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Birmingham City 2 v 2 Ipswich Town
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 29th September 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Hurst: Even the Most Boring Win Would Put a Smile on My Face
Friday, 28th Sep 2018 11:09

Boss Paul Hurst admits he would be happy with even the most boring win with his side not playing particularly well as Town look to end their long wait for their first victory under his management at Birmingham City on Saturday.

The Blues, 23rd in the table, have lost all four of their Championship away games this season - as well as the on-penalties Carabao Cup defeat at Exeter - with their last win on their travels the 4-0 thrashing of Reading in 2017/18’s final trip a week prior to the end of that campaign.

“Yep, I might even smile if we got that,” Hurst responded when asked if he’d take a boring win at this stage.

“We said that, it doesn’t matter how it comes. I genuinely believe that we will win a game of football whether it’s Saturday or the next couple of weeks playing worse than what we have done so far.

“I’m not saying it’s been absolutely brilliant but I guarantee you we’ll play worse and win a game of football.”

Town go into Saturday’s game having recorded their first clean sheet of the season in last weekend’s 0-0 home draw with Bolton, which Hurst says gives his side something to build on.

“Yes, it does, albeit people will point to Bolton having 10 men and of course they did,” he added. “You still have to do it and it wasn’t [11 v 10] for quite as long as some people think because of Jon Walters going off for that last period.

“I don’t feel we’ve been too far away from them before in truth. I do feel like we’ve been punished in, not all games, but certainly in some games where they’ve done very little to us and when we’ve looked at shots against us and things like that it’s been frustrating that we’ve had to wait so long to get that.

“It would be great if we can get two in a row, that’s what we’ll be aiming for against a team that are just on the back of a very good win at Leeds but at times have had their own problems when they should have got more from games that they haven’t.”

Birmingham, 17th, were without a win anywhere until last week’s 2-1 victory over leaders Leeds, but Hurst says they have been better than their position and current record suggests.

“When I’ve seen them, yes,” he continued. “I was at the Sheffield United game [at Bramall Lane when they drew 0-0], they did very well in terms of frustrating Sheffield United initially and then came on strong at the end of the game and had the better chances.

“They’ve adopted a certain approach in the last three games, prior to that I’ve seen them on TV against Swansea and they played a different way, were on the front foot and created a lot of chances but couldn’t take them and ended up having to settle for a point when they should have won that game.

“It’ll be interesting to see how they approach it. I’m sure they’ll be looking to build on last week and will think it's a very winnable game for them. We hope that they maybe take us a bit lightly and we can capitalise on that.”

Was the Leeds result a big shock or just the traditional topsy-turvy nature of the Championship?

“The league is tough but all leagues are,” Hurst reflected. “I still think this league has got a group of teams who have strength in depth and big budgets, someone mentioned Derby and Martyn Waghorn not getting on the pitch in midweek. That’s a strength that they’ve got.

“But it’s football and anyone can beat anyone on a given day. Our games, the majority have been pretty close and could have gone slightly different ways than they have.

“Was it a surprise? It was in some ways because of how well Leeds have been doing but at the same time, having seen them in midweek and thinking about how they might approach that game, and particularly when they get themselves in front, they can be a very difficult team to break down.”

Hurst seems unlikely to stray too far from the team which started against Bolton last week, although on Thursday revealed he had injury doubts regarding a couple of unnamed players.

Assuming those concerns make it, the back four behind keeper Dean Gerken is again likely to be Matthew Pennington at right-back, Jonas Knudsen at left-back with skipper Luke Chambers and Toto Nsiala at the centre of the defence.

In midfield, Cole Skuse is likely to be joined by Trevoh Chalobah - or alternatively Tayo Edun - and Jon Nolan.

Gwion Edwards is likely to be on the right with Grant Ward or Jordan Graham on the left and Kayden Jackson the lone striker.

Andre Dozzell has travelled with the squad for the first time this season and could make the bench.

Birmingham boss Garry Monk insists he and his team won’t take Town too lightly despite their current position in the table and lack of a victory all season.

His team will be looking for their first home win of the campaign but are currently unbeaten at St Andrew’s having drawn all four of their games on their own turf so far.

“Our record at home, coming off the back of a win, we have set up for different scenarios to try and do it in the way we need to do it,” he told the Midlanders’ official site.

“Our challenge is to get our fans a win at home. We feel that is overdue. We have done more than enough to give those home wins to the fans, but the facts are we haven’t delivered that. Our motivation is to try and give our fans that win, it is important to us.

