Preview: Blues v Blackburn Rovers

We prepare for teams that are defensive and offensive and it’s up to us to show our levels. We didn’t quite show our levels in the last game, especially with the ball.

Garry Monk

Our full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture against Rovers at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Garry Monk asked how difficult it was for Blues when teams put all their players behind the ball at St. Andrew’s as Bolton did last time out...
"We do prepare for all types of situations we are going to face, defensively or offensively. We are the type of team that need to be at our maximum to be winning games or be most effective. We are not a team that can afford to be below that. Every time we are on our maximum, everyone in the team is bang at it, we are in good positions to take points. The responsibility will always come back on to us. We prepare for teams that are defensive and offensive and it’s up to us to show our levels. We didn’t quite show our levels in the last game, especially with the ball. You will inevitably get games like that, you can’t score every single chance, you can’t win every single game - even though you’d like to. But it’s not about the set-back, it’s about the response. That’s been one of the most important things for us this season. The players have talked about it and that just shows how far they have come. Where a lot of their experience was it was quite common to lose two, three, four games in a row we have lost back to back games only once. We want to maintain that."

Garry Monk on the improving match fitness or Kerim Mrabti, David Davies and Isaac Vassell...
"It’s about them getting sharper, more football in their legs and getting fitter all the time. It’s a process, we can’t demand their highest level too early but what they can do is contribute. Everyone is going to be needed in these last games, as they have been all season. It’s great to have those options available to us and all hands on deck for the remaining games."

Garry Monk on what he was expecting on Saturday against a Blackburn side that have lost their last four games...
"Every team faces good and difficult spells - and you have seen we have just faced a Bolton team in a difficult spell. A lot of this league is about timing. It can change as quick as anything; a team can perform out of nothing. Again, it goes back to us and what we need to do. They have got a lot of strengths and weaknesses - as they expect from us. But at St. Andrew’s we were hugely disappointed with the last game, we have been really proud of our record there and the determination is to make sure St. Andrew’s is where we want it to be this weekend - and everyone has a role to play in that."

Blackburn Manager Tony Mowbray's comments ahead of the game...
“Results haven’t gone our way recently. The second-half against Middlesbrough was good, we were good against Bristol City, and as for Reading, I will never know how we didn’t win that, let along losing it. We have to take the positives. The performance levels from the team haven’t been disastrous, we haven’t fallen off the edge of a cliff. We are still a good team, we’re just on a poor run of form. I’m sure if we keep doing what we do then the results will turn for us. Birmingham is another game we know we will be playing against a very organised, hardworking, physical side, and if we’re not defensive structured enough to deal with the directness, then we’ll probably get beat. We have to defend well, keep clean sheets, away from home particularly, and see if we can nick a goal, as we did at Millwall. We nicked a goal, scored a second goal and won 2-0. We’ll try and play our football. We’re aware that we need to get back to winning ways very quickly and this is the next opportunity for us."

Blues team news...
Marc Roberts (calf) and Charlie Lakin (thigh) remain out but should return to full training either next week or the week after.

Blackburn team news...
Derrick Williams will miss the game after being sent off in Blackburn's 1-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough last Sunday. Ben Gladwin, Dominic Samuel and Darragh Lenihan will miss out through injuries. Harry Chapman could return.

Last five meetings between Blues and Blackburn ...
Championship 15 Dec 2018 Blackburn 2 Blues 2             
Championship 21 Jan 2017  Blackburn 1 Blues 1             
Championship 01 Oct 2016  Blues 1 Blackburn 0    
Championship 08 Mar 2016  Blackburn 2 Blues 0             
Championship 03 Nov 2015  Blues 0 Blackburn 0

Form guide. Last five Championship fixtures....
Blues:  LDWWL
Blackburn:  WLLLL

Total meetings...
Blues wins: 46
Blackburn wins: 46
Draws: 32

Ticket news...
Tickets are on general sale with adult prices starting at just £15. Click here for more details.

BluesTV will be broadcasting live from the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium. UK & EIRE customers will be able to listen to live commentary of Saturday's game. International subscribers can watch the match live on BluesTV. Coverage of the match will begin at 2.45 pm. Click here to sign up.

Important information for supporters
The Club has received a warning from the FA in regard to missiles being thrown onto the pitch at our home and away games. As a result, all bottled drinks at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium are to be decanted into paper cups, until further notice. Please be aware that consequently queues at the kiosks will increase. This decision has not been taken lightly. However, it is vitally important that missiles are not thrown onto the pitch, which includes - and is not limited to - bottles, coins and flares. Not only is this very dangerous but any repeat in the future could cause serious repercussions for the Club from the FA. We know that such incidents are caused by a small minority of people. And we are equally certain that all true supporters understand this kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated.
Thank you

Match officials
Peter Bankes will take charge of Saturday's game. So far this season, the Merseyside-based official has refereed 29 games where he has produced a total of 131 yellow cards and four reds. The last Blues game he refereed was our Championship home game against Brentford in December. That match ended in a 0-0 draw and there five Bees players booked, but no Blues players. The last Rovers game he took charge of was their 1-0 home league win against QPR in November. Eight players were cautioned in that game; including Harrison Reed, Ben Brereton, Corry Evans and Richard Smallwood for the hosts. Mr Bankes will be assisted on Saturday by Daniel Leach and Geoffrey Russell with Paul Marsden acting as the fourth official.