Southampton – A View From Block 19

3 Mar 2024

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The following article has been written by one of our Trust members.  They are the opinions of that person and not necessarily those of Blues Trust.  Would you like to contribute a discussion point of your own about Birmingham City Football Club?  If so, we would be delighted to hear from you.

If ever there was a time for us to keep the faith, it really arrived after Saturday’s result. It does still amaze me how social media bubbles up with negativity after a match like this. Most fans would have taken a draw at best against a Southampton side with the best away record in the Championship. And smarting from three defeats in four.

The Saints are approaching double the points we have for the season, and this was a free hit for us in my book. We were expected to lose but we went in hope. We had a go, we came up short.

We also suffered from some very poor refereeing decisions. Rather than get drawn into conspiracy theories about the reasoning for his decisions, it was plain to see the ref and his assistants got some big calls wrong. The sending off of Sanderson was a woeful decision. You could argue Bacuna should’ve had a penalty, or at least a free-kick very close to the box, in the second period and after we’d equalised with 10 men.

Frustrating as that was, I don’t think this defeat condemns us. I actually think it should, and will, galvanise us.

We rode our luck at times, we showed tremendous spirit and we were pretty clinical in front of goal. Against teams inferior to Southampton this will serve us well in the run-in if we keep our heads and keep it together as a club. It’s about perspective.

I think we suffered, again, after withdrawing Paik and Dozzell. The work they get through is prodigious. I think this allowed Southampton to pin us in towards the end. However the spirit, desire and application was there for all to see. Let’s praise and recognise that.

Hull away next and they’re by no means unbeatable. Hopefully, what happened on Saturday will add a bit of steel to the desire to get out of this mess. A mess, in my humble opinion, made by the Board and its disastrous fascination with Rooney.

So, we are where we are. We have a top manager and I think Venus is a solid number two. So things are on the mend. I still think we can get 10-12 pts out of March, which I would argue would be enough to stay up. Hull away I think we’ll scrape a draw. Millwall away is winnable and I think we will. Then comes our game in hand, at home to Middlesbrough, which will tell us where we really are. I predict a really exciting night under lights, with a big, vociferous crowd. Watford at home is also winnable, given their inconsistent form and drift out of the play-off picture. Then QPR away. They’re in great form at the moment, but it’s a distinctly winnable match.

As the song goes, we Keep Right On to the End of the Road.  There’s still 25% of that road left this season, so it’s not a time for faint hearts or negativity. It’s a time when the fans should adopt the spirit and commitment the team displayed yesterday, against a very, very good side.

Keep smiling and KRO everyone.

Jez Hemming

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