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Steve Cotterill: "I won't criticise our players or fans."

6 November 2017

Birmingham City boss Steve Cotterill has firmly vowed to stick by his players and accept supporters’ unrest after his side were beaten 2-0 by Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds side at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon.

Tom Bradshaw’s early opener put the Blues behind early on, before Zeki Fryers’ first Reds goal sealed the points in the second half.

Birmingham’s travelling army of supporters displayed their disappointment towards Cotterill and his team at the final whistle, with the result plunging them into the relegation places.

“I won’t criticise our supporters for whatever’s been chanted during or after the game,” Cotterill stated.

“Neither do I criticise my players. That’s not something in my remit. It’s not nice, but you have to take it.

“It’s a big club here at Birmingham City, with big expectations and rightly so. I won’t hide from any of that, I’m tough enough to handle [the recent unrest] at the club.”

The Blues’ manager adamantly claimed his team did not have a bad game, whilst noting his disagreement with the officiating in the lead-up to Fryers’ strike.

“We had a great chance to go one up straight away, and then to go and concede was a real kick in the teeth.

“We had a few opportunities afterwards but I felt as if we were looking to work the perfect chance, rather than take our shots on early.

“I thought whilst the referee had a good game, we should have had the free kick that they scored from, it looked like two of our players were fouled in the build-up. Once you concede a second it really is an uphill task.”

Cotterill feels that his side are due a good run in the near future, and vows to help rebuild the confidence around the club.

“We’re probably lacking in confidence right now which is an issue, but the amount of ‘well dones’ I give them on the training ground is a lot, which they need at this moment.

“We were at our best and played our most fluid football in the final 20 minutes.

“I wouldn’t say we were ‘relaxed’, but having said that, it’s easier to play when you’re 2-0 down; I’m sure when we’re two up they’ll play well.”

Cotterill’s Blues host Nottingham Forest at St. Andrew’s after the international break, with Hecky’s Reds side looking to continue their solid recent run at Carrow Road against Norwich City, on Saturday 18th November.


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