Breaking point for Blues

THE Blues are 60 per cent through their batch of 'must-win' games between international breaks.

Elvin King

THE Blues are 60 per cent through their batch of 'must-win' games between international breaks.

And having collected just three points so far the pressure is really on to gain that sought-after first Championship win of the season against Derby County at Portman Road on Saturday.

After a tough set of matches leading up to the fortnight's break that followed the 2-1 defeat at Barnsley, Roy Keane's Blues had an easier time - on paper at any rate - in their next five fixtures.

This was an ideal opportunity to stack up some points before another break on November 14.

But although there has been an improvement - and no defeats - the hoped-for rise up the table has failed to materialise.

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Home draws against unconvincing Swansea and Watford sides were followed by another 1-1 stalemate at second-from bottom Plymouth last weekend.

This leaves Derby at home and Reading away to boost their points total, and they need to pocket six to take advantage of the kind run of games that the fixture compiler threw up.

If not, the situation will be much blacker than it was two weeks ago.

Keane has confirmed that �1.7million striker Tamas Priskin will be in the

running for a place back in the squad for the visit of Nigel Clough's struggling Derby.

The Hungarian international was omitted from the final 18 at Home Park, but Keane said: “Tamas and Lee (Martin) were not involved on Saturday but they were back training on Monday and will be in contention for a place this weekend.

“The encouraging thing is the fact we're creating chances. We just need one or two players who consistently put the ball in the back of the net.

“I can't fault my strikers for their work-rate, desire or determination and as a team we showed real commitment in the second half at Plymouth.

“We're now playing with a confidence and freedom and credit to the players for that.

“I continue to learn more about my players and life, and football in particular, is all about learning.”

Jon Stead scored at Plymouth and drew praise from his manager, and is expected to start against the Rams when Alex Bruce will take the place of the injured Gareth McAuley in the back four.

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