Date: 1st August 2017 at 7:38am
Written by:

The start of the 2017/18 Championship season is just days away as Harry Redknapp prepares for his first full season in charge at Birmingham City.

We all know the heroics that the 70-year-old produced in the final three games of the last campaign and we can now look forward to a clean slate following a torturous second half of last season.

The Championship is a slog, we all know that, and it`s going to be no different this time out. If Blues want to challenge at the top end of the league, then they’ll have to stick it out for the duration.

There will be plenty of turning points over the course of the season, so here are my three key moments that I think could shape which way things go for Blues this time around.

The remainder of the transfer window?

Despite making some impressive signings in David Stockdale, Marc Roberts and Cheikh Ndoye, there’s no doubt that Redknapp would’ve wanted to get at least two or three extra bodies in by this point.

Blues seem to be getting frustrated in this window with potential deals not quite getting over the line.

It looks like we are going to start the season not quite being fully prepared in terms of the squad that Redknapp would like to have and the players that he still hopes to bring in.

And, come deadline day, we could see a number of players come through the St. Andrew`s door that could really turn heads and catapult us into promotion challengers.

I think it’s clear that we`re still some way off at realistically mounting a play-off charge but, the next month or so could really make the difference.

A testing month?

After all the drama of the transfer window, Blues will begin their September fixtures and, on paper, they look tough.

Redknapp`s men face Norwich (a), Leeds (h), Preston (h), Derby (a), Sheffield Wednesday (h) and Hull (a)- pretty much all of these teams will be in with a play-off shout and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them all finish in the top half.

Don’t get me wrong, every game in this league is a difficult one but you can’t deny that September is going to be an extreme test for this Blues squad.

You’ve got to play everyone twice over the course of the season, I know. But, to play these six teams all in the same month isn’t ideal.

It’s going to have to be a period where we grind out performances and results. Hopefully we can do just that and if we just take the fixtures one by one as they come, then it will make it seem less daunting.

The festive period?

Blues could really use a few of the games over the Christmas period to really stake a claim and, if they’re in and around them, look to push for the play-offs.

The fixture list provides Blues with three home games out of four, starting with QPR at St Andrew`s on December 16, before Leeds visit on December 30.

In between those two are a trip to Sunderland on December 23 before Blues host Norwich on Boxing Day.

The fact that three of those games are at home could really give Blues a lift over a period that is known to potentially take its toll on clubs.

It can be a make or break period. Despite the second half of the season to come, a decent festive period can stand you in good stead heading into the new year and Blues should definitely target this period as a key one.

I’d also say that three of those four clubs that we play over that time will have serious promotion ambitions, so to take points off them would be an extra bonus.

Being Blues, we know that things won’t be easy and that’s what we love about supporting the club. There will no doubt be many more twists and turns than just the ones that I’ve picked out so get yourself comfortable, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Click for the forum

Comments are closed.