Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Sheff Wed, Leeds and Sunderland – the ones to watch

not long now.

As foretold, the poll we’ve been running slipped down the front page and then off it so, although it remained – indeed remains – live, it no-one has visited recently. Before it disappeared from view we’d had over 7,000 votes cast, with well over 1,200 people taking part, from all parts of the UK and beyond.

That’s enough to provide me with a guide as to which clubs we’ll report on as we try to get an idea of who’s heading out of the Championship in the right direction.

As the headline says, Sunderland’s in the mix, probably only because  of the loyalty of diehard fans.

Has that loyalty been strained too much by recent events? Or did they, perhaps, inject a dose of realism? The poll’s still open, perhaps Norwich will make that jump from seventh before the season starts.

Read moreMiddlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Sheff Wed, Leeds and Sunderland – the ones to watch

Birmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll

John McCormick, seeking the truth

I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the poll results to date.

‘Boro being top is reasonable. They have proved they are capable of handling the Championship, have money coming and have a decent manager.

Sunderland in the top six is understandable. It’s a Sunderland site, and no matter how jaundiced the fans are, no matter how concerned over the owner, there will always be a loyal following willing to vote for them.

But last season’s form has gone out of the window with this poll. Villa, who finished bang in the middle of the championship, are up there in second place, while Hull and Derby are out of the running. What’s going on?

Read moreBirmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll