From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Looking ahead: Birmingham/Wigan

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Two losses in London for Blues has slightly dampened the spirits of Blues fans, but there is little reason to be downhearted.

Our record in London is season is pretty terrible, and two losses on the road has disheartened some Blues fans and left them wondering whether our run was simply lucky and now we are back to normal service.

There is no need to panic though. When a team has done so well in a season, its easy to be knocked down when we have these losses. There is no shame in losing to Fulham, who have assembled a very good squad and who themselves are having a good season, and still within a shout of pushing for that fourth place position.

It’s easy to lament the performance when you’ve lost, but there is nothing we can do about that result now. It’s a case of the lads picking themselves up, dusting themselves down and placing all the focus on the home soil against Wigan this weekend.

Both teams go into the match of the backs off losses, so the need for points should make the match a highly contested affair. Wigan are placed second from bottom in the form table, picking up just 3 points from their last 6 matches and placed a precarious 2 points above the relegation places. Another loss for Wigan would really place them in a crisis and leave them thick in the relegation battle which at the minute includes 7 clubs.

A win for Blues should steady the ship and leave us on that crucial 40 point marker. A win at the weekend would lift the home fans spirits and would allow the team to focus on securing as high a position in the table as possible. A loss would leave us wondering what’s happened to the squad that’s had all the merits placed upon them.

Wigan’s goal difference is poor, and we need to take full advantage of this. This should be a great opportunity for Jerome to terrorise the defence and attempt to add to his goal scoring record, which has been patchy this season. Although his general contributions are good, he definitely needs to start scoring more before the summer when McLeish will be casting his net out to try and find a guaranteed goal scorer.

One of the key decisions for McLeish this week is whether he stays with the combination of McFadden and Jerome upfront, or whether he moves Benitez back into the starting eleven. Personally? The team should stay the same. At the start of the season, Benitez was brought off the bench as an impact player who could possibly change the game, and this is the role he could fulfil at the weekend.

With a little flair upfront, Blues should hopefully go back to their winning ways. A 2-1 win at home should quieten the naysayer’s and remind them of how far we’ve come this season.


Originally written for Mirror Football

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Written by Nicole Carroll

February 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm

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