Often Partisan

Cup or League?

Birmingham City bowed out of the FA Cup following a 2-1 defeat to local rivals West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. A first half double from Victor Anichebe was enough to see the Baggies through, with Blues not able to build on Jonathan Grounds first half injury-time reply.

I’ve seen quite a bit of comment online about how Gary Rowett “cheated the fans” by not playing his full strength team at the weekend. Although only two changes were made (Lloyd Dyer for Dimmi Gray and Lee Novak for Clayton Donaldson), the feeling seems to be that those choices (and the second in particular) condemned Blues to failure in a game they could have won – and with the field blown so wide open due to the amount of shocks this weekend possibly denied the club a much longer cup run.

I have to admit I’m philosophical about it. As much as I’d like to see Blues win their second trophy in four years, I can’t see it happening – and as much as I don’t think we’re now in danger of going down, I think the league has to be our priority. I don’t think we’ll get that close to the playoffs either before anyone says it; my worry is more that the ongoing shenanigans in HK will affect the day-to-day running of the club sooner or later and thus getting as many points on the board as we can is imperative.

I’m not trying to be a doom-monger here; more a realist. As much as I’m fully convinced that the club has the money to see the season through I’m also sure that next season has a big hole in the finances and with the share suspension in HK likely to continue for months I can’t see the parent company being able to send any money to Birmingham to keep the club in the black post-May/June. In the more immediate short term I’m concerned that if Carson is able to execute the EGM he has requested then the board of BIH may well be changed for the worse – and that will inevitably severely impact the running of the club.

So I have to be honest when I say our away game at Sheffield Wednesday is probably more important at this juncture; the quicker Blues can confirm that their position in the Championship is secure, the easier it will be should sanctions be put into place by the Football League. I have to say it hurts me to say this – I’m a big believer in the ideal of trying to win everything possible and I don’t like the idea of sacrificing one thing to protect another but right now I trust in Rowett to do the right thing because I think he knows better than any of us what is required.

I hope the 28,000+ fans who came into the ground enjoyed the game – even though it seems likely that there were probably some Baggies in the home end (this is a good piece by one of them) – and that the next league game sees an uplift in attendance. Although Norwich City at home doesn’t quite have the same level of interest as a local rival in the cup, I’d like to see more of our fans enjoy the Blues’ footballing renaissance under Rowett. The last two months I’ve enjoyed watching football again at St Andrews – rather than think Rowett cheated us, let’s remember the strides that have been made.

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79 Responses to “Cup or League?”

  • Dean says:

    The FA Cup game, with its prize money, was much more important than a match at Sheffield Wednesday which is, in all reality, a mid-table nothing match that will be forgotten quickly.

    Win, lose or draw, the result at Hillsborough will have marginal significance in the final league table. It may be the difference in us finishing 12th or 13th – big deal. The 1000 or so fans who will make the journey will care, but Rowett preferred, chose, decided, to let down the 25000 or so Bluenoses in the ground on Saturday.

    I felt let down.

    I’m 48 years old. I want to see Birmingham in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, never mind a final. We’ve not been in one since 1975. That’s an embarrassment. Wigan f*cking Athletic have been in two in the last two seasons. This season would have been an ideal opportunity. Rowett looked at it, had plenty of time to consider it, and deliberately weakened our chances of beating an ordinary Albion side.

    Rowett’s first mistake. A huge one. He’s going to have to do a lot of making up.

    • almajir says:

      How much prize money? It’s not actually that much – not in comparison to the drop off in turnover should the unthinkable happen and we get relegated

      Also asterisk your swearwords please.

    • Dave Mann says:

      He made two mistakes Dean, dyer and Novak but if they had come off we would all be lording him today, it didn’t but in hindsight its easy to criticise those choices and before the game I was supprised to but he will live or die as blues manager on those decisions and I for one was optemistic about the performance…he’s let no one down when you think 14 games 11 points and second from bottom when he took over.. Give the guy a break because we were never gonna win the FA cup because history tells you that! Kro

    • John Cavanagh says:

      Stop whinging mate, a real Birmingham supporter would believe we can go up this season, get behind the team and manager and stop moaning about a Match where we made two changed

    • Spud says:

      Oh get a grip!
      He made 2 changes, hardly the signs of a tinkerman!
      A mistake it may (or may not) have been, but who’s to say we’d have won if the others had of played? Then you’d be getting on at him for over using players. You strike me as someone who just waited for something to throw at Rowett.
      The FA Cup game was in no way more important than the league game with Sheff Wed. If the worst thing happens and we’re deducted points, do you think points wouldn’t be more important than a very small amount of prize money??
      Stop moaning, stop going to St Andrews. You probably booed at full time as well….

