Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney has claimed that the performance in the 4-1 defeat to Fulham last night shows the progress made over the past eight months but admitted that the side were still growing.
Deeney scored his first goal since joining the Blues at St Andrew’s yesterday but it was little more than a consolation as Marco Silva’s side secured all three points in style.
Denis Odoi headed the visitors in front after 10 minutes before Aleksandar Mitrovic doubled their lead from the penalty spot just before halftime.
Harry Wilson made it three nine minutes after the break and then Mitrovic grabbed his second in the 83rd minute to put the game beyond any doubt.
Four minutes later, substitute Deeney converted a spot-kick of his own to open his account for Lee Bowyer’s side in a game in which the Blues had plenty of chances.
Speaking to club media after the game, the experienced forward suggested that things could well have been very different and was positive about what the performance illustrated about Birmingham.
“I think the scoreline flattered them,” said Deeney. “I think it was a case of them taking their chances, they were more composed in and around the box.
“But we’re a team that is growing, a team that is learning. As a fan looking at that from maybe eight months ago that is a completely different team.
“I think the team eight months ago would’ve folded. We didn’t. We kept going. We were resilient but we let in four goals so there are certainly things to work on.
“But had we have put in a performance like that against Peterborough we would’ve won 5-0.”
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It’s hard to argue with Deeney here.
Obviously, a 4-1 defeat is never ideal but Birmingham went toe-to-toe with Fulham for long periods last night and that’s something to be celebrated.
Along with West Brom, the Cottagers are clear frontrunners for promotion this season and will blow plenty of teams away given their attacking talent.
That the Blues were able to have more shots, more shots on target, and win more corners is proof that they were able to go blow for blow with Silva’s side but just didn’t have that final quality on the night.
In future, you’d want to see them take those chances but given it is still early days in Bowyer’s tenure, the progression they’ve shown already in 2021/22 means there is a lot to be positive about.
Deeney seems to get that completely and his presence in the squad is something that should help this side grow.
He’s here to be far more than just a positive dressing influence, however, as his goal last night shows.