Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – Blackburn Rovers at Home

Gary Rowett hopes to pick up his Birmingham City side after they slumped to a third defeat in four games at home at the weekend.

Blackburn Rovers

Rovers snapped a five game winless streak at the weekend, beating Leeds United 2-0 away at Elland Road and lie 15th in the table nine points behind Birmingham City.

Grant Hanley should be fit today despite receiving 10 stitches in his cheek at the weekend; Danny Guthrie and Fode Keita should both be available too but Corry Evans is suspended.


Blues are sweating on the fitness of Maikel Kieftenbeld, who came off in the defeat against Wolves with a knock. David Davis should be fit and there are no other injury problems within the squad.

Should Kieftenbeld not make it, then Andy Shinnie or Jon Toral could return in a more 4-2-3-1 formation; David Cotterill could come back in for either Jacques Maghoma or Demarai Gray and Jonathan Spector could come in for Paul Robinson. One player who won’t be in the squad is Mitch Hancox who extended his loan to Crawley Town yesterday.


Chris Kavanagh takes charge of the game tonight. He’s taken charge of 12 games so far this season, showing 40 yellow cards but not sending anyone off. This is his first time in charge of a Birmingham City game.

Suspension Watch

3 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld, Jonathan Grounds, Paul Caddis, David Davis and David Cotterill
2 Yellow Cards: Jon Toral and Stephen Gleeson.
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak, Michael Morrison, Paul Robinson, Clayton Donaldson, Jonathan Spector and Demarai Gray.

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is April 9, 2016

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Often Partisan is working in partnership with Bordesley Labour Club this season. They are based ten minutes away from St Andrew’s on Whitmore Road in Small Heath and have welcomed Blues fans over a number of years on match days.

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51 Responses to “GAMEDAY – Blackburn Rovers at Home”

  • rhees says:

    Be happy with draw tonight stop any rot setting in Blackburn will be more confident after weekend

  • Retired&Weary says:

    I agree that Spector should come in for Robbo who needs a rest, and Toral or Shinnie should also start, hopefully not at the expense of Kieftenbeld. Although he was not at his best on Saturday, I thought midfield was left wide open after he went off.
    Not sure about Cotterill, he was awful when he came on against Wolves.
    Our full backs have also been poor, I wonder if Eardley will come in, if fit.
    Another player who needs a rest is Donaldson. Unlikely, but is it time for Brock Marsden to have a start?

    • Bluenosesol says:

      R&W you have echoed my thoughts after the Wolves game when I was berated for saying that Robinson and the full backs would have been shipped by now, had we a few bob to spare. Also concerned that Donaldson rarely outjumps the opposition. I couldn’t see Latchford, Burns or Vowden constantly being manhandled out of 50 50’s and constantly looking for the referees whistle. Never the less, I say we will win tonight!

  • edd77 says:

    I’d say 1-0 Blackburn if I was to have a bet ,last games confidence along with the fact they actually played Thursday night so have had longer to rest /prepare for this game ,hope I’m wrong .I think at this moment in time having just 2 strikers is looking very worrying ,it’s a gamble I hope works for Rowett but I think if Clark had of made this decision we’d be questioning him big-time , I always believe 4 strikers at a club is a must

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Conway and Marshall are a bit lively, but apart from those, I don’t see anything to trouble us unduly. Rhodes rarely does that well against us. Rovers are a bit like us, a workmanlike team who grind out results. So I’m going for a 1-1 draw.


    Caddis Morrison Spector Grounds

    Gleeson Davis

    Cotterill Shinnie Maghoma


    Subs: Legzdins, Eardley, Robinson, Brown, Gray, Toral, Brock-Madsen

    • rhees says:

      What’s happened to Lowry why we signed him ? Should we not give him a chance natural centre half

      • zxcv says:

        Gary said he would never panic buy, that he would only bring in players who can improve us, well if Lowry and the donky who came on against wolves are to improve us then we are doomed, again I ask where is the money we were told would be spent on the team if I remember the Majority of the 13 million I think it was. about 750 grand so far. We should stop getting carried away with a few decent results and start asking what is Gary Rowett Budget for January. Do they really want promotion. WE NEED PLAYERS IN PANOS, a few more yellow cards and a couple of injuries in key positions and we could well find ourselves at the other bloody end of the table, Remember strike while the iron is hot don`t wait until we have lost this advantage we have right now.

