Birmingham City players are making a lot of mistakes, but they are not the only ones

Alex Dicken addresses another decision made against Birmingham City during their 1-0 loss to Millwall.

Highlights and goals of Millwall 1-0 Birmingham City in EFL Championship |  03/09/2024 - VAVEL USA

Birmingham City cannot afford any more mistakes in their quest to avoid relegation from the Championship.

Blues have been slipping and sliding since Wayne Rooney arrived at St Andrew’s in October, and while Tony Mowbray’s hiring brought some relief, his absence due to sickness coincided with an abrupt drop in form. Mark Venus has struggled to keep the Blues going, and they suffered their third defeat in four games against Millwall on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues now face a massive double-header against Middlesbrough and Watford next week. If the Blues fail to win either of those matches, they will most likely spend the international break in the relegation zone. That is unthinkable for a club that claims to be ‘on the rise’.

Venus and Blues players cannot legislate against poor choices by umpires. For the third game in a row, we were left wondering what might have happened had a decision gone Blues’ way.

Dion Sanderson received a red card against Southampton, followed by Ozan Tufan’s goal for Hull. However, the decision not to award Jay Stansfield a penalty in the 63rd minute of the Blues’ 1-0 defeat to Millwall will irritate everyone who supports the club.

Stansfield was obviously brought down inside Millwall’s penalty box as he prepared to connect with Alex Pritchard’s brilliant corner. The on-loan Fulham forward was unhappy with the decision, and the Blues are fortunate that their top scorer, who is one booking away from a two-game suspension, did not get into the referee’s book with his protests.

Venus responded bluntly to questions about the incident at his post-match press conference. He remarked, “I don’t want to sit here and criticize the officials; they are who they are in this country. I am sure everyone has their own thoughts on them.

“The situation is the situation, everyone has their own opinion of the incident that happened, and they can make their own mind up.”

The cliche that everything ‘evens itself out’ over the course of a season is overused. Blues have only 10 games remaining; they don’t have time to wait for three questionable judgments to go their way.

Blues players must ensure that on May 4, after the final day match against Norwich City, we do not look back on these decisions. They need to make them irrelevant.

 

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