Often Partisan

Positivity Sunday

Birmingham City stretched their unbeaten sequence to six games with a third away win on the spin against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth. It was Blues’ first victory against the Cherries on their home patch in 22 years and completed the best sequence of away results since January 2012 when Blues won four away games on the spin (Millwall, Wolves in the FA Cup, Sheffield United in the FA Cup and Leeds United).

As what I have seen of the game is limited to about four minutes of highlights I can’t really comment on individual performances; however one look at the stats show that Blues were ruthless with the chances that came their way. To win an away game despite only having 40% of possession, with the opposition having 24 shots to Blues’ 4 and eight on target to Blues’ 2 almost indicates a smash and grab type victory. Randolph looked clearly like he was on form with Blues TV highlighting his double save at the close of the game to ensure he kept a clean sheet.

This victory has propelled Blues into 14th position, six points above the relegation slots and ten off the playoff positions. Having taken twelve points from the last eighteen Blues should be full of confidence – but what is more pleasing for me is that despite the injuries that have happened players have come into the team and seem to be grasping their chances with both hands. I thought Olly Lee had a good cameo against Middlesbrough and he started the game against Bournemouth by picking out Andrew Shinnie with a low cross to crash the ball home. It’s pleasing to see these players pushing to get first team action and massively shows up the likes of Darren Ambrose – who despite being fully fit seems to have been completely forgotten – is it a case of he is happy to pick up his pay cheque and watch his contract run down?

I think it’s the competition to get into the first team by some of the fringe players that has helped Blues of late. As much as people criticise Clark for “tinkering” with the team setup I like the fact he’s willing to give players a run if they have put the effort in to impress him on the training pitch. Likewise, whilst I know some fans don’t like Clark dropping his better players when they are in poor runs of form I think he’s doing the right thing – it shows that there are no sacred cows and that continually good performances are required to retain the shirt.

With three kids (Amari’i Bell, Reece Brown and Demarai Gray) on the bench Clark is also showing that he wants to keep building them up so that if and when required he can call on them – although none of them got on the pitch (and Will Packwood didn’t make the squad), it’s good for their development that they are there with the first team squad and getting used to being there to be called on if needed. I suspect that the way things are going Blues are going to be more reliant on their youth products for the time being so it’s good to see Clark continues to pursue his policy of bringing them through.

For the first time in a while I feel positive about the club; whilst fourteenth in the Championship is a comedown from what we have been used to, it’s clear to me that the club is still fighting and the players are still trying – and that’s all I’ve ever wanted from them. Let’s hope we can continue this run for a bit longer and that the team can deliver some wins to the long-suffering home support.

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26 Responses to “Positivity Sunday”

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I like the fact that Lee Clark isn’t afraid to drop the “big” players when they’re out of form. Zigic, Burke, Reilly, Burn and Shinnie are testament to that. It’s a pity that the likes of Ambrose and Allen don’t see it that way. It’s always counter-productive to keep playing them, hoping that they’ll come good. I think Clark learned that lesson to his cost last season. Dropping them for a few games does them good imo.

    Well, we’re 14th now and a win against Forest could set us up for a charge on the top half of the table. It’s also nice to see that our goal difference is zero now. It could make all the difference at the end of the season. Onwards and upwards. KRO!

  • DoctorD says:

    We just need to take the good recent away form into home matches.

  • steve says:

    For once luck was on our side as we were 2nd best for most of the game.Darren Randolph made up for last week with a brilliant performance. Just wish we could start winning at home Well done lads.

  • Peter bates says:

    Well done boys lets reproduce at home and who knows playoffs maybe home formight be crucial

  • mark says:

    Good to see your happy Steve………cannot for the forest game lets have a Christmas cheer lol

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Perhaps the players sense that the fans away from home are 100% behind them ever game.

    • steve says:

      I think the home fans are behind them.They could be booed off the field after each game,but they’re not.The problem at home is that the team give the fans nothing to cheer about.The majority of the away fans go to the home games as well,so why aren’t the away fans getting behind us at home ?

      • mark says:

        Hopefully with reasonable attendance we will make stans rock…….get your kids in for quid…..instead of this stupid notion to boycott or simply stay at hone. Unite and bring some Christmas cheer , lets party….. sorry if I come over as happy clapper, so what personally I dont care…..i stand by my word we will be in the play offs……. Kro

      • StaffsBlue says:

        The team definitely play with more freedom at home. I’ve no idea why. You’d have to ask the players that… but I do think it’s a mental / psychological thing.

