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Game, set, match

Posted: Wed 26 Dec 2012
Author: Paddy Day

Blues boss Lee Clark

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Lee Clark pinpointed the importance of set plays after watching his team grab a vital Boxing Day win at Barnsley.

Curtis Davies was on the receiving end of Rob Hall’s deliveries for both goals, which proved the catalyst for securing all three points at a rain-sodden Oakwell.

And even though the hosts were on top for much of the 90 minutes, Clark felt the visitors were always in with a chance of stretching their unbeaten run to three games.

The Blues boss told “I think certainly in the first-half we were more than happy to be on level terms. I thought that Barnsley were the dominant team in the first-half. It just goes to show that set plays are a great leveller. We’ve had a good delivery and attacked it well but then it came as no surprise that they equalised so quickly.  We didn’t defend particularly well from the situation.

“And then the second-half was similar. They miss a penalty and then we go and win it with another set play, so without a doubt it’s an easy one to call in terms of saying that either side could have won it.”

After performing so admirably against Burnley, Clark wasn’t afraid to give the youngsters another chance to shine.

He said with a touch of humour: “The two games we’ve had, the four points we’ve taken and the manner we’ve done it, is great credit to the young boys. That was quite an old team for us now, five teenagers in the starting 11, so that’s quite old compared to seven against Burnley.

“But what they’re doing is they’re showing great spirit and enthusiasm. They are talented footballers. You would like to put them in a couple at a time rather than drop them all in at once but they’re producing the individual performances, as well as the spirited and collective performances, which is more important in getting us positive results, meaning they stay in the side.”

Clark added: “The supporters have been absolutely brilliant. It’s a massive club Birmingham and there’s obviously a lot of frustration amongst the fans for various different reasons, but the one thing that they have never stopped doing is support the team.

“There’s been lots of times this season where we’ve been up against it and the fans have drove the team on. And what they’re seeing as well with the young boys is that they’re local lads who are supporters as well, so there’s that rapport and they’re each helping each other now; it’s terrific.”