Date: 12th March 2018 at 7:25pm
Written by:

Immediately after his appointment, Garry Monk was quick to comment on the difficulty of the first two games of his reign.

Middlesboro and Cardiff, two clubs firmly involved in the promotion mix, signalled a testing start. Zero points was the expectation. Zero points was also the reality.

Despite a seventh successive defeat, Blues remain just two points adrift of safety. The next four games are pivotal. Undoubtedly season defining.

Hull and Ipswich at home, Bolton away and Burton Albion at home represent a massive opportunity to start clawing away from danger. They also pose a real threat to Blues’ future in the second tier.

Six points is a minimum target to stand even an outside chance of beating the drop. Even then, Blues will still be treading water.

During the last four Championship seasons, the fourth-bottom team has survived with 51, 49, 46 and 44 points. Judging by the current points tally of teams in the relegation scrap, I would envisage a haul of around 42 or 43 to be the safety net. Blues currently have 30 meaning that at least four wins are needed.

Of course, 42 points would only guarantee safety if other relegation threatened clubs drop points. Also, the fact that Burton, Barnsley, Reading and Hull all have a game in hand on Blues could be a major factor. It really could go down to the wire.

Yet one glance at Blues’ remaining fixtures makes for grim reading. The reverse fixtures against their nine forthcoming opponents produced just five points – a win against Bristol City and draws against Bolton and Sheffield United. Blues have already lost against Hull, Ipswich, Burton, Wolves, QPR and Fulham this season.

Unless Blues fare better at the second time of asking, League One almost certainly awaits.

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16 Replies to “Blog: Buckle up for four season defining games”

  • Rob.At the risk of upsetting a number of valued commenters to this site,when will it become obvious that we must start planning for next season in league one.We have a huge target to meet this season in the way of survival with my target of 47 points.46 points will be achieved by either Barnsley or Bolton.It is not rocket science.This team of ours is totally unable to get the wins and I go to the games. They are hugely unprepared to cope with Championship football.We will get two wins and two draws at best. Barnsley play tomorrow and again before us on Saturday.Points difference could be 8,but realistically 6. My serious concern surrounds stability with regard to our manager,who has not openly committed to the media whether he is in for the long term.Am I jumping ahead of myself? No. Season ticket holders will certainly want some assurances for next season before they renew. Next four games Rob are vital I know-trouble is we just cannot be better than our opponents whoever they are.Never have I felt so dreadfully lacking in confidence with this group of players.Vassell next season is the only ray of hope.

  • Dear Ohio,
    As a genuine supporter and valued contributer, there is no way I am going to ‘diss’ you in this hour of need – when the supporters genuinely need to be united, vocal and most of all, turning up.
    Let me do it like this (my opinions only).
    1. If you are pinning all your hopes on Vassell then I genuinely worry for you. He could be anything. Unproven above tier 4 and we have seen him only fleetingly. Seriously.
    2. If we go down and GM leaves (due to some secret clause) then we are simply better off without him. Really. We need people who are committed to the club before we even start to consider ‘long term’ and/or ‘stability’.
    3. What if we stay up and a Premier club poaches GM? Same answer as point 2.
    4. We HAVE enough fire power to stay up. GM has said this (in fact his number one reason for coming to Blues). SC said it. HR said it. Other ‘experts’ have said it. We have seen it ourselves (that run during January – plus we have scored 3 goals in the last 3 games). I do not doubt it.
    5. We need to stop sloppily, shockingly giving away goals that even schoolboys should be ashamed of. If we can do that IMMEDIATELY (starting Saturday) and things click up front, then I believe our chances are 60% or better. At the moment our chances are NIL because we need to score 3 simply just to get a draw.
    6. Bring in Kuszczack. Both he and Dean need to bloody COMMAND the defence and we need an ‘over my dead body’ attitude at the back + holding midfield. Left back is an area that worries me. I would love to see Colin back there, but we have no right back option (this is what I mean, BS1980). That imbalance (we have FOUR possible right backs fit and ready and no left backs) is due to the shocking transfer dealings we had in August and did not have in January. You could count Bramall as a LB but I don’t. Seems we recruited to play 5-3-2 (when you analyse it). Anyway, there is nothing anyone can do about that right now. Too many changes are not good anyway, let’s just start with Kuszczak.
    Ohio, we have simply got to get behind them. And just hope. Away support is majestic, we need a fortress St. Andrews.

