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By Darren Porter
Last updated : 16 November 2006

So have you sent your letters of apology yet to the pro Bruce campaigners? No? Quite frankly I don't see why anyone should have any feelings of guilt or regret over their outpourings of dissatisfaction at the management of the Blues over recent times.

The last few weeks have been excellent and nothing can take that away. The points are safely banked and the season once again has an element of promise. Is any of that down to the revolting peasants? I think it possibly is. It was and always will be vital for the fans to voice their opinion of the current state of affairs. If something is wrong and you are not happy then say so. Don't wait for it to get worse. If it improves then there is no need to gloat and no need to feel remorse for your earlier anger. We are all kicking in the same direction (except at half time when we change ends) and want the same for our club, the difference is the levels of toleration and ambition.

The mastering of the one nil away win is not such a bad thing. It served the famous Arsenal team well for many years and reaped many rewards. A few weeks ago such victories against Derby, Coventry and Plymouth would have been unthinkable. All are regarded as teams who are comfortable on their own ground, tough to break down and are run by ex players renowned for effort and workrate rather than panache. They have built teams in their image and not many teams will come away from those stadiums with all the points.

Bruce and the boys deserve the plaudits for such an achievement just as much as they deserve the disgruntlement for games such as the Norwich one. This is how it is and how it should be. If we win we should celebrate and if we lose we should be downcast and launching our own investigation into what went wrong. We do it, Manchester United fans do it, Milton Keynes Dons fans do it. Of course the difference these days is that everyone can make their thoughts available to everyone else (computer willing). What was the chances of letting the manager know your feelings twenty years ago? The only mode of protest was combined singing at matches but in light of the polarisation of fans regarding Bruce this would have been difficult, if not impossible, to choreograph.

The victory at Plymouth was pleasing in its ugliness. Derby was desperate, Coventry was chaotic and Plymouth was plodding. There is nothing wrong with scoring ugly on a trip to a strange town. Sometimes the addition of alcohol can help.

The last four wins have seen winning goals by Clemence, McSheffchenko, Bendtner and Jaid. Previously we have all bemoaned the lack of goals and the reliance on the lone striker to bail us out of the famine. A policy that failed miserably especially when it relied on Heskey and Pandiani. Cardiff are depending upon the prolific Chopra and Preston have Nugent. We await their fate when these two go missing for a length of time. The gap at the top has been concertinaed and the two home matches on the trot will be vital.

Cast aside your pro and anti stances and instead amalgamate with the common cause. The Blues are on a roll and the success promotes success. The players look like they are enthusiastic and enjoying playing for the Blues as opposed to dreading walking out in front of us. This is a time to see how far we can force the team on to keep up the standards they are setting. Bruce and his merry men have broken up the black cloud of desperation that followed them around and now there is a chink of sunlight brightening up Wast Hills, St Andrew's and just about everywhere else we go.

We owe Barnsley. Remember when they spanked us in the first leg of the play offs? Spare tickets for the away leg were used as confetti for when the teams emerged. It wasn't good. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Time may have elapsed but the hurt of those play off defeats still chokes, Barnsley, Watford, Preston, …..

Hopefully none of us will read too much into the Liverpool game. If anything it exorcised some ghosts of that awful night and allowed some of the fringe players to put a case forward for their inclusion in the current league winning team. Larsson looked lively, Nafti seemed comfortable but offered little going forward, Jerome and DJ had nothing to work with and may well end up benched and Julian Gray …

Keep right on. Remembrance Sunday is upon us. Take time to think of those brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. Wear your poppy with pride.

Birmingham City Match Reports

Sky Bet Championship Wed 22nd November 19:45

Middlesbrough 2 - 0 Birmingham City

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