Date: 13th January 2017 at 9:34am
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After the encouragement of last weekend’s FA Cup performance against Newcastle United, it’s back to bread and butter football in the Championship. Nottingham Forest arrive at St. Andrews in their own state of disarray.

Their manager, Philippe Montanier, is hugely unpopular with the fans and their owners have put a halt to virtually everything while they try to offload the club. Apparently, their pending takeover is just days away which has at least offered their fans hope.

There’s a strange feeling surrounding St.¬† Andrews too as Blues approach the game. Admiration for the style of play Gianfranco Zola is trying to adopt is there in abundance but frustration over recent results still lingers. Zola needs a win desperately.

On paper, Forest represent a fantastic opportunity for Blues to take three points for the first time in the new reign. Yet as we know better than most, football doesn’t work like that. Mentality has a lot to do with the outcome, as does patience. If Blues go a goal down, heads must not drop. If they do, there’s only one possible winner. Blues must have belief against a Forest team who have only kept one clean sheet all season.

The Newcastle game has given Zola food for thought. The 4-3-3 formation worked well. Diego Fabbrini must be in his thinking after a bright and buzzy performance. But it now seems that he may be departing rather than making a first team spot his own. Maikel Kieftenbeld, who had been poor in the previous four games, may have forced his way back into contention after a solid display. Then there’s the small matter of the prodigal son returning home. He will more than likely take a place on the bench.

Seven points stand between  Blues and the play-offs which, with 21 games remaining, is surmountable. However, results must improve if Blues stand any chance of making the end of season lottery.

As always, Keep Right On.

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