Often Partisan

Storming the Top Six.

Blues end the month of March with their biggest win of the season, beating Crystal Palace 4-0 which puts them in their highest league position of the campaign. Is the “P” word really possible?

March has been an excellent month for Blues having taken ten points from a possible fifteen. It sees Birmingham City sit second in the current form table over the last six games with only Forest (who can’t stop winning at the moment) above them. Blues have risen six places this month, and people are now looking at sixth-placed Brighton and thinking “can this really be done?”

On the 27th February, Blues lay in 16th place on 42 points, ten behind sixth placed Brighton and seven in front of 22nd placed Wolves. The Championship table was very compact, with just nine points separating Leeds United in 9th place with Barnsley in 21st, whilst Forest lay outside the play offs on 48 points.

A month later, and Blues are now in 10th place with 52 points but they remain only seven points clear of Wolves who despite winning their last three of their last four games still lie in 22nd. However the gap to Brighton in sixth has been cut to eight, although their goal difference is better by a whopping 21 goals. It’s understandable why the optimists are looking and thinking “this can really be done” whilst the pessimists aren’t sure that Blues are safe.

I have a fairly lousy record when it comes to points predictions so it might be worth taking a huge pinch of salt with what I say here – but there is a possibility that either scenario is still possible. It does look like the points total to stay up this year will be very high – maybe as high as 53 or 54 points – although I think it will be interesting to see how many more points Blackburn (who currently have 47 and haven’t won in eight) and Blackpool (who currently also have 47 and have won 2 in the last 10) pick up as both are on the slide and could find themselves slipping through the trap door.

Similarly, because so many teams lower down have picked up points it could be that the points total to get into the playoffs is the lower end of the norm – maybe as low as 69 points. That would require Blues to win at least five of their remaining seven games but having won three on the spin one could see how that might indeed be possible. The teams with the worst form currently include 7th placed Leicester, 9th placed Middlesbrough and Palace, who are still fourth despite their 4-0 mauling by Blues. If Blues aren’t safe from a seven point lead over 22nd then surely logic would say that an 8 point deficit isn’t unassailable either?

What this all boils down to is a crunch clash tomorrow against Wolves. A win against our canine friends from up the M6 would see the gap between the teams extended to ten and potentially Blues realistically safe from relegation; as neither Boro nor Bolton play on Monday Blues could find themselves in the heady heights of 8th place come Monday evening – and I think then Blues would seriously have to wonder if it can be done. After a season with negativity on and off the pitch, wouldn’t it be amazing if Clark could engineer a late storming of the top six?

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48 Responses to “Storming the Top Six.”

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    I may start believing if we beat Wolves however if we lose it it ain’t the end of the world either.

    Am loving watching Lees team right now, team selection spot on, nailed on tactics and most of the players ‘on it’. Figures don’t lie and 2nd in the current form table shows us all that Lee and the lads are getting it right. Lee must be a contender for Manager of the Month for March I’d say.

    Lets sell out the ground tomorrow and get behind our beloved team.

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Oh and a Happy Easter to all with Blues in their hearts!

  • Lenoir says:

    Please!! No!! not the poisoned chalice of MOM!!

  • Blue Steve says:

    I have been a harsh critic of Lee Clarke and whilst I remain a slight sceptic am ready to admit that he is starting to show some real managerial skill. I have made numerous points about mistakes made and I still believe they were however he has made some good choices lately to. Bringing in Shane Ferguson who dovetails really well with with Mitch Hancox, bringing back Nathan Redmond and reverting Paul Robinson to CB in favour of Caldwell. If new owners are forthcoming in the summer Lee deserves another shot next season with a few more resources. Maybe it will be in the PL !!!!

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Criticism is healthy Steve but constant negativity, anti club comments and personal abuse are not.

    comment edited – WILL YOU STOP REFERRING TO PEOPLE WITH A DIFFERENT OPINION TO YOU AS VILLA FANS.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Clark understandably is talking about the gradual increase in points and performance since the turn of the year. I don’t see why a top 8 finish isn’t possible. I agree withPaul, win today and then maybe it could be done as that momentum and belief will be in place and as you say Al, other teams near the top are off the boil (read Leicester)

    A solid win today could define the season……..