“The message to the players is let’s not underestimate anything. We have been in Ipswich’s position of not winning, and that was only one game ago.

“We know they will come here and try and fight for that win. It will be a difficult game, but we have to overcome all that.

“We need to be ready whatever scenarios – offensively, defensively – and make sure we are ready to deal with both and put our emphasis on it.

“We have to be at 100 per cent. We are not a team that can be at 70 per cent. We have got most of that right this season, in terms of our commitment to it.

“It will be difficult. They might try to come and frustrate. We need our fans to understand that as well. A bit like QPR did [in the 0-0 draw early this month].

"We might need that patience from the fans, but with that noise. But we also need to overcome that with our performance.”

Brothers Gary - who suffered a knock at Leeds - and Craig Gardner - who has missed the last three matches - are both back in training, but Isaac Vassell (hip) and David Davis (ankle) remain on the sidelines.

Historically, Town have had the better record in fixtures between the sides, winning 35 times (32 in the league), drawing 16 (16) and losing 30 (24).

In March at St Andrew’s, Jota’s controversial 21st-minute penalty saw Birmingham City to a 1-0 victory over the Blues.

Jacques Maghoma appeared to go to ground very easily when challenged by Cameron Carter-Vickers to win the spot-kick, while the Blues, who extended their goalless run to four games, rarely looked like getting back on terms.

At Portman Road on the opening day of last season Joe Garner got his Town career off to a goalscoring start by netting a second-half debut goal to see the Blues to a 1-0 victory over the Midlanders.

Garner turned in a Knudsen cross five minutes after the break to win the game, however, the victory was marred by a serious knee ligament injury sustained by Andre Dozzell just before the break.

Blues midfielder Emyr Huws, still not ready to make his return after last season's knee injury, had a spell on loan with Birmingham while a Manchester City player during the second half of 2013/14 making 17 starts and scoring two goals.

Tom Adeyemi, in the early stages of his rehab from the achilles injury he suffered in pre-season, spent the whole of the same season with the Midlanders making 36 starts and four sub appearances, netting three times.

Ex-Blues loanee David Stockdale, currently out of favour at St Andrew’s and on loan at Southend, made 18 appearances for Town between July and December 2011, while defender Michael Morrison hails from Haverhill.

Town right-back Jordan Spence spent time on trial with Birmingham in November 2016 shortly after his trial with the Blues but before he signed at Portman Road.

Saturday’s referee is John Brooks from Leicestershire, who has shown 38 yellow cards and one red in eight games this season.

Brooks was last at Portman Road for the pre-season friendly against West Ham in which he booked only Jack Wilshere.

His only competitive Town match was the 0-0 home draw with Sheffield United in March in which he yellow-carded Skuse and Stephen Gleeson as well as one Blade. Brooks has only taken charge of eight previous Championship matches.

Squad from: Gerken, Bialkowski, Donacien, Spence, Knudsen, Kenlock, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Pennington, Skuse, Chalobah, Downes, Dozzell, Edun, Rowe, Edwards, Ward, Graham, Roberts, Nolan, Sears, Harrison, Jackson.

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NeverGoingUp added 11:11 - Sep 28
Absolutely useless. See if Allardyce fancies sunny Suffolk.

wheresmyheadat added 11:43 - Sep 28
Mick in !!!

GSH71 added 11:59 - Sep 28
If we lose the next theee games he has to go really Mr Hurst,you were never given any money to spend, should not of sold all our best players , Div 1 here we come unless we can turn things around

GSH71 added 12:00 - Sep 28
Allyardyce would want too much money , he can’t work miracles lol

Swn98 added 12:05 - Sep 28
AH and they used to moan when we were"boring" last season Mr Hurst now it would appear to be team objectives.

Reuserscurtains added 12:21 - Sep 28
How can anyone feel inspired by anything this man says.

