three weeks away.
"The Belgium game will be completely different," he said.
highly-rated youngsters in the British game in frontman front·man
1. also front man A man who serves as a nominal leader but who lacks real authority.
2. Music A leading singer with a group. Jordan Rhodes Jordan Rhodes (born 5 February, 1990 in Oldham, Greater Manchester) is an English footballer who currently plays for Ipswich Town.
He plays as a striker and is the son of Ipswich Town goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes , who made a scoring bow on his full senior debut for Scotland on Wednesday.
"I don't think we'll play that badly again because there will be lots of things we'll work on at the training ground.
There could also be a run-out for Anthony Gerrard Anthony Gerrard (born July 6 1986 in Liverpool, England) is an Irish footballer, currently playing for Walsall.
He is the cousin of Steven Gerrard. Notes
1. ^ Player Profile. Premier League. Retrieved on 2007-06-26. , who left Cardiff to join the Terriers recently.
"We know exactly what Belgium are about, they gave Holland a tough time onWednesday and beat them.
Hudson insists such a reunion will not distract from the main aim of getting the three points to get the Bluebirds off to a flying start.
"Maybe when the group was drawn people thought it would be an easier groupfor us, but Belgium, Croatia, ScotlandandSerbia are all obviously good teams."
"Anthony will want to come back if he's playing and prove a bit of a point," admitted Hudson.
"But we have got to go about our business and focus on that.
"It's going to be a test because Huddersfield will want a good start, too, and we are not going to be under-estimating them.
"I saw Jordan Rhodes score for Scotland and he'll be wanting to get his Championship account off to a start too.
I think I've got 20-25 goals in "But we want the three points to stamp our authority on the division.
me - and I want to do it for "The aim for everyone at this club is promotion, that is what we will be going for."
Cardiff City CHAMPIONSHIP GUIDE 2012-13 BARNSLEY Manager: Keith Hill For the football manager, see .
Trevor Keith Hill, known as Keith Hill, (born 28 July 1943, Leicester) is a politician in the United Kingdom who has served in a variety of Government roles as a Whip and a junior minister. Last season: 21st In: Lee Collins (Port Vale, undisclosed), Kelvin Etuhu Kelvin Etuhu (born May 30, 1988 in Nigeria) is a footballer currently playing at Manchester City. He has previously had a loan spell at Rochdale.
Kelvin plays as a forward and went to the FA Youth Cup finals in 2005/06 where Manchester City lost to Liverpool on a 3-2 (Portsmouth, free), Jacob Mellis Jacob Mellis is a Nottingham-born football (soccer) player and plays in midfield. He is currently contracted to Chelsea as a youth player after signing from Sheffield United in June 2007. (Chelsea, free), Mido (Zamalek, free), Ben Alnwick Benjamin Robert "Ben" Alnwick (born January 1, 1987 in Prudhoe, England) is a football goalkeeper currently playing for Luton Town on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Club career
Sunderland (Tottenham, free), Toni Silva (Liverpool, free), Out: David Cotterill David Rhys George Best Cotterill (born 4 December 1987 in Cardiff, Wales) is a Welsh footballer who currently plays as a striker for Wigan Athletic.
He had played 57 games and scored 7 goals for Bristol City before the end of the 2005-06 season. (Doncaster, free), Jay McEveley (Swindon, free), Jacob Butterfield (Norwich, undisclosed), Alistair Taylor This article is about the personal assistant to the Beatles. For South African cricketer, see Alistair Taylor (cricketer).
James Alistair Taylor (born in Runcorn, Cheshire, 21 June 1935, died in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, 9 June 2004) was the personal , David Preece David Preece may refer to:
shrewd and sometimes unscrupulous moves made in order to advance one's own interests
wheeler-dealer n in the transfer market for Barnsley, but the Tykes are set for another tough season. They have signed Egyptian forward Mido, who will miss the first three months of the season injured, and ex-City striker Kelvin Etuhu.
BIRMINGHAM CITY Manager: Lee Clark Lee Clark is the name of:
Ipswich Town (Crystal Palace, undisclosed), Ravel Morrison (West Ham Coordinates:
West Ham is a district in the London Borough of Newham, in east London, England, located 6.1 miles (9.8 km) east of Charing Cross. From 1889 to 1965 it formed part of the County Borough of West Ham. , season-long loan) Out: Jordon Mutch (Cardiff, pounds 2m), Ben Foster (West Brom, undisclosed), Luke Hubbins (AFC (1) (Application Foundation Classes) A class library from Microsoft that provides an application framework and graphics, graphical user interface (GUI) and multimedia routines for Java programmers. Telford, free). Prospects: Played more games than anyone - 62 - due to the Europa League campaign and FA Cup run. It caught up with them right at the end, in the play-offs. Staying power needed from a generally old, experienced squad if top six finish is to be secured.
