Portsmouth 1 Birmingham City 1

It looks as though Birmingham City's best chance of being a Premiership force will be if the owners are successful in moving to the proposed site at Saltley

Steve Bruce is probably well aware of the alleged gypsy's curse hanging over St Andrew's and - if it is true - then they will always be beset by misfortune at their spiritual home.

Ron Saunders ordered his players to paint the soles of their boots red while Barry Fry took to relieving himself in the corner of the pitch in an attempt to lift the curse, but it has all been to no avail.

Bruce hasn't yet resorted to any extreme tactics but, rather than an increased capacity, a move to Saltley would finally give them a chance to wipe the slate clean.

No more curse, excuses, or suspicions that a disaster is looking round every corner.

Take Saturday's draw at Portsmouth for example. Nicky Butt was the outstanding player on the pitch for 40 minutes and dovetailing nicely with Jiri Jarosik, who has given Birmingham's midfield an extra attacking dimension.

After five games of stuttering, injury-hit football, it looked as though Birmingham had finally found the formula as they threatened to take control of proceedings.

But within the space of four torrid minutes, Jarosik had limped off with an ankle injury and Butt had an aberration that led to his dismissal.

Plan A was consigned to the dustbin and for the umpteenth time this season, Bruce was forced into major changes.

The one positive note to come out of adversity was the re-emergence of Muzzy Izzet as a talented midfield player.

His 48-minute cameo role was easily his best performance of the season and arguably one of his best-ever in a Birmingham shirt.

His trademark powerful forward runs returned with style, but the biggest bonus was his tigerish tackling and ability to close opponents down.

Izzet has lacked bite since his return from injury but this game was a real red-letter day for him, as he laid to rest the demons of his knee injury and proved to supporters - and perhaps most importantly of all to himself - that he can still cut the mustard in the Premiership.

There was certainly no misfortune about Butt's sending-off, as, under current regulations, the referee was right to send him off.

Dario Silva had spent most of the afternoon falling over whenever any white shirt came within five yards of him and probably warranted a good kicking.

However, while Butt felt aggrieved after Silva had blocked him with his arm, his response, aiming a wild kick at Silva, was ill-advised and he now faces three games on the sidelines at just the wrong time.

Jarosik's ankle will probably keep him out of tomorrow's Coca-Cola Cup clash with Scunthorpe, but he should be back in the saddle for next week's visit of Liverpool.

Bruce has come to expect an injury every time Birmingham play and must dread entering the treatment room at their Wast Hills training camp for his daily bulletin.

Gypsy curse aside, there are still worrying signs that this could be a long season for Bruce and his wounded soldiers.

Lomana LuaLua was given a wide berth by his marker after just three minutes to tap home a routine corner.

Maik Taylor and his defenders were statuesque, but if the finger was pointing at the goalkeeper then he more then redeemed himself with a two excellent saves after the interval.

Birmingham's strike was simplicity itself as Jarosik lost his man and powered home a tantalising free-kick from Jermaine Pennant.

As Bruce's battered and bruised players play more games they will undoubtedly improve, but we are already in mid-September and the fixture list isn't particularly accommodating over the next three weeks.

Portsmouth looked a very poor outfit and while Bruce was justifiably pleased with his team's second-half display, he will feel it is another opportunity missed to beat mediocre opponents and collect three points.

The return of the prodigal son, David Dunn, is eagerly anticipated by the St Andrew's faithful.

But it would be unfair to heap unrealistic expectations on his shoulders.

Mikael Forssell isn't at his peak yet while Walter Pandiani is still playing catch-up after missing pre-season.

It has taken Izzet two months of this season to finally return to his true form so it is a safe bet to assume that Dunn will need at least two or three months before he can finally stamp his class on the Premiership again.

Injuries are following Birmingham around like a bad smell at present and perhaps the cloud will only be lifted by a move to Saltley alongside their super-casino.

If they are successful then, after more than 100 years, Blues will have finally have hit the jackpot.