When Sheffield United returned to action after just one game in five weeks, they looked completely undercooked, deservedly losing 3-0 and 2-0 respectively at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Derby County.
However, progress has been made over the past three games, a frustrating 2-2 draw at Preston North End being followed by wins over Luton Town and Peterborough United.
Welcome clean sheets were recorded in each of those fixtures, while Billy Sharp continued his fine campaign with his eighth league goal versus the latter.
Although Paul Heckingbottom’s team are still six points adrift of the playoffs, they have at least two games in hand on all but one of the clubs above them.
Some potentially pivotal fixtures lie ahead, including against West Bromwich Albion and Huddersfield Town, but Heckingbottom will back his players to earn a result against the majority of the clubs in this division.
Birmingham are currently on their longest unbeaten run since the start of November, something which will not be lost on Lee Bowyer when he assesses his team’s form.
Nevertheless, letting slip a two-goal advantage at Derby last weekend naturally frustrated the Blues manager, even though they now sit 13 points clear of the relegation zone.
Blues earned a point from the same situation against Peterborough in the previous game, possibly giving Bowyer a sense of taking the rough with the smooth, but that does not halter the perception that the West Midlands outfit should be occupying a higher spot in the table.
New arrivals Juninho Bacuna and Lyle Taylor made immediate impacts at Pride Park, and Bowyer will be hopeful that Birmingham will have no issues with avoiding a battle to avoid the drop