Pilgrims Progress

Andy Munro watches Blues go out of the FA Cup to Plymouth Argyle.

Let’s be frank about it. Plymouth deserved to progress by making the most chances and looking the hungrier throughout the match. Perhaps the consolation is we can – altogether now – concentrate on (staying in) the league but this performance must have come as another blow to some fragile confidence.

There were a few small bits of consolation, mainly defensively. Neil Etheridge was outstanding in goal, making some good saves even if he was a little wobbly in his distribution. Kristian Pedersen, who has often been maligned, was excellent and our new signing Megi was strong and fit and will be a real asset, probably alongside Marc Roberts when the latter is back to full fitness. George Friend was also impressive until, of course, his needless sending off. Young Tate Campbell also acquitted himself well when moved from midfield to defence.

Midfield was less impressive, with Craig Gardner lacking sharpness after his time out and Ryan Woods was impressive with his range of passes but equally unimpressive being caught in possession as he sized up a very limited range of options.

Up front Scott Hogan toiled and didn’t look anywhere near sharp, as did Troy D who hardly won a ball in the air. In fairness Chuks Aneke did well when he came on and probably deserves a start next time out if the Juke is still unfit.

Perhaps the most positvie note was that Jobe Bellingham showed quick feet and good application when he came on and, dare I say it, looks like he could be a real prospect, just like his brother. Although, of course, only time will tell.