Yes, Blues should have won the game at Brentford. And yes it was two points lost. But no matter how you dress it up, a draw on the road anywhere is decent and who wouldn’t have taken five points from four league games? I honestly believe Lee Clark is starting to get things right. Admittedly his substitutions were naïve, but the improvement in performances should see us all with cause for optimism.
Don’t misjudge what I am saying above. I am not saying I thought Clark gets everything right, far from it in fact. But it is easy to criticise his substitutions AFTER you know the final result. I didn’t hear any Blues fan at Griffin Park questioning the decisions at the time. Brentford were beginning to gain the upper hand and, despite creating the chances, it seemed as if Blues’ second goal would never come. So Clark thought it best to switch it round, take off the strikers, who were visibly shattered, and pack the midfield out with someone who can pass the ball. Stephen Gleeson came on along with Demarai Gray and Blues suddenly lost any momentum they had. But the goal was conceded from an individual mistake when Jonathan Grounds slipped over. The simple fact is, if Grounds manages to stay on his feet and hoof the ball into row Z, the game finishes 1-0 to Blues and the tactics aren’t ever questioned.
Anyway enough about Saturday, I was as frustrated as the next man about the draw, but now we need to move on.
Sunderland are up next and although it isn’t the glamorous draw we all craved, it is a decent tie at home. The game will be a massive test for Blues but if we can give a good account of ourselves, you never know. The Mackems’ supporters have been wetting their pants at the prospect of ‘getting one over’ on their old ‘buddy’ Clark. It was our gaffer, of course, who was seen wearing an explicit Newcastle t-shirt whilst employed by Sunderland. That obviously didn’t go down well, especially seeing as Clark is a Geordie through and through, and now they finally get their long awaited chance to throw some abuse his way.
Tonight we will welcome back Seb Larsson (assuming he is picked) who was a great servant for our club. The Swede was an integral part of Blues’ squad under Steve Bruce and Alex McLeish’s cup winning side. I, for one, will be giving him a rousing reception.
Keep Right On!