That was huge admits Clark
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.”
GET LOW: Birmingham’s Lee Novak heads home the winning goal
GOAL: Blackpool’s Andy