After suffering a narrow defeat at the hands of Barnsley last weekend, Birmingham City will be aiming to bounce back in their clash with Bristol City on Saturday at St Andrew’s.
A second-half strike from Daryl Dike secured victory for the Tykes over the Blues who are now facing the real threat of being dragged into a relegation dogfight by Rotherham United.
Despite currently holding a three-point advantage over the Millers, Birmingham have played three games more than their rivals who will make their return to league action next Tuesday in their clash with Watford.
Given that the Blues have the third-worst goal difference in the Championship, they will need to make defensive improvements in the coming weeks if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop.
Looking ahead to his side’s clash with the Robins, Birmingham full-back Yan Valery has urged his team-mates to step up to the plate with the club’s second-tier status at threat.
“We have to win games now.
“We can’t just, when we concede a goal, like it like that.
“We have to fight.
“No game will be easy, we know that, but we now must stick together, encourage everyone and win games, it’s that simple.”
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Despite only joining Birmingham last month on a short-term loan deal from Southampton, Valery’s comments illustrate that he knows just how desperate the situation is at St Andrew’s.
Although the Blues did manage to pick up four points from their clashes with Queens Park Rangers and Huddersfield Town, their momentum was halted by Barnsley last weekend.
With just eleven league games left to play this season, Birmingham need to step up their performance levels as Rotherham will be determined to hunt them down.
Providing that the Blues are able to pick up a morale-boosting victory on Saturday, they could use this result to push on under the guidance of manager Aitor Karanka in the coming weeks.