Birmingham City were beaten 2-1 at home to Reading on Saturday, as their fine run of three consecutive wins was ended.
Lee Bowyer went into the game with plenty of injury issues, and, in truth, it showed, with the visitors dominating possession for the most part and looking as though they had more cutting edge.
Blues did get off to the perfect start through Scott Hogan, but a double for Royals youngster Jahmari Clarke after the break condemned the hosts to defeat.
And, here we look at THREE things we learnt from the clash from Birmingham’s perspective…
Are these 22 Birmingham City stats real or fake?
The squad lacks depth
This seemed like a game too far for Blues because of the injuries they had.
That’s not to say that those who came in were the ones to blame for the result, just that missing so many players, particularly defensively, was going to cause problems, which was evident.
It will reinforce Bowyer’s belief that he needs a few more additions in the New Year.
They need more quality in the final third
Frustratingly for Blues, they did have chances in the game, and 17 shots at goal shows they were a threat throughout. However, just two of those were on target, which says it all.
There is a lack of composure and quality in the final third, which needs to be addressed moving forward. Whether that’s sorted by new signings, or the current group improving, it’s clear that Blues need to be more clinical and ruthless in front of goal.
Marcel Oakley has real potential
The one major positive of the day was the display from Oakley at right wing-back.
The youngster was raw but he undoubtedly has potential as he was aggressive in the way he played and impressive in the way he got up and down the flank.
Blues have produced some quality from their academy and Oakley is the latest one to show enough to suggest that he could force his way into the first-team in the years to come. He certainly has the tools to be a good wing-back.