New deals don’t worry Rowett
BIRMINGHAM boss Gary Rowett isn’t concerned about the uncertain futures of a host of his key performers, after the Blues saw off Charlton to win their final home game.
The hosts had the better of a lacklustre Addicks side throughout, but relied upon Watford loanee Lloyd Dyer to break the deadlock from the bench eight minutes from time.
Despite the win, Blues fans will be aware that Darren Randolph, who produced two excellent saves to keep a clean sheet, is out of contract in July, while 18year-old attacking starlet Demarai Gray – who showed plenty of glimpses of his talent – is being linked with both Manchester City and Arsenal.
Both players are mulling over contract offers from the club, but Rowett insists he is ready for the challenge of strengthening his squad, come what may.
“It’s not really a concern. I’ve never had a summer as a manager where I haven’t had that uncertainty,” the former Burton boss said.
“We’ll work very hard now to tie down as many of those players as we can, and if their futures lie elsewhere because they’ve been successful, so be it.
“I’ll shake their hands and move on and we’ll go and get players that will make us even better next season, I can guarantee that.
“It was very important for us to come out in the last home game and put in a performance that was befitting of the progress we’ve made and what the fans have given us.”
With both sides safely in mid-table, there was a distinctly laid-back tempo in the first half.
However, Nottingham Forest loanee Robert Tesche nearly gave the Blues the lead in spectacular fashion after three minutes, only to see his ferocious long-range strike tipped onto the woodwork by Stephen Henderson.
Tony Watt went closest for the visitors, drawing a fine stop from Randolph with a left-footed effort from distance mid-way through the half, before Tesche made Henderson work again with a low shot from 25 yards.
The hosts stepped up a level after the break and while Dyer had sliced a gilt-edged chance horribly wide, the Watford loanee was to attone in fine style.
He got the better of Chris Solly down the left before slotting past Henderson to ensure Blues finished their home campaign on a high.
Charlton boss Guy Luzon, meanwhile, delivered a damning verdict on his side’s display, which he described as their worst since he took charge at the Valley in January.
“I’m really disappointed with our performance,” said the Israeli manager.
“Sometimes you can lose the game, but it’s about the way that we lost.
“It was the worst performance since I’ve been here. We played without patience with the ball.
“We had opportunities, but it was only on the counter-attack. We didn’t have the ball, and in my view, in football, if you don’t have the ball, you do not deserve to win.
“I really don’t like this kind of performance, but next week we have the last game, and we have to improve and play better, because in football it’s not only the result.
“It’s also about the way that you play.”
PRESSURE: On-loan midfielder Robert Tesche forces a good save from Charlton goalkeeper Stephen Henderson
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