Birmingham City take on Millwall this weekend as they look to put things right after Monday’s 6-1 defeat against Blackpool.
Birmingham are safe from relegation this season but currently sit 20th in the league highlighting their poor season and poor form.
Against Blackpool, Blues boss Lee Bowyer started young players Zach Jeacock, Nico Gordon and Jordan James but has said he will be taking them out of the firing line this weekend as his side aim to put things right.
The boss told Birmingham Live: “It’s really important and that’s why I am not going to start the youngsters because after the weekend it’s not fair on them to be put in the situation they were put in on the weekend.
“I won’t do it to them. Yes we want to develop them in the right way, the senior players have to step up and make sure that doesn’t happen at the weekend.
“We have to finish strongly.”
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Millwall currently sit seventh in the league, just one point from the play-offs so will be looking for a win from this game but Bowyer wants to see a reaction from the experienced players in his side as he said: “What I saw at the weekend, it felt like we were a group that was already on holiday, that’s not acceptable. training today [Thursday] has been good, not too upbeat obviously but there mentality and their work-rate has been spot on. The reaction I expected to see from the group and I expect it to maintain until we finish the game on Saturday.
“If you are going to put a game in place after that result we just had and that performance, I think Millwall is the perfect game. That’s my view.
“Knowing Millwall, they are not going to think twice running over the top of us and they are not going to allow us to come through this game without a fight so I will learn a hell of a lot from these players on Saturday. Because if we don’t stand up as a group and compete then we will lose.”
Birmingham are in a bad place at the moment and after Monday’s big defeat, they will be expected to put things right this weekend.
You can understand Bowyer’s decision to remove the younger players from the squad this weekend as they were called upon and then part of a really poor game. To put them in again would be naive and as Bowyer points out, puts them in the firing line.
Instead, the Blues boss is expecting his senior players to step forward and show themselves in this game. Even if they don’t win against a good time, it will be all about the performance they put in and the attitude shown.
Furthermore, the way they react may give Bowyer some signs about the players he wants to have at the club next season.