As we approach the final three games of the season, Birmingham City can begin to reflect on where it all went wrong. The word ‘promotion’ was whispered seductively in our ears and had us all drooling with anticipation.
Harry Redknapp was absolutely convinced of his ability to ‘build a squad capable of pushing for promotion’. Unfortunately, the board didn’t agree and, after eventually splashing the cash on transfer deadline day, removed the likeable cockney from his position.
Steve Cotterill tried to do the job but, ultimately, failed. Circumstances seemed to contrive against him – the promise of financial backing never materialised and the finger pointing soon commenced.
Garry Monk has the keys now and the feeling within St. Andrews is that he has them for as long as he wants.
Blues are moving in the right direction in a sense. Although relegation remains a real possibility, Monk is squeezing every bit of ability out of the players. Even during defeat, Blues have not been disgraced, there have been no flimsy surrenders.
Cotterill’s notion that nothing would change as ‘it is the same players going out on to the pitch’ has been proved futile. Monk has, at the very least, given Blues a chance of staying in the Championship.
It’s my belief that Blues would be all but relegated already had Cotterill remained.
Should Blues stay up, Monk could be the man to build the foundations, as he claimed was the aim during his unveiling. There is a doubt as to whether the former Leeds and Middlesboro boss would stick around in an attempt to take Blues back out of League One though.
In many ways, the clash against Sheffield United on Saturday could be decisive. Another bumper crowd will be there to cheer the team on and a positive result is a must. Games are running out – it is now do-or-die.