Often Partisan

Thirteen games left – unlucky for Blues?

With Blues now out of the cup competitions, the focus turns fully onto the league. Unfortunately, things are not looking as rosy as they once were; Blues have stumbled a bit and now lie nine points off automatic promotion with just thirteen games to go. Can Blues do it?

It’s a big ask to look at automatic promotion. The general mark I look at to finish in the top two of the division is 85 points – which would require Blues to take an incredibly high 30 from the last 39. Bearing in mind Blues have eight games to play away, I think it’s an impossible dream now – barring an absolutely incredible run we’re going to have to settle for going for a place in the lottery of the playoffs.

For me, the playoffs is all about momentum. If you can cast your mind back to the 01/02 season when Blues did it, the run to the playoffs came on the back of an eleven match unbeaten run. Stern John came from Forest to score eight goals in the last sixteen games and thus Blues were bang in form by the time they faced Norwich in Cardiff. It’s a story that has been repeated down the years.

Looking at the table, it’s not as clear-cut in the top two as you’d think. Whilst Southampton and West Ham had pulled away a bit, Reading have chased them right down and are now in danger of overhauling West Ham after winning seven consecutive games on the spin. This is good news for the playoffs as far as I’m concerned; again, I’m working with generalities but I never fancy a team to go up if they’ve fell from the top two into the playoffs at the tail end of a season. That normally points to a team that have reached their limit and are at the point of choking. Again, consider Wolves in the 2002 promotion season.

I generally use 75 points as a benchmark for hitting the playoffs – which is a much more manageable 20 from 39. Of course there is the danger that the blip in form Blues have gone through in their last few games may cause them to falter further, and that that total mentioned could become rapidly unobtainable. Thus I think it’s now imperative Hughton gets the team back into winning ways at Coventry – I’m of the belief that if we don’t pick up a win there we’re in a whole heap of trouble; particularly as we face promotion rivals Middlesbrough at home a week later and a really tricky away trip to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester.

One of the few criticisms I’ve had of Hughton has surfaced again recently, and I think has held us back slightly and cost us points – the reticence Hughton has in making substitutions. Against Derby, Hughton named five outfield players on the bench to give him more outfield options – yet I felt we didn’t make the changes required until it was far too late. Giving Redmond four minutes plus injury time to affect a game isn’t enough; whilst we did create chances a-plenty in that frantic final spell we shouldn’t be waiting until the last few minutes to really be pushing for a winner.

The other key to it all is David Murphy. Murphy is the one genuine left back we have at the club; the only person who can play there and offer something going forwards and defensively without giving the impression that they are filling in. This isn’t a go at Jonathan Spector, who I thought did okay at Derby but I think it’s imperative that to go on a run to the end Blues need a steady backline – the Spector – Davies – Caldwell – Murphy line did us proud for several games in January and we need to start that again – if we don’t concede goals we have a damn good chance of winning because I always fancy us to score.

The next month and a half are key to Blues’ future; promotion and we’re back in the Premier League and maybe back onto the straight and narrow. Failure – well, I don’t even want to think about what that could entail. Neither, I suspect, does Peter Pannu and Carson Yeung.

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17 Responses to “Thirteen games left – unlucky for Blues?”

  • viperblue says:

    You say Pannu & Yeung don’t want to think about failure to get promoted
    but they have affectively tied CH hands in his efforts to do it.
    West Ham got rid of 19 players but bought in 16 as an example

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    More doom and gloom report in the d.mail today (online),exclusive from moxley.
    If BLUES don’t get promotion,BLUES will go into admin.
    d.mail have seen the accounts.


    moxey has never rated CHRIS HUGHTON.
    The championship blogger from the d.mail also predicted at the start of the season,CHRIS HUGHTON would be sacked by November last year !!


    • NooBloo says:

      CH would care not one jot about what a right wing Tory trach newspaper wrote about him. He is a staunch left wing socialist and would probably never even have heard of reporters from a right wing paper like the DM

  • mitchell says:

    Moxey reminds me of Gary Newbon(d)? in the 90’s, typical anti blues nob

  • Blue in Spain says:

    Poxey Moxley is an anti Birmingham, lying, obnoxious, odious prat…..As a journalist he’s as about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

  • skareggae72 says:

    I hope people dont think that Coventry will be a walkover(they have picked up 16pts from the 21pts available at home recently.
    Whatever happens i dont think our season rests on this game,its worth noting that West Hams home form over the last 3months is far from convincing,and we are still to go to their place.

