Gary says well Don af­ter rant at Blues troops

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Wright

IT TURNED out to be a con­sum­mate away-day per­for­mance from Birm­ing­ham at MK Dons but it oc­curred only af­ter Gary Rowett was forced to lose his tem­per with his play­ers at half-time.

The first half of this match passed al­most with­out in­ci­dent but from the mo­ment Stephen Glee­son scored an ex­cel­lent goal against his old club, the Blues con­trolled pro­ceed­ings.

They re­main un­beaten go­ing into the in­ter­na­tional break and they were clin­i­cal in their fin­ish­ing to back up what was a miserly dis­play by their de­fence.

Their goal­keeper To­masz Kuszczak was barely tested by what was ad­mit­tedly a hes­i­tant Dons at­tack, who are strug­gling to cope with los­ing the goals of Will Grigg and Dele Alli dur­ing the sum­mer.

Rowett said: “I thought it was a good away-day per­for­mance in the sec­ond half be­cause I was ac­tu­ally re­ally dis­ap­pointed with our per­for­mance in the first half of the game.

“Our stan­dards have been set so high since I’ve been here and this sea­son and in the first half I just felt that there was a lack of in­ten­sity in what we did.

“I just wanted a re­ac­tion at half­time and it was prob­a­bly the an­gri­est that I’ve been .

“I even threat­ened to make a cou­ple of changes early in the game if we didn’t liven up.

“In the end I made one and I think that change made the dif­fer­ence and we changed the for­ma­tion - Jac­ques Maghoma came on the left.

“I thought by do­ing that we changed the game and we re­ally dom­i­nated the sec­ond half in terms of our chances and in terms of our at­tack­ing play and it was a good win.”

The kick-off was de­layed for al­most ten min­utes af­ter ref­eree Gavin Ward picked up an in­jury in his warm-up with as­sis­tant Robert Atkin tak­ing charge in his place.

The match be­gan slug­gishly with the only real ef­fort of note in the first 20 min­utes com­ing when Birm­ing­ham’s David Cot­ter­ill curled a shot wide from the cor­ner of the box.

MK Dons’ first open­ing came af­ter 25 min­utes when Rob Hall sent an ef­fort from the edge of the area not far wide with for­mer Manch­ester United keeper Kuszczak rooted to the spot.

The best chance of a flat first half came just be­fore the break when Samir Car­ruthers went through af­ter be­ing played in by Hall.

How­ever, the for­mer As­ton Villa man could only shoot into the side net­ting.

Birm­ing­ham fi­nally broke the dead­lock in the 57th minute when Clay­ton Don­ald­son cut the ball back for Glee­son, whose first-time ef­fort drifted over David Martin and into the far cor­ner.

It was the sec­ond league game in a row in which he had struck af­ter the Ir­ish­man had gone over a year with­out scor­ing.

And the Blues were to wrap up the game when Don­ald­son threaded the ball through for Maghoma, who calmly rolled his shot into the bot­tom cor­ner.

MK Dons boss Karl Robin­son was fu­ri­ous with the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion to not send off Birm­ing­ham winger De­marai Gray af­ter he shoved over Kyle McFadzean. He said:“What he did was vi­o­lent con­duct - peo­ple will say ‘oh, he’s a cen­tre half who should stay on his feet’ but Kyle was caught off-bal­ance.

“I get play­ers sent off for that - I think the kid’s a tremen­dous tal­ent but the ref­eree has got to brave in his de­ci­sion.

“I thought the ref­eree al­lowed peo­ple to have a go at him and it af­fected him. “We huffed and puffed in the sec­ond half and didn’t re­ally get go­ing.

“We got into bet­ter po­si­tions than we have done all sea­son but we don’t want to shoot and that cost us.

“I said to them that I can’t take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their shoot­ing or our men­tal­ity af­ter the first goal.

“But what I can take re­spon­si­bil­ity for is my poor sub­sti­tu­tions, I have to hold my hands up.

“Our fin­ish­ing was poor and with the first chance they get Stephen, who’s a won­der­ful tech­ni­cian, puts it in the per­fect po­si­tion and then we lost our heads.”

STAR MAN JONAT

HAN GROUN

DS Birmin

gham

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