Often Partisan

The Pendulum Swings Back Blues Way…

What a difference a couple of days make. After witnessing the lacklustre performance of Blues against Cardiff last weekend I really feared for our playoff chances – yet at the time of writing Blues sit fourth again and with results going the way that they have it looks like the pendulum has swung firmly back in Blues’ favour.

As I didn’t watch the game yesterday (or for that matter listen to it), I’m not going to do anything but comment on what the result means. I said in my preview that I thought it was a must-win game, and I think the table bears that out – a defeat would have now left us in eighth and a little behind the pack. As it is we won and we’re in the bunch of teams with sixty-three points with the added bonus of a game in hand – and I think the pressure created on the teams around Blues by the victory last night may have helped contribute to the “right results” happening today.

We have to guard against unbridled optimism however. Whilst we’re currently in the box seat we have only a tenuous hold on it; although a win at Turfmoor on Tuesday would secure Blues a lot firmer in the playoff positions. The last few weeks have also borne out how thin the squad is in a couple of positions; if something should happen to David Murphy I think we’d struggle big time to pick up the remaining points needed to get us into the playoffs, let alone get promoted.

Of course this points us back to the question “should we have sold Liam Ridgewell in the January transfer window?” It’s obvious we miss him massively because of how thin we are not just at left back but in the central defence position. However, I don’t think Blues had any choice in the matter – not just from a financial perspective in that we probably needed the cash, but also from a player perspective. Ridgewell seemed completely unbothered in playing for Blues; he didn’t seem to be playing to the full level of his ability and you have to wonder how much effort he’d have put it in if Blues hadn’t sold him. I think the fact he wasn’t replaced – and that Hughton seems happier to play an out of position midfielder or defender as cover there rather than one of the specialised full backs he has in reserve is the bigger question – however, I’m willing to leave making a point about that until the division and playoffs are settled.

Whilst I don’t think the Burnley game is a “must-win” game in the same vein that Doncaster was, I am of the belief that a win against the clarets would set us up for the final run-in. After an incredibly long season of ups and downs Blues are actually in touching distance of achieving a top six finish. It would be a remarkable achievement if they can do it; and whilst I’m hopeful of it I’m not expecting it just yet.

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29 Responses to “The Pendulum Swings Back Blues Way…”

  • Blue Steve says:

    I sense a hint of optimism Almajir! We need a little bit of luck with injuries and suspensions (Davies is on 9 bookings!) I think the return of Spector will help us down the right hand side as an attacking force. I’d happily take a draw Tuesday but a win would take the pressure off everyone. KRO..

  • Royalblue says:

    The results have really gone with us today with the exception of Blackpool (who are winning 3-0 as I post.) The next two games for me hold the key to the run in. We have to go to West Ham and Brighton in the last six games and have a rampant Reading in the last game at home. Bristol City are fighting for their lives so we have some real battles to fight before we make that top six when it matters. Our form has been inconsistent and the return of Murphy and hopefully of Spector with Fahey will improve us for the final games.

    Ridgewell wanted out and in fairness gave good service in his time with us. Had the finances allowed I am sure we would have signed a replacement and clearly have not been the side we were before Murphy got injuried. Just thank god he is back!

    It going to be a dog fight to finish line.

    Let your heart beat strong and all that.

  • nicko says:

    what ever happens this season we have had one to remember who could forget brugge
    millwall wolves sheffield united last 16 of the cup chris houghton if we can sort out the
    money problems and get promoted i wonder what the old guard would think we know
    some had to be sold but the ones who left the sinking ship and could not wait to get
    away must be thinking now kro

    • Naja12880 says:

      while i remember mostof Brugge once those Belgian lager beers kicked in theres a certain amount of memory fuzziness. i do however remember my scarf being set fire to in one hostelry post match. GOOD TIMES KRO

  • anthony hawkins says:

    Keep right on to the end of the road lads.

  • DoctorD says:

    Like I said in a comment to an earlier blog entry, it is interesting to see the pack chasing away at the Viler in the prem. What a dream it would be to go up *and* then come down. Back in harsh reality, though, I’d take a draw in Burnley. I am sure Wade Elliot will get an interesting welcoming home.

  • Tara says:

    Ridgewell had to go as he wasn’t into it as pointed out, he looked rusty and weak at the Baggies allowing his winger way too much room in their last home game. By the sounds of it we needed the money anyway as I can’t have seen CH letting a defender leave when we have none.
    Anything from Burnley is a bonus as it’s our game in hand but it would be good to see us go on a mini win streak till the West Ham game.
    I just hope we can keep the back four injury free till the season is over. It really is a remarkable feat that we have competed in every game since Middlesbrough away a long long time ago.
    Another great blog Al.

  • bluenose08 says:

    Its a case now of which teams can cope with the pressure. West ham and southampton look as though the pressure is getting to them cardiff always start well and falter near the end, hull lost at home to coventry ! Blackpool will always be a danger because of their attacking style of football.
    Brighton and m”boro cant see either of them going on a run so as ch says its what we do that counts our destiny is in our own hands and anything we get at burnley will be a bonus. k.r.o.

  • ForevertheOptimist says:

    Can you imagine it McNobsac taking the Vile down as we pass them on the way up?
    I’ll continue to be optimistic about that one.
    It’s getting tight and a couple of results going our way will help us over the line.
    Who would begrudge us that after our seasons well documented journey.?

    One step at a time and let the other teams worry about us.