  • picckko says:

    All that’s needed is a straightforward ‘win th next game’ approach. Tomorrow’s game against huge is bigger than a six pointer. It’s a chance for Lee and the players to play WELL at home and WIN in a game with high expectations. With all the good recent form we haven’t done that very often this season.

    It’ll be interesting to see the formation – will it be a variation on the 451 that worked so well on Friday or will it be 442 with Nathan or Morrison playing off Zigic? What’s needed is an energetic performance from the first whistle, dsire to win second balls and a bit of luck. KRO

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Local derby, team playing great, bank holiday, gotta be a sell out or close to it surely.

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    8th is very attainable. 6th or 7th tough, but possible, but we’ll need others to slip up. Our run in ain’t too bad, mainly teams below and away to Leicester who aren’t playing too well at the moment. Away to Ipswich could be tough as they’re one of the current form teams. As you say we have to win five, but I also feel we are reliant on others slipping up, to sneak into the top six. Whatever happens, at least we can feel some satisfaction from our form this year, and the emergence of some very promising youngsters.

  • Dave says:

    Considering the off the field pantomime that manager, players and fans have had to put up with, any kind of mid table or above finish would be a pleasant surprise. credit to the manager as i’m not sure any manager would have done much of a better job with the cards he’s been dealt. what has been a tough season for Bluenoses is looking (fingers crossed) to be moving towards a more positive conclusion. hopefully the ownership situation will finally be resolved. A Carrott/TF led consortium would be lovely, but either way, I assume that whoever buys the club next will only be an improvement. KRO

  • Blueboy88 says:

    I fancy we will neither be in the top six or the bottom six..

  • zxcv says:

    I have been saying for three weeks now “do not write off us making the playoffs” Now i am saying “what is to say we cant win our next three games” then see where we are.? I would love to wave to the vile as they make way for us in the PREM.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    SOTV, SOTV Tonight, SOTV, SOTV Tonight. SOTV,SOTV tonight, Everybody SOTV, cos theyre a load of s****

    KRO!!!!!

  • pedantic pete says:

    If we continue in this form to make the play-offs, we would be favourite to win then as well. Keep believing and KRO!

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Not bad for ‘easily the worst manager in the history if the club’ lol.

    And they call themselves fans.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Well he might have been if he could have stayed sober, and didn’t pick fights with Fahey eh… Where is Fahey btw, didn’t most of the anti clark brigade say he’s never play for Blues again?

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    What a shame that the fillth beat QPR & Reading in their last 2 games. How bad it would have looked by now.

  • Evesham Blue says:

    Think playoffs are unrealistic unless we do a Reading like last season and Forest or Brighton slip up.

    We have only made 2 points up on them despite winning 3 on the spin. If the Dog heads win then it changes again and we still wont be safe. No point getting carried away as LC has pointed out with play off talk.

    I would settle for a strong finish (and the Vile being relegated) and then have a go next year after rebuilding the squad. Lets face it. We would be mullered like Reading in the Prem with no investment at the mo even if we were to make it.

  • Paul Carter the visionary he says:

    Thing is though Eves we would make a shitlload of needed £££s if we did go up

    • mark says:

      correct Paul how on earth they can turn opportunity back to the promise land…. beggars belief.. then use Carson and PP as excuse unbelievable. Then pipe up about how crap the season’s gone I am loss for words…

  • woridad says:

    there is always a team that comes good towards the end of the season by putting some run together just at the right time. Of course that team could be us but this season seems to be teams taking points off everybody and there being no consistancy from anybody……..the team that thrashed Palace could turn up on Monday and totally choke it (as we seem no longer to be able to play in front of a home support anymore I wouldn’t be suprised if that happens).
    A play off run would be nice to have to finish off the season after it has seemed to be so much doom and gloom…….but a run is all we should hope for……I’d take that…….promotion would just kill us as a club as it would mean CY would hang on to all the money the PL and TV bring with it.

