AFTER some seismic shifts last week, more significant movement has arrived in this week’s Yorkshire Post Power Rankings, which continue to display the capacity to surprise.
Here’s the updated table, with four of the county’s West Yorkshire sides residing in the top seven, although top spot belongs to South Yorkshire.
1: Rotherham United. LLWWWD (up one).
The Millers are unbeaten in four matches and have taken 10 out of possible 12 points from a teak-tough March, which looked horrendous on paper. The esprit de corps among Neil Warnock’s braves saw them produce arguably the comeback of the season to haul themselves off the floor from 3-0 down with seven minutes left to draw with Derby at weekend. Now just one point behind MK Dons and Fulham, just above the drop zone - they were six adrift of safety before hosting Brentford on February 27.
2: Barnsley WDWWWL (down one).
Nothing lasts forever - and the law of averages suggested that Barnsley’s incredible New Year renaissance would hit a bump in the road at some point. The Reds went down to their first League One home defeat in seven against Southend on Saturday, to dash their hopes of a sixth league win on the spin at fortress Oakwell. The Reds still remain in credit, having lost just twice in 16 matches in all competitions since Christmas.
3: Halifax Town DDWLWD (unchanged).
The Shaymen are in a decent place ahead of Easter, taking a two-goal cushion into the second leg of their FA Trophy semi-final after a 4-2 win at Nantwich Town to put one foot firmly in the Wembley final and backing up with a hard-fought draw on the road in midweek at fellow National Leagues strugglers, but an improving Torquay United side. A sound couple of results away from home, which augers well.
4:Leeds United LDLWWW (up three).
Proof that football is a funny old game and that the Championship is a real coupon-buster of a division has arrived in the transformation of Leeds, on the floor after a desperate, humiliating 4-0 drubbing at Brighton, but now sat smiling after a run of three successive victories - including sweet wins at Blackburn and Cardiff. The upturn is such that United have the chance to register four straight league wins for the first time since November 2009. Leeds have not won four successive games since knocking out Manchester United off the FA Cup on January 3, 2010.
5: Bradford City DWLDWW (up one).
Bradford are starting to tick along nicely again with Phil Parkinson’s side following up an excellent home victory over Burton with a solid show to see off a Doncaster Rovers side in freefall - with City in cruise control for most of the afternoon. With some good options in the squad, Bradford look set fair.
6: Sheffield Wednesday LDDLDW (up two).
After grinding out a very commendable draw at Brighton, the Owls turned on the style with a sumptuous performance at Nottingham Forest, with Fernando Forestieri looking the part on his return to the side while the sight of Aiden McGeady in full-flow was potentially a big moment for the Owls, who were solidity personified at the back. A boost at the perfect juncture.
7: Huddersfield Town WDLLWL (down three).
After a midweek win against Reading, Town were overpowered by the Burnley promotion juggernaut, with the Clarets brushing aside the hosts to take another three points in what looks to be their inexorable rise back to the top-flight. Need to display more consistency.
8: Hull City WDLLDD (down three).
The Tigers’ promotion rivals Middlesbrough may be in a mess, but their own garden does not look rosy, with Steve Bruce’s side having spurned two excellent chances on home soil in taking a meagre two points from a possible six against Forest and MK Dons. Nerves clearly getting to City - who travel to Boro on Friday - with their fans getting edgy and the goals drying up after a run of one win in six matches.
9: Sheffield United LWLLDW (up two).
In a fitful and maddeningly inconsistent campaign, the Blades are in one of their better moments, fresh from a convincing Roses win over Oldham and a draw at Fleetwood. Whether they can piece together a meaningful run to knock on the door of the play-offs is another matter. Still time, mind.
10: Guiseley DLDDLD (unchanged).
The Lions still chipping away in their quest to the safety line, but are not showing signs of breaking into anything resembling a gallop - although it was perhaps always likely to be this way. After a poor weekend loss at Bromley, Mark Bower’s side at least showed their mettle to dig out a spirited home point against one of the division’s better sides in Grimsby. Still no home league win since November 28, though.
11: Middlesbrough WWLWLL (down two).
A chaotic weekend saw Boro implode on and off the pitch, with Aitor Karanka absent from the defeat at Charlton following a bust-up with players, with the Spaniard’s future looking decidedly uncertain. A desperate few days was crowned by the terrible loss to Charlton - and while the club have endeavoured to smooth over things with Karanka confirmed to be staying on, you do wonder about the state of the dressing room. Worrying times...
12: York City. LLLLLD (unchanged).
A home draw against Barnet may have brought a grim five-match losing streak to halt, but York need the precious currency of wins, with their situation looking desperate. Seven points adrift, with nine games left and boasting no wins in six. Not good at all.
13: Doncaster Rovers LDLLLL (unchanged).
In the midst of a full-blown crisis after eight defeats in their past nine outings and no wins in 11 games and a paltry three points from 33. Brittle at both ends of the pitch, with confidence virtually non-existent.