Birmingham City’s poor form continued this weekend as they were beaten 3-2 by Bournemouth in an entertaining encounter on the south coast.
Whilst losing to the promotion hopefuls away from home isn’t too bad a result in isolation, it means Aitor Karanka’s side have won just once in 11 Championship games, which has seen them fall into the relegation zone.
Therefore, the Spanish boss is coming under increasing pressure, and he will know that he needs to get results quickly to avoid a drop to League One.
The performance against the Cherries brought some positives, but it also offered up plenty of questions, and here we look at some of the dilemmas facing Karanka moving forward…
Whether to go with two strikers
Scoring goals has been a major problem for Blues this season, but they scored twice through Scott Hogan, and looked dangerous.
The Irishman was playing up top on his own at the Vitality Stadium, however Karanka may not want to continue that way in the future, as Lukas Jutkiewicz and particularly Sam Cosgrove could give the team another attacking dimension.
You would imagine that Hogan would thrive alongside a big target man, but switching to a front two may leave the team vulnerable in other positions.
Ultimately, it’s about finding the right balance, and Karanka has some big decisions to make as Blues look to get back to winning ways.
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How to fit the new signings in the team
It was a fairly busy January at St. Andrew’s, but the major new signings are yet to make an impact, and Karanka has surprisingly not given them many chances.
Cosgrove has made one very late substitute appearances in two, whilst Yan Valery and Rekeem Harper have also not started yet.
That has to change moving forward, and you would expect all three to be in the XI from the off when Luton make the trip to the west Midlands this weekend.
Karanka’s reluctance to throw those players, especially Cosgrove and Harper, into the team has surprised the support, and serious questions will be asked if they aren’t involved again this weekend.