Struggling Blues in for stern Boro test
On the back of a fifth straight defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Birmingham City are in danger. They can take some heart from their second half performance which was, at least, spirited.
Steve Cotterill paid the ultimate price for his failure to drag Blues out of the bottom three.
His successor, Garry Monk, will be champing at the bit for his first game in charge which happens to be against his former club Middlesboro.
If new manager syndrome is a real thing, I hope Blues get a severe diagnosis of it. Still languishing in the danger zone having played a game more than most of their rivals, they need the points desperately.
But Boro are no mugs. Tony Pulis took over from Monk on Boxing Day with the team sitting just three points off the play-offs. Pulis' 13 matches in charge have produced six wins leaving the Teesiders in 7th, two points off the pace.
For all of the 'boring' analogies thrown Pulis' way, he is getting results. Boro have picked up seven points from the last nine available, scoring nine goals. By comparison, Blues have lost their last five games 12-1 on aggregate.
With a trip to Cardiff City on the hirizon this weekend, Blues could really do with a home success.
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