Blues 2-2 Preston: changing the game
Last season, we had many home games in which we went a goal behind to the division’s lesser sides and had no means of changing things around. Although we cannot exactly be happy after a 2-2 draw with Preston, the fact that we came from behind twice is a source of encouragement.
Our first equalizer came about from a moment of set piece magic from David Cotterill, who looked excellent in open play when he moved to a more natural right wing position. The second was a goal from Che Adams who, along with fellow substitute David Davis, helped us push higher up the pitch and increase the tempo when he came on. It took Preston moving to a five man defence after the second equalizer for our attacking threat to be negated.
While they did not threaten us too often, it is slightly worrying that they still came away with two goals. We should have cleared the ball from the corner for their first goal and Adam Legdzins made a hash of Daniel Johnson’s free-kick. Callum Robinson rounded Legdzins quite early on and nearly scored too, so defensively we could have been better.
However, in fairness to Jonathan Grounds, he put in some excellent crosses during that 15 minute spell of dominance in the second half. Until their third centre-back came on, Lukas Jutkiewicz generally won his individual aerial battles against Tom Clarke, even if there were times in the first half when there was nobody to give the ball to when he won it. For that reason we needed more from Greg Stewart and Reece Brown; the latter still needs to bulk up if he is to play in central midfield. Perhaps those two might have felt more freedom had Maikel Kieftenbeld looked more like his command self in the holding role.
We weren’t at our defensive best, but we also showed the capacity to change a game that was not going our way. That could be a sign that we are stronger than last year.
By Gabriel Sutton