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Blackburn 4 City 2

Score two goals away from home against a Blackburn side struggling for goals and confidence and you'd be expecting to walk away with all three points in the bag.

However, a City side who have lost ten of the previous eleven games on the road are far more accomodating and another defeat away from home in Stuart Pearce's fiftieth game in charge leaves us hovering on the edges of the relegation zone.

Certainly in the second half we looked the more confident of the two sides and passed it around well in the midfield areas but yet again failed to provide a cutting edge or telling final ball in attack. Samaras again looked lively when introduced but Corradi and Dickov failed to impress for me.

Perhaps worryingly though, the goals that were conceded in the second half were poor from a defence that has by and large looked solid for some time now - gifting possession and space to a grateful Blackburn side who must be scratching their heads a little at how they managed to win the game.

So, no points in a week on our travels in games where we could (should?) have taken the points but for some wasteful play in front of goal and lack of concentration at the back. Looking at the squad it is difficult to see what changes can be made to spark us out of the slide we are currently in.

It is all very well working on the professionalism of the side but there aren't a great deal of options personnel wise to alter. I'd expect Samaras to get a run up front now, Beasley looked bright at times yesterday and Hamman will bring some quality once fully fit but wholesale changes are not on the agenda due to the lack of options in the squad unless Pearce throws in a batch of youngsters - something which isn't going to happen.

If being stuck with the personnel is what Pearce has got to work with, then surely the tactical approach to games must be better. Look around the Premiership and sides like Bolton and Middlesbrough are more than capable of going on their travels and picking up a point or even snatching a 1-0 victory but that is something that I don't expect us to do, but if we don't arrest this horrific away form we will be in trouble.

Don't forget that our home record ultimately saved us from a relegation scrap last season, and if we don't reproduce that we will have a big battle on our hands.

Pearce talked after the game about the 'bad week' we have endured. Chesterfield away from home in the Carling Cup on Wednesday - could it get worse?

Reaction:

"We were so far off the pace City could have been out of sight by half-time." - Mark Hughes

"We can't afford to do what we do best only in bits of games and then gift the opposition goals like we did at Blackburn. We created enough chances to get something out of the game but we gave away soft goals." - Stuart Pearce

Match reports:

The Times
Guardian
Independent