BLACKBURN ROVERS Manager: Steve Kean Last season: 19th (Premier League) In: Danny Murphy (Fulham, free), Leon Best Leon Julian Best born 19 September 1986 is an English born footballer, with Coventry City. He is a powerful, tall striker who is good at holding up the ball and whose pace makes him a major threat on the break. (Newcastle, pounds 3m), Nuno Gomes Nuno Gomes (IPA pron. ['nunu 'gomɨʃ]) was born Nuno Miguel Soares Pereira Ribeiro, OIH on July 5, 1976 in Amarante. (Braga, free), Colin Kazim-Richards Colin Kazim-Richards (born August 26, 1986 in Leytonstone, London) is a Turkish professional footballer for who plays for Fenerbahçe SK in the Turkcell Super League. His father is of Antiguan descent, and his mother is Turkish Cypriot. (free) Paulo Jorge Paulo Jorge may refer to:
His previous clubs were Manchester City, Preston North End then Norwich City. (Fulham, pounds 1m). Out: Ayegbeni Yakubu (Guangzhou R&F, undisclosed), Ryan Edwards (Rochdale, six-month loan), Junior Hoilett (QPR QPR Queens Park Rangers (football club)
QPR Quarterly Progress Report
QPR Quadrature Partial Response
QPR Quarterly Performance Review
QPR Question, Persuade, Refer (suicide prevention program) ).
Prospects: Rovers' fortunes almost impossible to predict. A couple of decent players have been signed, but so have some who are almost completely untried and untested. The lossn of Leon Best injured is a massive blow. Relegated last season, but will hope to challenge.
BLACKPOOL Manager: Ian Holloway Ian Scott Holloway (born 12 March 1963 in Kingswood, Bristol) is an English former professional football midfielder. He is currently the manager of Championship side Plymouth Argyle. Last season: 4th In: Jake Caprice ca·price
a. An impulsive change of mind.
b. An inclination to change one's mind impulsively.
c. (Crystal Palace, free) Isaiah Osbourne (Hibernian, undisclosed), Scott Robertson (Dundee United, free), Tiago Gomes (free) Out: Lomana LuaLua (Karabukspor, free), Brett Ormerod (Wrexham, free), Daniel Bogdanovic and Stephen Husband (released).
Prospects: Promotion back to the Premier League is the aim and the club has rarely been in a better position to achieve that. Manager Ian Holloway has retained every player he wanted to, crucially keeping exciting young wingers Matt Phillips and Tom Ince, and strengthened the midfield by bringing in three quality players. Prediction: 5th.
BOLTON WANDERERS Manager: Owen Coyle Last season: 18th (Premier League) In: Keith Andrews (West Brom, free), Matt Mills (Leicester, undisclosed), Andy Lonergan (Leeds, undisclosed), Benik Afobe (Arsenal, season-long loan) Out: Jussi Jaaskelainen (West Ham, free), Robbie Blake (Doncaster, free), Nigel Reo-Coker Prospects: Wanderers haven't been shy about predicting an immediate return to the Premier League, and have locked down their saleable assets on long-term contracts. They lost a lot of experience and virtually halved the wage bill this summer, but lost only one first team regular, in Nigel Reo-Coker. Watch for Marvin Sordell, a quality forward and Kevin Davies will be a handful for most Championship teams.
BRIGHTON Manager: Gus Poyet Last season: 10th In: Tomasz Kuszczak (Manchester United, free), Bruno Saltor (Valencia, free), Wayne Bridge (Manchester City, loan), Andrew Crofts (Norwich, undisclosed) Out: Alan Navarro (Swindon, free), Michael Poke (Torquay, free), David Gonzalez and Leon Redwood (both released).
Prospects: With increased capacity, a record 22,000 season ticket holders and summer signings from top clubs by manager Gus Poyet, expectation is high around The Amex. While not a new signing, keeping hold of star Spanish playmaker play·mak·er
A player in a sport with goals, such as a guard in basketball, who initiates offensive plays.
play Vicente - and giving him almost a full pre-season - was also seen as a massive boost.
BRISTOL CITY Manager: Derek McInnes Last season: 20th In: Jody Morris (St Johnstone, free), Paul Anderson (Nottingham Forest, free), Tom Heaton (Cardiff City, free). Out: Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Notts County, free), Jamie McAllister (Yeovil, free), David James, David Clarkson, Christian Ribeiro, Marlon Jackson and Henry Muggeridge (all released).
