Dave Penney on the trip to Bristol Rovers on Friday night
Assistant manager Dave Penney says Blues must start afresh and treat the final nine games as a mini-season.
Blues head to Bristol Rovers on Friday night outside of the play-off places for the first time since mid-November.
Penney says Blues have got to show a reaction following Plymouth’s win on Tuesday that dropped them to eighth.
Phil Brown’s assistant said: “We’ve got nine games left now and I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is crunch time just yet, but it’s getting close to that stage.
“We’ve been in the play-offs for over four months but Plymouth’s win means they are now above us by two points and we’ve got to respond.
“We’ve got to try and put the recent run of form behind us. We just need to look at these nine games and get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
“With Bristol Rovers on Friday and Oxford United on Monday we’ve got two games in quick succession and a good chance to get points.
“Oxford are a side just above us in the table so if we can get the three points there it would be massive.”
Bristol Rovers’ form at home has been excellent, with just Chesterfield and Rochdale having a better record so far this season.
Their away form has let them down and means they are currently in the bottom half, but Penney, who had a short spell as Rovers’ manager, knows it won’t be easy.
He added: “Their away form has let them down in terms of pushing at the right end of the table so far this season.
“But their home form has been excellent and is one of the best in the division, so it’s going to be a tough game.
“I know from experience that there’s always a good atmosphere inside the ground, and I’m sure both sides will play their parts as they search for three points.”