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Preview: Rotherham United v Blues

OUR FULL MATCH PREVIEW AHEAD OF EASTER MONDAY'S CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURE AT ROTHERHAM UNITED (3pm KICK-OFF).

Garry Monk on knowing that if Blues avoid defeat, they will be safe...
"Yes, but we can’t get into that mentality in the game. It has got to be a mentality we have shown all season, doing what we do, and trying to be at our absolute best. In these remaining three games, not just Monday.We know how important it is. We want to get the job done, of course. But it’s these last three games. It’s about us. We have tried to make sure in every game we do what we do well, try to impose ourselves on the opposition. That’s what we have to stick to and focus on.
"It’s a quick turnaround. It’s going to be a hugely difficult game. A big game for both clubs. If we do what we do, give our best, then we will give ourselves a chance."

Garry Monk on Rotherham, who simply have to win...
"We have to be ready to fight. There's going to be a huge effort from them. It has to be a huge effort from us. We have to focus on ourselves. As I've said: if we do what we do, at our best, we give ourselves every opportunity to get what we want. Mentally we will have
to be ready, and physically. We have to be ready for it, which we will.”

Garry Monk on edging a point closer to survival after the Derby Country draw...
"You can see how hard we are fighting to get points. Even the ones before, West Brom and Preston. The attitude of the team. We know our weaknesses. We know there are things to improve moving forward. It takes time to do that. A lot of our games this season, things have happened due to our mistakes. But that’s something to improve upon. However, you cannot fault their effort of commitment. How many times have I said that after games? You can see they are killing themselves to get three points. That’s the attitude. That’s what we trust in. We wanted three points, we got one, and it was a good point. Considering the context. There is still work to be done, of course, there is. But you can see how hard we are working to get it done mathematically."

Garry Monk on creating chances...
"In most games I think we create enough opportunities to win. That was a big thing coming in last season, the goals tally, or contribution. We’ve tried to turn that round and we’ve played in a way that suits the players, the group we have. And we have tried to get good at that. I know our weaknesses, the players know our weaknesses. We will work on them but that takes time to address. Really, it’s our strengths we try and play to and, again, what more can you ask of the players considering what they have been through? It’s clear, isn’t it?"

Garry Monk on the need to remain calm...
"These games this part of the season have a frantic feel to them. I felt what we did well against Derby was still have that tempo and mentality, but we were quite calm with it. That was part of what we spoke about: be calmer, disciplined, focused on what we needed to do.
Amid all that frenzy, stay focused on what you need to do. We did that very well second-half and looked a huge threat."

Garry Monk on Jota's performance and Connor Mahoney's absence...
"I thought Jota looked very good, like his old self. It’s been difficult for him. This is the most he has played minutes and consecutively in his whole career. It has been a huge demand. He looked fresher, he was a threat and there were some fantastic deliveries for the set-pieces. He’s an important player for us. Connor, I tried to give him as long as possible. We had test with him Friday, he has a bit of a hamstring strain. We are hopeful he will be back for the Wigan game."


Rotherham manager Paul Warne reflecting on the 4-3 Good Friday loss at Swansea City...
"We knew they are a possession-based team and it would be difficult. We let them have it in certain parts of the pitch but didn’t let them have it in others. We went full high press which caused them problems and countered really well. We were always a threat on set-pieces
and I’m not saying it was one-way traffic but we could have gone three-up; their ‘keeper made an unbelievable save. I said to them in the dressing room, I haven’t berated them. Even the mistakes with the goals, every player in every club in every country makes mistakes. We’re going to mistakes and, unfortunately, the higher the level you go up, the more you get punished. But, from a physical point of view and preparation they cannot give me more and that gives me huge pride. If we’re unsuccessful this year and the lads play like that to the very end, I’d like to think that Rotherham fans have seen something this year. They’ve never turned up and not seen their team give their all. It does give me great pride."

Blues team news...
Connor Mahoney (hamstring) is unavailable but Lukas Jutkiewicz, who came off with cramp against Derby, should be OK.

