The Football League Two Play offs - Is momentum important?

With the end of the season fast approaching, teams in the hunt for promotion will be hoping to either get promoted automatically or go up via the playoffs. In a series of reports TSZ will be looking at historical data in terms of where have the eventual play off winners finished in the league and whether momentum from the last 6 games plays an important role. This piece will focus on League 2.

League 2 has three automatic promotion places available with 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th position all going into the play off. To start with we will take a quick look at what position in the league the play off winners in the last 10 years finished.

- Finishing 5th or 7th has yielded the most success statistically over the last 10 years but there is no massive advantage for finishing in any of the 4 positions.

At the end of a lengthy season the buzz word you’ll hear cropping up from mangers in the promotion race is momentum. So next up we will look at the form from the last 6 games over the last 10 years. The numbers in red denote the play off winners for that season.

- Interestingly we can see that over the last 10 years, on 5 occasions the team that has picked up the most points in the last 6 games and has that coveted momentum has been promoted via the play offs.
- In 9 out of the last 10 seasons the team that has been promoted has picked up a minimum of 10 points from their final 6 games, could this offer us an insight into who will be going up this time around?
- Only on 1 occasion has the team with the lowest points total from their final 6 games gone on to be promoted, this feat goes to Stevenage in the 2010/11 season.

So it seems there is no massive advantage in terms of which position a team finishes at the end of the season; however momentum does seem to have some influence, most notably teams that have no momentum seriously decrease their chances of being promoted via the play offs.