Prospects: Derek McInnes is regarded as one of the most highly-rated managers in Britain and steered the Robins clear of relegation last season. Will be hoping for a higher finish in his first full campaign in charge. Has added ex-Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton, while Jody Morris is one to watch for.
BURNLEY Manager: Eddie Howe Last season: 13th In: Luke O'Neill (Mansfield, undisclosed), George Porter (Leyton Orient, free), Jason Shackell (Derby, undisclosed), Joseph Mills (Reading, loan), Sam Vokes (Wolves, undisclosed), Brian Stock (Doncaster, undisclosed) Out: Jay Rodriguez (Southampton, undisclosed), Andre Amougou, Clarke Carlisle, Brian Easton (all released).
Prospects: Burnley are in a better place than this time last year, and facing better prospects despite losing top scorer Jay Rodriguez. The arrival of Shackell, Stock and Vokes has strengthened the spine. Danny Ings' injury is a big blow, but there is reason to be optimistic about the season. Suffered a dip at the end of the last season which saw them win just three of their last 15 games. Watch out for Charlie Austin, who scored 17 goals last season. Prediction: 16th.
CARDIFF CITY Manager: Malky Mackay Last season: 6th In: Joe Lewis (Peterborough, free), Jordon Mutch (Birmingham, pounds 2m), Kim Bo-Kyung (Cerezo Osaka, pounds 2m), Heidar Helguson (QPR, undisclosed), Craig Bellamy (Liverpool, free), Etien Velikonja (NK Maribor, pounds 1m).
Out: Kenny Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps), Aaron Wildig (Shrewsbury, free), Tom Heaton and Lee Naylor (both released), Anthony Gerrard (Huddersfield, pounds 350,000). Prospects: Cardiff's Malaysian investors have backed manager Malky Mackay, who still has money to spend. City, who have put the controversial change to red shirts behind them, still need a defender or two to improve strength in depth at the back. In terms of targets, it has to be top six minimum, but the signing of Bellamy gives City potential to go higher. The Bluebirds must and will build on base set by Mackay's first season in charge.
CHARLTON ATHLETIC Manager: Chris Powell Last season: 1st (League One) In: Lawrie Wilson (Stevenage, undisclosed), Jordan Cook (Sunderland, free) Out: Gary Doherty (Wycombe, free), Freddie Warren (Barnet, free), Jason Euell, Mikel Alonso and Tosan Popo (all released). Prospects: Best team in League One last time out and secured 101 points, but there continue to be rumblings that all is not quite right behind the scenes at Charlton and chief executive Stephen Kavanagh and director Peter Varney, who pulled together the takeover which saved the club from administration in 2010, both made abrupt exits. Uncertainty behind the scenes effectively rules out challenging for a second promotion.
CRYSTAL PALACE Manager: Dougie Freedman Last season: 17th In: Joel Ward (Portsmouth, pounds 400,000), Aaron Martin (Southampton, loan), Aaron Wilbraham (Norwich, free) Out: Anthony Gardner (Sheffield Wednesday, free), Sean Scannell (Huddersfield, undisclosed), Darren Ambrose (Birmingham, undisclosed), Lee Hills (Stevenage, free).
Prospects: Manager Dougie Freedman has trimmed the club's wage bill with some high-profile outgoings and the fans have been frustrated at a lack of high-profile signings, but the Eagles do still have one of the most sought-after youngsters outside the Premier League in Wilfried Zaha. Good start vital if they are to avoid another grind for safety.
DERBY COUNTY Manager: Nigel Clough Last season: 12th In: Michael Jacobs (Northampton, undisclosed), Paul Coutts (Preston, undisclosed), Richard Keogh (Coventry, undisclosed), James O'Connor (Doncaster, undisclosed), Michael Hoganson (Newcastle, released) Out: Paul Green (Leeds, free), James Severn (Scunthorpe, free), Jason Shackell (Burnley, undisclosed). Prospects: Top-half finish realistic for Derby. Last season's 12th place was Derby's highest finish in five years and their third best in the last 16 seasons, which highlights the club's struggles over the past decade and more. A young, developing Derby team and manager Nigel Clough is doing a good job despite the tight finances at Pride Park. Sold top defender Jason Shackell and signed Richard Keogh ahead of Cardiff City.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN Manager: Simon Grayson Last season: 4th and play-off winners (League One) In: Sean Scannell (Crystal Palace, undisclosed), Oliver Norwood (Manchester United, free), Adam Clayton (Leeds, undisclosed), Joel Lynch (Nottingham Forest, free), Anthony Gerrard (Cardiff, pounds 350,000) Out: Danny Cadamarteri (Carlisle, free), Tommy Miller (Swindon, free), Gary Roberts (Swindon, free), Nathan Clarke (Orient, free), Aidan Chippendale (Accrington, free) Prospects: Huddersfield aim to quickly establish themselves towards the middle of the table with the Championship experience signings they have made. Manager Simon Grayson's knowledge of the division should be a boon, but much will depend on whether star striker Jordan Rhodes can transfer his 40-goal form of League One to the higher level.
