True Blue - Rowett faced with a new Blues challenge - The Redditch Standard

True Blue - Rowett faced with a new Blues challenge

Redditch Editorial 11th Feb, 2015 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016   0

THE FIRST rumblings of unhappiness at the Rowett Revolution emerged at St Andrew’s on Tuesday night after Birmingham City fell 1-0 to Millwall in a drab encounter.

Gone was the fast-flowing counter-attacking football the fans had been growing accustomed to, replaced by slow ponderous passes that found the opposition more often than a team-mate.

The honeymoon period was never going to last forever and, with the transfer window out of the way, Gary Rowett now has the challenge of lifting Birmingham City again with the players he has, along with any additions he can scrape together in the emergency loan window.

With the initial euphoria dying down, the real grind has begun and, as has happened in the past, Blues have struggled against a team that has shut up shop on arrival at St Andrew’s.

Space was limited for the front four and, with the midfield two stifled in possession, Blues couldn’t create the opportunities to unlock the Millwall defence at any frequency.

Yet it is not a time for pessimism. Blues have enough points on the board to almost guarantee they won’t be in the relegation mixer come the end of the season – barring a major collapse between now and then – something that at the start of the season looked almost impossible.

As much as it’s enjoyable being on the rollercoaster as a Blues fan, it will be nice to end a season knowing which division we are going to start the next one in before the last game – and for the backroom staff it will mean they can plan in advance now rather than in three months’ time.

As the games start to run out my biggest hope is that Rowett will now start to experiment. Tactical and team consistency are both great things but, with virtually nothing to play for, I believe now would be the time to look at some of the younger players to see if they can make the step up.

Not only would it give Blues chance to try out some new blood, but it could keep those in the first team on their toes and unsure that their place is guaranteed – which should help motivate them to play a little better every single game.

And, of course, if players continue to give their all it should ensure Blues hold their place in upper mid-table – meaning everyone is a winner.

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