Often Partisan

Eating Humble Pie

Flaming typical of my record of prediction with Blues; I write something about us losing the plot promotion-wise and the lads come back and win two on the spin away. I could try to claim it was reverse psychology but I’d be lying.

The truth is, whilst I still believe we’ll need 75 points for the playoffs I’d rather naively thought that Blues would need to win their home games to achieve it. In short, I’d forgotten that Chris Hughton actually knows how to set his team up to win away from home. I’m sorry Chris, will you please forgive my lack of faith?

I listened to the game last night on Blues Player, so as per usual I won’t comment on individual performances as I didn’t see it with my own eyes. It did seem like Blues were going to blow it; opening goal, good early pressure and then the foot gradually taken off the gas until Burnley are all over us, and then concede. Blues have kept one clean sheet in ten championship games (Middlesbrough at home) and as such I feared that once the eventual goal had come, we’d bottle it. Not this time however – once Jordon Mutch’s long-awaited first for the club came as an instant reply it seemed to deflate Burnley completely as their crowd went silent on the wireless and you got the feeling listening barring a horrendous ricket, the points were ours.

So now we sit in 4th on 66 points with six to play. We’ve gone from needing fifteen points from twenty-four (by my calculations anyway) to nine points from eighteen which is much more manageable and you’d think now Blues are almost a cert for a playoff place. As you’d expect after two decent wins, there has been talk of automatic promotion being an outside possibility – and it’s true, it is – especially as we play both West Ham and Reading in those games but I still think we’d need five wins if not all six to do that. That being said, if Blues won their last eight games of the season on the spin having already played fifty-odd they’d bleeding deserve automatic promotion.

What I think is more important is now the pressure is off the team somewhat at home on Saturday. Barring a couple of freak results we should still be fourth at the start of the game and barring an even freakier third result we should still be fourth at the end of the game. Thus whilst the expectation might be there the pressure isn’t – it’s not a “must win” game but maybe a “must not lose” one. With Spector hopefully back on Sunday there is even the possibility Ramage could be shifted into central defence to ensure Curtis Davies doesn’t pick up a two match suspension from a tenth booking – although I don’t think Hughton would do that. Murphy is showing his weight in gold since his return; we’ve got players to come back and strengthen the team some more and it might just be Blues are now building that craved momentum prior to the lottery of the post-season schedule.

The long, long road that this season has taken is almost at its terminus – and it’s just possible that there really is blue sky and sunshine at the end of it. I want to believe we can do it – I’m just afraid that this is the prelude to Blues once again kicking me in the knackers.

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29 Responses to “Eating Humble Pie”

  • Bluenosesol says:

    If we beat Palace on Saturday, then if just one of the three teams below us lose, then we go six points clear of the non play off places! My biggest concern at the moment is in defence. Have just watched the defending for the Burnley goal last night. Three strikers man marked by three defenders. Every one of the strikers got behind their defenders and any one of them could have scored from the cross. Embarassingly for Davies, the little lad Ings ghosted past him to score. We need to be a lot more resilient during the run in or our defence will undo us!

  • shedrocket says:

    Have faith. It will be blues v hammers at wembley in the play off final at wembley, I dreamt it months ago. I also dreamt that in the said game sully and gold were shaking their heads and crying. I’m convinced we are going up!

    • NooBloo says:

      Blues v Hammers in the play off final you think ?

      Now that would be interesting given that CH was one of the favorites for the West Ham job and they never even gave him an interview.

      That would be a right slap in the face if Birmingham end up getting promoted and West Ham dont. And obviously a patt on the back for PP for having the insight to see what Karen Brady & Co missed
      out on.

  • Away traveller! says:

    Why do you never travel away?

    • almajir says:

      I’ve been to five away games this year, including Braga by coach. I think I’ve got some away credentials.

      It’s mainly down to money – I just cannot afford to do many away trips. I applaud those who do make the effort every time but some of us aren’t in the same financial position.

  • I think time comes into it as well Almajir. I try to go to most games as those who read my view from the south articles will contest but the far northern outposts of the empire such as Donny, Leeds and Burnley on a Tuesday or Wednesday night make it impossible to go because of a little thing called work. From my home Burnely is a 500 mile + trip.

