Birmingham City striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has opened up on the Blues’ struggles to convert many of the opportunities they create in front of goal, following the 2-1 win against Luton Town at St Andrews on Saturday.
Jutkiewicz’s late header from a corner gave the Blues all three points against Luton, making it three wins in four matches for Pep Clotet’s side who have climbed up to ninth place in the Championship table – and the striker’s celebration reflected the relief around St Andrews that Birmingham had finally converted one of their attempts to seal a deserved win.
The Blues had 21 attempts in the game compared with Luton’s nine, but Clotet’s side could only hit the target with a third of those efforts, and were guilty of wasting some presentable chances which would have made the victory much more comfortable.
That is something which Birmingham will need to improve as the season progresses if they are going to be able to mount a challenge for the play-off places, with the Blues starting to find some real consistency in terms of their performances up until the all important part of finishing off chances.
Speaking to Birmingham’s official club website following the win against Luton, Jutkiewicz suggested that the Blues need to continue to show their ability and keep working on improving in the final third, saying: “Their ‘keeper made some fantastic saves. Credit to him. From the outside, you don’t see the work that has gone into it.
“It doesn’t just happen overnight. It is something we have to work on in training and will have to continue to work on because we are nowhere near where we want to be.
“We’ve got a lot of things to iron out, but it is certainly positive, and we are enjoying how we are playing at the moment.
“Some of the skills in these players are superb. You look at Dan (Crowley), Fran (Villalba) and Kerim (Mrabti) and these livewires who have got a phenomenal touch and technique.”
Jutkiewicz is right to suggest that Birmingham’s form in front of goal has been nowhere near where it should have been in the opening months of the season, with the Blues so far only scoring 14 league goals so far this term which is the joint fourth lowest total in the division.
However, the fact that Clotet’s side are still picking up wins despite their lack of goals, highlights how well they are performing in the other aspects of their game – and the Blues are certainly creating more than enough chances to be ensuring that they are winning games by more comfortable margins.
Jutkiewicz himself will be hoping to score more often in front of goal during the next few weeks, with the striker registering four goals in the Blues’ opening 14 games, which is something he can certainly improve on alongside the rest of the Blues’ attacking players – and if Clotet’s side can improve in front of goal then they will be a real force in the Championship this campaign.