Blues travel up to Yorkshire for their third game in six days to take on fellow strugglers Barnsley.
After defeat in midweek to Brentford, Steve Cotterill is starting to come under a bit of pressure from sections of Blues fans. Another injury added to the seemingly growing list is Maxime Colin who was stretchered off with yet another hamstring injury, its looking like its going to be a long season already.
Cotterill has said he is going shake up his squad for the trip to Oakwell. Harlee Dean, Sam Gallagher and Craig Gardner could start and so could Emilio N’sue.
Barnsley are struggling for form themselves. A win over Burton Albion last time out was there 4 of the season. Before that they drew with Sheffield Wed, lost to hull and drew with Middlesborough.
Owner of the Tykes, Patrick Cryne, is terminally ill and recently wrote a letter to fans. You can read it here. There is lots of talk of a takeover happening which has possibly unsettled their squad a bit.
Our season so far has mostly been what I’ve expected in pre-season. After having our squad dismantled from top to bottom in January and the summer of last season, it was quite a stressful and worrying summer. Would we get the right quality as well as quantity we needed to replace the likes of Conor Hourihane, Sam Winnall, James Bree, Marc Roberts & Marley Watkins etc… was a question on many Reds fans minds.
Many of us knew after bringing in 15 new players this summer it would take time for our new squad to gel, this has seemed to be the case after a very inconsistent start to the season we just can’t seem to pick up a consistent run of wins. In our last 7 games we’ve a record of LDWDLDW which sums up our start to the season basically. However things are starting to look a little more positive with key players returning from long term injury who haven’t featured much yet.
The likes of Andy Yiadom, Cameron McGeehan & Lloyd Isgrove all started against Burton Albion on Tuesday night after returning from injury. I feel this could start to boost our chances of stringing a consistent run of wins together as we now have quite a variety of squad depth to bring off the bench and change round if needed. Hopefully we can start to gain a little consistency and confidence now as we do have one of the youngest squads in the football league that most have had no experience at this level. So far Hecky has experimented a little changing the formation of last seasons 442 to 433 and I think this is the way we will line up against Birmingham on Saturday.
It will be nice to see Marc Roberts back here, he was well liked by many Reds fans and I know many of us would have loved him to stay. It’s hard to predict how this game will go to be honest, on paper Birmingham have one of the strongest squads in the division and it’s hard for me to understand why you aren’t in the top half of the table.
As much as I’d like us to win this Saturday and follow up our midweek win against Burton with another 3 points I feel this will be 1-1 draw. We haven’t quite hit the ground running yet at home and It’s our defence that worries me the most Angus MacDonald was one of our stand out players last season playing along side Roberts but he hasn’t quite followed up on his form from last season.
So yeah I’m gonna go for a 1-1 draw but with hope we can get a win that could potentially give us a drive to pick up a few results and kick on a bit now. I am looking forward to it though and good luck to Birmingham for the rest of the season.
Played for both
King Kenny Burns
Glasgow born Burns signed for Blues aged 17 after starting his youth career with Rangers. 6 years and 171 games later he left for Nottingham Forest. He played a vital role in Brian Cloughs and Forests european success. He joined Barnsley in 1985 and made 21 appearances. He won the European cup, old division one, league cup and the European super cup and made 20 appearances for Scotland.
Roberts joined the Oakwell club from Halifax in 2015. He made 89 appearances for Halifax and scored 9 goals. He left Barnsley to sign for the Blues in the summer after impreesing former boss Harry Redknapp.
Another current Blues player and former Barnsley player. Cotterill’s spell at Oakwell was short, he made just 11 appearances in a red shirt before moving to Doncaster Rovers. after two years he joined blues and to date has played over 100 times. If he could find the form he showed in the video he would be like a new signing.
Barnsley 2-2 Blues
31st December 2016
The last meeting between the two teams was on New Years Eve 2016. Barnsley raced into a two nil lead before Jacque Maghoma pulled one back for the Blues and Lukasz Jutkiewicz equalised from the penalty spot on 52 minutes. Marc Roberts was sent off for the home side
Barnsley 0-5 Blues
2nd September 1995
Trevor Francis replaced Barry Fry at the start of the 95/96 season and his Blues side travelled to Barnsley in early September. A Jonathon Hunt penalty got Blues going before goals from Claridge, Forsyth, Doherty and Ken Charlery round things off. Hunt finished top scorer for Blues in the season with 15.
Welsh based Linington loves a yellow card and has given out 58 so far. He has been in charge of 17 games and his last Blues game was the away trip to Rotherham in April.