    Promotion jitters?

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    The article by Moxley has obviously been written as he claims their (DM) sportsdesk has had access to the club’s accounts.

    It states that ‘ the club are losing £10m per year’ and further on ‘will run – out of money in June’. This might be the indicator as to why they are not being published on time and when the next deadline in April comes around, there is the distinct possibility we will have already been promoted and the guaranteed PL income will forestall any move towards admin. If the very worst of any possible scenario was to happen and we were not promoted and the June money situation was a true account, then I believe the inevitable sale of Foster, Davies and Redmond (they probably being our most valued assets) would take place. Their combined value would approach that £10m mark in my opinion.

    What was more worrying was how JB’s and LR’s combined fees was/is responsible for seeing us through. In any type of business this really is the last throw of the dice stuff, and indicative of the perilous state of the club’s finances. Another point to pick up on is how ‘the wages of CH’s squad are just less than the club’s annual turnover’. Even with the players we’ve moved on?? Zigic is more than likely on about 3 times the salary of the next highest paid player, and regardless of what he can/cannot do, should be moved on – even on a free transfer if necessary. It all really points to how the PL money was/ will be the real income for the club and why the desire was to start looking at new revenue streams. So worrying to believe that we – the fans – are not as responsible for the club’s well – being as we may have thought. Sad really.

    Just hope and pray that the we are promoted and do not have to suffer the trials and tribulations of the play – offs. We simply cannot afford it in every sense of the word. CY and PP must surely be aware that something will have to give soon enough, and I fear that any ‘forced’ sale will be more protracted, complex and hostile than the one which saw the Gold and Sullivan mob selling up to CY and his firm.

    Thirteen games – unlucky for some??

    Hopefully not for us……..

    • NooBloo says:

      The play offs are a good source of revenue and although automatic promotion would be nice. I actually like the excitement and the atmosphere of the play offs and a trip to Wembley would be great for the fans.

      Even better would be a victory in the final against The West Ham defectors of Gold/Sullivan. Now wouldnt every Birmingham fan just be in their element if that were to transpire

  • Matt says:

    Well if we don’t go up, lets hope West Ham and Blackpool do, then the rest of the division gets to share the parachute money they won’t get next year, probably worth something in the region of 1.5 million to us that way

  • roskoe says:

    The next couple of games are key to whether or not we can get promoted. After a relatively poor run of form and results I think it is important to get back to winning ways asap. I think that the championship is all about gaining positive momentum and keeping that going, and it is hard for teams to get that momentum back once they get a couple of bad results or performances. 3 points against a struggling Coventry would be just the springboard needed to kick back on and if we can get a win and a draw (at least) from the Cov and Leicester games and continue that at home against boro then we will be on the right path. Almajir, as far as CH and substitutions goes i think he may just be trying to save tired legs as much as possible and is thinking of the next game too, as we are so thin on the ground regarding players. I think he is much more proactive than Eck ever was, and along with the football we play i cannnot find a negative to say about him. Keeping CH is the key to BCFC’s immediate future success, and i really hope we can keep him. I am concerned that if we dont get promotion this year then other, bigger clubs would come in for him, as i believe he is one of the best young managers in the country.


  • mitchell says:

    At the start of the season I wanted two things to happen; to beat Nacional and progress to the Group stage and finishing above the bottom three. Our expectation levels and critic of CH are way off – I’m not stating that CH cannot be criticised but given the squad is made up of kids, loans and not good enoughs, it’s a small miracle where we find ourselves.

    As well as being tactically savvys, brilliant man management skills, he also has luck – something which we will need lots of with 8 away games coming up.

    I’d take 75 points now to be honest and the lottery of the play offs


    • roskoe says:

      Well said Mitchell. If we don’t go up it wouldnt be a disaster, my only concerns being that we would be set to lose CH, Nathan Redmond and Jordan Mutch, all 3 i believe should be what BCFC build the future around… Either way I’ll be Blue forever, whatever the division we play in.


  • Eric says:

    I fully agree we miss Murphey, I believe we have also missed Carr, our captain, and his leadership. Regardless of the next 13 games this has been a fun season and thanx in advance to CH and the players. I do not think our financial situation will be settled until the results of Yeungs trial.

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