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The Opposition View - Birmingham

The Opposition View - Birmingham
As we look forward to tomorrow's game against Birmingham, we caught up with Blues season ticket holder and fan, Jonathan Bird (@JGB1989). We ask about the transformation under Rowett, which players have excelled this season, their financial problems, among other topics.


1. What were your expectations before the season started? Do you still expect them to achieve them?

I expected a relegation fight but to have a good enough squad to survive, I still expect to struggle but recent form and the new manager, I expect lower mid table, but to be comfortably away from relegation.

2. Are financial concerns still prominent at Birmingham? Has there been any improvement recently?

Yes, quite frankly no one really knows who owns the club, Peter Pannu (our old chairman) recently did an interview and said the club would run out of money in January, which the club denied so no one really knows anything. The Football League and the FA don't seem to care either, the fans just want answers but we are not getting any.

3. Did you agree with the sacking of Lee Clark? Who was your personal candidate for the job?

I did agree with the sacking yes, the time had come for a change, I couldn't fault his passion, he tried his very best but it just wasn't good enough especially the home performances his home record was dire. I wish him the best for the future. I wanted someone like Owen Coyle or Chris Hughton, but with hindsight, I'm very happy with Gary Rowett, he's done a brilliant job under the circumstances he's come to the club in.

4. The job that Gary Rowett has done since he came in has been superb - what do you think he has changed to get this success so quickly?

He organised the team, straight away I could tell the shape of the team was so much better and he got the confidence of the players up from the first game, the formations he plays are pretty much the same as Clark's the difference is the players believe more, they trust the manager and the coaching staff and its showed with the performances and the results.

5. Which Birmingham player(s) are really excelling so far this season?

Andrew Shinnie has been a revelation the last 6 games since Rowetts came in. Clark never use to play him or when he did it was on the left, now Rowett plays him in his natural position (centre) and he has been brilliant, he links the midfield and attack wonderfully he was badly missed (through injury) last week at Blackpool. Also Michael Morrison, he's on loan from Charlton he was Rowetts first signing came in after the 8-0 loss to Bournemouth and in his 6 games we've conceded 3 goals with 3 clean sheets he's been brilliant a real leader in defence, his loan is up in January we all hope he stays till the end of the season.

6. If you could take any Reading player, who would it be and why?

Jamie Mackie. I've always liked him, he just works his socks off every game and will nick a goal now and then, really good player, I really rate him.

7. What starting XI and shape do you expect to see from Rowett on Saturday?

I think he will go for a 4-2-3-1 formation with:

GK Randolph
LB Grounds
CB Robinson
CB Morrison
RB Caddis
CDM Gleeson
CDM Davies
RM Cotterill
CAM Shinnie
LM Gray
ST Donaldson

8. What is your prediction for the game?

Our home form has improved so much we look a different team and the crowds are starting to come back, there's a good atmosphere at the games now, I think it will be a tight game but Birmingham will just nick it 1-0.

Date:Thursday December 11 2014
Time: 5:41PM

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