HULL CITY Manager: Steve Bruce Last season: 8th In: Eldin Jakupovic (Aris, released), Ben Amos (Manchester United, season-long loan), Nick Proschwitz (SC Paderborn, pounds 2.5million), Abdoulaye Faye (West Ham, free), Sone Aluko (Rangers, free) Out: Will Atkinson (Bradford, free), Kevin Kilbane (Coventry, free) Prospects: Any unrest stirred up by the dismissal of Nick Barmby in May has quickly been calmed by an ambitious summer from the Hull City board. Landing Steve Bruce as boss was a bold statement of intent and that appointment was followed up by spending pounds 2.6m on German striker Nick Proschwitz. Supporters are optimistic the Tigers can build upon last season's final standing of eighth.
IPSWICH TOWN Manager: Paul Jewell Last season: 15th In: Elliott Hewitt (Macclesfield, undisclosed), Luke Chambers (Nottingham Forest, free), Scott Loach (Watford, undisclosed) Out: Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough, free), Richard Wright (Preston, free), Lee Bowyer, Ibrahima Sonko & Cody Cropper CROPPER, contracts. One who, having no interest in the land, works it in consideration of receiving a portion of the crop for his labor. 2 Rawle, R. 12. (all released), Mark Kennedy (retired). Prospects: Paul Jewell has undergone a complete change in policy. The influx of ageing, ex-Premier League players under-delivered last season, a 15th place their third successive bottom half finish, it's a case of out with the old, in with the new. A lack of strength in depth may prevent them sustaining a top six challenge. It is hoped Michael Chopra has put last season's off-field woes behind him and can get back to simply scoring goals.
LEEDS UNITED Manager: Neil Warnock Last season: 14th In: Jason Pearce (Portsmouth, pounds 500,000), Adam Drury (Norwich, free), Paddy Kenny (QPR, pounds 500,000), Andy Gray (Barnsley, free), Jamie Ashdown (Portsmouth, free), Luke Varney (Portsmouth, free), David Norris (Portsmouth, free), El Hadji-Diouf (free) Out: Maik Taylor (Millwall, free), Lloyd Sam, Mikael Forssell and Danny Webber (all released), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich, pounds 3m). Prospects: Despite the loss of captain Robert Snodgrass to Norwich, manager Neil Warnock, a master of promotion techniques, has made a number of shrewd signings as he aims to get Leeds back into the top flight. They look certain to be among the promotion contenders.
LEICESTER CITY Manager: Nigel Pearson Last season: 9th In: Ritchie de Laet and Matty James (Manchester United, undisclosed), Jamie Vardy (Fleetwood, pounds 1m), Marko Futacs (Portsmouth, undisclosed), Zak Whitbread (Norwich, free) Out: Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor, undisclosed), Oliver Norburn (Bristol Rovers, free), Matt Mills (Bolton, undisclosed), Chris Weale (Shrewsbury, free), Lee Peltier (Leeds, undisclosed). Prospects: City failed to match the expectation last season following a summer of big spending under Sven-Goran Eriksson. Manager Nigel Pearson has taken a more conservative approach. Gone are the big name signings and in are young players with desire. Ben Marshall and Matty James are exciting prospects, but City must start well or the pressure will mount again.
CHAMPIONSHIP GUIDE 2012-13 WOLVES Manager: Stale Solbakken Last season: 20th (Premier League) In: Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson (Lillestrom, undisclosed), Frank Nouble (West Ham, free), Jamie Tank (Walsall, undisclosed), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes, season-long loan) Out: Louis Harris (AFC Wimbledon, free), Ashley Hemmings (Walsall, free), Jody Craddock, James Spray (released), Sam Vokes (Burnley, undisclosed), Jake Cassidy (Tranmere, loan) Prospects: Among the favourites for an immediate return to the Premier League following last season's disappointing campaign. Norwegian Stale Solbakken manages the side, hoping they will be able to keep hold of striker Steven Fletcher to lead the promotion charge. Stole head of Cardiff to sign Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson.
WATFORD Manager: Gianfranco Zola Last season: 11th In: Manuel Almunia (Arsenal, free), Fitz Hall (QPR, free), Almen Abdi, Matej Vydra, Steve Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Beleck (all Udinese, free), Daniel Pudil, Ikechi Anya (both Granada, season-long loans).
