This is side for fu­ture, says Harry as de­feats mount up

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Brian Dick Foot­ball Writer

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.”

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Blues boss Harry Red­knapp and one of his 14 sum­mer sign­ings, Jota

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