SkyDaz Plymouth Preview

Last updated : 09 November 2006 By Darren Porter

Last week's jovial rambling brought a smidgeon of criticism that my stance was anti Bruce. Especially in light of recent results let's just be clear on something. I'm not anti- Bruce, I'm not pro-Bruce either. I'm pro-Birmingham City and if I think we are playing crap then that's what is said. If we are playing well then that will be stated also. Having an opinion either way does not make me or any of my fellow supporters any more or less a Blues fan than the next guy whose opinion is juxtaposed.

I cannot subscribe to the ‘let's lose a game to jeopardise Bruce's job' theory. I don't care who manages our team, whether it's Steve Bruce, Steve Austin or Steve Davis. It's the Blues I care about and if the current occupant is not earning the vast wages then it is only fair to declare that opinion. I cannot believe that anyone, Bruce included, thinks he deserved to retain his job after relegation. Bruce believes, and so do/ did the board, that he is the best man, or woman, to lead the Blues back to the Premier League. Fair play to him/ them, I really really hope he/ they are right.

If according to the media Bruce is one defeat away from the sack and he retains his job then we will be crowned Champions by about February. That is basic maths and I haven't even started on the sum of the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the two adjacent sides.

Perhaps ladies and gents the hullabaloo of the supposed witchhunt by the media and the internet warriors has had the desired effect and the people responsible, i.e. Bruce and the players, have been made clearly aware that the Blues fans will not accept the poor performances that have dogged the last two years and that we expect far more entertainment and more victories in return for the cash proffered by both the rich owners and long suffering supporters.

Since losing to Norwich in Bruce's potentially last but one game in charge he has dragged the players kicking and screaming into providing the performances we have been demanding for two years. A gritty away win at Derby, a flowing action packed victory at Sheffield United and two further derby wins. That's three Derby wins. A hat trick.

Two week's ago everyone on the planet had West Brom as automatic promotion candidates and most Blues fans were of the opinion that if we were one place behind then that would be good enough. How about now? Ok West Brom created chances but so did Coventry. Teams are going to do that, it's called football.

We rode our luck and Brucie has deserved a break. It's no fun being criticised when you are doing your best. Maybe that is part of the problem though. As fans we could see Bruce working with some extraordinary talent but achieving little and were concerned that his best had reached a limit with the talent at his disposal and wondered if a new manager could inspire more.

The players certainly showed a passion at Coventry I haven't seen for a long time. The tackling by the likes of Muamba and Sadler was ferocious, you could hear the crunch all round the Ricoh. McSheffrey and Danns worked hard on the wings but at times seemed to be trying too hard. Danns was trying to impress Bruce and McSheffchenko was trying to impress everyone.

Clemence ran his heart out and the other boys deserve praise as well for a very important away win. The chances towards the end of the games when the match was spread were prolific and just about everyone had a go. Jerome should have passed and shot and then should have shot and passed instead. Bendtner watched all this and decided his best policy was to just keep the ball to himself and score the Henry-esque solo wonder goal. Between them they kept us all on tenterhooks with a thrilling finale and if anyone thinks Coventry deserved a goal from their ten minutes of pressure then we deserved two or three. The result was fair even if the scoreline was not.

The trip there was a nightmare (how appropriate for Halloween!) and the trip home was equally as bad. It was worth it though to hear over five thousand Blues fans revelling in an away win. There is something magical about winning away and driving home with a smug grin. It made the delays worthwhile and despite our selfish desire to get to the game and home again some thoughts should go out to the people and their families whose night was saddened by the plethora of accidents that dogged the M6. It makes our footballing woes trivial.

So well done Steve Bruce. Three league wins do not wipe out the previous abysmal two years but it is important in life to worry about the things you can still influence rather than mope about the past which cannot be undone. Motto for life there.

Generous estimates would have taken four points out of the last three games with two of them being away from home. Maximum points is a great achievement and is a building block for the rest of the season. One disturbing aspect is still the lack of goals. We have not managed more than two goals in a league game yet. The problem is that when you only score one you are always vulnerable to a late equaliser. Oh well if we win every game one nil I know for a fact we will all be very happy little blue noses.

Keep right on. Spare a thought for Pearcy from the Singingtheblues website. Whilst walking back to his car after the Coventry game some pondlife whacked him from behind and ran off. It is possible due to the fact no one wears colours any more that this deed was done by a Blues fan. Either way an innocent guy has a broken cheekbone and faces a painful operation simply because he went to a football match. Sometimes I despair.