That was huge ad­mits Clark

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Scott Hunt To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

LEE Clark was not get­ting car­ried away de­spite watch­ing his Birm­ing­ham side come from be­hind to ex­tend Black­pool’s win­less run to 16 games.

Lee Novak struck twice af­ter the break to give the Blues only their sec­ond win in nine games af­ter Andy Keogh had put the home side in front.

The vic­tory sees Clark’s troops leapfrog the Seasiders in the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble and climb to 16th.

But the for­mer Hud­der­s­field boss in­sists his side are still look­ing ner­vously over their shoul­der rather than up the ta­ble.

“It’s huge for us,” Clark said.“It was even more im­por­tant when I see other re­sults in the Cham­pi­onship – other teams be­hind us have won.

“We’re still re­ally aware of what’s go­ing on be­hind us – we’re not ig­no­rant or ar­ro­gant to think that’s us done and dusted.”

Birm­ing­ham had a great chance to take the lead af­ter two min­utes as Novak fired a low cross into the area, where Fed­erico Macheda missed his kick with the goal gap­ing.

Faris Haroun had a chance to put Black­pool in front af­ter an open first ten min­utes, fir­ing over from 12 yards af­ter Keogh’s lofted cut-back had found him in space.

The Black­pool pres­sure told as Keogh put the home side in front in the 22nd minute when the ball broke to him af­ter a cor­ner and the on-loan Mill­wall striker put the ball be­yond Dar­ren Ran­dolph with a swiv­elled vol­ley into the far cor­ner.

Birm­ing­ham had a golden op­por­tu­nity af­ter the break as Chris Burke was put clear through by half-time sub­sti­tute Nikola Zigic, but Matt Gilks de­nied the Blues winger oneon-one.

Zigic could have pulled Birm­ing­ham level af­ter 55 min­utes, but when one-onone with Gilks he tried to chip the Black­pool keeper, man­ag­ing to just dink the ball meekly into the keeper’s arms.

Birm­ing­ham did equalise on 62 min­utes as top-scorer Novak fired left-footed, high to the left of Gilks from the edge of the area af­ter a knock down from Zigic.

Black­pool were re­duced to ten men in the 75th minute as Jack Robin­son was shown a straight red for bring­ing down sub­sti­tute Jor­don Ibe as he was clear through on goal.

And when Novak headed in the win­ner late on, there was noone Clark would rather see take the plau­dits.

“He (Novak) is not al­ways pop­u­lar with people out­side of the game.

“But people who work with him and along­side him like man­agers and coaches think he’s an ab­so­lute dream,” Clark added.

“I’m glad he’s the one who got the re­ward with the goals.”

Care­taker Black­pool boss Barry Fer­gu­son was dis­ap­pointed with his team’s per­for­mance as they go seven home games with­out a win.

“I wasn’t happy when we came in at half-time and we were only one nil up,” the Scot said.

“The game should have been dead and buried first half. We’re not clin­i­cal enough.

“I was de­lighted with the ef­fort, the com­mit­ment and the qual­ity in the first half but you’ve got to do that for 90 min­utes. I know the send­ing off didn’t help us but you’ve got to main­tain the level of per­for­mance con­sis­tently.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

GET LOW: Birm­ing­ham’s Lee Novak heads home the win­ning goal

GOAL: Black­pool’s Andy

Keogh scores

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