Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday November 1 2009
City will be fractionally the more contented of the two sides tonight having picked up another point on the road. Here's how the key figures saw it...
'Before the season started we would have taken fourth place and one defeat at the start of November but we are a little frustrated with the number of draws that we have had. But that is how the Premier League is shaping up with lots of teams dropping points. What we have to do is make sure that when we don't play that well, as we didn't today, we still pick up points.
If that continues then we will be fine
but what we have to do is improve on
what we have produced at Birmingham.
'We were disappointed because we know that we can do much better.'
Sparky went on to criticise City's performance up front:
'...We are pleased we are picking up points but today I wasn't happy with the attacking threat. We are better than we produced.
'Liverpool, Spurs and Villa have all dropped points recently...we have had four draws, three of them have been away from home and at places where other top sides have struggled to win and where, in fairness, City have found it difficult in the past.'
Sparky unsurprisingly had words of great praise for City's brilliant Shay Given who made a superb penalty save to keep City in it. Easily The Blues bargain buy of 2009:
'Shay was terrific today. He has to be the most consistent goalkeeper in the Premier League. Despite the criticism of our defence from some quarters we have a decent goals against record and it was great for Shay to keep a clean sheet today. - He deserved it.'
'We're disappointed. These are games where we're looking to pick up three points. Credit to Birmingham, they had good spirit today and a good workrate in their team. It's a hard enough place to come, they won last week and I suppose they took a lot of confidence from that.
'But we were coming here today looking for three points, and the same against Fulham last week when we threw away a two-goal lead, so we've been disappointed in the last couple of weeks.'
...and on that penalty:
'It was a bit of luck I suppose. It's a bit of a lottery, penalties, for goalkeepers, and luckily today I've gone the right way and got a strong enough hand to get it away.'
'We came into the dressing room disappointed not to win and it was a very powerful performance. The only thing that let us down was the final touch but other than that how can I fault the performance of the players?
'Only a man of the match performance from Shay Given stopped us from winning.'
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Date:Sunday November 1 2009
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