    • Julian Glass says:

      I agree it should have been the normal XI. However that wouldn’t have stopped the WBA goals

    • Darren wise says:

      I really disagree…. Say we get 10 point deduction? What then?

      I think Rowett’s priorities are right … League is the priority.. If we lose to Many of those mid table games, we will no longer be mid table!!!! And will have the possibility of another aweful, tense final day.

  • nicko says:

    gary rowett can pick who he likes the man has done a job here that i bet 95/ per cent of managers
    would not have touched with a barge pole. he has us playing football put a smile on us all.we go down st andrews actually thinking we are going to win not under clark you were happy if you got a draw at home.this man in time will take us back up lets all just back him kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    It was a good performance from blues and that second half proved that we can match up to a stable premiership side like the baggies who WILL NOT get relegated come may!!.. If we had started gray and Donaldson I am to convinced we would have got atleast a replay or even got through but that’s history now and like you say Dan tommorows game at wednesday and Saturdays game against Norwich take on new importance because six points there and were right in the thick of the top half of the table and the playoffs not might be as far off as they seem now…we had 23 shots Saturday with only Liverpool and man city having more with 24…I don’t think there’s to much wrong though Robinson was bullied by Anichebe and I think another centre half is a must after Saturdays game !! Kro

    • Blue lizard says:

      Bloody hell I agree with Dave!!……A cup run would not only have made the already feel good factor around the place even better but it would have bought some dosh in too (that’s if it didn’t vanish?) plus those noses that came to Albion game might have come back next home following a win..still it’s gone now and we are miles better than before GR came…The league is bread and butter and survival in that until the rubbish in HK have gone will have to do for me…..Big up to the Blues fans too, nice intimidating atmosphere and noise nearly like the old days egh? (still think we were generous with WBA allocation would we have got the same if that game was at at there place? not fecking likely!!)

      • Dave Mann says:

        Bluelizzard, we would have got 15 per cent of there attendance which his slightly lower than ours at about 27,500 or something like that so about 5,000 or so would have gone including yours truly but not to be so roll on Wednesday and Norwich because that’s all that matters now. Kro

  • Alan Crawford says:

    I went to the game and did not feel cheated. Novak and Dyer played well. The whole team played well second half. Grounds in particular stood out for me. He’s definitely won me over after that performance.

  • @85Coy says:

    Most probably the fans complaining about Rowett on Saturday went to their first game this season (if not longer/if that) and are an absolute disgrace thankful I do believe that they are in a minority given the reaction after the game where the true blues gave a standing ovation of appreciation to the colossal effort put in by the boys in royal blue.
    It is idiocy mixed in with alot of fickleness, they should follow the man without a plan up north and be done with us APOLOGIES if this seems a little strong but… 23RD, BIRMINGHAM 0 V 8 BOURNEMOUTH, £5000 PER WEEK SALARY CAP… GET REAL! Rowett is performing miracles and in him we trust END OF.

    • Dave Mann says:

      Totally agree! Kro

    • richardm says:

      Sorry, can’t agree with this – people have the right to feel dissapointed with Rowett’s team selection for this game – that does not however mean that these people are against Rowett or blind to the fantasitc progress Blues have made under him. We lose, we move on, but IMO it’s a missed opportunity, especially in front of the first sell out in over three years.

      • steve says:

        Completely agree richardm. I was annoyed by his selection on Saturday.A full house against local rivals in a winable cup tie,he should have picked his best 11. That doesn’t mean my support for GR and the team has diminished. And it doesn’t take anything away from the brilliant job they’re all doing. Unfortunately,some take any criticism of the team or management personally.

  • DoctorD says:

    It’s a sign of how far we’ve come that people are rueing the manager tweaking the team slightly and ending up losing in the Cup. Still, I find it odd that Rowett left his two stars out with a big home crowd. Fans are basically never happy are they. We ran the Baggies all the way. Meanwhile over at Watford, Clark’s new lot shipped seven goals in after going 2-0 up. Now that is bad.

