‘Third time unlucky, third time unlucky, third time unlucky’ was what I kept muttering to myself as frantically sprinted to St. Andrew’s having missed my earlier train.
It was destined to be one of those days. Blues, in pole position to beat the drop going into a survival Sunday showdown, pitting their wits against the Championship’s form side.
Garry Monk’s insistence and confidence that we would beat the drop was shared by many prior to the QPR game. However, that loss felt like a turning point and this Survival Sunday would be a step too far.
Little do I know.
Blues played with confidence and quality in the final third of the pitch and a real commitment and fight for the shirt. That’s all the fans ask for.
The scenes of delirium when Harlee Dean scored the second goal were replaced by jangling nerves when Fulham pulled one back.
The pessimist in me was evident until Che Adams finally put the game to bed.
Blues were the better team on the day and it showed. There’s nothing better than hearing a rendition of Keep Right On on a beautiful sunny day like that. The hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
In his post-match interview, Monk said “There’s a lot of big clubs in this league and just because you’re a big club, it doesn’t give you the right to say you can avoid these situations – but it has to change. It has to change, the whole mentality. We have to change the standard of everything and be relentless with it. I can promise everyone that I’ll be relentless with it.”
His interview bodes for an interesting summer ahead. Whilst it’s likely there won’t be as much upheaval as last summer, we could see a fair amount of change as Monk addresses the issues that put Blues in danger and tries to get this club where it needs to be – challenging in the upper echelons of the table.
With the likely departures of several returning loanees, it remains to be seen just how much wiggle room Monk will have in his summer budget.
Being close to the FFP marker will leave the Blues boss having to be clever and effective with the budget. And let’s not forget Isaac Vassel will be returning which will feel like a new signing in itself.
For now, we can raise a glass and toast another near-miss. Here’s hoping next season will see a more competitive Blues.