A second dose of Bazza for the week!!
Well it’s down to the wire as our manager has long said would be the case. It is of course dispiriting that having had the prize in our own hands with only twenty or so minutes to go only to have it so cruelly snatched away by two of the best goals we are likely to see at St Andrews for some time to come.
Last evening I sat through the Norwich Reading game in the expectation that the Canaries would put up a rousing performance in front of their own fans purely on the grounds that it was a shit or bust moment for them given their parlous state in the bottom three. They play neat, slick football on their own beautifully manicured pitch and have the capability to trouble anyone. They had not lost in Norfolk to any of the top six all season so I was guardedly optimistic. Sadly they played all their football in front of Reading and never turned Duberry and Bikey who don’t look so clever when facing their own goal. Reading were given far too comfortable a night and when the inevitable chance for Reading came they took it and Norwich capitulated to an easy 2 – 0 defeat. They are probably going down I’m afraid which is a pity since I think they are better value than Barnsley but the Tykes have three more points and possession is nine tenths isn’t it? This brings me neatly on to our own situation:
1. We are in possession of an extra point over Sheffield United and three over Reading.
2. The default position has not changed.
The assumption has to be that Sheffield United are going to win at Crystal Palace. They may not of course but the basic assumption that they will has to be taken as granted. Therefore nothing has changed; Birmingham have to set up to win the game. There is nothing to lose; we have to win at Reading. They for their part have the same objective. They have to attack us and this could play into our hands. We have been better this season at picking teams off away from home than we have been at St Andrews when the onus has been on us to take the game to the opposition e.g. the demolition job we did on teams like Bristol and Doncaster and the mugging of Swansea. In the final analysis, it is Reading, not us who have it all to do; it could just be their undoing. There is always the scenario that Sheffield United won’t win at Palace and the games end up as two draws. Either way, Blues go up. Out of the three teams involved, Sheffield and Reading are dependent on our fate. Sure Reading can go up automatically if they beat us but they are nevertheless dependent on Sheffield also faltering.
Let’s lock horns and may the best prevail. I still believe it to be us. Reading are not a great team. They didn’t need to be to beat an inferior Norwich last night and a simply dreadful Blues at St Andrews earlier in the season. I do not believe we will defend that badly again.