  • Dave says:

    Quite staggering the amount of hostility against Rowett for making those two changes. I was a bit confused by his decision to ‘rest’ Donaldson and given that Gray has been on fire lately it would’ve made sense to start him and maybe bring on Dyer later. However, the League is our bread and butter, and when we tank the Owls midweek then saturday will be forgotten. Also it’s good to remember that alongside Crystal Palace, the Baggies have been resurgent (much like ourselves) since the arrival of a new boss so it was always going to be a difficult game. A cup run would have been nice agreed, especially now that the Vile have managed to scrape through – a QF against them would all but guarantee a trip to Wembley, but positioning in the Championship will give us the platform to kick on next season, barring any meltdowns in HK.

    My immediate concern on the pitch is Zigic. While it was the right deal at the time, I don’t think he’s having the impact most of us wished he had – a bit like Forssell when he came back from long-term injury and he seems a bit of a waste of a substitution at the minute. But no doubt he’ll bag a couple at Hillsborough and I’ll be eating my words. KRO

    • Blue Lizard says:

      Hardly hostility..just comments about team selection..i haven’t seen anyone shouting for his head or wanting to punch it?..you are never going to please everyone but from my point of view against prem opposition..a full house and a local derby then when do you play your best???

    • atko says:

      To be fair to Zigic, he hasn’t had a great deal of game time & playing him off the bench for the final 10 minutes or so of a game hoping for an impact isn’t going to give him a great deal of game time either to maintain his sharpness. Anyone can keep themselves fit but if they aren’t getting matches their impact is going to be reduced IMO. I can’t believe there are so many complaints about Saturday’s team given that GR only made 2 changes from our first team. I admit I was a little surprised at Novak’s inclusion, I was expecting Donaldson to be rested but was expecting Wes Thomas, especially after his goals in the last round. GR knows what he is doing, start moaning at ANY BCFC staff when there is nothing to moan at & you start us off on a slippery slope. Remember all those that moaned at the previous owners…..now look where we’re at!!

    • steve says:

      Hostility,what hostility ? What an over reaction. People are expressing a point of view. sorry if it’s different to yours.

  • Tony E says:

    I can accept the two players rested, what I do not understand is why Novak was selected over Zigic and Thomas. There is little to choose between Novac and Thomas in terms of ability, they are both limited, but Thomas wins is both power and pace. I honestly believe the Baggies were there for the taking and we missed a trick and potentially another good payday with an exciting draw.

  • ChrisG says:

    Dan you may have answered this but with so much going on across the pond recently I may have missed it, what is the worst the HKSE can do to BIH & what would it mean for BCFC?

  • darren says:

    Having to reign my feelings in as I was annoyed sat night we didn’t go for it, but have to trust GR.

    What I don’t understand is how the baggies – who have a real threat of relegation and a lot more money to lose can play their first team, yet us in mid table going nowhere cant do the same.

    Having said that it was worse we didn’t even start with the 2nd choice striker (Thomas or Zigic) we start with bob the builder – who ever since he has been at the club for me has done nothing. He seemed to have some hold over clark before and it seems GR now!!!

    It would be interesting to see what bonus GR is on, which may also impact on where his priorities are, FA cup clearly wasn’t one of them, feeling disappointed, but I will be back on Sat – to expel my demons

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Rowett left out a couple of players and tried something different. So it didn’t quite come off.. but it nearly did. A little bit of luck and things might have been very different. But we move on.

    I think the next two games – Sheff Wed and Norwich – are highly important. If we beat Wednesday, we go above them into the top 10… if we then beat Norwich (who are 8th atm, we close the gap on them to two points. So imo, this week might show if a tilt at the play offs could be realistic. Although the cup game was a chance of earning a few quid, I’m looking forward much more to these next two games. Onwards and upwards.

  • rhees says:

    Yes cup run been nice but lets be honest we wouldn’t win it.
    Much rather push for play offs not that we will make nut the feel good factor bring some fans back
    Plus give us cause for some optimism next season.
    In Rowett we trust kro

  • The Francis Fake says:

    Rowett has done a magnificent job so far, however, he made a huge blunder at the weekend that has damaged some of the goodwill that he has created. The fact that this was a sell out against local rivals should have demanded that a full strength team was put out, particularly as we are now very much encamped in mid table with a very low probability of either relegation or promotion. I think this decision was made because of the game at Sheff Wed, which is a game that we could lose even at full strength. Pulis who has the risk of relegation from EPL put out his first 11. This modern trend of treating cup completion as secondary to the league is one of the most annoying aspects of football today. GR I feel misjudged the situation.

