LOOKING at it dispassionately, it’s impressive that it has taken until March for Town to record back-to-back league defeats and are the last side in the Championship to do so.

However, that stat is little consolation for fans smarting from Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at Leeds and to a greater extent Sunday’s 2-0 derby defeat at Norwich.

The Blues have dropped out of the top six for the first time since November and a season which has promised so much is suddenly in danger of slipping into yet another of those mid-table years Town supporters have grown so used to over the last decade.

Usually the Blues have come at things from the other direction, of course, escaping the drop and being grateful to climb to 15th or 12th or ninth but after Town’s excellent first half of the campaign failing to make the play-offs would now be a major disappointment.

Sunday’s visit to Carrow Road was always going to be as tough a derby as there’s been in a while.

Norwich were on roll, having won five on the bounce with their squad, largely assembled for the Premier League rather than the Championship, finally firing on all cylinders.

The two clubs might be close together in the promotion battle at present, but off the field there is a gulf between the two, which was amply illustrated by the Canaries being able to bring £2m Cameron Jerome and £5m Gary Hooper off the bench.

In some ways it was a bit like the Derby County match down here in January. While there wasn’t an awful lot in the game itself, Norwich played the more controlled football throughout while Town huffed and puffed.

While losing a local derby is always particularly painful, Wednesday’s loss at Leeds was more frustrating.

As Mick McCarthy said afterwards it was a game Town should never have lost with the Blues continuing their recent habit of shooting themselves in the foot.

It was a typical, scruffy, scrappy Championship match with little between the two teams until Tyrone Mings got caught in possession by Sam Byram not far outside the area and fouled him. Alex Mowatt curled in a free-kick which Bartosz Bialkowski probably ought to have saved.

Town were given a lifeline when a Sears shot crept under Marco Silvestri before Billy Sharp restored the lead with an excellent finish, which showed why McCarthy wanted to sign him in January.

The Blues were gifted a chance to get on terms again when Sol Bamba handled but Daryl Murphy’s penalty – only Town’s second of the season – was stopped by zero-to-hero Silvestri.

Mistakes of the type which led to the first goal – and there were a couple of earlier slips which went unpunished – have become all too common in recent games and are mainly what’s led to Town’s drop in form.

From August to the end of December the Blues lost just one in 20 league games, since the turn of the year they’ve lost six in 11.

The success on that remarkable run was based on solid performances and grinding out victories and draws from typical, tight Championship games just like the one at Leeds.

It would be the opposition who would make the type of error which has cost the Blues in recent weeks, someone losing someone at a corner, giving away a silly foul or misreading a ball over the top. One clean sheet in 2015 tells its own story.

In addition to that, Daryl Murphy has hit what’s – by his standards this season – a relatively lean period.

Having scored 21 of Town’s 55 goals this season, the Blues were always going to suffer when the Irishman had an inevitable lull.

Much was made of McCarthy resting Sears and Murphy at Elland Road, but the latter in particular looked in need of a rest having featured in practically every game – as well as internationals – up to now.

Their replacements, Chris Wood and Luke Varney, had decent enough games and will have benefited from getting minutes under their belts as the Blues go into the final 11 games.

For all the current doom and gloom, the Blues are still only five points off the automatic places and one off sixth-placed Brentford, who are at Portman Road tomorrow.

Again, looking at it dispassionately, a draw wouldn’t be a bad result against play-off rivals but after those two defeats in a row Town really need a win to restore some momentum as they turn into the season’s final straight.