  • Jaffa says:

    Just got my Wigan tickets,fingers crossed!

  • Bluesbot says:

    Got to be pleased with the defensive exploits of the team yesterday, we defended like our lives depended on it – and its draws parallels with the unbeatables under Mclies where the team threw themselves into every challenge, blocked shots here there and everywhere, what was also similar was we hardly made a foray into the oppositions half and couldnt keep the ball. Luckily when we did we made our chances count. Upwards and Onwards I hope !!!
    Quite enjoyed the match – although being in the main stand I couldnt celebrate when we scored grrrr, although I did sing KRO albeilt quietly lol, was impressed with the cherries home support in the 2nd half, non stop singing and noise for most part, reminded me of how St Andrews used to be

    • StaffsBlue says:

      “…although being in the main stand I couldnt celebrate when we scored grrrr, although I did sing KRO albeilt quietly lol.”

      Reminds me of the old Carrott sketch (Man U / Neanderthals away.) :)

  • BigmanSteve0 says:

    About bloody time , look , club problems aside, this team of blue & white delight are more than capable of pushing for promotion, I just cannot understand some of the results we have had so far……it’s got to be the manager & his decisions ….we are either very good or total 5hit….it really is difficult for me to put me finger on why we’ve had some of the poor results……make sense?
    Kro sotv DNM

  • sutton apex says:

    home win a must – its what most fans judge their team on, so lets beat forest !

  • Rob Simpson says:

    Brilliant win for the Blues. Let’s get behind the lads at St Andrews and cheer them on to another game unbeaten.

  • Ray says:

    We have no stars to sell and that may result in the team stabilising and going on to climb the table still further. Instead of getting rid of players let’s get rid of PP and CY. KRO and well done Blues!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Great snatch and grab win and yet another great away day. There is a real bond forming between the away crew and these players based on the amount of old school Blues who are showing up. Couldn’t believe some of the mushes I bumped into in the various seafront bars. I think these players know and we definitely know all about the crap we’re in but we disregard it roll our sleeves up and get on with playing football.

    Lee is doing a great job clawing out these points and to go on this kind of run with the squad we’ve got is remarkable. I agree with you Dan his strength is picking a side he thinks will do the job on the day based on players current form and the opposition. This fluid approach is working for us.

    Although I will admit that the ale may have impaired my view I thought and have thought since he came that Maclean was poor. Huffed and puffed a lot but his final ball was terrible. Ziggy seemed to enjoy himself, playing their fans up when he shot and hit the post after the ref had already blown to stop play and lying on the ground for a good 5 minutes holding his head whilst the ref totally ignored him then he made an on-the-spot recovery similar to The Undertaker on WWE and sat upright, got up and ran off like nothing had happened, cue choruses of boos from their fans.

    Long trip but worth every minute and I for one can’t wait for the Xmas games. Here’s hoping the next transfer window doesn’t hurt us too much.

  • Art Watson says:

    I’m not a fan of Clark but I have to say his away record this season gives me some confidence that survival is a good possibility.

    Well done to him and the team.

  • Frankie says:

    Pity you cannot see behind your dislike of Clark really Art, guess it would be nicer for a few Blues fans if we had a more photogenic and perhaps eloquent manager.
    The REAL bare facts are though that Lee Clark is doing an amazing job at Birmingham City, we are very lucky to have him.

  • tony says:

    well yes what is clarke expected to do with all the sales yes i have been down a lot after matches and the first thing to blame is the manager but if you think of the situation we are in i cannot think of another manager who could do what clarke is doing on not even a shoe string and all the injuries he does not moan about things yes he is learning and will get better but like the team is young hungry and up for it. k r o

  • Iggy says:

    I have it on good authority from a family member that Darren Ambrose is fully fit and desperate to play for Blues.

    He’d be disappointed at the comments in this article suggesting he is content to take the money whilst sitting it out.


  • Chris W says:

    We have a small young squad who are giving there all, we can not ask for anything more.
    We have had some good results and when players have been dropped they have not spat their dummies out but knuckled down and fought for their place.
    The youngsters have proved LC’s faith in them and worked hard to make their place their own, with a few yellow cards and heavy festive period we will need all hands to the point, as long as we finish at least 4th from bottom and 10 clear points I would say that will be a fair season, anything else is a bonus….
    My opinion anyway.

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