  • Art Watson says:

    Yep…..PP’s petty cash float needs topping up.

  • Blue in Spain says:

    I honestly think the form of Brighton and Forest will see us just miss out, but whatever happens always proud to be a Bluenose. And at least some of us gave Clark some time to get things right!

    • Blueboy88 says:

      But why did he need time to get things right ?
      He inherited a top four Championship team ..

      In his own words..
      “It’s just frustrating when you play like Friday and you start thinking what might have happened had we done it a bit earlier, and where we might have been in the division”

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Lee Clark has proven himself beyond doubt this season. Worst hand of cards dealt to any manager in the championship. A large caucous of so called fans wanted him dead and buried and still we have a sniff of the play offs. If anyone can not be man enough now to apologise to LC and admit that he has done a fantastic job this season, then go look in the mirror and ask yourself “Am I really Bluenose till I die?”

  • Martin says:

    Blue boy, Clark is not hughton. If man utd lost ferguson and they got a manager from the league below them do you think they would be as successful? Considering the abuse some fans have give him and the team this season I think he has done a fairly good job, realistically we will be a championship team next season(although I’m hopeful of charge to sixth spot) then with a season under his belt and hopefully some sort of normality returning in the board room we can look forward to next season…….

  • Paulo says:

    Everyone at the moment is looking over their shoulder at the teams behind them, and only those with enough guile and cunning will survive, and those that may have the fortune of promotion to the PL ..well, that’s another thing altogether.

  • Quokkasskip says:

    Beat the dingles

    Millwall at home one week before the fa cup semi…. Could be only 2/3 points behind 6th with 5 games to go?!

    Only problem I see is that with Fahey poss injured Mullins might play tmrw. Doh

  • MDalzell says:

    Couldn’t resist a little punt today on Blues at 66-1 for promotion with Bet365. Those odds will tumble if we win our next 2 home games.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    I reckon we’ll need to win every game to reach the play offs

  • Bazzathebluenose says:

    To make the play offs, I reckon we would have to win every game and it’s a tall order. I’ve been keeping a form graph on Joys and Sorrows this season and despite our uplift in form, I think we will fall short even if said form is maintained. Let’s settle for a strong finish, a positive summer with hopefully new owners and investment and look to go again in August.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Bazza;, Those are my views also, Too much uncertainanty concerning our ownership, !!.

      Confidence building run untill the end of season, will help for consolidation next season if ownership changes with even modest finance, !!.

  • Blooflame says:

    I have been quite virulent about LC in quite a negative manner. I still don’t think he’s right for the job. If he succeeds, I’ll be happy to eat humble pie!! Players were definitely sceptical, since being told that I’ve not seen nor spoken to those who felt that way. Perhaps they changed their view and logically their approach, but I can’t argue against the last few results. hmmm! is that pie ready yet???

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    I have a friend who works out Bookie’s odds. Probability of Blues being in the playoffs – 3%, probability of being relegated 0.5%. So very strong chance we will remain where we are – still more chance of going up than down.

  • andy says:

    U cant rule anything out but its a fantastic opportunity for us to get behind the team tomorrow, loud and proud.

  • TILTONTANK says:

    Lets just make a big noise for the lads tomorrow against the dingles. it will be great if we’re winning and get behind L.C. aswell. And my hands up as I was clark-sceptic. and I love pie- but love the Blues even more.

  • mark says:

    hopefully more humble pie for those doubters then Tiltontank. I love it

  • DinoTiltoni says:

    Play offs? Dream on. Wolves represent a big banana skin and if Morrison and Fahey don’t recover from Friday’s knocks it could be a tough game

  • Cleggy says:

    I think a lot depends on the players reaction to achieving certain safety. If we beat Wolves today I think everyone (even the pessimists) will accept that we’re guaranteed Championship football next season at the very least. And what a huge relief that will be for everyone connected to the club! Whether we can ‘storm the top six’ rests on whether the players will take their feet off the gas or not. Will complacency creep in or will the new sense of security add a freedom to our play that wins us at least five of our remaining seven games? This will be a real test of Clark’s abilities as a motivator and I really hope he aces it!


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