Onwards and upwards.
That seemed to be the message that Pep Clotet wanted to stress as the Blues look to bounce back from two consecutive defeats as they take on Wigan Athletic tonight. Speaking to BCFC.com yesterday before tonight’s match, Clotet stressed that there were plenty of positives to take from the Derby game despite the result:
“That’s the Championship, football is a game of mistakes and they capitalised. The same happened second-half. We slipped (Marc Roberts, the last man, in possession). But I saw a massive commitment from the players, massive character. Not only that attitude, but they did really good things to control the game, to get forward and create chances. We pressed very well, too – I saw a Birmingham side that I liked a lot and I think the reaction from our fans at the end told you they understood we deserved something more.”
And that’s exactly what I have been saying for some time. I spoke in the aftermath of the game that the performance that we put in on Saturday was a great sign of the progress were have made. Now if we can just cut out some of the mistakes, like Lee Camp for the first goal or Marc Roberts for the second, then we should be able to cope with a side like Wigan tonight.
And it’s also why I’m still not ready to start piling any pressure on Clotet just yet. Gone are the days when we would capitulate like we did against Nottingham Forest or Swansea City. We’re showing fight, and given that fans aren’t expecting us to do too much this season, that spirit and those performances will be able to see us through until May.
If it starts to sneak back into our game, then I will start to raise some questions, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
What about you? Do you think that if we play as well as we did against Derby County, but cut out the mistakes that we’ll be able to come away with a result? Or do you think that the style of play will still restrict us somewhat?