Out: Adrian Mariappa (Reading, undisclosed), Rene Gilmartin (Plymouth, free), Josh Walker (Scunthorpe, free), Prospects: Watford's new Italian owners have stated it is their goal to achieve promotion to the Premier League, but a challenge this season seems extremely unlikely considering the big change in personnel at the club. A host of new signings by manager Gianfranco Zola are expected and it is hard to judge how Watford will fare due to the upheaval. Most supporters would accept a mid-table finish.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY Manager: Dave Jones Last season: 2nd (League One) In: Chris Kirkland (Wigan Wigan (wĭg`ən), city (1991 pop. 88,725) and metropolitan district, N England, located in the Manchester metropolitan area on the Douglas River. , free), Kieran Lee (Oldham, free), Joe Mattock mattock
Picklike digging implement, one of the oldest tools of agriculture. It resembles the modern hoe but with a stone or wooden blade rather than a metal one, set at right angles to a long wooden handle. (West Brom, free), Anthony Gardner (Crystal Palace, free), Chris Maguire (Derby, undisclosed) Out: Richard O'Donnell (Chesterfield, free), Clinton Morrison (Colchester, free).
Prospects: Wednesday aim to maintain the momentum of their promotion season. Manager Dave Jones says the target is not merely survival or consolidation, and the club have spent a lot of time and effort during the summer on major surgery to the squad, believing that extra quality will be needed in the Championship. Added experience with goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and defender Anthony Gardner and promise with Chris Maguire and Rhys McCabe.
PETERBOROUGH UNITED Manager: Darren Ferguson Last season: 18th In: Tyrone Barnett (Crawley, pounds 1.2million), Shaun Brisley (Macclesfield, undisclosed), Nathanial Knight-Percival (Wrexham, free) Out: Joe Lewis (Cardiff, free), Paul Jones (Crawley, free), Nathan Ralph (Yeovil, free), David Ball (Fleetwood, undisclosed Prospects: If Posh repeat last season's 18th place finish they will be more than happy. They have lost the element of surprise, though, which carried them to 31 of their 50 points from the first 23 matches. Manager Darren Ferguson will be hoping he has worked some magic in the transfer market again by signing players on the cheap who prove to be bargains, but Posh look doomed.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST Manager: Sean O'Driscoll Last season: 19th In: Adlene Guedioura (Wolves, undisclosed), Danny Collins (Stoke, free), Greg Halford (Portsmouth, free), Dan Harding (Southampton, free) Out: Garath McCleary (Reading, undisclosed), Luke Chambers (Ipswich, free), Joel Lynch (Huddersfield, free), Chris Gunter (Reading, undisclosed).
Prospects: The 2011-12 season was tough on and off the pitch. The Al Hasawi takeover looks to have stabilised the club and, although several key players have left, the replacements new manager Sean O'Driscoll has brought in could see Forest return to mount a challenge for the play-offs.
MILLWALL Manager: Kenny Jackett Last season: 16th In: Maik Taylor (Leeds, free), Scott Malone (Bournemouth, player exchange), Chris Taylor (Oldham, free), Karleigh Osborne (Brentford, free), Danny Shittu (free) Out: Chris Hackett (Northampton, free), Tony Craig (Brentford, undisclosed), Ryan Allsop (Leyton Orient, free), Josh McQuoid (Bournemouth, player exchange) Prospects: Boss Kenny Jackett badly needed to strengthen down the left side this summer, which he has done. The Lions may struggle to find someone to lead the line if Darius Henderson is not available. Millwall are stronger in the rest of their formation but despite some improvement they still look set for a big struggle.
MIDDLESBROUGH Manager: Tony Mowbray Last season: 7th In: Grant Leadbitter (Ipswich, free), Stuart Parnaby (unattached), Emanuel Ledesma (Walsall, free), George Friend (Doncaster, undisclosed), Christian Burgess (Arsenal, free), Jonathan Woodgate (Stoke, free) Out: Barry Robson (Vancouver Whitecaps, free), Jonathan Franks (Hartlepool, free), Jonathan Grounds (Oldham, free). Prospects: Tony Mowbray has secured most of his summer transfer targets - the challenge now is to mould them into a team that can challenge for the play-offs. The return of former favourite Jonathan Woodgate has excited supporters, but goals could still be a problem. Much will depend on whether ex-Swansea striker Marvin Emnes can find his scoring form. Prediction: 10th.
* Captain Mark Hudson, left, believes the Cardiff squad is the strongest he has known at the Bluebirds, especially with the return of Craig Bellamy