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League Two Preview: Portsmouth, Bristol Rovers hope managerial changes improve fortunes

28 March 2014 19:31

The threat of League Two relegation prompted two clubs to dispose of their managers this week, and both will now hope for an upturn in form.

Portsmouth's desperate descent towards the Football League's trap door saw them relieve Richie Barker of his duties after just 20 games in charge on Thursday.

Caretaker boss Andy Awford's first task will be solving the team's goalscoring misery - the Fratton Park outfit have scored just one goal in their last six matches.

They travel to Newport County on Saturday and will want to avenge a 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture back in December, as well as a 3-0 Football League Trophy loss in November.

Bristol Rovers are without a win in four and opted to reshuffle their management team on Friday by moving John Ward out of the dugout and into the directors' box.

His spot on the bench has been given to former assistant Darrell Clark, who takes the reins with Rovers three points clear of the relegation zone and hosts Morecambe in his first game in charge.

Bottom-of-the-table Torquay United may fancy their chances of picking up a rare win when they travel to Southend United, who won for the first time in 14 outings against Oxford United on Monday.

Chris Hargreaves' men will take confidence from their 1-0 win at Plainmoor earlier in the season.

Fellow relegation-zone dwellers Northampton Town will surely feel this weekend represents a glorious opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone as they host a Bury outfit winless in seven.

At the top end of the table, Rochdale appear to be running the perfect race as they begin to emerge from the leading pack as serious title contenders, but face a tricky test against one of the pre-season favourites for the title in Fleetwood Town.

Scunthorpe United appear to have overcome their draw specialist tag and could make it four wins in a row against lowly Wycombe Wanderers, while Chesterfield take their mind off League Two matters for the week to concentrate on their Football League Trophy final against Peterborough United at Wembley on Sunday.

Seventh-placed York City are the division's form side and have surged up the table to find themselves sitting just inside the play-off positions, but this weekend's visit of Burton Albion should prove a stern test of their promotion credentials.

Victories for York and Southend would leave out-of-form Oxford United - playing under new manager Gary Waddock for the second time - needing to avoid defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge to maintain their play-off position.

Elsewhere, Exeter City host Accrington Stanley, Hartlepool United are at home to Cheltenham Town, and AFC Wimbledon travel to Mansfield Town.

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Tuesday 2 September

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 3 +7 9
2 3 +5 9
3 3 +2 7
4 3 +3 6
5 3 +2 6
6 3 +2 6
7 3 +1 5
8 3 +1 4
9 3 +0 4
10 3 +0 4
11 3 -1 3
12 3 -4 3
13 3 -1 2
14 3 -1 2
15 3 -2 2
16 3 -2 2
17 3 -3 2
18 3 -3 2
19 3 -3 1
20 3 -3 1

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