Paul Warne told Rotherham United’s official website how Sheffield Wednesday’s relegation rivals Derby County and Nottingham Forest will steer clear of the bottom three.
Rotherham host Derby on Saturday in a fascinating round of fixtures at the bottom.
Wycombe Wanderers play Queens Park Rangers while the Owls host Coventry City on a weekend where six of the bottom seven face each other.
Fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, are at Millwall who sit in 16th spot.
This weekend could shape the race for survival to come. Rotherham boss Paul Warne, however, is already excluding Derby and Forest from the list of relegation candidates.
“Derby’s players are obviously very good and you can’t expect Derby and Forest to keep losing every week, it’d be naive to think that. If the season ended and they were midtable you wouldn’t be surprised, they were always going to pick up results and they have players coming back as well. When I look at the table, I take Derby and Forest out it, because I don’t think there’s any chance either of them will be down there come the end of season.”
Derby are currently 22nd in the table, level on points with Forest and Rotherham. Wayne Rooney’s side, however, are six games unbeaten and have kept four straight clean sheets.
The Rams are evidently trending upwards, while Forest under experienced boss Chris Hughton should have enough about them to also pull clear of the bottom three.
Wednesday, meanwhile, are seven points adrift of Derby, Forest and Rotherham.
The Owls are the joint-lowest scorers in the Championship. New manager Tony Pulis has yet to taste victory, picking up just three points from his eight games in charge.
To make matters worse, Wednesday are also experiencing an injury crisis.
If Derby and Forest expectedly climb the table, it makes Wednesday’s job of staying up that much more difficult with QPR and Coventry already 10 and 13 points ahead respectively.
The Owls must add some extra quality to their squad in January. However, it remains to be seen who Pulis will be able to attract given Wednesday’s current plight.