Andy Munro on the end of a rollercoaster week for Blues.
Just as Blues fans were getting their hopes up that the Great Revival was on its way and we were on a run, it seems to have been more of a short jog as the wheels came off at Reading. To be fair, Blues were playing a team who last season were playing in the Premier League and weren’t asset-stripped playerwise on their relegation.
Unfortunately it shows that there is still a long way to go before we reach the heady heights of play -off territory. Lee Clark couldn’t be blamed for what seemed like sensible changes. Bringing in Murphy after last week’s performance against Wednesday appeared sensible, although it seems fairly obvious he is displaying the footballing equivalent of ring rust. Keeping Reilly in to provide an ‘on paper’ feisty and energetic centre of midfield also seemed a good move to balance the wingbacks and Burke playing together. Bringing back Jesse ‘four goal’ Lingard also seemed an obvious move.
But, as most Bluenoses well know, when the weather seems set fair it tends to pour with rain. Lee Clark felt that we just lacked the killer touch in the final quarter. The stats probably bear that out with Blues having substantially more shots overall albeit off target. Having said that, one only has to look at the Premier League to see that the difference is in the quality of finishing. And having said THAT, with players such as Burke, Caddis and Murphy responsible for final delivery with Lingard (and latterly Ziggy) there to receive, it oughtn’t be a problem but for some reason we didn’t get it right. I think most Bluenoses understand that we are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but that doesn’t prevent an air of frustration particularly when hopes are buoyed by the sort of performance that we turned in against Swansea.
In the final analysis, I still have confidence in Blues’ ability to sneak into a lower mid-table position which I think will be a major achievement for a team of freebies and loanees. Will it be enough to give us a ten point cushion from what looks increasingly like an administration scenario? That I very much doubt.