|Chris Hughton - Manager of Birmingham City Football Club|
But the main point of this piece is to review yesterdays game. Visitors Blackpool came to St.Andrews optimistic, a pre-match piece on Sky Sports showed a Blackpool player saying how they had a very good chance of winning here, despite Blues being unbeaten at home in the league this season.
Blackpool lined up with former Blues captain Barry Ferguson as captain, and with former fans favourite at Blues, Kevin Phillips on the bench. Both got a roaring reception from the home faithful, Phillips more than Ferguson!
Blues - Boaz Myhill; Jonathan Spector, Curtis Davies, Steven Caldwell, David Murphy; Chris Burke (Nathan Redmond 77), Guirane N'Daw, Keith Fahey, Jean Beausejour; Marlon King (Chris Wood 83), Nikola Zigic (Jordon Mutch 79)
Blackpool - Mark Howard; Alex Baptiste, Ian Evatt, Craig Cathcart, Stephen Crainey; Ludovic Sylvestre, Barry Ferguson, Matt Phillips, Elliot Grandin (Chris Basham 56); Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Kevin Phillips 72), Callum McManaman (Thomas Ince 57).
The game started relatively even, with chances at both ends, Curtis Davies' bullet header was cleared off the line by the Blackpool defence and Nikola Zigic could not counter the rebound. At the other end Blackpool would have been one up if it wasn't for the reactions and stretch of the arm of Blues Welsh keeper Boaz Myhill.
The breakthrough came in stoppage time at the end of the first half. Chris Burke floated in a wonderfully hit left wing corner and it was met by the rising centre back Curtis Davies whose header floated into the back of the net in front of the away fans. Blues came out into the second half full of confidence and this showed as Marlon King beat the offside trap with ease to slot home in the 53rd minute to make it 2-0 to the home side.
Controversy kicked off shortly after as Barry Ferguson was red carded for what seemingly was an elbow to the face of Blues midfielder Guirane N'Daw, who went down like a sack of spuds, which is very unlike the 6foot+ Senegalese Blues midfielder often described as a "tank" or a "beast" by the Blues fans! Kevin Phillips later came on for Blackpool and was greeted to chants from the BLUES fans of "Super, Super Kev, Super Kevin Phillips!" Luckily for us he had minimal effect!
Blues made their 3 subs in the space of 10 minutes, with youngsters Nathan Redmond, Jordon Mutch and Chris Wood coming on. With a 2 goal and 1 man advantage, Blues ripped through Blackpool with Redmond and Mutch showing fancy skills with 1-2 passes and cocky backheel tricks, Keith Fahey's passing became Barcelona-esque and the whole team looked ready and confident! Redmond's pace seemed too much for Eardley the Blackpool left-back and it showed in the 89th minute as Redmond ran at him with his quick feet doing stepovers and reverse stepovers before eventually unleashing an absolute cannonball from his right boot that smashed into the net in front of the Tilton. Redmond ran over to the corner of the Tilton and saluted the Blues fans as a thankyou for their support and to show his passion to be playing for his team!
The game finished 3-0 with Blues the better team by a country mile. It was one of the best performances I have seen for a long time and if we can play like it again tomorrow against Peterborough then I believe we are most definitely play-off contenders.
|Nathan Redmond (left) celebrates his goal with Irish playmaker Keith Fahey.|
Let's hope for the best against Peterborough and hopefully 3 points! Keep Right On.