        • jonno11blue says:

          It was never indicated that the majority of TTA’s monies would be available for players purchases. All that was stated was that some of these funds would be made available to the Football Club. That said we do need at least 3 players with quality to increase squad numbers. As said previously both full backs have been poor and especially with Grounds he needs competition Rowett also need to stop playing Spector Davis in number 10 role Torval, Shinnie or either Maghoma should play there. The rubbish been served up at home recently is as bad as under Clark!

    • Tony says:

      That’s the kiss of death Staff, just hope your right about Rhodes. he could get a couple tonight. For me I would always start Toral he has a quality about him.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Can you remember when Rhodes has ever done well against us for Blackburn? I can’t to be honest.

        I got the team spot on, except Gray for Maghoma.

        • RichardM says:

          2 goals aganst us the season before last when we won 3-2 at Ewood and he also scored last season at St Andrews in the 2-2 draw. I’m pretty sure he scored in the 1-1 at Stans a few seasons back, so unfortunately I don’t think we’re his bogey team!

    • Barny Blue says:

      Probably won’t be far off that Staffs. Personally, if Kleftenfeld unavailable, I would consider playing Spector in a holding/ shielding role in front of the defence, with the aim of recycling play to Gleeson and Shinnie to spread play wide to touchline-hugging wingers or through, in behind for Donny and wingers to run onto. Either way, we need to stretch Blackburn’s defensive line – we were too compact and narrow against Wolves which made it far too easy to contain our only three attackers on the pitch!

      In terms of the centre-half choice to partner Morrison, I would be tempted to throw the gauntlet down to either Lowry or Mbende, but I think that is a risk that GR will not be contemplating.

      Cotterill, although incredibly frustrating the majority of the time, needs to play (if fit) to provide quality at set-pieces. Gray has produced nothing of note recently, and can have no complaints at being dropped to the bench with the view to coming on as an impact player later in the game.

      If I was a betting man I would be taking a punt on 1-1. Wouldn’t be the worst result in the world, but I am desperate to get back to winning ways at home! KRO!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Everyone can see we’re desperate for height in the defence, but nothing’s been done about it so far, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one Barney.

        As for Cotterill, if he’s fit, he has to play. We don’t have another player in the team who can cross the ball or take free kicks, so it’s a no brainer for me. I too predicted 1-1. :)

  • zxcv says:

    I said weeks ago the Centre Half position will cost us big time as Robbo won`t last the winter and we can`t expect him to so that said why are we Gary?.

  • AussieBlue says:

    Look, I’m 100% certain of 3 pts tonight..we’ve lost a couple against good teams so what? Seemed to me against Hull we were more concerned with keeping the ball than doing something creative with it. Fancy passing around is for continental pooftahs isn’t it? We’re Birmingham and we go forward – which BTW is why I don’t like 1 lone striker. Give it some wellie and put 2 up there and hang the critics.
    Last point – aren’t Spurs a wonderful team ;-)

  • AussieBlue says:

    PS: Is anyone else getting the ad at the bottom of the right hand column on Dan’s website with a big denim-clad female arse inviting one to: “Take the 15-second Testosterone Test?” ??????
    I haven’t clicked the link…yet. What’s the world coming to?

  • Mitchell says:

    Biggest threat for me tonight is the twin CH of Duffy and thug Hanley. Hit the buggers down the wings with relentless passing to Gray and Cotterill. Forget Donaldson- he will get on the end of a few but give him a break with needless long punts. Penalties is what I want to see with Gray busting a gut to get inside the box (with the ball) at a targetted twice every 5 minutes. Donawa did it-Devlin,Hopkins,Lazaridis,etc. It was part of their job. Today we only see rare glimpses of wing play that’s not really acceptable. Koby Arthur for example is a typical tricky winger- but what’s gone wrong there. Conway tonight will be a threat. This can be totally eclipsed if GR gets it right and bullies our wingers to perform and come off the pitch legless.

