BCFC: Keep the Faith

A 1-0 defeat to Leeds United on Saturday meant that Blues lie 12th in the Championship, nine points behind leaders West Bromwich Albion and five points behind sixth-placed Preston. With about a quarter of the season now gone, the big question is if Blues can mount the promotion push desired by the club’s owners.

St Andrew's taken 26 December 2018

While it’s still very early days in the Championship, the table shows that there could be an almighty dogfight for promotion.

Only three points separate Leeds United from Bristol City in ninth, with no team showing any early signs of running away with the division.

While Blues are a little bit further behind, it’s absolutely impossible to rule out anything at this early stage.

What worries me is that the owners in their impatience are going to look at the table and worry that Blues are not setting the early pace.

I’d agree that some of the performances in the early part of the season left a lot to be desired.

However, I think things are starting to settle down now and Blues have proved in the Boro game at least that they have the wherewithal to play well.

What is more pleasing, is that Blues are playing well with a host of young players in the side.

Summer signings Ivan Šunjić, Fran Villalba and Dan Crowley have all become fixtures in midfield while academy products Jude Bellingham and Odin Bailey have made their names known already with winning goals in front of the Tilton.

There are also academy products on the periphery of the first team ready to come in to do a job in Wes Harding, Steve Seddon and defender Geraldo Bajrami.

While I’d always argue that Blues should aim for promotion and try to win every game, I think that it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater either.

It’s been a tumultuous existence since Blues dropped out of the Premier League in 2011 and it doesn’t ever feel like there has been a longer term plan for how the team will develop.

While some might still question the board’s decision to dispense with the services of Garry Monk in the summer, it does seem clear that the aim to build a younger squad is coming to fruition.

As much as I do want to see Blues up to the Premier League, I’d rather we went up in a position where we wouldn’t be looking at immediately coming back down again.

It’s my opinion that to do that it’s important to build a squad that is not only talented but has room for growth in the top flight.

With so many gifted younger players now at Blues, I can see that possibility slowly emerging.

There will always be setbacks like the Leeds game. Players will make individual mistakes that cause points to be dropped.

I just hope that the club’s owners learn from past seasons and don’t decide to rip it up all again if Blues don’t immediately bounce back up the table.

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