  • Left back is an area that worries me. I would love to see Colin back there, but we have no right back options

    Should of course read

    Left back is an area that worries me. I would love to see Colin back at right back, but we have no left back options

    Jeez, I sounded like Barry Fry there.

  • OnTilt,you have put together good points and reasoned thoughts.It is perhaps my fault that I haven?t been able to accept our current playing squad and their limitations.Since watching my first blues game decades ago,experiencing the old third tier relegation and through the better times with Francis,Bruce etc.we as a club have always had grit albeit at times poor quality of players.We have ground out results,we have defied the odds on many occasions,but this time around I do not see the grit,the never say die attitude and the belief . When people see hope with this team,I don?t.When forecast of wins etc to stay up,I don?t.My problem for sure and I admire those who see a bit of light.These players haven?t shown any bottle all season with defeats to the poorest of sides,many with meagre resources.Our team currently has two battlers in Davis and Keifenbeld,followed by Colin and Dean who are decent,leaving a big whole in what I call desire. Yes,the whole team does try but reality is that they are not equipped to battle against relegation. Home games against Millwall and Barnsley proved that. Bolton are equipped big time,with passion and drive but little skill.However,as i recently commented,I look forward to the return of Vassell,who did get me on the edge of my seat earlier in the season.Sad maybe,but that?s the only bit of joy I can recall this term.

  • Ohio. You can write what you want. You won’t be upsetting me because I have decided to stop reading your posts. That is the best option for all concerned. I get no pleasure from ‘dissing’ anyone, but after reading your many negative posts over the course of this season, and not just the last couple of weeks, I have basically had enough. Admittedly during SC’s reign I didn’t have many positive things to say about him. However, you have been negative about every manager, every player and of course the owners all season long. I value peoples opinions but when someone keeps blaming the manager, then the players, then the owners, before repeating themselves week after week it eventually takes its toll……I have nothing against you personally, it’s the constant pessimistic writing style I find difficult, but that’s just me.

  • BS is absolutely right about my continual negative comments.Can anyone give me any positives that I may have missed this season.?

  • Yup. Garry Monk, Pep Clotet, James Beattie, Isaac Vassel (I nominated that one on your behalf), Kieftenbeld’s paper work getting screwed up at the last minute, having my brother once serve my lunch in the Jasper Carrot Suite, finally getting over the Rowett hangover, the brotherhood and humour at most away games, Under-18’s into the SF against Chelsea, still to come: Vile missing out on promotion, Blues staying up last day with 90th minute goal from Jota, looking forward to better times starting next season.

  • With the emphasis purely on wins now,it makes Garry Monks job much easier.He can concentrate on getting his trusted sidekick James Beattie to use Wast Hills for target practice for Gallagher,Adams,Boga and Maghoma.Forget midfield plans-just get the ball up to the opposition penalty area regularly.Beattie was more than decent,so my trust is with him.

  • It has been a long time since I have been inspired by much that has come out of our club-that is until today.That which I am referring to is the excellent article by James Beattie.I really urge fellow bluenoses to read it.By my own admission I have been very critical of this seasons calamitous goings on with players,managers and the owners,desperately seeking some light.This article for me has a subliminal message which I read of hope,not just the forthcoming nine games. As stated,it is worth reading his vision for the future.

  • If you look at the body language, feel the vibe and listen to the talk coming from GM, Pep and JB – and compare that to what we experienced the previous 5 months, then it is NIGHT AND DAY.

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