  • swissjonny says:

    I am absolutely astounded at any criticism of GR.Lets say he played Dimi amd Donaldson and one or both of them received long term injuries? The money from any cup run-no matter how limited- would most probably have been diverted elsewhere.Survival in the this league is imperative and if any points penalties are imposed we need to get as many league points as possible to ensure that we are not relegated.GR took a job that not many people would have.He has changed the atmosphere and the outlook at the club.For heavens sake boys lets get behind him! Some of the comments on here sound like whinging Vilers! Get real and get behind a man who is giving 100 per cent.Rant over!

    • steve says:

      I don’t buy this,what if they got injured tosh. When we play teams below us shall we rest our best players in case they get hurt ?

      • swissjonny says:

        No mate because we need league points.Believe me its the league that must take preference for us now especially in light of the FA interest.

        • RichardM says:

          So what happens to your arguement if Donaldson / Gray or both get injured tonight then? I understand the point you’re trying to make, but injuries are part and parcel of the game, could happen in training, pre-match warm-up, leaving Gray and Donaldson out doesn’t now mean their are immune to injury for the rest of the season….I think the bigger complaint is more about playing Novak, instead of Thomas (who would have given us pace) or Zigic (who would have given us height). Novak is a work horse who is neither fast, tall or prolific in front of goal – in other words the wrong selection to play up front alone in the biggest game of the season so far. Difference of opinion, let’s leave it at that.

    • AdamD says:

      I have no qualms with the resting of either players. Say Dimmi plays from the start and bags himself a couple of goals. In doing that he takes away some of the “can he do it in the premier league”. With a couple of premier clubs already looking at him it may have been just a keep him out the shop window thing. Also it meant that it could give Dyer some clearly needed game time, which could be pivotal if we do indeed lose Gray, in a game where defeat was not going to be the worst thing in the world.

      Donaldson will most likely start the two league games which means he would’ve been asked to play three games in 7 days a lone striker. Personally would’ve preferred Thomas to Novak.

      Anyway looking forward to 6 points from tonight and Saturday keeping us at least in the mix of playoffs as I’m not sure how I would handle mid table mediocrity. Something us Blues fans are very unfamiliar with.

  • Lee says:

    blues played well against Albion but Albion were comfortable against us, they have premiership defender sand all we did was have a lot of possession without looking like scoring, doesn’t matter who he played up front the outcome would have been the same, west bro were more than happy to let us have the ball, they coped easily, if we get away without a points deduction this season I will be amazed, if Donaldson had picked up an injury we would be in trouble, those calling it a huge Blunder are probably the ones who don’t bother turning up every week, clowns

  • micko says:

    If managing a football club just meant putting your 11 best players on the pitch every match then even I could do it. Fitness, fatigue – physical and mental and a host of other factors need to be considered. Dimmi Gray is only 18 and playing every match as well as having to deal with all the speculation about his future. Donaldson works his b****cks off every match for the cause. We need them both fit and firing up to the end of the season. All of those bleating about them being left out of the Baggies match – get real !

  • darren says:

    lee, I go every week and I am still disappointed.

    the albion have far more to lose if there players got injured / get relegated but they went for it all the same.

    Do you really think the FA will dish out a points deduction if we have enough points on the board that it doesn’t matter?

    the only clown I saw was novak

    • Richard Granfield says:

      I was surprised by 2 things Saturday, the first being Novak starting and the second how well he stood up to the tough Albion defence. There is no certainty that Donaldson would have done any better against an ultra defensive side.
      All Blues’ fans must have confidence in GR’s selections and not be too critical at his picks.

  • Retired&Weary says:

    I too am amazed at the criticism of GR. As said earlier he left 2 players out, big deal! Donaldson probably needed a rest bearing in mind the work he’s put in since GR took over. Gray to be fair has been a little inconsistent recently, plus there’s been all the speculation about his immediate future. He did make an impact when he came on I will admit. I wouldn’t have gone for Novak to be honest but GR must have seen enough in training to come to the conclusion he did.
    GR has got to lose a few more games & make some really daft selections before he gets critism from me.
    I also wonder at the criticism of Randolph again. He’s been top drawer since GR came in. The old cliche of not being beaten at the near post gets wheeled out as usual. I’m afraid it does happen more often than you think. More by luck than judgement on this occasion.

