1987/88 SEASON REVIEW
Off the pitch Peter Swales announced a club record sponsorship deal with Brother worth over £500,000 over three years. There was also a change in management, Jimmy Frizzell’s role was ‘re-titled’ General Manager and Mel Machin was appointed the new team manager. City had released Graham Baker, Nicky Reid, Tony Grealish and Nigel Johnson prior to the Summer break and then Mick McCarthy was sold to Celtic for £500,000, Darren Beckford moved to Port Vale for £17,500.
Away from home The Blues still struggled with consecutive defeats, 2-0 at Leeds and 3-1 at Hull, where new £100,000 sigining from Liverpool, Mark Seagraves made his debut and alarmingly saw City slip to 15th place. The inconsistency tag that has been labelled at City throughout their history was certainly a tag that fitted this season as they went on to beat Leicester 4-2. However at the 37th time of asking City won away beating Wolves 2-0 in the 2nd leg of the Littlewoods cup 2nd round, Eric Nixon returning between the sticks after Bobby Mimms loan spell was ended, as Everton recalled him after an injury to Neville Southall.
In the league though the Blues then ineplicably lost 3-2 to a struggling Sheffield United team at Maine Road. Then in another disastrous away trip they lost 3-0 at Ipswich. It seemed the first league away win of the season would never arrive, but a great battling display at a top of the top table Bradford side who were unbeaten in the last 17 games, saw the Blues seal all three points and win 4-2. The first away League win in 21 months.
Kevin Langley was the next player to move away from Maine Road, moving to Birmingham for £100,000.
Another defeat 1-0 at Huddersfield was followed by a 2-0 win at home against Reading, but a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough confirmed that promotion was mathematically impossible for Machin’s team. The season fizzled out with a 2-2 draw at home to Bradford, a 3-0 win at Birmingham followed by a 4-2 win over West Brom in The Blues’ last home game. City lost the final game of the season 2-0 at Crystal Palace. Steve Redmond was named City’s player of the year