Thursday, 7 January 2010
As promised, albeit stupidly late, a Q&A with the guys over at Joys and Sorrows, the Birmingham City blog, written ahead of our pre-Christmas clash at Goodison. The game, if you didn't already know finished 1-1 with Seb Larsson canceling out Billy's early goal. It was a match Everton perhaps should have won, but McCleish' men have a new steel about them this season and effectively repelled Everton's increasingly agricultural attacks.
Things are really looking up for Birmingham this season. Are you surprised at how well you are doing?
Nah I always knew we were quality!! ABSOLUTELY - it's amazing. I had no idea how Johnson and Dann were going to cope - but our defensive record speaks for itself. If you get that sorted - you have something to build on.
What are your expectations for this season? Is Europe a realistic aim?
Let's not run before we can walk. It's funny, we were talking about this on our forum about this. 17th is 1st priority, and then any place we finish above that is a bonus. Our recent run has re-calibrated expectations. TBH, I'll take anything between 17th and 13th. Europe, hmm, I'd rather not get distracted - however it would be an amazing bonus if it happened.
What are your thoughts on the spending at Man City and would you want Birmingham to do the same with your new owner?
We aren't in the same league. The problem with Man City is they have taken what Chelsea started to the next level. Any quality players prices hiked up as a result of them. Can't be good for the game. With us, I'm part of a fans forum with the club resulting in having close links with the club, and I know Alex has the attitude of building quality into the side slowly but surely - that's the right approach.
Who has been your best player this season?
It would be difficult to answer this with 1 player, our defensive department have been fantastic particularly Johnson and Dann - Bowyer has been a revelation too and Ferguson with his box to box work also deserves a mention. If you pushed me into a corner I'd go for Johnson.
James McFadden was popular with the fans during his time at Goodison, if frustratingly inconsistent. what do the Birmingham fans think of him?
I think our Blues fans would agree! He is beginning to find some form again this season again, and I guess you should always beware an ex-player!
If you could change one thing at Birmingham what would it be?
Difficult this one, because I'm not sure I'd change anything. Obviously we always need to strengthen - but you have to say who would we drop. I'm going to say nothing!
What has been Everton's problem this year, from an outsiders persepective?
Like you said in your answers to me - your injuries have played havoc. The problem is with lots of changes, the team don't gel and it affects confidence.
When it looked like Reading were going to qualify for Europe in their 1st PL season, Steve Coppell said he would rather they didn't so they could concentrate on the league the following year. They were still relegated. Do you want to qualify for Europe this season or is it too much of a distraction?
A distraction this season. We HAVE to stay up. Then we can attract better players and maybe even go for a push next year. (Well you can hope!)
What are your thoughts for the game on Sunday?
Our run has to end sometime, however we are difficult to break down and we work hard. I think it'll be a draw.
And finally.... Anything that Brum fans are talking about that deserves a mention!？
We are enjoying that people are talking about us positively for a change - even MOTD! It's also nice for us that with the other lot doing well, we are too. Nothing worse than us struggling and them doing well!