Birmingham City manager Steve Cotterill has said that the key to his side’s recent revival has been improved defensive organisation.
The Blues have won their last three games, the first time they have achieved that feat since the 2014/15 season, in an attempt to ease their relegation fears but they are still 23rd in the league, one point off safety.
They have not conceded a goal in those three victories; a 1-0 home league win over Leeds, a 2-0 away triumph over Reading and a 1-0 home FA Cup win over Burton Albion on Saturday.
He told the club’s official website: ““Clean sheets don’t get beat. It will be a statement we bandy about the dressing room from time to time. I think we’re far more organised and we know what we’re doing now if we’re in certain areas of the field.
“We do a lot of organisational work all the time whatever it is, but it hasn’t maybe been rewarded with results. What we’ve got to make sure we do, and we did it very well against Burton, was we defended well when we had the ball.”
Clubs in trouble have to tighten up at the back and clean sheets can breed confidence throughout the squad.
Cotterill is right to get his backline organised because firepower means next to nothing if the Blues keep shipping goals and a leaky defence also means the club’s vocal fans will begin to lose faith in the players again.
Their good defensive record will get a real test in their next match – against Derby, who sit second – and maybe then we’ll see just how much Birmingham really have improved.
Blues fans – do you agree that you’ve improved defensively in recent weeks? How much of a difference has it made? Let us know in the comments below…
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