Add this to an eight-game unbeaten run, plus a barren transfer window (exception of Scott Hogan) of incoming players – then Pep Clotet and the players are certainly doing something right. All this since that awful home defeat by Wigan that had supporters in despair.
Analysing anything is useless when it comes to Blues as we can produce the unexpected at any given match, but this time around there is a feeling of new beginnings and a sense that radical changes are being implemented.
Apart from the rising talent of the extraordinary Jude Bellingham, we have youngsters playing and being prepared for first team football. Boyd-Munce and Concannon are just two that have tasted winning for the senior team and being part of it, which must be an invaluable experience.
The majority of supporters, including myself, felt the transfer window left us more than vulnerable after the release of David Davis and Gimenez plus Odin Bailey. A threadbare squad is what it looked and our understanding was quite bewildering. However, the introduction of Hogan and the young guns and hopefully the returns of Keiftenbeld and Crowley this coming week, will make the events of the transfer window more understandable.
Pep Clotet in recent interviews, comes across well and it is clear the players really do play for him. After the Bristol win, I thought his Sky interview was very commendable and gave us a better insight into the younger players and particularly the handling of Bellingham.
This week’s matches against Barnsley and Brentford will again be testing for the squad and particularly the handling of the rotation of the players. Brentford will be the most interesting as many Championship managers cite this club as the blueprint to success. Preston are a bit similar, but Brentford are the stand out example. Should we get a win against them at St.Andrews next Saturday, with the ideal blend of youth and older heads, then who knows how far we can go this season.
This last week when the team levelled against Coventry in a gruelling second half plus extra time and three days later played their arguably best away performance of the season so far, against strong opposition, sent many messages out that Blues are changing for the better.
Blending and balance of the players who are sent out to perform looks to be working and long may it continue.