  • zxcv says:

    I would normally go with my gut feeling but having given this game some consideration and if I am to be honest then I have to say 1-4 if they come to win the game and go all out attack, Grounds will take a pasting and so will whoever plays alongside Moro. If they come for the point then we will be happy to oblige.

    • Mitchell says:

      ZXCV. This all stems from the fact that you and loads of fans want a decent CH. Lowry, Spector or whoever is merely papering over the massive crack. However my previous blog about wingers and constant raiding is the best way forward for HOME games.

  • zxcv says:

    Mitchell, would be great if it was just so simple as to just attack them, I think they may be prepared for such a tactic, lol.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Much better looking formation tonight with a long overdue bit of support for Donaldson from Shinnie.Feel a bit sorry for Maghoma and thought Gray maybe should have been given the hook on recent form. Also a big chance for Davis to stake a claim in his more natural role.

  • No shots on target by blues in the first half , makes blues the only home side not to do so , let’s hope we do better the second half .kro

  • 15 shots at goal says you are back on track again, and 3 on target says you need to shoot or head from closer in , then you will be up their .kro he who dares .

  • oldburyblue says:

    Congratulations (not) must go to Blackburn…the most boring team I have seen for many a year. The 1st half went quick…..but then again I was asleep for most of it! A shocking game of professional football.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Never seen so many square passes at the back in a game in my life! Blackburn got the bore draw they so yearned, but then again, why didnt we go after them the moment the keeper rolled the ball out instead of retreating to the half way line every time we lost possession???

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Not had a 0-0 since the end of January (Norwich/Sheff Wed) and we’re still 6th, so it’s not all bad. I think we were closer to being back to our usual selves tonight, we just needed that elusive goal.

    It will be a much different kind of game on Saturday, can’t see Fulham sitting back. A draw there would be an excellent result.

    • zxcv says:

      It certainly will Staffs, and Rowett I would guess would rightly take another draw at the cottage as well. This team really do have limitations and tbh its going to take some doing to make a playoff`s spot. Unless as I said previously we get quite a decent budget for the next window, so for me I just hope we can nick as many points as we can up to January just to stay in touch.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        I wouldn’t bank on any fireworks in January tbh.
        Much better 2nd half and you wouldn’t have wanted to be a Blackburn fan traveling down to watch that.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        All that was wrong with us last night, was we couldn’t score again. It’s not as though we didn’t have enough chances. 12 corners and 15 shots should have yielded at least 1 goal. Once that clicks again, we should be ok.

        As for players coming in.. well, I’d be surprised now if that did happen. They might unearth a continental freebie, or a cheapo loan maybe, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on anything more. I think we’ll, more or less, go with what we have until the end of the season and see where we are. Although, if we’re in a pisition to push for promotion by mid-January, you never know… that sofa might cough up another shilling or two.

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    When our players are playing with commitment and concentration we are as good as any team in the league, problem is they are not doing it! Look at the stark difference to how Gray played in the first and second half, problem is iyts not just Gray but the whole team. These guys are professionals and I expect them to be passionate and give their all for the full 90, if they can do that then I can not see any team stopping us, we have all seen brief moments if what this team can be capable of, even the best teams in the world have lapses look at Chelseas season, worse than ours and they are not free transfers, I don’t think we need to spend money on a prima Donna that will upset the balance our players just need confidence and that comes from winning and support from fans, they dont need fans beying for blood and hearing comments that they are not upto the role, we are who we are, and we are where we are, until we have a conclusion in HK, which is most likely two years away, all we can do is what we are “supporters”, and be proud of what we are achieving. Rant over.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    7 1/2 hours of football at home with only 2 goals to shout about.. Gleeson and Davis put the letter O in ordinary. Oh for the likes of Tesche and Fabbrini!
    Gary should pick up the phone this morning and call Pellegrini and enquire about the availability of Patrick Roberts. Roberts you may recall went from Fulham to Man City for £9m in the summer.
    He is still only 18 and has the style and skills of Jack Wilshere and would add much needed quality to Blues midfield.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Spot on Richard. Fabbrini was a class above Toral and Tesche was a class above Keltenbeld who have replaced them. I thought we were better when Toral came on for Shinnie who struggles just to stay on his feet let alone anything else. Blackburn just kept passing the ball around at the back to try and draw us out but until the last 10/15 minutes we were content to let them do it. However if someone had told me before the start that with a third of the season gone we would be 6th I would have been delighted. The home form especially the lack of goals is just starting to become a concern though.

