Ipswich Town defender says Reading and Birmingham City will have everything to play for

Christophe Berra

Christophe Berra

Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra has dismissed the notion that the Blues’ next two opponents, Reading and Birmingham, could already be planning their summer breaks.

Reading visit Portman Road tomorrow, seven points clear of the relegation zone, but have improved under new manager Steve Clarke, losing just four of the Scot’s 13 league and cup games in charge.

As for Birmingham, the Blues are two points better off than the Royals, in 12th position, Gary Rowett having revitalised the St Andrew’s club following a disastrous start to the season that cost Lee Clark his job.

Both teams, like Sheffield Wednesday recently, seem to be stranded in mid-to-lower-table obscurity, whereas Brighton, Rotherham Wigan and Derby, fighting at the bottom and top ends of the table, have taken a total of 10 points off the Blues in recent weeks.

Town’s second win in two games, at Fulham last Saturday, seems to suggest their mini-blip is over though and Ipswich may just be returning to form at the right time, with the top-three teams all dropping points in midweek.

The only certainty is that the division will remain as competitive and unpredictable as ever.

“We have got Reading tomorrow and Birmingham on Tuesday and both games are going to be tough,” Berra said.

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“All the teams at this stage of the season are fighting for something, whether it is promotion, the play-offs, trying to get out of relegation trouble or trying to avoid getting drawn in at the bottom.

“There might be some teams with three or four games to go that are in mid-table and thinking of their summer holidays, but at this stage, everyone is fighting for something.

“There are 45 points to play for and this league can be funny. Teams at the bottom can go and win five or six games on the trot whereas other teams may lose five or six.

“In a short space of time, teams can suddenly find themselves two or three points off relegation or the play-offs.”

Berra has won promotion in the past, going up with Wolves in 2009, and, in addition to performing well, the defender admits luck will also need to play a part.

“When you are up there you sometimes have that momentum or that Johnny on the spot to score, when you’re not playing well,” he added.

“It does not take much for a team to get on the pitch and make it difficult for you to break them down and score a goal.

“So it takes a bit of luck as well and we are going to need it on our side in certain games and scenarios.”

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