Stuck for Luck – Birmingam preview

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I reckon there must be something wrong with the rotation of the earth, I mean, there’s no way that it’s a week since the last time I was here thinking that the weekend was just around the corner and maybe I should start to think about a match preview. Maybe that’s what playing at Sunday teatime does for you, or maybe it’s because I’m waiting for some divine inspiration to fall or maybe it’s just because the first half of the season takes so long that the pace of it can be confusing when there no international breaks to distract you.

Any way, with no inspiration falling and the international season about to get into gear, it’s business as usual with Latics traveling to Birmingham and me struggling to find positives.

Of course they’re in short supply around these parts. We live in hope that things change, but whatever you think the reasons for Latics current plight are, most people seem to agree that right now, Latics are desperate for a win, they can’t see where the next one is going to come from. Last week I talked about the need for blind faith, but maybe we’re going to need to rely on a bit of luck as well.

I might be fighting a one man battle, but I’m still convinced that our biggest problems are lack of experience and confidence. The first will only come with time, but the second can come in a moment. A fluky goal, a 30-yard shot wildly deflected, a dodgy offside call or a less than stonewall penalty could do the trick. Any of those could create enough momentum to carry Latics through to a win and from there, who knows?

So can luck fall in our laps on Saturday? Well that’s just the thing, you never really know when it’s going to land. There’s the old saying that you make your own luck, but that only applies to the sort of luck that gets you two goals scored from free kicks in one game and that’s not the sort of luck we need, we’re more desperate than that. We’re maybe not quite at the stage where we need the goalkeeper to chuck one in his own net but we’re a bit beyond the usual end to a barren run, the “one in off his backside”.

Forgetting luck, can Latics beat Birmingham? They must be able to, after all they should have done in the game at the DW. In fact they probably would have done if they’d managed 90 minutes worth of concentration rather than going missing for fifteen minutes, fifteen minutes where the Brummies got the aforementioned free kicks and a third goal besides. It’s easy to forget that Latics are capable of being a good side, it would just be good if they could remember how to do it.

They’re going to need their best players on the pitch if they’re going to carry it off, mind, and with the continuing doubts over Bramble’s hamstring compounded by an ankle injury for James McCarthy you have to wonder. McCarthy has been one of the few bright sparks over recent months and I just hope we aren’t saying what a big miss he was come five o’clock.

There’s some hope in Birmingham’s recent form, but only relatively so. We the two sides met in December, they were on the crest of a five game unbeaten run that would run for another seven games and give them 26 of their 37 points. Now they’ve won one of the last five and, more importantly lost three. Two weeks ago they gave West Ham three points that has given them a nice little boost up the table.

It may only be a crumb of comfort, but I suggest that we take it where it comes.

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