Birmingham City picked up perhaps their most important victory of the season on Saturday – and it may have all been down to the handy-work of Harlee Dean.
After a run of just one win in 13 games, the Blues travelled to Hillsborough at the weekend to face fellow relegation battlers Sheffield Wednesday.
Aitor Karanka will have been feeling the pressure going into it, with a report from TEAMtalk stating earlier in the week that he was set for the axe after a poor run of results.
But he left Yorkshire feeling rather pleased after a 1-0 win for the visitors, with Scott Hogan scoring the all-important goal.
With Birmingham down in the dumps before that victory, club captain Harlee Dean had a bold idea to create a video message to show to the players in an attempt to lift spirits.
Dean collected clips from parents and partners of his team-mates and revealed it to the squad just a few hours before they took to the pitch at Hillsborough – and it seemed to work.
The 29-year-old admitted that he and his team-mates may have been low in confidence due to performances on the pitch, and also thinks that the video helped them secure the win against the Owls.
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“I just wanted to pick everyone up, give them some confidence and let them know that they are supported, loved and trusted and for me nothing else hits home more than family,” said Dean, per the Birmingham Mail.
“It was received really well, it’s private but I think people appreciated it and from some of the performances out there I think it stuck in people’s minds and we got the win – that’s the most important thing.
“There were some funny bits, some heartfelt bits, more just to raise people’s spirits, just give the some confidence, tell them that there’s people going to be with you no matter what happens.”
It sounds like Dean did a very creative thing and it’s paid off.
We’re not saying that his video message was the sole reason for the Blues securing a big victory on the road, but it could have only helped inspire the team before such a crucial game.
Other struggling teams might want to take note – Dean may have just made the key to turning around fortunes a public thing.