  • graham says:

    You are the Clown, why start calling names. I have not missed a game in 40 years and resent remarks like that. I do believe you should play your strongest team. Arguments about been tired don’t wash with me. If the team is winning a decent player would want to be in the team. Simarlarly saying what if someone got injured ? get real there is every chance of that in every game ,its even happened to us in pregame warm ups !!! It is fair that if you pay your last few bob going the match you expect to see the full team. If you went in The fish and chip shop payed your money and found you had been given scratchings you would have the right to moan ? Whats the difference.The chip shop owner could not say I am saving the fish we got a busy time next week !
    Tongue in cheek comment but we have the right to complain when we feel cheated. KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Graham we did get fish but it was not as good as normal…I said earlier that if we had won then nothing would have been said so those that were upset that he didn’t play what the majority of us think is our best team which was only two light by the way then that’s the managers choice and the choice of those fans who did turn up Saturday but won’t see again for a while to decide if that performance wasent good enough bearing in mind where we are to carry on coming down on a regular basis.. Lets hope they all turn up for Norwich!! .dont think so some how!!!! Kro

    • chas says:

      Dave,I gave got my tickets for the game,I will be there,and even outside the Cricketers with pint if it isnt raining,inside if it is. Daniel,look out for me and ask for dosh if you see me;-)

  • raymondo says:

    Fact is, if we had played as well before half time as we did after we might have done better than we did. We should have had two defenders on their danger man, especially after their first goal. Instead we let him do exactly the same thing twice!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Anichebe ran Robinson ragged and was to strong to hold off for the second goal, as for the first it should have been saved by Randolph or even before cleared by Robinson so we go on about not starting gray or Donaldson but a missing centre half and Doyle in goal might have had equal importance than gray and Donaldson starting .. Just a thought!! Kro

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Dave, most telling outcome of the game was that Robinson is not up to it. He is a great leader, get him his coaching badges and let him coach the babbies. Pi**ed off by all the garbage that Anichibe is unplayable, I could have stopped him with a wet lettuce. Also comments by the grass snorter on MOTD. It was a “bad game” my *rse!

  • TracyKRO says:

    I think all the results this weekend shows how poor the prem is this season, Chelsea 2 Bradford 4
    man city 0 boro 2, Liverpool 0 Bolton 0, Cambridge 0 man u 0. Albion on Saturday, they were poor we outplayed them specially in the 2nd half. if it wasn’t for them two mistakes we would have won
    Lets just see out the season, more points on the table. Then hope we get a new board or some investment into the club
    GR Blue & white army

  • chas says:

    Me again,Dave. The two goals both took deflections, they were hard luck on the Goalie,he would probably have saved both but for that.

    • steve says:

      Was the first one deflected ? He should have saved it. It’s not the first soft goal he’s let in. almost another when they hit the post late on.

      • Chas says:

        Yes Steve. When the Goal was shown from behind the Goal, you could see Anichebe’s shot come off Robinsons leg and divert to the Goalies right. He was lined up to stop the ball but couldn’t react in time, tho he made a good attempt.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Alright chas, might be being a bit harsh with the goals but being beaten on your near post is not good but I do rate Randolph and is our number one… It just wasn’t our day mate and we were very good second half and a replay deserved but not to be … We move on and a trip to Wednesday and then Norwich Saturday could improve morale so onwards and upwards and six points to soften the blow . Kro

  • bluenose08 says:

    All you fans moaning about gr thank yourselves lucky you can go and watch. I have to work on a Saturday and would love to go and watch the blues but I cant ! And before anyone says look for another job I cant because I have a disability, so stop the moaning and support gr who has done a great job or do you want lc back ??

  • Dave Mann says:

    Those who are moaning about Gary rowett should remember what he’s done in 14 games compared to the first 14 games.. He made which I’ve agreed with a mistake in picking Novak and dyer but lay off him because you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone and he’s worked wonders already !!! Kro

  • Ray says:

    Gary Rowett has done a fantastic job so far. I am delighted with him so far. We weren’t that bad on Saturday and did really well in second half.

  • chudlt says:

    It looks as if a few moaners turned up for the Game. Probably for the first time since 2012. Pity they don’t come to every home game then they would be entitled to their opinions. I expect the next time we will see them at Stans is when we make the Play offs.(Whenever that is) They will still be moaning of course. They have such happy lives!