    King,Zigic and Burke all playing well.
    I hope Redmond gets a decent run out Tuesday.
    Keep right on lads ……

  • BobbyBlue says:

    I cast my mind back to the beginning of the season and, to be where we are now, is simply incredible. I think it is realistic to say that if Blues don’t go up we will enter administration. This is our last opportunity to stave off those dark clouds. The last 18 months will have seen us WIN a cup, a shock relegation, experience and do ourselves proud in europe and now we have this final push for promotion (and securing the club). Let’s create an atmosphere that reflects a club that has given us so much excitement and is on course for the unthinkable… KRO!

  • RichardW says:

    Let’s all pray Murphy stays fit and Curtis escapes any more bookings. What a great season – thrilling to the end ! Penny for Roger Johnson’s thoughts.

    • Naja12880 says:

      not that i’m one for wishing players that leave ill fate or luck but he could have done a lot better than Wolves who were always likely to struggle this season.

      i know we had to sell players and he was one of the perceived most sellable assets but seriously Roger set your sights higher, he’d have been beter at Blackburn even with Dann alongside until he bust his nut sack!

  • Carl says:

    Injuries to any key player will always be a concern, for any team.

    You’ve not mentioned Zigic there: whenever he’s fit and plays well, we win. He as a big part of the run in along with Murphy, Davies and Fahey.

    I know Almajir isn’t a Zigic fan though (well, he his one to test your patience!) Zigic’s performance against Boro and again, yesterday, were great – and, of course, Murphy provides service.

  • Johnners says:

    Bobby Blue – ‘if Blues don’t go up we will enter administration’ . Is that true? How do you know that?

    • John says:

      Blues are no worse off,financially,than any other team in the championship and probably,on a par,with a few in the premiership. All the financial doom, has been created by journalists,needing to write “stories”, for their newspapers.

      • almajir says:

        I respectfully have to disagree with you there; whilst I am sure we’re nowhere near a Pompey I don’t think anyone could say with a straight face we’re on easy street financially either.

    • BobbyBlue says:

      I have nothing concrete to base it on but think it is “realistic” nonetheless. My point is that (and i dont think there is any doubting this) we will sell players over the summer if we fail to go up this season. Right now, this is the best opportunity for promotion. Here on in the task will only become harder.

  • james says:

    I think three more wins will secure a play off spot. 2nd is still mathematically possible but probably a step too far.

    Whoever had that drum against Donny, please bring it to Burnley – give me a D, give me an I, give me an S, give me a C, give me an O, DISSSSSSSSSSSCCCCCCCCCCOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DoctorD says:

    Our seriously better goal difference could eventually count big time. Aren’t you glad we put six past nine-man Millwall that time?

    How many games would Davies miss is if he got a yellow?

  • Kev usher says:

    I believe we have had an amazing season so far as we enter “squeaky bum time”.CH has done an amazing job in getting the lads to play some attractive football that was clearly missing in previous years under old judas and win games.Even the most optimistic of bluenoses may not have expected to be in the play off positions in April, due to all the up evils behind the scene’s.

    But here we are almost within touching distance of the play offs and a potential 3 more games to play despite playing nearly 70 odd games. I genuinely believe the fans can show there’ support for the lads in the final games and play offs and create an atmosphere to help the lads over he final hurdle and back to the promised land.

    Player of the season for me without a doubt Chris Burke – another free signing

    My predicition is we beat West Ham at wembley in the play off final and them lot from across the city go down with the dingles.Kro

  • denis thwaites says:

    McLoser signed Burke and King if my memory serves me well and also Davies last year and Murphy earlier still so fair play to him.Surely he can’t achieve a double relegation? The thing to note is that CH is the one who has got he latter two playing so much better.If Bluescan somehow get 11 points from the next 5 games (3 wins and two draws) that should be enough to get them in the play offs and they won’t have to worry about needing a win against Brighton or Reading in the last two games which I am not sure we need the worry of! Would be monumental achievement to get promoted given the circumstances that have prevailed off the field of play

  • cheltblue says:

    CH has done an absolute fantastic job with this team, I honestly thought King wasnt going to set the world alight but 14/15 goals has proved me wrong.

    Yes we have dipped in form, albeit the 3-1 Doncaster win, but we have a threadbare squad and once 1 or 2 are injured its an uphill battle.

    I think we will finish 6th in the league and play WHU in the Play off SF…..and we all know we have the hoodoo over them :-)


  • Spotlight Kid says:

    Blackpool have a relatively easy run in and are also in their typical end of season rampaging form – so are now nailed on for the playoffs. This effectively leaves 5 teams chasing 2 places.

    Blues have a difficult run in, and need 12 points from 7 games to have any chance. Unless they take 3 points on Tuesday at Burnley they will struggle to reach that figure from the remaining 6 games (especially the away fixtures).

    That’s about the sum of it.

    • paul says:

      BLACKPOOLhave on paper the easiest run in but after that Birmingham have an easier run in than the others. We should beat BURNLEY as they seem to only beat the teams lower down the league

  • andy says:

    We all know that you just cannot predict anything with Blues. The play offs will go down to the wire and we have to hope Blues do enough to hang in there. Its a tough run in on paper yes but we are good enough to turn anybody over in this League.

  • DoctorD says:

    This is where we need Big Zig to hit form. I think he may do as he finally sees what he must regard as a “wasted year” nearing its end. I am sure he feels himself as a premier league player and here’s his big chance to get back there. Let’s hope so anyway. If we go on a winning streak it’ll be the perfect time to do so.

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