Blues fail to kill off foxes
Andy Munro on Saturday’s Midlands derby at St Andrews.
A Blues side struggling for confidence against a Leicester team on a roll was never going to be easy and so it proved. It was probably one of our more attractive fixtures and a disappointingly-sized crowd was only bolstered thanks to an impressive Leicester contingent. They were both vociferous and vintage as they went through a songbook with refrains ranging from Knees up Mother Brown to Daisy Daisy. Only the Mighty Quinn was missing.
Encouragingly Lee Clarke picked an attacking side which for a ‘poor man’s Mcleish’ was a daring move, with two wingers, two up front and Ravel Morrison in the middle. This led to a very entertaining game which was a change from the mediocre fare served up most of the time this season. Admittedly a supremely confident Leicester side had the edge but Blues, at least, looked like they could create something going forward. Mind you, Butland continued to distinguish himself with some fine saves when we entered stormy waters. In front of him Curtis Davies was magnificent, Caldwell decent, Murphy a little off the pace and James Hurst predictably awful.
Our centre of midfield looked far better for the inclusion of Ravel Morrison although Spector struggled to stem the Leicester tide. Our wingers were fairly average but still looked the best bet in terms of getting a result. Redmond was a bit naïve but the moaners tend to forget his age and need to realise that the more game time he gets, the more savvy he will become.
A surprise goal came at the end of the first half with a clinical but simple move ending with King crossing to Lovengrands. Yet, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this pairing up front has no pace and precious little physical presence. They seem incapable of scoring unless it’s presented to them on a plate. In my view, our poor one-dimensional attack is a major reason why we are struggling – there is simply no outlet.
The second period was also nip and tuck again, Leicester edging possession without really dominating. Wade Elliott came on and was on the one hand unlucky to see a rasping shot beaten away, but on the other culpable for the equaliser when losing possession.
Two difficult away games beckon against Millwall and Leeds. What a pleasant couple of days out they promise to be! Maybe it’s the time for Lee Clarke’s mantra to be tested when he boasts of ‘great bunch of lads,’ ‘real togetherness’ ad nauseum.