Date:Thursday April 19 2007
After the disappointment of the Easter weekend, Blues fans far and wide heaved a collective sigh of relief at a maximum points haul from the games against Southampton and Leicester.
Two players have between them given the team a cutting edge.
Stephen Clemence is something of a Birmingham stalwart, having been at the club since January 2003. Since then he has been in and out of the team, but has figured heavily this season.
Blues have lost only four of the games he has taken part in this season and one of the best midfield pairings they have produced this year features Clemence and Muamba, who has grown in stature under the mentorship of a senior player.
Although Clemence is mostly a holding midfielder, he doesn't stick solely to this role and does get into the penalty box and score the odd (usually very important) goal.
He is a good leader in this part of the pitch and is vocal, constantly urging on and directing the players around him. With Damien Johnson out until possibly the last game of the season, his contribution could be vital.
For many supporters, Clemence is player of the season, even ahead of goal provider McSheffrey.
Further up the pitch, Andy Cole is proving to be a better signing than many gave him credit for. There was widespread scepticism when his loan deal was announced, particularly when his first steps seemed to be towards the treatment room. Was this to be another Chris Sutton scenario?
As Cole came through 90 minutes unscathed on Tuesday night, (albeit exhausted by the end), the fans have now had a good opportunity to see the skill and guile of the man who is the Premiership's second highest ever scorer.
Bruce ex-Man Utd team-mate has experience in spadefuls. He has lost a smidgin of pace but has more than enough expertise to make up for this. He has spent his time snapping at Bendtner's heels and directing his game, resulting in a couple of excellent performances for the Dane and a sublime goal.
Cole has provided two goals in two games and is obviously itching to get on the scoresheet for himself. His eye for the game is superb and he has lost none of his touch and control. The cohesion he provides to the front row could be the difference that Birmingham have been lacking.
In what could be one of the hottest finishes to the Championship for years, Blues fans are hoping that Clemence and Cole are the missing link to glory.
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|3. Derby County||18||10||6||2||15||36|
|4. Hull City||18||10||5||3||16||35|
|8. Sheff Wed||18||7||7||4||3||28|
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