Andy Munro sees a straw to clutch in Blues’ 1-1 draw at Sunderland.
In the grand scheme of things, a point against fellow strugglers Sunderland isn’t life-changing in a football sense. However, Blues looked so much brighter than recently (although that admittedly wouldn’t be hard) and probably deserved all three points – certainly, as Steve Cotterill pointed out, our loyal and loud following certainly deserved that reward.
As regards the players, Gardner, who’s a bit ‘Marmite’ to some fans, certainly added something to the midfield mix and even his set pieces looked back on track. Particularly pleasing was Jota’s improved showing as he weaved his way past the opposition, creating chances, in a more central and influential role. Gallagher,too, is now looking more like the talented young individual we thought that we had originally signed on loan, winning most of his headers and, of course scoring, in his second match in succession.
actics still seem a bit iffy’ however, as despite the use of wingbacks it was from the flanks that the Wearsiders looked the most dangerous as their full-backs marauded forward. In all probability, our lack of a proper winger means that the opposition full-backs can move forward with impunity which means our wing back ploy becomes more of a defensive back five, leaving our attacking options limited or being sprung from too deep.
In this respect , the ongoing absence of Bramall has to be questioned and letting Cotterill go (with Otabor on loan) only leaves us with one genuine winger in Maghoma. Certainly in the transfer window, we need an injection of attacking pace and in midfield an influential and commanding figure like Coleback would allow Jota to flourish.
Still, at least the positives from our visit to the north-east outweigh the negatives and let’s hope that becomes a more regular feature!