Two games with two good performances put us over that middle line into positive territory. Its what the Yanks call “over 500” or a winning season. With one game to go before World Cup break the chance is there to cement that position and push up to a genuine “fringe of the play-offs”.
At Stoke the boys put on a super-efficient performance away from home. Almost perfect defensive performance coupled with predatory finishing saw the three points safely stored in the back of the van and on their way to Brum,
The Harley Dean goal from a well worked corner finished off a great day for the former Brentford man. His resurrection is nothing short of astonishing. Whatever went on last season when he appeared to be at loggerheads with everyone has been forgotten and he is in the form of his life. Ironically, he picked up a knock which kept him out on Wednesday. Always a good place to nick the points and in the tradition of many preceding Stoke managers, Alex Neil was not in any way complimentary towards John Eustace’s men.
Wednesday saw a few changes, Bielek and Dean were not available and without them the shape of the team was affected. The first half hour was none-stop Blues pressure and an opening goal, which from open play was their finest so far. Chong’s forward surge and amazing back heel to find Longelo whose cross found Logan, who netted. Sensational stuff! Sadly, after all that pressure Blues went 2-1 down to Swansea’s first two serious attacks, The regular backline and midfield would probably not have conceded what were two fine finishes. Space appeared in front of the penalty area which Bielik and Dean would normally have filled.
In the dying minutes another excellent corner kick routine saw Troy Deeney collect Sanderson’s downward header and fire home. After the game Troy gave a fascinating insight into what had happened over his time at Blues. He suggested that had things not improved he may well have hung up his boots. What he was referring to is anyone’s guess. In my opinion, its probably everything. The ownership, the management team, the players and the fans have uplifted the whole scene. Even the ground conditions show signs of progress.
Sunderland will turn up with plenty of followers on Friday and Blues will need another full-on show. Apart from the points of course we need a win to keep us happy for the four-week break. One good thing that may come out of this ludicrous World Cup is that the concept of a winter break may be set aside forever. The concentration of fixtures has done no-one any good, Playing 20 fixtures by early November puts pressure on players and consistency is difficult. As for us fans we are not considered at all. I live 200 miles from Small Heath and have managed two home games so far. Trains do not work for me midweek, Saturdays at St Andrews are rare and I only have to wait 2 months for the next one.
God Bless & stay safe Bluenoses
#KRO Its back
THE TILTON TALK SHOW
This Mon 14th Nov 2022