Bah humbug! The miserable Christmas trend Portsmouth are out to conquer after Oxford United, Accrington, Blackpool and Southend's struggles

Pompey will be aiming to end a miserable Christmas trend as they continue their play-off push.

By Sam Cox
Friday, 24th December 2021, 2:00 pm

But the final positions of those who occupied the same position on December 25 makes for grim reading for Danny Cowley.

None of the past five teams who were eighth in the third-tier table on Christmas day have gained promotion.

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Also just one of said five have qualified for the play-offs from that position.

Oxford United in 2019-20 were sitting outside the top-six midway through the season.,

Thanks to their strong form before the coronavirus induced curtailment of the season - their points-per-game were strong enough to qualify for the play-offs.

However, it wasn’t to be a fairytale finish after beating the Blues in the semi-finals, as they fell to Wycombe at Wembley and remained in League One.

Pompey will be aiming to end a miserable Christmas record as they continue their play-off push. Oxford bucked the trend but still lost in the play-off final last year. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Last season, Accrington laid claim to eighth in the division on December 25, but failed to capitalise on the opportunity by falling foul to inconsistency during the second half of the season.

John Coleman’s side won nine games out of their final 30 placing them 11th at the campaign’s end.

Two years before, Blackpool suffered a similar fate to the Lancashire side. After losing only four times before early December, they dropped out of the top-six after losing four of their next five.

This set the tone for the remainder of the season as they struggled to recapture their early season form and finished 10th in 2018-19.

In what was their first League One season following League Two promotion the season before, Kenny Jackett’s side were harboring ambitions of back-to-back promotions.

But with a relatively inexperienced side at this level taking to the field, the Blues couldn’t maintain a run of six victories out of seven going into the new year.

Only seven were recorded in the league in total during the second half of the season – finishing in eighth place as a result.

Finally, Southend agonisingly missed out on a place in the top-six in 2016-17 after finishing a point and a place behind eventual promotion achievers Millwall. Their demise since sees the Shrimpers founding in the National League.

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