Blues still at the very be­gin­ning of jour­ney says Monk

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Foot­ball Writer

GARRY Monk can only find one fault with his Birm­ing­ham City play­ers – de­spite a fail­ure to win any of the first six league matches.

Blues sit down in 20th in the early Cham­pi­onship ta­ble hav­ing drawn four and lost two.

It’s not the re­turn Monk be­lieves his play­ers de­serve after dom­i­nat­ing sev­eral matches and hav­ing blown late leads against Nor­wich City and Not­ting­ham For­est.

“Over­all in the six games – though we didn’t see as much against QPR – de­fen­sively we have been very good,” said the man­ager.

“We could have man­aged things bet­ter, but over­all de­fen­sively, we have been very good.

“We can play ag­gres­sively, front foot, and we are one of the high­est cre­ators of chances in the league. Apart from Satur­day, when we prob­a­bly didn’t cre­ate enough op­por­tu­ni­ties to win the game.

“We have been at­tack­ing re­ally well but we need to be more clin­i­cal in those sit­u­a­tions. It’s just about be­ing a lit­tle more ruth­less, more clin­i­cal, then the re­wards will be there.”

Monk is hav­ing to op­er­ate with a squad that has barely changed since nar­rowly beat­ing the drop last sea­son. And at a club where dra­matic dog­fights have be­come de­press­ingly fa­mil­iar after avoid­ing rel­e­ga­tion on the fi­nal day in three of the past five sea­sons.

The for­mer Mid­dles­brough man­ager is keen to change all that and hopes to do so with a dis­cernible brand of foot­ball.

“It was im­por­tant we gave the team an iden­tity, a way of play­ing that suits their strengths and how they are go­ing to do it,” Monk added. “I think ev­ery­one has to re­mem­ber we are right at the start of this jour­ney. We are right at the be­gin­ning of try­ing to do some­thing here at the club.

“We’re try­ing to ac­cel­er­ate it and do it as quickly as pos­si­ble but it takes time. The squad needs time, the club needs time to build some­thing strong again. That’s what we are try­ing to do, to put foun­da­tions in place we can build upon.”

Last Satur­day’s home game against a resur­gent, but em­i­nently beat­able, QPR team rep­re­sented the per­fect chance to en­gi­neer a maiden win. But Blues could only grind out a point from a dis­play

By PAUL SUART > Garry Monk in­sists Blues can’t af­ford to be at any­thing but their max­i­mum

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