Reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup and getting beaten 1-0 by Leicester City is not going to cause much criticism of Birmingham City’s squad. In fact, this achievement will probably be remembered this season as the highlight of the current campaign.
Since lifting the Carling Cup almost a decade ago, we have struggled to make any real mark in the Championship – Chris Hughton’s Play-Off spot the exception. However, the season’s have produced drama at the wrong end of the table, with last game survival scares that have tested the most stoic of Bluenose heartbeats.
Joys at unexplainable levels of Caddis at Bolton, Adams at Bristol City and the last day Fulham victory under Monk. All Cup Finals in our own little way. It’s the way we do it at Blues. Never a dull moment you could say and never a peaceful period.
Wednesday night at Leicester again portrayed another battling performance with players giving everything for the Club and the thin margin of not progressing to the quarter-finals was there for all to see.
Two quality players would have tipped the balance and that’s where it is such a shame. We have elder players with experience and we have youth talents breaking through, but at no fault to anyone, we cannot make that extra yard until we get more quality into the team. The question is whether we will ever be in a position to add real quality under current restraints and make next season the tenth in the Championship, that sees us escape upwards into the Premier League.
Leicester had a strong team to test us and we almost passed, but for a bit of extra quality, we could have swung it our way. Next season must be the start of such subtle changes, starting with the purchase of Scott Hogan who should be covered by the Bellingham deal.
We all know what else we need but it has to be quality over quantity and we need to seize this opportunity in the summer. Leicester might have been a Cup game but for me it proved that we are not far away from real success in our own second tier.