Date: 16th March 2017 at 12:45pm
Written by:

Birmingham City midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld has backed Gianfranco Zola’s decision to revert to a more defensive formation, he has told the club’s official website.

Gianfranco Zola has temporarily set aside the expansive attacking brand of football to focus on more defensive solidity and he has chosen a new formation to do that.

Gary Rowett was renowned for drilling his players into a well-disciplined system which was hard to break down and Zola has now reverted to three centre backs, wing backs and a midfield diamond to shore things up.

Kieftenbeld backed Zola’s more solid approach, saying:

“We went a little bit back to being difficult to beat, with a strong shape, working hard.”

The Dutchman added that it was a case of substance over style at this stage of the season:

“Now it might not be a case of playing nice football to see but at Cardiff we got a result, like at Wolves.

“In the final stages of the season that’s the most important thing.”

Kieftenbeld believes that Birmingham need to secure their Championship status for next year before trying to become a more attacking unit – he said:

“The manager still wants to play good football – and we do as well – but at the moment points are more important.

“If we can get the results – and I am sure we can – then everybody will be happy.

“Looking to next season, then the manager will get back to playing attacking football and trying to create a lot of chances.

“At the moment it is hard to do that because of our situation.”

Birmingham fans – what do you make of Kieftenbeld’s comments? Do you need to revert to a more defensive formation to ensure survival? Let us know in the comments below…