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Sheffield United and Middlesbrough away are our next two Championship league games. Not great reading on first glance and understandably so. But pausing for a second and reflecting on recent similar consecutive away games against Preston and West Bromwich Albion, then maybe we should welcome these two fixtures.
Bagging maximum points at Deepdale and the Hawthorns with a paper thin squad was unexpected, confirming yet again the unpredictable nature of the Championship. These next two games, plus the remaining fixtures leading up to the enforced World Cup break, are certainly vital for us with again only a thin looking squad.
Biggest problem of course is the dependence on Scott Hogan and, above all, keeping him injury free. What an unenviable situation for John Eustace. However, goals from others is the obvious answer with Deeney and Jutkiewicz the only other recognised helpers to see us through until the next transfer window. Easier said than done I readily admit.
Returning players Gardner, Placheta and Roberts should allow for a more solid base and, with fingers crossed, another decent ten game run. Remaining unfazed is the only way this season is going to pan out, as takeover talk and all that goes with it will not help the players win games. Reality is the ‘here and now’ and that we battle on regardless, with hopefully better times ahead should we get our prospective new owners rubber stamped.
John Eustace has his work cut out getting to the necessary target of points needed for survival, and should he succeed in guiding Blues through this season then job well done. The October fixtures certainly look difficult, but with the confidence gained by the recent away results then this Blues squad could well surprise. No predictions from me, but whatever happens from now until the November break my hope is that all concentration is focused on pitch matters and not off-field developments which, at the moment, only create confusion and uncertainty.
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