Andy Munro looks at Blues’ first pre-season friendly.
Lee Bowyer kept his options open by saying that the result in our first friendly against Cheltenham Town didn’t matter but I take a different view. as any win, whatever the circumstances, helps breed confidence. Either way, Blues cruised to a comfortable three-nil victory, almost playing two completely separate sides in the process.
Signs were encouraging, Scott Hogan netting, and there was the comfort of the Juke sharing the load with his physicality up front and Ryan Woods showing that he can provide the ammo as he did in their days at Brentford. Still up top, Jeremie Bela showed that he is not a spent force and in the middle Woods and Gary Gardner look an ideal combo. ivan Sunjic is going to have his work cut out to earn a place.
In the second half, the influx of newbies generally impressed, with Castello showing some real attacking wing-back intention and Aneke laying on a goal. Perhaps most encouraging of all was the Bowyer Bonus, when the much-maligned Jonathan Leko scored. Let’s hope that’s a sign of rejuvenation. On that subject, young Odin Bailey looked bright and, if he makes a breakthrough then I may need to find a hat to eat.
All things considered, an encouraging first outing for the Blues.