November 22, 2015 by Shane Ireland
By Shane Ireland
Birmingham City were beaten 1-0 by Charlton Athletic on Saturday, as Johnnie Jackson scored the only goal of the game just after the hour mark.
On a frustrating afternoon at St Andrew’s, Blues orchestrated much of the play and should have gone into the half-time break ahead, but failed to convert any chances created and eventually rued the missed opportunities.
Here are five talking points from the defeat.
Blues have to be more clinical at home
Boss Gary Rowett reflected on his side’s inability to turn chances into goals after the match.
He saw Blues attempt 22 shots – of which six hit the target – but emerge with a blank scoresheet.
It was a stark contrast to the 5-2 demolition of Fulham in which Blues were deadly in front of goal and a distinct wastefulness in the box is contributing to what is now a very worrying run of form at St Andrew’s.
Donaldson is sorely missed
The news that Clayton Donaldson was not involved in the matchday squad was bad enough for Blues fans, but to learn that the striker will be out for six weeks will no doubt have devastaed a great number of the Blues faithful.
His absence was easily-noticed on Saturday, as Blues lacked conviction and confidence in front of goal which ultimately resulted in the defeat.
Donaldson’s value as an outlet to Stephen Gleeson and co. was also apparent, as Rowett’s side did not have a runner occupying the channels, in order to create space for teammates.
However, Brock needs more time
With the injury to Donaldson, Nicolai Brock-Madsen made his full debut spearheading the attack.
The summer signing looked OK but was clearly lacking in confidence and could have converted a first-half chance, but hit the ball straight at Charlton goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
But, Saturday’s match was Brock’s first start in English football and he will obviously take time to adjust to the unique nature of the Championship – and with Donaldson out for six weeks, that time may be available, even though the boss is looking to recruit another forward.
Grounds’ distribution could do with some work
Although both Jonathan Grounds and Paul Caddis were an attacking threat out wide in the first-half, both full-backs played poorly in the second period.
Grounds’ distribution, especially, left much to be desired.
The left-back failed to find his passing target on a number of occasions, but a free transfer from Oldham Athletic won’t be perfect in every aspect.
Finally, don’t panic!
Blues still sit inside the play off places, a point ahead of Reading and Sheffield Wednesday.
The total cost of Rowett’s squad versus its performance is still miraculous and Blues are higher in the table than they should be.
We head to Brighton next week – the only team still unbeaten in the country – to face a team who, on paper, should be well ahead of Blues but in reality, are only seven points better off.