Stand-in Carsley is denied win by Winnall
BIRMINGHAM started life without Harry Redknapp by halting a run of six defeats in all competitions as they held their former manager Gary Rowett’s Derby to a draw at Pride Park.
After a low-key first half, the game came to life as substitutions paid dividends with Lukas Jutkiewicz heading Birmingham ahead only for Sam Winnall to quickly equalise with his first goal for Derby.
There were chances in the closing minutes for both teams but a draw for the visitors was a good result for the former Derby midfielder Lee Carsley in his first game as caretaker manager.
The first clear chance did not come until the 41st minute when the ball broke to Sam Gallagher 12 yards out but Curtis Davies got across to block the shot.
Derby almost scored in the final minute of the half when David Nugent broke away and saw his shot from 20 yards turned behind by Tomasz Kuszczak.
In the second period, substitutions changed the game in the space of four minutes.
First Jutkiewicz struck with his first touch when he got across Richard Keogh to score with a diving header in the 64th minute before Derby hit back when Winnall pounced from close range after Keogh headed back a deep cross.
Caretaker boss Carsley said: “Given the circumstances of the week that we’ve had with the upheaval, the change of manager and a change in the way I want them to play, it was a great response.
“We’ve stopped the rot, we’re moving forward and it should get better.
“It’s really important that now we use this as momentum and build the confidence.”
Rams boss Rowett said: “I have mixed feelings. I thought our build-up play was good in the first half but we couldn’t quite show that little bit of quality.
“When they scored, it was a very deflating moment as they hadn’t had a lot other than set-pieces but we responded well and we showed a lot of character to not let it affect us.”
RAMS LEVELLER: Sam Winnall