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Sully: Keeping Bruce & axing flops

Media-friendly supremo David Sullivan has, for what seems like the twentieth time this season, publicly backed Steve Bruce to pull Blues away from relegation.

Despite a 'temporary' two-year 'blip' in form, Sullivan has promised no 'knee-jerk reactions' when it comes to our current predicament.

Sullivan told the Birmingham Mail: 'From the board's point of view, we do not feel there is need for any knee-jerk reactions. That doesn't solve any problems at all. We believe in loyalty, stability, not changing managers.

'If you look at the bulk of clubs in our position who do change managers, they still usually get relegated, like Southampton did last season. I know West Brom didn't, but they survived on the last day and were very, very lucky.'

Meanwhile, he has also told the same newspaper that he wants Blues fans to show up to Saturday's home fixture with Fulham and back the team:

'Our form at St Andrew's is appalling, it's beyond our worst fears,' he said. 'I came away from the game the other night absolutely poleaxed, just like our fans.

'All of the board urge them to turn up on Saturday and make some noise - and believe me, they can make a difference.

'We had 6,000 empty seats on Monday. If we can fill those spaces, make some noise and show some passion in the stands, hopefully that will transfer to the team.'

This writer is not entirely sure why professional football (if that's what you call what's been played at St. Andrews recently) players on tens of thousands of pounds a week and facing a relegation crisis should need a crowd continuously singing to instil passion in them.

After all, it is well known that each players has his own motivation. If pulling on the shirt is not enough, then the players should remember that us, the fans, are shelling out sizeable percentages of our comparatively miniscule salaries to pay their wages - wages which will receive a substantial cut should we get relegated, whether or not they are sold on.

But if making more noise is what is needed, then I for one will be down there making as much noise as is possible, and I urge you to join me. None of us want to see this club back in the second tier again. If we get relegated, many of the players we currently have will have to be sold on, and we will be back at square one. Of the three relegated teams last season, none are certainties to bounce back.

If you need to be inspired by the team's passion on the pitch, then Sullivan has promised changes for Saturday's match:

'I have spoken to the manager and there will be changes on Saturday. Those who didn't show passion on the pitch against West Ham won't be picked.

'We know we've had no luck with injuries, yet you have to make do the best you can. And we know that we're not taking our chances.

'But there were other things on Monday that were alarming and they will be addressed. I could say a lot more, but I won't. It's better not to.

'This is the time now to all pull together for the best of the club because we need results badly. Everyone must be as one, from the board down to the manager, players and, not least of all, the fans.'

This certainly means Julian Gray will be out, likely to be followed slowly and with a lack of enthusiasm by Jermaine Pennant. They look set to be replaced by Stan Lazaridis and Damien Johnson respectively.

With these two back in the side, and with a must-win game against a side that haven't won away yet this season, the team will be up for it.

The question is: will you?

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 8 2005

Time: 8:21PM


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