Thrown to the Wolves

Andy Munro watches Blues lose a local derby.

Well, the reality check continues as we lost fairly comprehensively and placidly to a very ordinary Wolves side who, at times, looked there for the taking.

In some ways, nobody could have argued with the side that Gary Rowett selected and the one option of either Toral or Davies ended somewhat predictably, given the opposition, of the latter playing and, even more predictably, limping off near the end. In fact, Davies had a half-decent game and nobody can fault the lad’s commitment but twice in the opening stages, he was in a position to play a killer ball into the opposition box, but failed to show the necessary quality.

On the subject of disappointments, Demarai Gray put in a less than impressive display and his crosses and set pieces consistently failed to stir the cockles. In contrast, Wolves young winger Nathan Byrne showed a directness with pace and power which completely unsettled Caddis who sometimes doesn’t seem the same player unless he has Cotterill in front of him. In fact he went on to have a mare, or perhaps that should read a stable of mares.

Misplaced passes and mistakes were the order of the day and Wolves first goal was a result of a comedy of errors featuring a Robbo misjump, a sorry attempt at a tackle and some goalkeeper flapping although Kuczak went on to have an excellent game. As usual, being one-nil down and having to take the game to the opposition, completely fazed the Blues.

Rowett stubbornly failed to change things around at half-time but then, after twenty minutes came over all Barry Fry. It was kitchen sink time as Cotterill, Toral and Brock-Madsen were brought on and Gray pushed down the middle as well. Unfortunately, Blues failed yet again to adapt to 4-4-2 (never mind 3-2-5) and as they huffed and puffed, Wolves waited their chance to spring a second and deciding goal as Ojo outpaced our leaden footed defence to curl the ball past an unsighted keeper.

Amidst this fairly dismal scenario, Donaldson shone like a beacon and was a constant threat to the Wolves defence despite receiving little protection from the referee. Unfortunately he, too often, cut a lonely figure up front.

Still, two defeats in a row isn’t a crisis although three defeats might start a slide down the Championship’s notoriously slippery slope. In fairness to the manager, the team has punched well above its weight and no matter how unpalatable it is, a safe lower mid-table position is both realistic and an achievement given our status of one of the Championship’s paupers.

What side would I play against Blackburn? Kuczak; Caddis, Grounds, Morrison, Spector; Cotterill, Kleftenbeld, Gleeson, Soloman-Otabator; Toral; Donaldson.