John Eustace has called for supporters to ‘put things in perspective’ following questions surrounding his future at Birmingham City. With nine defeats in the last 11 Championship games, some fans have lost patience with the head coach and are calling for his sacking before the end of the campaign. Losing 1-0 to Luton Town certainly hasn’t helped matters.
Blues now sit just seven points above the relegation zone with a dozen games to go, fully aware of 22nd-placed Huddersfield Town’s game in hand which could close the gap to four. Frustrations from Bluenoses are perfectly understandable given the shocking form of late, but Eustace believes his team can shift the momentum.
“We have to put things into perspective,” Eustace said after the Luton defeat. “You ask if I’m feeling under pressure: I’m here to help this football club turn around. It’s a very difficult job, we knew that at the start of the season. If you take five or six big players out of the squad it’s always going to be difficult.
“This is my first job in the Championship and it’s a learning experience but it’s one I’m enjoying. I’m very proud to be the manager of this football club. Nobody said it was going to be easy - it’s going to be difficult, of course it is. But we’re fighters - I’m a fighter and we keep going. Two weeks ago we had two fantastic results which showed we can get things right.
“We’re ahead of the points table of last year. Everyone who puts the shirt on out there is very committed. It’s a 46-game season and we need to turn things around with results - it’s a results-driven business - but the most important thing is these players keep connected with the fans. We can get through this difficult period together,” Eustace said.
Birmingham have seven days before another vitally important run of league matches takes shape. It’s the first time Blues have had a Monday to Friday period to prepare for a game, so that could be of some use to build confidence in training. There’s still heaps of pressure, though, given the oppositions that are to come.
First up is Wigan Athletic away from home – a team currently at rock bottom of the league standings but capable of picking up results. The game after that is at home to Rotherham United, who managed a surprise victory over Sunderland in their last outing. Both fixtures are vital for the future of the football club and Eustace wants to remain at the helm through thick and thin.