    KRO

    • John says:

      There should be more concern about the poor attendances,at St. Andrews. All the stay away fans, will be complaining about the” unfairness” of the distrubution of tickets,should we get to the play off final, at Wembley. I would suggest,they all get tckets for the remaining 3 home games which might help them and the team,greatly ! KRO

      • denis thwaites says:

        The quid for a kid deal will increase the Palace and Bristol City gates a bit but I think you can criticise the stay away fans until the cows come home and it won’t make a hoot of difference.The fact is that for a lot of people watching football is an expensive hobby and gates at most clubs have dropped reflecting this. I regard myself lucky that I can just about afford to go to games with my partner and my son which includes travelling 150 miles every home game. It costs me over 100 quid a game and that is my choice but I don’t think it would be right of me to have a pop at others who can’t afford to attend however much I would like to see St Andrews full every week.

  • Mark Peacock says:

    How much longer does Davies have to stay bookin free in order not to get a two game ban?

    I think barring a big faliure we will make the playoffs, top two is a no for me as Reading are ten points clear at the moment.

    Whatever happens from here we have had a good season bearing in mind this team is full of freebies and loans!

  • Jason says:

    I listened to blues player last night and Hughton for the 1st time should receive critism for not being proactive enough and nearly costing us 3 points.

    Blues were under pressure for 15 minutes and the change to 3 central midfielders should have happened before Burnley scored and not after they scored.

    It was lucky we got back ahead so quickly with him acknowledging so in post match interview.

    I think this is the only weakness in the man and something that should be easily rectified in not being afraid to make changes before entering the last 15 minutes of a match.

    KRO

    • NooBloo says:

      Dont be so stupid. You cant criticise the Manager who has just won 3-1 away from home against a team which won 5-1 away from home 3 days earlier

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Even though losing Davies would be a considerable loss if he were to get a ban, the chances are we would score more than what we would concede. The footballing philosophy of CH ensures this and has helped us to score and play in a way that has been missing for many many years at Blues.

    Could the dip we were experiencing be over and the start of a new run emerging at just the right time??

    Sincerely hope so.

    Still of the opinion that going up automatically would be better than having a day out at Wembley and chancing going up via the play – offs. Might seem remote at this stage but by Easter Monday and having beaten WHU and perhaps Reading losing a game or two (they can’t keeping winning and scoring in this league as they have done and surely will trip up soon?), maybe, just maybe, there is some more intrigue that will surprise us all.

    A summer then to reflect and then prepare for life in the EPL again and hopefully the ownership issue to have been progressed to a more transparent level.

    I honestly believe that previous mistakes by board will not be replicated. We will be a more leaner, meaner, wiser and resilient team and club that could well surprise a few eejits that had predicted our early demise……………………..

  • Chris Quinn says:

    Blues priced just 1-5 to make the play-offs now; with promotion (of any kind) available at 3-1!

  • Tilton OB1 says:

    Final Points for the 6th Place team in Last 9 Championship Seasons.
    2010/11 – Notts Forest 75
    2009/10 – Blackpool 70
    2008/09 – Preston 74
    2007/08 – Watford 70
    2006/07 – Southampton 75
    2005/06 – Palace 75
    2004/05 – West Ham 73
    2003/04 – Palace 73
    2002/03 – Forest 74

    On Average 73 points should get you in the playoffs.

    • Bluepenguin76 says:

      Tilton OB1 Im sure Blues can hit that total!!….bit of a worry that none of the teams that got promoted have really managed to establish themselves in the top flight (Maybe WH the exception). Shows the gulf in class.

      • Bluepenguin76 says:

        sorry ignore that comment…..ofcourse its hard to establish themselves if they havent got promoted (which ofcourse alot of them didnt) :/

  • bluenose08 says:

    Almajir please keep writing blues off ! Just like you i thought we might scrape a point at most at burnley but typical blues always do the unexpected my only worry for saturday is after 2 away wins the pressure will be on them to win at home. Just like a lot of people i wouldnt expect you to go to away games, i am unemployed and borrowed money to get a ticket for the last 5 home games in the hope we might reach wembley as for one reason or another in the 45yrs of supporting blues have never been to see them at wembley so 3rd time lucky i hope ! K.r.o.

  • Bluepenguin76 says:

    Almajir, I think like you I was also one who could not see the points coming (i posted on here as much on). We’d lost all momentum over the previous month and it just looked like it was slipping away from us..I think last night clearly demonstrated the current squad have a fantastic attitude and mental resilience (I’m pleased to say I’ve been proved wrong time and time again this year) and as you said three wins from six is now more than possible.

