This is side for future, says Harry as defeats mount up
HARRY Redknapp was encouraged by Birmingham City’s performance, despite the defeat at Leeds on Tuesday night.
Blues were unable to cancel out Samuel Saiz’s 17th-minute opener and were caught on the break in injury time by Stuart Dallas.
That extended their run to five consecutive losses.
However, the team display was much better than the one put in against Reading and Norwich – and Redknapp sees signs of improvement.
“That was the first time I really felt I have seen a football team since I have been at Birmingham,” he said.
“No disrespect, I felt tonight you saw a team that had come to Leeds, good team, big crowd and really dominated the game.
“The second half was complete and utter domination, we just couldn’t get the break we needed.
“But the positives are going forward there is a football team there, emerging for the future.
“We are all disappointed we haven’t got a result tonight, it’s a new team thrown together – but there’s players there people are going to look forward to seeing playing.
“There’s a nucleus of a real good team there. There was energy, all over they did exactly what I asked them to do. It takes time.
“You have got two wingers who can play, we had ability all over the place. The left-back, who can also play rightback, is a real player, these are players that are going to be here for the foreseeable future.
“And I think for the next couple of years, there is a nucleus of a team here that is going to be a good team and take them places.”
After a summer of unparalleled player turnover, Redknapp believes his Blues squad will not require major ‘surgery’ in the next transfer window.
Blues signed 13 new players and made permanent Craig Gardner’s loan deal over a hectic four-month period, which also saw 14 familiar faces leave, either for good or temporarily.
Five came in on deadline day alone and as a result of which the manager handed six debuts in Saturday’s Championship match at Norwich.
Blues lost that game but Redknapp claimed he had seen enough to be confident a similar approach will not be required in the next window.
He said. “It’s a new team. That’s why you have a pre-season, six weeks, working with your team and preparing for your first game.
“Come January, I don’t see this team needing much surgery at all. I think it’s almost a team now where you might bring in one player, if you felt there was a position you could improve, maybe two players maximum.
“Other than that you have got a group here I think is good enough to be there challenging at the end of the season.”
Blues are 22nd in the embryonic table and have won just one of their seven league matches so far.
However, having broken their clubrecord transfer fee for Jota and brought several other promising young attackers to St Andrew’s, the trajectory of improvement should be steep. Redknapp accepts it needs to be. “We changed it around. We took over a team that we got out of trouble the last game of last season and now I see good players, I see a team that can go forward from here,’’ he said.
“I see a team I think will be up there challenging come the end of the season.
“Hopefully we will turn the corner very quickly. We have got some good players here now, exciting players.
“Six making their debut on Saturday is not easy. In an ideal world you would like to have had those players in at the start of the season.
“But we were building from a base of a team that just stayed up last year and it’s been difficult to get the players in we were after.
“In the end I had good backing and got a good group of players in and now it’s up to me and the team to get results. “And I think we will. “It’s a much better squad of players than what I started with, for sure.”
> Blues boss Harry Redknapp and one of his 14 summer signings, Jota