UEFA Place…slipped away?

Last updated : 26 April 2004 By Leigh Whitehouse
How disappointing? It really is, Blues had the opportunity to achieve a lot in one game - and that was on Saturday against our local rivals, Wolves.

Blues could have (a) Revitalised their European hopes & (b) virtually put Wolves back into Nationwide division one. We did neither - don't get me wrong, Blues played very well, but after going into the changing room at half time 2-1 ahead, they thought they had wrapped up the points - this showed in their effortless first 20 minutes play of the second half, Blues were far too casual. They sat back as if they had won.

Then as soon as Wolves started coming back into the game, with a goal to help them - Blues started trying again, but it was too late and don't we know it!

Stan Lazaridis who was struggling after his first game back in two weeks, and was replaced by new "free transfer" man Mr Bryan Hughes, who did nothing - well…apart from giving the ball away, and holding the ball for far too long, which in one case ruled Mikael Forssell's goal offside, because Clinton Morrison had waited for the pass from Hughes for literally 40 seconds, but found Hughes' pass to him clearly offside.

Hughes then had a perfect opportunity to wrap the game up, and give us the extra two points that we deserved, Paul Jones couldn't hold onto a ball, he was off his line, it fell to Hughes nd he hit a rather weak shot right into the hand of Paul Jones - who was around 3 or 4 yards off his line. That means Hughes has cost us 4 points in two games; the spooned last minute chance at the Valley last week, and the missed, perfect opportunity towards the closing stages of the game on Saturday. If he had scored both of those chances we would be level with the Villa now, not 4 points behind them. But lets not reflect too much on the past.

So currently we sit 9th, level on points with Fulham & Carlton, 4 points behind Villa, and 5 behind Liverpool & Newcastle (Newcastle with a game in hand). It now seems highly unlikely that we will get a champions leaguespot , but at a push we COULD get a UEFA Cup spot - ideally to achieve this we need to win our remaining three games against: -

Arsenal (A)
Liverpool (H)

Blackburn (A)

…which will be extremely difficult - but far from impossible!

Blues now seriously need to try and pick as many points up from the last three games (9 if possible) to see us with a chance of grabbing that very much-wanted UEFA Cup spot.

Keep Right On, Leigh.

Leigh Whitehouse is a die hard, 16 year-old Birmingham City season ticket holder who is currently studying English & Media (A-Level) at college.

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