As I have been keen to point in recent weeks, belief can go a long way in football. How many times has our team wilted after going a goal behind? But it looks as though Garry Monk’s side are made of much sterner stuff.
The fact that we conceded so early could have killed our chances of getting a result, and yet we came back to grab the three points. So, what do we learn from the vital win at St Andrews on Saturday?
1) Crowd setting the tone
Hearing Keep Right On sound out so loudly from the 24,000 that were in attendance after going behind no doubt kept the players positive. The manager has done a fine job of reconnecting with the fans since his arrival.
With the second highest gate of the season, we are showing we are fully behind what the club is doing. That belief and support fed into the players’ performances, with even Jota putting a shift in to win the ball off our opponents.
Huge support is helping the players to perform, which in turn keeps the fans on side. A virtuous circle which has been a major reason for the revival in recent games.
2) Maghoma kept his composure
The winger has been the club’s player of the season by a long way. He has not only come alive since Monk’s arrival, and has been one of the few shining lights throughout the campaign. Yet, we needed him to be composed when it mattered most.
Considering all of our missed chances in recent games, I wasn’t 100% sure when he was put through on goal, but our no.19 was coolness personified when he blasted home. He must have known the importance of the opportunity, but despite not having scored since the start of February, he still finished it off.
3) Monk returns to front foot mentality
The switch in formation against Wolves was a one-off. The manager’s return to 4-4-2 allowed the team to play on the front foot, keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats, and giving us the best chance of getting a win.
Especially facing a team who were again playing three at the back, the temptation could have been to flood the midfield, but Che Adams was thrown straight back in after his suspension to partner Jutkiewicz. The selection paid off with our no.14 providing the assist for the winner.