Birmingham City 0-0 BWFC
15-08-2017 MoM: Reece Burke
I think the politically correct term for last night is 'attritional'. Coming up and out of the St Andrews away end, I was desperately trying to recollect something... anything. I came u with a tame Madine back-post header which was palmed away for a corner. Then, to confirm my thoughts, I checked the match stats to see 0 shots on target for the home side and 2 for the Trotters.
Despite a minor disparity in shots on target, it was arguably the hosts who came closest to scoring. A deflected effort from outside the area that the wrong-footed Mar Howard did very well to push around the post. Wanderers' first-half pattern of play was, as reasonably expected, defensive. The main ploy was clearly out wide to Filipe Morais However, one noticeable thing from last night was Morais may be under-estimating Championship fullbacks. Third tier left backs gave Morais nearly 30 seconds at times last year. The in and out trick, deep undercutting ball into the box. 3/4 times, Jonathan Grounds blocked and consistently read the Portuguese move.
Like Leeds, Bolton strayed slightly more adventurous in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Karacan became slightly more involved once Wanderers pushed higher up the pitch. Josh Cullen began to dominate the tempo of the game, not just Bolton's moves and there was a 5-10 minute spell where we looked like on top. Convolutedly we brought on two strikers that were fairly defensive substitutes and that was Bolton shutting-up-shop. No clear-cut openings for The Blues and The Whites take a well-earned, tactically astute point.
Now, Wanderers host Derby on Saturday. The Rams nicked a 1-0 home win last night. A Vydra penalty against Preston follows a 1- draw at Sunderlnd and 2-0 defeat to Wolves. Undoubtedly, they've played better side s then us. However, we've scored more and they appear to be a defensive unit rather than attacking side. That is how Gary Rowett set his Burton and Birmingham sides up so that would make sense.
Tactically, this would suit PP. At home, we looked nervous against Leeds and that half an hour was unbelievably crucial. We probably shouldn't have those nerves for Saturday, if Wanderers remain tight, like it will be, then there is the home advantage that will come into it. I've aa feeling if we get to the 80th minute level, they might sit back and setup for an way point. That might be the perfect time for Wanderers' to nick it -0. A 0-0 or slim 1-0 to either side is the strong expectation .