Reaction: Blues 4 Leeds United 5

We managed to come back to a team like Leeds United three times, and to score four goals against them is something that should fill the players with a lot of pride.

Pep Clotet

Blues Head Coach Pep Clotet gives his reaction to an incredible afternoon’s football at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.

Pep Clotet’s initial thoughts after watching his side lose by the odd goal in nine against promotion-chasing Leeds…

Despite the difference between us and Leeds and knowing that we’re playing one of the toughest opponents to have at home, we played the game to win – same as we did at Elland Road. We started very well but a few mistakes put us 2-0 down and it could have been a very difficult situation, but the team stayed focused on all we’re good at and how we knew we could hurt Leeds. We succeeded and came back into the game. The side showed a very good determination, resilience and despite knowing that we were playing a very good top opposition who can score at any moment, the game was dangerously open because I believe in high pressing and a similar type of football to what Leeds were doing. We always want to be loyal to our football. We managed to get back three times into the game, and we would have got ourselves a result if the ref hadn’t awarded a corner for the last goal, because it was a very clear goal kick. Out of nothing he gives them the corner, where they’ve scored. We were not only competing against Leeds, but they also benefitted from a lot of decisions that strangely went their way throughout the whole game.

Pep Clotet on whether a draw would have been a fairer result…

It should have been a draw and I’m sure Leeds would have been very happy to get a point today as well. If we’d been granted the goal kick that it should have been then it would have finished as a draw. We managed to come back to a team like Leeds United three times, and to score four goals against them is something that should fill the players with a lot of pride. But I am not satisfied with the result. We just want to shorten the distance between us and Leeds United this season and we showed that we can contend for something strong, as soon as we get better of course.

Pep Clotet on how his team should have been stronger defensively…

We know that some players need more time and we’ve got a few injuries that are having an impact on the squad. At the moment it’s not the best. I was very critical after our game at Hull, but what the team did at Blackburn and what the team did today, I’m very positive because that’s the right track that we want to go. Of course, we need to be better but a team like Leeds United expose you a little more individually than some other opposition. When you make a mistake, they have the quality to cause you a lot of problems with the quality of their football. But the players have all my support – and the support of the Club – to keep growing.

Pep Clotet on taking the positives from today’s match…

We didn’t get the point that we should have done, but it’s about taking all the positives and gaining confidence for the next game. When you play against good teams like this and you compete with them playing football then it shows that we are progressing well. Today was a game where we should have given a point to our fans and we couldn’t. But all our players did fight a lot for the shirt and that’s what Birmingham is about.