Henrietta_R_Hippo added 12:32 - Sep 28
Hmmmm in order for YOUR ragtag selection of thus far, predominantly out of their depth or just otherwise largely inept and/or statically underwhelming proper blokes to get a victory in spite of performing in said beyond painstaking-to-watch & undeserving manner described above........ Well excuse me! & without sounding too Freudian, but you Mr. Hurst are basically thereby also simply bound to also firmly also believe in not only the Tooth Fairy, the subground existence of Blue Smurfs, Elvis still being Alive! as well as "The Divine Mercy" plus "The Second Coming" a la Mother Teresa.... but additionally also in truly "sicko" related matters like Rumpology, Psychic Surgery, Pyramid Power, Flat Earth, Melanin Theory, Body Earthing, Urine Therapy, and of course Dowsing. :-D : -D


Charlie_pl_baxter added 12:33 - Sep 28
Anyone else hoping that Hurst's comment about Dozzell having "made progress" means he is actually now fit and ready to go? With his reluctance to discuss injuries, before games he does like to keep cards close to his chest regarding injured players. Wouldn't it be great for Dozzell's comeback to be against the team that injured him in the first place...

guentchev added 12:46 - Sep 28
where is MicksZzzztactics when we need him?

78ShadesOfBlue added 12:52 - Sep 28
He keeps looking to the market to try and solve it.
It hasn't worked out Hurst has it. Man up and move on. It just didn't work out on this occasion.

TimmyH added 12:56 - Sep 28
Sounds like a win at all costs...desperation from Hurst, not what I want to hear from him. The most avid Hurst supporters must be losing a bit of faith.

Guentchev - he's 2 posts above you

dirtydingusmagee added 12:56 - Sep 28
he posts under the name of Henrietta R Hippo, new name same old., just a little less long winded far .

shefkuqi32 added 13:04 - Sep 28
We need to chill out a bit and give this man time till Christmas at least and see where we are then.

There has been so many changes (yes, maybe his doing) so its going to take time. I'm by no means happy how things are going and would prefer to see a lot more academy players in the team and sticking to a system (4-2-3-1) but this is where we are right now. This over Mick and another boring 16 years in Championship anytime.

bobble added 13:04 - Sep 28
what happens if they win 3-0 ?

Cakeman added 13:16 - Sep 28
Ignore my post.......silly Cakeman (and a few other names I could call myself) added a mobile phone text message reply to TWTD in error! Seriously embarrassed 😀although we could do with some humour on this thread.

Dissboyitfc added 13:27 - Sep 28
What I would say is this, those thinking of travelling by car leave early as the A14 is a mess with roadworks and diversions all over the show, took me 4 hours last weekend to get there and longer on the way back.

StavangerBlue added 13:29 - Sep 28
We simply do not do the basics. Birmingham to win. They'll have the edge after their win against Leeds.

pazzy added 13:42 - Sep 28
give him till xmas we will be down by then GET RID NOW

inghamspur added 13:57 - Sep 28
Win this weekend? Dream on.

shefkuqi32 added 14:12 - Sep 28
So what if we go down? Will the world end? no, we might actually win again and have a successful season. Sometimes you need to step back to move forward.

In the 16 seasons we've been in the Championship, all these teams have come through League One and subsequently played in the Premier League -

Wigan Athletic
Cardiff City
Brighton Hove Albion (twice)
Hull City
Swansea City
Norwich City (twice)
Huddersfield Town

People who think League One is necessarily a bad thing need a reality check. We are a big enough club with a big enough fan base to bounce back and succeed stronger than now.


Michael101 added 15:12 - Sep 28
On No,not another one as if we don't suffer enough under mad Mick ffs

Michael101 added 15:15 - Sep 28
Shefti32,you may be right of only Mr scruge don't cash in on the few good players we have

hadleighboyblue added 15:15 - Sep 28
So much negativity around from so called fans who seem to take great pleasure in knocking everything at the moment , in particular a young manager .

Lathers added 15:17 - Sep 28
I don’t fear relegation as we’ve been heading that way for a while now, but I what I do fear is being shiite in League One. There’s no point getting rid of Hurst and replacing with another McCarthy/Old Head who if they do keep us up is only going to continue the perpetual Championship ground hog day on a budget, and if we go down he will probably leave. The way we sold our best players, released our biggest earner and then brought in a League One Manager and League One players is normally what a club does after it’s been relegated to League One, not the season before they get relegated!

Tractorboy1985 added 16:49 - Sep 28
Shefkikuqi32.. but for all of those there is a Portsmouth.. a Coventry.. a Bradford.. forgotten clubs!! Anyone who sees relegation as a plus is living in cuckoo land!! There’s only 14-15k at games now! Breaks my heart to see the ground half full with no atmosphere! Crowds were never below 22k before Evans! I called for a protest last week against thee owner of our club.. some will soon realise its what is needed! We have been too soft for too long! Evans has had an easy ride! How does any football club have a billionaire owner and fails??? He is one of a kind!

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