Craven against the Cottagers

Andy Munro calls for change at St Andrews.

There are times when, as a fan, you’re almost lost for words and this was one of them. When the side was announced, it was good to see Duffy back in the fold but the defence looked suspect. The impressive, fit again Grant Hall was left out in favour of Robbo, apparently now with the dubious ‘honour’ of being the slowest player on FIFA 15.

Spector was also prefered to Caddis who,if not playing in midfield, should surely play at the back. It also seems a shame that Mitch Hancox’s boundless spirit and energy seems to have been long forgotten in favour of an increasingly mediocre Jon Grounds.

Anyway, for better or for worse, Blues started off more impressively against a poor Fulham side. Whilst Rodallega missed a gilt edged chance, Blues were in the ascendancy. By half time, they should have been two or three goals to the good but Donaldson was wasteful in front of goal. It was left to the ever dangerous Cotterill to show the way with a superlative strike from some distance.

This followed good work by young Demarai Gray although, after the opening exchanges, it was clear that whilst he played well in the hole away from home, against Fulham, his slight physique was a handicap in the congested central areas of Fulham’s defence.

At the start of the second half, the impressive Duffy was inexplicably replaced by Brek O’Shea despite not seeming to be handicapped by an injury. Brek had been bigging things up USA-style in the Mail but quite frankly at 6’4″, he seems like a wideman version of Ziggy. He fails to make use of his height advantage, and doesn’t seem to have the turn of pace required to beat his man. Why Lee Clarke didn’t just move Demarai Gray out onto the wing and bring on Thomas goodness only knows.

Yet again the young hot Scottish prospect, Denny Johnstone spent the game getting the splinters from the bench out of his backside even when, in the last 15 minutes, we failed dismally to even remotely look like getting an equaliser. To be brutal, as soon as Fulham equalised, it was like pricking a balloon as Blues confidence just disappeared. Suddenly Scott Parker looked like the England international that he once was while Reilly and Davies looked one-paced and agricultural in comparison.

Losing games in the manner that Blues do at present can be down to lack of quality, lack of fitness, lack of tactical nouse with no Plan B and a lack of motivation. It’s probably all of those things and while I wouldn’t accuse the players of not trying, they’re patently not going the extra mile. As Blues tried to get an equaliser, I watched Cotterill (one of the few players to do himself justice) attack down the wing and look up to see other fellow players literally plodding in the direction of the goal – no real hunger or desire.

That has to be down to the manager to inspire and the likely incoherent rantings that one can imagine in the dressing room, are obviously now having no effect. The time has come for a change.