  • Mitchell says:

    Whichever way you look at it our squad lacks a striker. GR has done well since taking over but the reliance on Donaldson is quite serious now. Target man yes- finisher rarely. Novak,Thomas equally poor in the goal scoring dept. New buys Brock,Jones and already signed Johnstone not giving us much optimism. Koby Arthur another mystery. Home form is now fragile and GR is at the crossroads with tactical nouse. Nicking away wins is a simple philosophy but crafting home wins is where managers show their status as to their rise to higher leagues.Our squad is good enough to get home wins -it just requires tactical awareness.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Negatives…. Bore draw , limited chances, three games without a goal, kuszczaks hair … Positives….a point more, clean sheet, not troubled, end of loosing run and we’re still 6th in the table going to Fulham…15 games 25 points , everyone of us would have took that .. Roll on the Thames !! Kro

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Why doesn’t Gary give REECE BROWN a chance? He seems to score a goal a game from midfield for the Under 21’s. He has more class in his little finger than Davis, Gleeson and Shinnie have in their noses combined. Lol.

  • Tony says:

    That’s four games on the trot without a goal, just not good enough.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Is it not three Tony …Blackburn, wolves & Hull… We beat Bolton 1-0 before that didn’t we ?? Kro

  • Tony says:

    Yes your right Dave I meant to say four out of the last five home games sorry

  • Dave Mann says:

    Tony , no problem pal , Ime off to Fulham Saturday and hoping to see us score there but I would take a draw now mate even 0-0 though it doesent improve our goals scored column.. Last night we played reasonably well second half but like Saturday didn’t get any luck and Ime just hoping that Fulham get the backlash , they will come at us so it should be a good spectacle.. We’re OK at the moment and a few goals in the next few games might be what the doctor ordered … 6th after 15 games .. Not bad at all .. :-) kro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Brown won’t get a game until he’s demonstrates discipline and following orders. We also have too many players that need to go to the gym and bulk up.

    GR will talk players up to give them confidence as that is good man management but if he was handed £10m he’d buy two new full backs, a centre half; an attacking midfielder, a box to box midfielder, and a pacy striker. He has to work with what he has the moment.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Maybe your right Juluan but we’re 6th from top and 6 players for £10 million doesent mean we’re stay in the playoffs or not .. That doesent buy a lot these days .. We have to wait top next year anyway so what’s the way round it .. Keep Rowett happy and give him the support he deserves…. Bulk up or belt up .. We’re see! Kro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Dave, our points per game average is falling because we are not scoring enough and giving away soft goals. Yes our squad could reverse that but on the other hand it might not.

    It was lovely being second, but at the time, had one win been a defeat we’d have been 9th, so league position are relatively meaningless at present. We’re drifting towards the middle of the table.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      This is what I’ve been saying. If we’re still in with a chance by mid JUanuary, throw a few bob at it and see if we can finish in the top 6 at least. Until then, the table doesn’t mean a lot. Once the xmas and new year fixtures are out of the way, we’ll have a much better idea of where we’re at and whether it’s worth a punt.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Maybe your right Julian but only time will tell and as staffs says it’s after Xmas games that you get a better perspective of your league position .. Fulham will be a massive test Saturday , loose and mid table looks , win and we might start believing again . Kro

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