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How will Wanderers do next season?

With the new season a matter of days away, how do Wanderers shape up?

David Rogers/Getty Images
Bolton Wanderers kick off their League One campaign at home to Sheffield United on 6th August, their first season in the third tier of English football for 23 years. After narrowly losing to non-league Mansfield at the weekend, and defeating similarly placed Tranmere by a similarly narrow scoreline, attentions are turning to the season ahead.

League One is an unknown for all Bolton fans, but those a bit longer in the tooth will remember the football wilderness of the late 1980s and early 1990s, before the revolution at Burnden Park under Bruce Rioch. Rioch, a straight talking man manager with a modest background in the game, strikes some similarities with current gaffer, Phil Parkinson. Much like the late 1980s. The club is also bearing the brunt of financial difficulty.

Recently relegated sides have mixed fortunes when they drop to the third tier. You may not have heard yet, but Wigan Athletic were promoted back to the second tier at the first time of asking, whereas clubs relegated from the Championship in 2015, Blackpool (n'aww) and Doncaster "double dropped" last season, and are now planning for life in League Two.

Below is a list of teams more familiar than others in the third tier to Wanderers fans, and how they got on last season:

4. Millwall - 81 (+24)

Relegated - 2015

It was a bitterly disappointing end to a promising season for Millwall, losing 3-1 to Barnsley in the play-off final at Wembley in their first season back in League One since 2009-10.

6. Barnsley - 74 (+16)
Relegated - 2014

As mentioned above, Barnsley reached Wembley in their second season back in League One. The Tykes rallied after losing manager Lee Johnson to Bristol City to lift the play-off trophy under Paul Heckingbottom. They'll be plying their trade back in the Championship next year.

8. Coventry - 69 (+18)
Relegated - 2012

Coventry are a rarity in football, as they are one of the few clubs to have suffered more financial misfortune than Wanderers in recent years. They started the season in incredible fashion, but that's to be expected when you sign evergreen utility man Sam Ricketts on a one-year deal. Add 20 goal a season man Adam Armstrong in the mix, and you've got a promotion chasing side. However, the wheels fell off in the second half of the season, and The Sky Blues didn't even qualify for a play-off place.

11. Sheff Utd - 66 (+5)
Relegated - 2011

Like Coventry, The Blades can consider themselves one of the "bigger" sides in League One. Previous manager Nigel Clough had been sacked for failing in his aim to get United promoted, and was replaced by Nigel Adkins, who was interviewed for the Wanderers job not so long ago. Adkins failed to make an impact at Bramhall Lane, as Sheffield United finished an unspectacular 11th.

13. Peterborough - 63 (+9)
Relegated - 2013

Peterborough have come a long way since Big Ron manager. Well, actually, they haven't. After a brief flirtation or two with the Championship, they finished a lowly 13th last season. Peterborough are known for two things: selling previously unknown strikers for huge profits (see Dwight Gayle, Britt Assombalonga, Conor Washington) and a chairman that has embraced conversation with fans on Twitter. Posh fans expected a promotion campaign last season, with manager Graham Westley coming in for copious criticism from fans on social media, which the chairman was happy to rebuke for the world to see.

If we can learn anything from the experience of teams before us, it's that League One is no walk in the park. For every Wigan, there's a Blackpool. For every Millwall/Barnsley play-off adventure, there's the mid table doldrums that Sheffield United and Peterborough endured. A lot could happen next season.