Birmingham ended their run of three consecutive Championship defeats following a goalless draw at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.
Those three losses had seen Aitor Karanka’s men slide towards the relegation-zone, but their first clean sheet in six games ensured they ended the rot to move seven points clear of the danger-zone.
Blues face another match against another East Midlands outfit in Derby on Tuesday as the St Andrew’s outfit look to end a miserable 2020 with just their tenth Championship victory.
Quiz: Did these 20 things happen to Birmingham City in 2020?
However, one positive for Birmingham in recent months has been the form of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
The former Cardiff man endured a tough afternoon against Middlesbrough earlier this month, but more than made up for his two errors that day by producing an impressive performance at the City Ground to keep a talented Forest frontline at bay.
Here’s how the St Andrew’s faithful have been reacting to Etheridge’s display against Chris Hughton’s men on Twitter:
Nice one neil. I'm relieved that you are on form and kept a clean sheet. It would have been better if the team won but thats on the hands of the other 10 players. You did the best possible 🙂 keep it clean Neil!
— BCFC x NE1 Support (@TheUnknown71187) December 27, 2020
Good job you're in goal! Would be in the bottom three without you x
— Jackie Edwards (@jackiepeevor) December 26, 2020
You are class chap. 👍
— gary johnson (@garygaryjohnson) December 26, 2020
Neil Etheridge is the best keeper we’ve had since Ben Foster imo. I haven’t felt so confident in a goalkeeper for a long time. Signing of the season #bcfc
— Jonathan (@jonr1875) December 26, 2020
Where would we be without Etheridge man, rock bottom #BCFC
— DP (@DonovanPurves99) December 26, 2020
The kind of result & performance expected after 3 defeats.
Better second half. Sanchez & Bela involved early on, Gardner positive impact. Tired last 15/20 & held out for point. Will take it.
Etheridge probably MOTM. #BCFC
— Ryan Deeney (@RyanDeeney2194) December 26, 2020
Important clean sheet after a poor defensive run.
We know we’re capable of scoring goals, just need to find that balance now.
Hogan or Dean MOTM for me. Friend and Sunjic had good games also, Etheridge superb as ever. #bcfc
— Connor (@cdbcfc_) December 26, 2020
— BCFC & Birmingham Legion Supporters (@BcfcLegion) December 26, 2020
You were by far the best player on the pitch today Neil! KRO! https://t.co/MpTXyYvb3Z
— Happy Abode 🇪🇺 (@HappyAbode1875) December 26, 2020