Ugly ducklings, or lucky swans?

Andy Munro takes heart from Blues’ FA Cup exit.

It hailed and thundered before this match, as if  it was the end of the world, but in a strange way, the clouds proved to have a silver lining given Blues performance, if not the result.

When the teams were announced the absence of Ziggy, even from the bench, proved a bit of a shock but rumour had it that this was due to a midweek bust up with ‘de management.’ Adeymi and Lovengrans returned to the bench and, perhaps a little surprising, Howard was on the bench, despite being one of the few promising performers in the debacle against Yeovil.

Blues started promisingly although they nearly went behind following a hashed headed back pass from the otherwise very impressive Hancox. In fact, Blues outfootballed the footballing purists and it was no real surprise when Novak got a nick from a Caddis cross to score with an unstoppable header.

We could and should have had a second, which was something that we were to pay dearly for later on. However, Packwood came in to give a mature and assured performance and didn’t lose a header all match. With Hancox and Ferguson down one flank and Caddis and Burke down the other we were running the Swansea defence ragged. Meanwhile, in the centre, Reece-Brown was superb with some Gazza-like shimmies – thank goodness he is now on contract although hopefully not just so Blues can transfer him at a comparative pittance. The new youngster Rasnik from Manchester City was a bundle of tricks and looked technically more proficient than Linguard. Up top, Novak excelled in his lone role down the middle and, without Ziggy, took more responsibility for winning headers.

Eventually Swansea fought back against a tiring Blues, through Bony(who cost more than the entire Blues team but probably gets paid less than Ziggy). He notched two goals and it would have been three if it hadn’t been for the tackle of the match from Mitch Hancox. Even then, there was still time for Blues to still create some chances, notable Adeymi tamely hitting a shot into the keeper’s arms with the goal at his mercy.

Leicester are up next and I would play Randolph; Caddis, Packwood, Robinson, Hancox; Burke, Adeymi, Reece- Brown, Ferguson; Rusnak, Novak. Subs; Doyle, Bartley, Lee, Reilly, Grey, Ziggy(despite everything!), Howard.