Andy Munro on another good day for Blues.
It was another of those “Pinch me, I’m dreaming” moments similar to the feeling when we whipped Fulham. It was also noticeable that Paul Clement looked a trifle hunted in the post match interview. Especially, as their Chairman apparently visited their dressing room to lambast their players after they dropped a point against Reading. Could it be the Grim Reaper of managers that is Birmingham City FC is about to strike again?
Anyway, when you consider the money spent by Derby and their, not inconsequential, wage bill, it looked like we had a mountain to climb particularly without Cotterill. Strangely, Gary Rowett dropped Soloman-Otabor, but elected to leave our new loanee winger on the bench. This meant Toral was out wide – not his best position and he, in fact, was far more influential when he reverted to his deep lying central position.
However, it would be churlish to criticise our Gary because his tactical nouse brought an unexpected but superb three-nil victory. In fact, it was so impressive, the Channel 5 Football ‘Show’ talked about us for 45 seconds although half of that was taken up with Clinton’s yampy grin. I suppose when Robbo scores, you know it’s going to be a good day and, again, I might not have played him against the Rams pacey attack but hats off to a manager whose confidence in him paid off.
Perhaps Gleeson’s shot was fortuitous but there could be no arguing against Kleftenbeld’s superb volley to seal our three nil victory. Some of the ‘experts’ on social media reckoned that it was our first volleyed goal since 1972. I have to say that takes some believing but who cares?
In fact ,even when Derby were in their comparative first half ascendancy, our keeper wasn’t really troubled which says something about our defence from midfield to back four. I suppose the only mystery is how we can beat a talented team like Derby yet be crushed comprehensively up at Hillsborough. Perhaps, we need to be philosophical about a topsy turvy Championship where, in the words of the FA Cup slogan, ‘Anything Can Happen’.
Certainly, the play offs look achievable and while there is a lot of fierce competition, the gap between all the competing teams, Middlesborough apart, is becoming narrower.
However, I still think that we need a left back, a central defender and possibly another goalscoring option up front. Let’s hope we hear more before the transfer window shuts. Eithe rway, the game next week against the Tractor Boys looks a key fixture.