Birmingham City have struggled to get results in recent weeks and after a 6-1 humbling from Blackpool, they’ll want to put that behind them and get back to winning ways.
Their hopes of getting points on the board have increased ahead of their next fixture against Millwall, with the news via Birmingham Live that Neil Etheridge could be back for the game against the Lions.
Injuries and other factors have contributed to the decline of the Blues this season but supporters are still unhappy to see the club in 20th place in the Championship. Relegation is no longer possible for the club – which will be a sigh of relief – but they are still not where they want to be.
It has many questioning whether Lee Bowyer is the right man to keep taking the team forward – and he’ll want to see if he can silence the doubters with some big wins in his last three games.
His chances of securing a valuable three points for the side have increased though now, with the news that Neil Etheridge could be back in the first-team fold for the weekend. He’s been out of action since the beginning of April and Birmingham’s clash against Nottingham Forest.
It’s meant that the side have had to rely on Zachary Jeacock in the interim and whilst the 20-year-old should be cut some slack considering his age and lack of experience, his two games so far have seen ten goals conceded.
They’ll need to be more solid at the back to win games – and Bowyer has revealed that the backline could be about to benefit from Etheridge being back in the mix against Millwall.
He told Birmingham Live: “He is moving in the right direction.
“He has been outside this week, training. Again we will have to see how he is after today’s training. Each day we have to make sure he is OK and doesn’t get a reaction the next day. I think there is a good chance that Neil can play.”
Lee Bowyer hasn’t been able to get his side going this season and whilst it hasn’t entirely been his fault – he’s had to deal with injuries and the players should shoulder some blame – he can’t shy away from the fact he is part of the reason.
Over the last two games though, a large reason for the slump in results has been missing goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. The shot-stopper has been heavily missed, especially with the side shipping so many goals in his absence.
If he can be back for the Millwall game – which won’t be easy considering where the Lions are in the table – then it could go some way towards helping them pick up some points again. If he’s missing again, you would have to fancy Millwall.
It will be a welcome sight to see him back inbetween the sticks – and might mean they can get back to winning ways.