Match stats...
Rotherham have won one of their past 14 league games against Blues (won one, drawn six, lost seven), a 2-0 away win in September 2015.
Blues are unbeaten in their past six away league visits to Rotherham(won one, drawn five, lost zero) since losing 5-1 in October 1989.
Rotherham have won seven of their past nine home league games on Easter Monday (won seven, drawn one, lost one), winning each of the last three 1-0.
Blues have lost their past four league games on Easter Monday and are winless in eight (won zero, drawn two, lost six) since a 3-2 win over Southampton in April 2003.
Garry Monk has won each of his four previous managerial meetings against Rotherham with three different clubs (one with Swansea, two with Leeds, one with Blues).
Lukas Jutkiewicz has scored four goals in three Championship games against Rotherham for Blues, including a hat-trick in the reverse fixture back in October.

Last five meetings between Blues and Rotherham United...
2015/16 Championship
Blues 0 Rotherham 2
Rotherham 0 Blues 0
2016/17 Championship
Blues 4 Rotherham 2
Rotherham 1 Blues 1
2018/19 Championship
Blues 3 Rotherham 1

Form guide - last five Championship fixtures....
Blues LWDDD
Rotherham LWLDL

Ticket news...
Blues have sold out their allocation of 2,583.

BluesTV...
BluesTV will be broadcasting live to International subscribers. The Club wanted to live stream on a pay-per-view basis to all supporters but unfortunately Rotherham United declined our request, therefore under EFL and broadcasting regulations without permission of the host club we are unable to provide this service. Audio commentary is also available to UK and Ireland subscribers, with Gary McSheffrey joining the BluesTV team this Easter Monday to provide expert analysis. To subscribe to BluesTV, please click on the link 

Important supporter message...
In light of recent events, the Club is urging all supporters to be responsible in their behaviour and actions. Birmingham City knows that the overwhelming majority of our supporters do not indulge in anti-social activities and are passionate about the players and the Club. We appreciate this and never take it for granted. The scrutiny of the football world, the wider public and the authorities is on us and we urge everyone to rally together to project the correct and positive image of the Club. We adopt a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of missiles and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting. Pitch encroachment is forbidden and against the law. Please DO NOT encroach onto the pitch, under any circumstances. Think of the damage you may be doing to your Club and also the punishment you may incur personally. We are sure everyone is aware that the Football Association have powers to take serious action against the Club, which can include heavy fines and ground closure. The Club, as did others, recently received a written warning from the FA about missiles being thrown onto the pitch, at home and away games. As a result, neither bottles or containers are allowed at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium and drinks are decanted into paper cups. It is important that bottles, coins, flares and other items not thrown at our matches. Again, we would like to thank the overwhelming majority of supporters for their backing and their understanding at this time. We continually review all our stewarding, safety and security measures home and away and we remain committed to making your experience following Blues a safe one and as pleasant as possible - but we also need YOUR help.
Thank you.

Message from Rotherham United safety team
Rotherham United would like to welcome all Birmingham City fans attending the game on Easter Monday at the AESSEAL New York Stadium. There are a few pieces of information we would like to communicate in advance of your visit:
Pyrotechnic/Drug Use
In order to try and create a safe event for all people attending there will be specially trained detection dogs on duty in and around the stadium that are trained to detect both pyrotechnics and illegal drugs. Anyone found trying to enter the stadium with either of these
banned items will be refused entry and handed over to the Police who will take further action.
Refreshments
There are very few pubs in the town centre that accept away fans and so if supporters wish to venture down to the stadium earlier, we have external bars (outside the Ben Bennett Family Stand) and internal bars that will be serving hot food and drink from 1.30pm. Please note that bars will close at kick off and then re-open five minutes before half time although there will be no alcohol on sale at half-time.
Seating
Please ensure you sit in the seat you have been allocated and do not block gangways as this can create dangerous situations where people can become injured. Rotherham United are subject to regular reviews by the Local Authority and if gangways become blocked, it may mean that we are forced to allocate a lower number of tickets to Birmingham City supporters for future games. The stands at the AESSEAL New York Stadium are quite steep and so for your own safety please remain in your seat and do not run down the gangways.
Player Safety
In order to protect players and match officials safety, please do not jump over the barriers or enter the field of play. Anyone found doing this will be ejected and faces the prospect of being arrested and prosecuted which could result in being banned from attending football
matches by the courts.
We would like to thank all supporters for their co-operation in advance and hope you enjoy your visit.
Kind Regards,
Paul Davis
Stadium Manager/Safety Officer

Match officials...
Referee - Andy Davies
Assistant Referee - Akil Howson
Assistant Referee - Mark Jones
Fourth Official - Geoff Eltringham
Observer - Paul Robinson

 

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