Blues beat Stoke 2-0 with Andy Munro watching on.
Stoke are undoubtedly one of the poorest Championship teams to have visited St Andrews for many a year and it says something about an abysmal first half showing that we still struggled to match them.
it was similar to the Barnsley match but this time for seventy rather than fifty minutes we looked shapeless, bereft of ideas and painfully slow in moving the ball around. It also didn’t help that the gifted Montero was stretchered off injured although, in truth, he hardly saw the ball.
The back three, four, five (take your pick) never looked comfortable in possession with the returning Colin the only exception. In midfield, Davies never commanded whilst alongside him it was a case of Villalba Whooo? Sunjic was busy without being influential but did a reasonable job in both protecting the back line and getting forward occasionally.
At least Jude Bellingham, as the young local kid, lifted a flat crowd and although he lost possession a few times trying to be over elaborate, when that happened he chased back like his life depended on it. He just needs to learn that when he beats one man, it’s best to lay the ball off and go for a return – something for the coaches to work on.
Stoke took the lead in a way that highlighted the Morrison-less lack of leadership as nobody claimed responsibility for clearing a dead ball kick. in fairness to Pep Clotet, he made some good substitutions of which the ace in the shuffled pack was Dan Crowley. Full of energy, he moved the ball around a lot quicker giving the recipient an extra yard of pace.
The one good thing that Davies did do play a superlative ball to Colin, whose lofted cross was superbly headed down and in by the Juke. Even better quickly followed when the Stoke defenders backed off Jude Bellingham, who took a flyer and with the help of a wicked deflection scored his first goal for the club.
Both Gary Gardner and Dan Crowley were unlucky in not extending the lead but we still ended up with three unlikely points. However, let’s not kid ourselves, there is massive room for improvement.