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MANAGER'S VERDICT: BIRMINGHAM CITY

7 April 2018

NIGEL Clough was disappointed his team couldn't hold on for a win but says that Birmingham deserved the late equaliser

The Brewers manager said: " The game was similar to the one here last season but this time we couldn't see it through.

"We threw Ben Turner on to try and shore the defence up. I wish we had been playing better and then we could have stayed in the same formation. In the first half, despite being a 4-4-2 we gave the ball away far too many times and that gave Birmingham five or six chances in that half.

"After we scored the goal we gave it ten minutes to see if we could play better and then went defensively. 

"Stephen Bywater kept us in it in the first half. They were playing with confidence and created numerous opportunities throughout the game. The equaliser was a brilliant header - there's not many players who could have put that one in.

"Our goal was a good move and Lloyd nearly got one in stoppage time as well. We still wanted to get out and play and we did that even in injury time. 

"They were throwing balls in the box a year ago and we got away with it and saw it through. We hung in there as much as we could today and we still could have gone on and won it late on but we didn't deserve to over the course of the game and our first half performance wasn't good enough.

"But credit to everyone that we rallied after their goal and had more of the game in the last ten minutes than the previous 20. It doesn't matter how long you have been under the cosh if you get an opportunity, try and win it."

Albion suffered yet another defensive injury with Damien McCrory going off in the first half.

Clough said: "We seem to lose a full back after 20 minutes every week. Damien's hamstring tightened up and Lucas Akins had to come on but he's certainly not match fit after four weeks out."

Jacob Davenport's calf cramped up and John Brayford struggled through the second half after picking up a knock.

Clough said: "We could have done with another substitute to get some fresh legs out there."


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