    Those away wins will have boosted confidence (it has my own) and any tired legs will soon be forgotten. Four points from Palace and WH would set us up nicely .I’m not about to say we can’t do it this time either !!!.

    KRO

    COME ON THE BLUEBOYS!!!

  • P.J.Nicholls says:

    Having just read the article regarding the High Court Judgment expected any day re the change in payments to creditors & HMIR plus the huge payments made to Portsmouth.
    What has happened to Birminghams parachute payments plus is there no news concerning the publishing of the yearly accounts????

    • almajir says:

      What has happened to Blues parachute payments – well, they’re pretty much a massive part of our income and will have been paid to us. It’s not extra money – it’s £16mil instead of the £40mil we got from Sky last year.

      As for the accounts – it’s been done to death. They’re due at the end of the month apparently, we’ll have to wait and see until then.

  • Masaccio says:

    Let’s keep right on chaps! Looking forward to Saturday let’s just keep believing in CH and the team.

  • Richard Mountford says:

    Went to the game last night (I don’t get to many living in Liverpool) – but for me it was proof that Blues have what it takes to make it into the play-offs at least. It’s a game we could easily have lost, especially after Burnley’s equaliser (and we’d been on the rack for 20 minutes at least), there only looked one winner and it wasn’t Blues. But that’s the mark of a successful team – the ability to dig deep and pull it out of the bag, even when you’re on the ropes or things are going against you. Have to say a word about Marlon King – more than anybody he was responsible for the win, he’s sheer strength and close ball control in the area (a) to wriggle enough room to get the shot in for the first and (b) the way he held the ball up, holding off two defenders long enough to lay on an exquisite pass to the on-rushing Mutch to lash home the second that completely deflated Burnley. Only concerns are N’Daw (looks poor at the moment, even the Blues fans are laughing at his shooting abilities) and Ramage – clearly a good player in there somewhere but looks desperately short of confidence at the moment.

  • mitchell says:

    Jason – no offence mate but we won 3-1 away from home and you state that CH deserves criticism???? You also started off the sentance with” I listened to blues player last night ” – appreciate everyone has the right to an opinion but1) you were not at the game, 2)we won and 3)we scored 3 goals!

    Let’s hope for more of the same against Palace – if you know any stay away fans, now is the time to really start nagging on an hourly basis to get them down St.Andrews!

    KRO

  • andy says:

    I must admit i was expecting another Portsmouth last night. Going 1-0 up early, failing to add to that and taking the foot off the gas. It was almost replica but fortunately Burnley failed to take their chances and Blues went on to finally add to Kings goal, who by the way, was excellant last night.

  • DoctorD says:

    Not living in Birmingham and knowing precisely zero Blues fans where I’m from, I’m a very infrequent visitor to St Andrews — my last home match was in January 2010. Where would be the best place in the ground to watch the Palace game from? I will actually be in Brum this weekend you see. By the way, I must say thanks to the people in the club shop — very helpful when I rang up to buy some kiddies’ Blues pyjamas recently. (For my kid I hasten to add…)

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Great win though in truth burnley were good value for a draw. Murphy, King and Burke have been different class these last two games. I just saw the highlights if the doncaster game and the pass from Murphy for king’s goal must’ve been 50 yards. Mutch made another 40 yard pass to set king up which should’ve been a penalty.

    Against burnley we were just more clinical in our finishing than burnley. Lets hope we can go on another unbeaten run till the end of the season. If I was Chris hughton I’d probably still play Curtis Davis on Saturday. its all about momentum and resting Davis and getting beaten may be more harmful than playing him and risking a yellow.

  • denis thwaites says:

    The previous Blues teams that got promoted automatically under McWeebitdefensive and Brucie accumulated more points than this years team under CH will muster in securing a play off place but if we manage to get up it will be a far more creditable and rewarding achievement/experience. The shortfall in points as most fans will realise is down to us losing too many away games so winning a couple on the bounce has helped massively. Automatic is a bit of a tall order but if Blues can somehow get to the 29th April without losing again and get say 12 more points with no real injury problems then they could end up third and go into the play offs with real hope. Let’s keep right on to the end of this road.


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