Date:Friday March 10 2006
The way Steve Bruce is firing up his troops and fans is commendable if a little too late. Late week's tactical cock up against Middlesbrough, his second against them this season, has handed the initiative back to West Brom. Albion now can leave
St Andrews happy with a draw whereas any return from Riverside would have given Blues that edge.
Blues now must win. Blues should be able to sc**pe more points from their remaining fixtures than Albion. That may be as much as seven points if things go wrong tomorrow. So Blues need goals tomorrow as they go into the Premiership's first ‘7 pointer'
Blues and Albion's goal difference is so close that the extra point can be gained in the goal difference. A blank sheet then, is just as important. Latka will return tomorrow but there will be no Upson to help shore up the back line.
28 goals from this season sat for an hour on the bench . They may not all have come in the Premiership this season but the starting XI last week could only muster 12. The only things less mobile than Middlesbrough's back four last week were the corner flags. Blues seemed to aim most of their shots in that direction.
Hopefully at least two from Campbell, Jarosik and Forssell will start. Heskey won the game a fortnight ago and probably lost it last week. Bruce will remain faithful to him and rightfully so. David Dunn's inclusion from the start will give the side a playmaker but without the finishers on the pitch he may as well be kept back until they are introduced.
The St Andrews faithful won't expect to be entertained tomorrow but will be happy if we end up with 1-0, no injuries, or cards. The team and the Management owe the fans, big style and a failure is not an option.
When this annoying relegation battle is won then perhaps the Club can begin to plan to be in the same bracket as Blackburn Bolton or Wigan at least. Another season like this would probably worse than playing next year in the Championship. Being down amongst the deadbeats of the top division is not what 20,000 season ticket holders pay to see. That number could halve what ever division Blues play in next year.
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