Andy Munro reflects on Blues’ defeat to Middlesbrough.
Another bad day at the office saw Blues go down 3-1 to in-form Middlesbrough, although the performance was perhaps not as abysmal as our previous loss against an average Hull City side. In a goalless first half we looked fairly solid without ever threatening, as the Juke laboured up front on his own with little to feed on, some poor crossing from the flanks and nobody even within hailing distance to take advantage of his knock-ons.
The second period was a strange one as Boro took advantage of some individual glaring errors and yet we still looked like we might get a point as John Eustace made the subs to throw a footballing kitchen sink at the visitors’ defence. Unfortunately, another defensive blooper sealed our fate as we lost possession needlessly.
Of those subs, Jonathan Leko looked the most dangerous and if Scott Hogan still isn’t fit then lejo deserves a start next time, possibly alongside Troy Deeney. In fact, given our paper-thin squad, it would make sense to bring in three or four youngsters for the FA Cup game to allow more senior players time to recuperate properly for the next Championship fixture.
We’ve certainly reached a crossroads and my heart tells me that we could even recover to still mount a play-off challenge, particularly if we can get Messrs Hogan, harlee Dean and Dion Sanderson fit for the league match, possibly bolstered by the signing of a central attacker. Unfortunately, my head tells me otherwise.