February 18, 2014 by Shane Ireland
Birmingham City 1 – 2 Huddersfield Town
Blues’ disastrous home form continued against Huddersfield on Saturday, with Mark Robin’s men taking three points back to Yorkshire.
The 2-1 loss means Blues haven’t won at St Andrew’s for a staggering 11 league matches, a harrowing run that stretches back to October 1st when we thumped Millwall 4-0.
Lee Clark reverted to a 4-4-2 system unseen on home soil since August, with Federico Macheda partnered by Lee Novak upfront.
But Clark’s attacking intent didn’t come to fruition and in truth, Blues were lucky to register a goal in what was a lacklustre performance.
With less than five minutes on the clock Huddersfield foreshadowed what was to come, with Danny Ward’s bullet from just outside the box flying just wide of Darren Randolph’s left-hand post.
The Terriers’ next chance was the one that gave them the lead.
Reece Brown and Paul Robinson failed to deal with a chipped ball over the defence and Oliver Norwood was on hand to smash home after ten minutes.
Blues attempted to reply but poor distribution often meant that possession culminated in nothing. However the home side did fashion a chance on 27 minutes.
Chris Burke’s cross was delivered perfectly for Tom Adeyemi, but the central midfielder could only place his header just wide.
Moments later Huddersfield keeper Alex Smithies was called upon the first time.
Burke, in trademark fashion, cut inside and aimed towards the top corner but his shot was easily saved by the the 23-year-old stopper.
Just after half-time Blues registered their second shot on target.
Emyr Huws, who has impressed in his previous outings since signing on loan from Manchester City, broke away from his marker and hit a powerful right-footed shot from 20 yards that was easily saved by Smithies.
Nikola Zigic, back in the squad on Saturday, was introduced after an hour but his impact somewhat curtailed as the visitors doubled their lead moments later.
Adam Clayton was given far too much time and space after receiving the ball 40 yards out and the midfielder took full advantage, unleashing a powerful shot that beat Randolph from 25 yards.
Blues grabbed a consolation late into injury time when Nikola Zigic headed a looping cross down in classic fashion and Olly Lee found the corner of the net with a half-volley from close range.
Birmingham boss Lee Clark:
“That was probably our worst performance of the season and that’s not taking anything away from Huddersfield, who played well.
“It looks like we have people who fear playing in front of their own supporters. It’s outrageous. The fans have not turned on us.
“Their goalkeeper probably had his easiest day in football. You need to have home fans on the edge of their seats, we’re not doing that. It’s nonsensical.
“We try to convince ourselves about total football but that’s not the British way. The fans want to see excitement.
“I put the big man Nikola Zigic on and we still didn’t put balls in. Their defence and keeper must have not been able to believe their luck.”
Huddersfield Town manager Mark Robins:
“I thought we controlled the game for long parts and deserved it but it would have been great to have the clean sheet.
“They are great lads, I really enjoy working with the group. They’re young and I thought we were good and controlled the game.
“We’d like to be challenging for promotion. Are we there yet? No, not at all.
“We will try and get some run of games and wins against teams around us. They are all tough matches coming up, mid-table or not we want to catch the team above us.”
Starting line-up: Randolph, Caddis, Packwood, Martin, Robinson, Burke, Adeyemi (Zigic 59), Huws, Brown (Lee 46), Macheda, Novak (Lovenkrands 75)
Subs not used: Howard, Doyle, Rusnak, Blackett
Man of the match: Emyr Huws
The Delay No More protest continued on Saturday, with banners on display in the corner of the Tilton. Added to that, BIHL GO NOW cards were held aloft by fans in St Andrew’s.
Yesterday, it was widely reported that assistant manager Terry McDermott and first-team coach Derek Fazackerley have been relieved of their duties at Blues. The club issued a statement where it refused to comment.