The game between Rotherham and Blues will be one for all clichés; no doubt there will be pundits calling it a “relegation six-pointer” or a “must-win game” and for Rotherham that’s probably true. However, It’s not quite the same for Blues.
Three home wins a row under Lee Bowyer has elevated Blues into a position of relatively safely, with Huddersfield Town and Derby County occupying positions beneath them in the table.
A win against Rotherham would all but guarantee Blues Championship football for another season; defeat on the other hand will make things a bit squeaky but wouldn’t condemn the club to relegation just yet.
While that would appear to confirm the game against Rotherham as a “must-not-lose game”, I really hope the team do not go into the game with that mentality. One of the most refreshing things about Blues of late has been the team going into each game with the belief that they can win, and that really has to continue.
Similarly, while it’s almost natural for us as fans to nervously watch the games around Blues hoping for the right results, I hope that the team don’t do that.
The only games the players can affect are the ones that they are playing, and they have shown in the last five games that they can put pressure on teams, score goals and win games.
In some ways, while the Reading game wasn’t that pleasing on the eye it showed what is most important for the club right now; the ability to grind out positive results.
If the players can continue to do that for the next five games, then we have the summer to think about how Bowyer can make them play sexier football and continue winning; and let’s face it, it would be much nicer to have those thoughts about Championship football than playing in League One.
I am hopeful that the current positive thread of results has proved somewhat that Blues do have the players to play better than the league table is showing. I know that there is this almost innate need from some fans to want to rip up the team and start again each summer, but I really do think that Blues have to stop doing that.
Wihle the Karanka three season plan turned out to be just autumn, winter and spring, I do think Blues would be better served by thinking of longer-term goals.
A win against Rotherham on Sunday can help ensure that the club can start planning for the new season with some degree of certainty. As much as we seem to love a bit of last day drama, I’m really hoping we can avoid it this year.