Burton Albion thoughts and a look ahead to five cup finalsLeave a comment
April 9, 2018 by Kane Styles.
Garry Monk’s Birmingham City resurgence continued on Saturday, where Blues stretched their unbeaten run to four league games.
Lukas Jutkiewicz’ 87th minute header handed Blues a point, that’s two in two for the striker. With the amount of chances Blues had, it really should have been three.
Lukas Jutkiewicz equalises for Birmingham City – credit; BurtonMail.
Early in the first half, Blues should have found themselves in the lead. The linesman deemed Jeremie Boga’s finish offside, after the referee had played an advantage when Jota was brought down on the edge of the 18-yard-box. It was a pivotal moment, chance after chance went begging and of course, in typical Blues fashion, Lloyd Dyer gave Burton the lead early in the second-half.
Despite dropping two points, there was positives in bucketloads. Blues lacked ruthlessness in front of goal and on another day, they could have won that game convincingly. Creativity however, came in abundance. Jota and Maghoma in particular stood out, both showing signs of craft with the latter causing Burton problems all afternoon. Jacques Maghoma is a serious contender for Birmingham City’s player of the season, and rightly so.
Although Blues have looked a transformed side under Monk, and have managed to steer three points clear of the relegation zone under his management, the job is far from done. Bristol City, Wolves, Sheffield United, QPR and Fulham are all stood in Blues’ path to survival. It’s not going to be easy by any means, but Blues’ renewed desire and togetherness is enough to make Bluenoses believe again.
Bristol City have tailed off over the last couple of months, they find themselves four points outside of the play-offs and without a win in three. Tomorrow is enormous for the Robins, they will be going into the game knowing that three points will keep their promotion dream alive. In the reverse fixture, Blues came out on top winning 2-1 under Harry Redknapp in August.
Sam Gallagher and Jonathan Grounds could both feature depending on whether Monk wants to throw them in at this stage of their recoveries. However, servicing his second game of this three game ban, Che Adams will miss out and will be available for the Sheffield United game at St. Andrews.
Next Sunday is huge, Blues travel to Molineux in what could be Wolves’ promotion-winning day. How Blues would love to postpone Wolves’ inevitable promotion and boost their own survival hopes. If last season’s trip to Wolverhampton is anything to go by, it could be a memorable one for Blues.
Once the derby is out of the way, Blues host Sheffield United. The visitors still have a chance of reaching the play offs.
The penultimate game of the season is at Loftus Road, where Blues face QPR. Ian Holloway’s side have little to play for, fingers crossed the R’s will already be picturing themselves on a sunny beach by the time Blues visit West London.
The final game comes against Fulham, a team that is only two points away from the automatic promotion places. They have been the stand-out side since January and will be hopeful that they can return to the premier league this campaign.
It’s a difficult run-in, but given Blues’ resurrection, it’s a challenge they can overcome. It’s in our own hands.