I like Pep Clotet, I really do.
I think he’s a breath of fresh air, he comes across as very knowledgeable, and he’s brought in some players that I think could make Birmingham a very good side in this division. Not quite challenging for promotion yet, but certainly pushing towards the upper end.
However, even I can see that there are occasions that he doesn’t help himself.
Speaking in his press conference yesterday, Clotet spoke about how important the home form was going to be.
“We want to put things right after Sunday, it is important we put things right at home, home is going to be crucial for us, if we win on Saturday it is a huge three points. Our support at home has always been fantastic, when we are together, the fans & the team, we are strong.”
That’s all well and good, but you have to be able to produce away from home as well, and that means going on the front foot on occasion.
We simply aren’t going to be able to rely on our home form this season, we are going to have to do much better away from St Andrew’s. If you send the team out with the mentality of trying not to lose, against a team who is trying to win then you just aren’t going to be able to match them.
If you press a team properly you might actually spring a surprise, get a goal and force them to panic. If you sit back and let them come at you, then you’re just accepting defeat before kick-off. Playing such negative football away from home isn’t going to get this club anywhere.
Birmingham got incredibly lucky in their first game of the season away at Brentford, scoring not only with their only shot on target, but their only shot at all. Things slightly picked up in terms of statistics away to Nottingham Forest where the Blues had nine shots overall and two of them were on target. However things came crashing back down to earth on the road at Swansea City where the club were reduced to four shots in total and didn’t manage to get a single one on target.
Whilst he may be looking for games at St Andrew’s to act as a springboard going forward, I think the form away from home needs to be looked at first.