Date: 27th November 2017 at 2:07pm
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A hard fought point at Brammall Lane represented a good return for Blues` efforts on Saturday evening. But the task in hand isn`t about to get any easier as Wolves – the pace setters of the Championship – arrive at St. Andrews next Monday.

Steve Cotterill stuck his neck on the line by switching the system to adopt a back three and, on the whole, it worked well. And while it may not be the most expansive approach, it seems to offer Blues the solidity they have been craving for so long.

Undoubtedly, it was a gamble. Blues only had one full training session to prepare for their trip to high flying Sheffield United and to work on the unfamiliar shape. But, obviously, Cotterill saw it as a gamble worth taking after witnessing Blues meekly surrender at Middlesboro last Wednesday.

It`s easier for a manager to take gambles if his side are losing games. Blues, simply put, have been atrocious on the road this season, picking up just a solitary point before this weekend.

The system wasn`t without its faults though. If Che Adams has been fit and match ready, he would have bought a tad more mobility to the attacking third. Lukas Jutkiewicz tries his heart out but, unless you employ out and out wide players to pepper the box with crosses, he may as well be redundant.

The midfield pairing of Maikel Kieftenbeld and Chieck Ndoye, while competitive and vivacious, surrender possession too hastily. Too often, Jota was forced deep inside his own half to pick up the ball in an attempt to dictate proceedings.

However, positives were far more common. The back three of Michael Morrison, Harlee Dean and Marc Roberts were unyielding in the face of relentless Blades pressure. For all their possession, the hosts were limited to very few real chances.

When the chance did come, Leon Clarke was left with too much time and space to execute the equaliser. But it`s difficult to be overly critical of the defence after they had mercifully soaked up so much for long periods.

Cotterill appears to be overseeing slow progress at Birmingham City? but any progress is progress.

 
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