If you had told me a few months ago that Blues were going into the final game of the season with nothing to play for, then I would have assumed we’d had already been relegated. It is a testament to how remarkably well we have done under Bowyer, Cardiff experiment aside, that for only the second time in the past 5 seasons we don’t have to worry about getting a result on the final day. It will be interesting to see who does go down, with two of Derby, Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday joining all but relegated Wycombe.
In their final game, Blues travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn also have nothing to play for, sitting in 15th place on 54 points, 2 ahead of Blues. A win for Blues could lift them up to 15th, should Coventry and Nottingham Forest fail to beat their final day opponents.
LAST TIME OUT
I missed the game against Cardiff, and by the sounds of it I think I don’t think I missed out on much. The win against Derby confirmed that Blues would be playing Championship football for at least another season, and by his team selection it looked like Bowyer was firmly focussed on the season ahead already. The 4-0 loss wouldn’t have done many of the players with hopes of breaking into the first team next season any favours, but it has at least given the boss an insight into where he needs to look for recruitments over the summer.
In what was an important game in the relegation picture, a late Lewis Wing strike cancelled out another goal for Adam Armstrong to earn an important point for The Millers.
Neil Etheridge will be travelling but he won’t be involved whereas Scott Hogan and Marc Roberts will be left behind. Meanwhile Toral has probably already played his last game for the club.
Daniel Ayala could return from injury, with Tom Trybull definitely out and Joe Rothwell remaining touch-and-go due to a knock. Dangerman Bradley Dack is also out following a ligament injury he suffered earlier in the season.
ONE TO WATCH
Easy choice for this one. Top goal scorer Adam Armstrong has 25 goals this season for the Rovers, 17 more than ex Blues loanee Sam Gallagher who has the second most. The 24 year old is enjoying his best season in the Championship, building on the 16 goals he netted last season.
I’d be surprised if I get many right for this one, with Bowyer confirming that he is likely to use the same approach to the Cardiff match last weekend. I am therefore going for a mix of fringe players, regulars and youngsters.
A LINE FROM THE MANAGERS
It’s the right thing to do and the respectful thing to do. The players since I have walked through the door have trained hard every day, today was no different they were excellent again in training. It is what I owe them to give them an opportunity for me to consider them again in the future.
It’s been a season like no other in all my 40 years in football. That’s not an excuse, that’s a reality. It’s a disappointing year in points collected, number of wins and that the team hasn’t developed as we would’ve liked”