Birmingham City full-back Maxime Colin has cited a lack of freshness as a potential reason why the Blues have hit a torrid run of form since the last international break, speaking to Birmingham Live.
Despite winning their first game of September against Derby County, keeping a clean sheet in the process, they are winless in their last five games and have taken just one point from a possible 15 in these fixtures.
From being as high as fourth after the early-September clash against the Rams, they now find themselves in 16th place, the type of position they have found themselves in over recent years.
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Although a loss against Fulham in that run of games was expected due to the sheer quality of the Cottagers, they will have been desperately disappointed not to have taken advantage of their home games against Preston North End and Nottingham Forest, drawing 1-1 and losing 3-0 respectively.
Goals from Lewis Grabban, Ryan Yates and Djed Spence consigned them to a heavy home defeat at St Andrew’s at the weekend going into the international break, a complete contrast to their early-season form when they quick out of the blocks and lost just one out of their opening six league matches of this term.
After conceding 12 goals in their last five, their defence has been under fire and one of their key members in the backline, Maxime Colin, is stumped at why their form has tailed off so dramatically.
But he did offer one potential reason to Birmingham Live, saying: “We are conceding way too many goals and you can’t win any games if you concede that much especially with the way we play. If you have to score two or three goals to win a game, it is always going to be difficult.
“I don’t know [what has changed]. I would say the team is not as fresh. When the team is not as fresh, we struggle a little bit more on the physical side of things.
“You want to do well and I don’t think anyone wants to throw things away, definitely not. It’s about can you do it physically? That’s more the question.
“It’s hard to know why it is not working at the moment, otherwise I would have known the answer but the international break has come at the right time, that’s for sure. We will be able to reset a little bit.”
Colin is right, the international break has definitely come at the right time for the Blues who looked to be in a bit of bother.
This is such a shame after a promising start to the season, and after years of flirting with relegation to League One, they needed that sort of beginning to their 2021/22 campaign to set the tone for the rest of 2021/22.
Their form seemed to have improved during the early stages of manager Lee Bowyer’s tenure, they made a number of shrewd moves in the summer and the acquisition of Troy Deeney was nothing short of a major coup.
But things seem to have gone downhill since and though their defence is culpable for the form they are currently in, their attack also needs to be accountable for failing to trouble Championship opponents enough in recent times.
Scoring just once in over 450 minutes of second-tier football isn’t anywhere near good enough and it’s the sort of attacking form that will get you relegated. But with the likes of Deeney, Scott Hogan and Lukas Jutkiewicz should be able to improve their form in front of goal at some point.