Down to the bare-bones.
That more or less sums up Birmingham City is some areas of the pitch right now, especially when it comes to centre-backs.
During the defeat to Wigan Athletic, Pep Clotet was forced to put Gary Gardner, traditionally a central or defensive-midfielder into the backline to compensate for the injuries that the team have succumbed to. Speaking after the game, the Spaniard explained his thought process for putting Gardner in that position, and how it came out of necessity rather than desire:
“That has been a position that has been hard for us since the injuries to Robbo (Marc Roberts) and Jake (Clark-Salter). We played there with Geraldo (Bajrami) and Wes (Harding). I thought Gary Gardner could help us. I wanted him and Josh (McEachran) to try and play a little more from the back. He’s good in the air and he’s played there in pre-season and it was the last thing that we could try.”
This just goes back to what I was saying yesterday when talking about the position that Clotet finds himself in right now. His hands are tied behind his back so much, that it would just be unfair to say that the poor run of form is completely down to him.
Contrast it to the early months of the season when the Blues were eight in the table, partly because he had a much bigger squad to choose from back then. So as I said yesterday, I’ll say again now. Let’s just wait until he has the resources available to him before we can fully assess how much of this is down to him and whether or not a change is required.
Where will the Blues finish this season?
7th - 12th
13th - 21st
And with the January window upon us, maybe the board will dip into their pockets to try and get him the funds, and subsequently the players that he needs to help turn this thing around.