I suppose that we can’t really complain given the late goals that we’ve scored ourselves over the last couple of seasons, but to drop two points in the 93rd minute of a match was, to put it mildly, heart breaking.
Huddersfield are hovering around the same place as us league wise and three points would have been very much welcomed. But, nonetheless, there was definitely cause for optimism.
Blues boss Lee Clark opted for a mobile combo of Ravel Morrison and Nathan Redmond up front with Burke, playing in his natural right wing position, as the only natural wide player. This left a ‘floating’ Wade Elliott and an efficient and rumbustious centre of midfield in the youthful Callum Reilly and the rejuvenated Morgaro Gomis.
At the back, it was good to see the impressive Paul Caddis return and one can only hope that Di Canio sees something in Rooney that most of us, sadly, cannot. As for Burke, re-introduced to the squad for the weekend’s match, he showed glimpses of what he can do but one may question whether this was merely a ‘shop window’ performance, with Nottingham Forest sniffing around the Scottish winger having already had a bid – reported to be worth £300,000 – rejected.
Huddersfield had the better of the early changes without really threatening back line, yet it was Blues that finished the stronger; with Callum Reilly capping a fine move with a smartly taken goal. Reilly, who was apparently being watched by Eire selectors, was subsequently replaced during the interval due to illness; Jonathan Spector took to the field for the second 45 in his place.
Whilst Gomis continued to hoover things up in midfield it seemed Blues lost a bit of momentum once Reilly departed the field of play, but it still seemed that we would hold onto three points in the face of mounting pressure.
The closing stages saw Clark introduce Marlon King – recently back from a knee injury – and talisman Nikola Zigic, who returned to the match day squad following a 2 game suspension following his recent sending off against Bolton.
However, with 40 seconds on the clock remaining, Blues’ backline resistance was broken. Jack Butland, who had already made a couple of fine saves during the match, could do nothing about the Huddersfield equaliser; a well struck shot from Adam Hammill from inside the box that ensures Blues remain uncomfortably near the danger zone.
Food for thought:
• Would you let Chris Burke go? If so, for how much?
• Is the rejuvenated Morgaro Gomis the answer to our central midfield problems?
• If Jack Butland is sold during the transfer window, would you accept him back on loan for the remainder of the season?
Vice-Chairman, Blues Trust
**Match report opinions are the views of Andy Munro and do not necessarily reflect the views of Blues Trust as a democratic organisation**