  • Tony says:

    I too think he should have started with Donaldson, and grey, however he decided not too that’s it we move on.
    As for moaning just think back a while back to the dark days of the clueless one, we would have still been second bottom, and a near certainty for relegation.
    Clark has infected the seasiders with the same manic apathy he did with us, just thank god hes gone, I do every day.

    • Chas says:

      Or if anyone has forgotten what those days were like, have a look at the Blackpool Freeforums website. You would swear that, apart from the background colour it was written by Blues Fans. :-)

      • Chas says:

        Just for example, this is taken off that Forum just now . You have to laugh , thank god he isn’t managing us now,.
        BBC Lancashire ‏@BBCLancashire 1h1 hour ago
        SPORT: @BlackpoolFC boss Lee Clark wants fans to “keep believing” despite their 7-2 thrashing at Watford

  • andy says:

    Dan, your piece has depressed me, to think things could get much much worse before there is even a chink of light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

  • raymondo says:

    As far as I am concerned we go into Tuesdays match with the same team and me with the same optimism as if there hadn’t been a cup match. GR changed the team before the previous cup match against Blyth Spartansb and he can change it any time he wants. He knows more about football and it’s tactics than I do and I suspect more than his critics on this blog and I have absolute faith in what he does. As for making mistakes, we all have, and it’s easy to be wise after the event. Save your vitriol for the clowns in Hong Kong and be grateful that GR had the guts to take on the job knowing what they are like.

  • abc says:

    So are we not allowed to criticise Rowett now? The fact is he didn’t play our strongest XI against our rivals and he should have. Plus we had a sell out crowd, and that could’ve been a chance to bring some fans back. Yes he has done a fantastic job for us, but that doesn’t make him immune from criticism if we feel he didn’t make the correct decisions.

  • anolden says:

    Raymondo, , totally agree with you

  • Luke says:

    We’re often partisan, but not if we lose a match…

  • Blooflame says:

    Pathetic, stupid idiot calling for Rowett out????? Has to be either a Vile fan or Lee Clark incognito!!!
    Cup or League…? We’ve been here before ….a no brainer, it’s the league dummies

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think Dyer was a good shout for a place. If only we’d played the ball to him earlier, instead of waiting until the full back was up his ‘arris all the time. The one time we did, he laid on the goal. As for Novak, if he plays, I prefer him on the left. He works his nuts off and provides good cover for the full back… but as a lone striker? Nah, not for me.

    We’re all entitled to our opinions, but the difference between him and all us other managers, is that he gets paid to do the job, so he should be left to get on with it. At the end of the day, Rowett is like every other manager.. he’ll stand or fall by his decisions.

  • bluesuedeshoes says:

    To many arm chair managers spouting what should have been done for my liking….people are entitled to there opinion but when they start second guessing GR and start claiming how dissapointed they are it becomes a joke! GR alone has guided our ship away from the sharp jaggered rocks of relegation to the brink of valhala so without this course he has set we would have never been in the position of a possible cup run, our team would not have the moral we now see week in week out at st andrews for it a marathon not a sprint.he carefully guids each step 1 after another in a maticulus nature we are fortunate to have, its like allowing somebody to dive you from lands end to john of grotes and when you get there you say “oh, i would have turned left at that last junction”. KRO in GR we trust!

  • Wingman Blue says:

    At Wembley in the cup and possible relegation, like 2011? Or the league and possible promotion?

    I know which one I prefer. And it ain’t Wembley.

  • Singapore Brummie says:

    For obvious reasons I don’t get to see Brum too much on TV these days but what I saw against the baggies was encouraging. You could see the team has confidence which makes a huge difference.

    As for team selection? Give the guy a break. You improve by making bold decisions and by making mistakes. It’s a learning curve for everyone and I am just glad the bold decision to hire Rowett was made timely. I personally am happy to trade that one cup game for a potential playoff place. Cup runs will follow if we continue to improve.

  • blueboy88 says:

    Who would have thought 2 months ago we would see 28.5k packed into St Andrews?

    And that is the real oppotunity lost here. We should have gone with our best team, given it our best shot & encouraged more fans to return to support the club going forwards.

  • Dave mann says:

    Blueboy, if the fans are not gonna turn up and throw there toys out the pram because rowett didn’t pick is first 11 think of us fans who travelled to blyth and supported our reserve team with only Morrison as our first team regular, 4/5 hours traveling there and back and I bet everyone of those fans would do it all again no matter what the team, if fans didn’t like what they saw Saturday then don’t bother!. Kto

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