Bolton Freeze On Crucial Night
Disappointing. Not for the first time, and not for the last, Bolton had a must win game and somehow managed to put in a performance way short of what everyone knows they can be capable enough.
Birmingham have improved of late, a team with a few good players who I think will be alright from here, but they only managed three shots on goal last night themselves, still, it was three more than our lot managed - at home, while having a man advantage for the later stages too.
Largely apart from the goal, where Andy Taylor seemed to be the one losing Lukas Jutkiewicz, there wasn`t too much to worry us there. The problem was what we did, or even didn`t do with the ball. From the back, we knocked it sideways when it did need to go long and hoofed it when it was inappropriate. Derik and Henry (the latter admittedly struggling with injury) were off the pace, I forgot Josh Vela was on the pitch for the first 20 minutes, Will Buckley was terrible and again couldn`t head a ball to save his life, Ameobi at least tried things if they didn`t always come off, and I`m a bit reluctant to stick the knife into Adam Le Fondre, because while he too was anonymous, it was probably hard to be anything but when the balls towards him were aimless and usually airborne.
Craig Noone did quite well when he came on, he threw himself into everything and also did well to come away from that Che Adams tackle. But ultimately, Wanderers bottled it, froze, use any of those terms you`d like. It was flat and insipid.
I`d take swipe at the referee, who gave us little (and he had to send Adams off), and seemed to miss several handballs, to the point where Birmingham may have actually been playing basketball. But Oliver Langford didn`t lose us that game. The players did.
Ken Anderson put out a column today. While only probably only trying to address the calls to make changes for Saturday, I`m not sure he should be writing publicly to suggest that to the manager.
Despite that, we are still five points above Barnsley, with us still to play them (although we`ve played a game more) - it`s still in our hands, but we`ll have to play a million times better than that otherwise lots of good work done up to now will come undone.