Andy Munro watches Blues draw away at Stoke City.
Away to Stoke conjures up the image of a dour affair and so it proved with on target shots as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth. As the boss has acknowledged, until we get Leko up to speed we lack any real pace so our attacking play has to be more intricate and therefore slower and more predictable. True to stereotype, Stoke were a bigger side in the main which meant that we lost more balls in the air than was comfortable but our new manager has brought a shape and robustness which meant that we came away with a decent point.
It was generally a solid performance with one or two worthy of mention for different reasons. Harlee Dean continues to improve and scored a great header. He is now thriving alongside the impressive George Friend, as is Ivan Sunjic alongside the equally impressive Aaron Clayton. Ivan Sanchez was a bag of tricks and Jon Toral is showing more and more as the games go by.
However, on the minus side Jeremie Bela looked a bit lightweight and was knocked off the ball too easily and kristian Pedersen was at fault for the somewhat fortuitous Stoke leveller. Yet again, he was socially distanced from the Stoke wide player who put in the cross.
Tactically, it was well managed except when Scott Hogan isn’t playing and the Juke is on his lonesome up front, then one of the wingers or midfielders need to get in the opposition box alongside the Blues number ten and the Juke. Much as it might pain me to say it, we can take a lesson from the Villa, who flooded the opposition penalty area when attacking.
Having said all that, it was another solid point and keeps our run going.