What chance does Newport have of coming back from Wembley defeat?

Mark O'Brien being sent off
Newport captain Mark O'Brien was sent off on a disappointing day for Newport at Wembley

It is something no team wants to go through, the agony of losing a play-off final at Wembley.

After 46 league fixtures and a total of 62 games this season, Newport County will play in League Two again next season after losing to Tranmere Rovers.

Michael Flynn's side have to pick themselves up and do it all again after a heart-breaking defeat in extra-time.

But what are their chances of getting back to Wembley or gaining automatic promotion next year?

Twenty-three other teams in the division will all have the same idea.

But the odds of Newport bouncing back are better than you might think, if the last 10 years are anything to go by.

A decade of comebacks

Since the 2008-09 season, 30 sides from the Championship, League One and League Two have lost play-off finals.

Of those teams, eight of them managed to gain promotion the following season, five of them automatically.

Teams promoted automatically the season after losing at Wembley:

  • Reading in 2012 (Championship)
  • Middlesbrough in 2016 (Championship)
  • Brentford in 2014 (League One)
  • Burton Albion in 2015 (League Two)
  • Plymouth Argyle in 2017 (League Two)

Teams who won the play-off final at Wembley the season after they lost it:

  • Millwall 2010 (1-0 v Swindon)
  • Huddersfield 2012 (8-7 on penalties v Sheffield United)
  • Millwall 2017 Bradford (1-0 v Bradford)

Ten of the 30 teams qualified for the play-offs, with five of those making it through to consecutive play-off finals.

Exeter City lost back-to-back League Two play-off finals in 2017 and 2018.

If Aston Villa lose to Derby they will join the Grecians as having lost consecutive play-off finals.

If they win they become the ninth team to gain promotion the season after Wembley defeat.

Exeter goalkeeper Christy Pym with his head in his hands after defeat to Coventry
Exeter failed at Wembley in successive years

However, the fallout can be severe for a club, with two teams being relegated the following season - both in League One.

Swindon Town were relegated in 2011, finishing bottom of the table just 12 months after losing 1-0 to Millwall for a place in the Championship.

Similarly, Leyton Orient lost on penalties to Rotherham in the League One play-off final in 2014, yet 12 months later found themselves relegated to League Two.

Thirteen teams were not relegated, did not get promoted, or make the play-offs.

That is 15 teams either gaining automatic promotion or at least making the play-offs and 15 who did not.

So the fixture list for next season might not read 'League One' but there is hope for the Exiles that it will in August 2020.

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