The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Steven Chicken

KIT Sy­mons was left hop­ing for more time as Ful­ham man­ager af­ter a des­per­ately poor per­for­mance saw his side hum­bled at home by Birm­ing­ham.

The Cot­tagers are stuck in midtable de­spite a large financial out­lay since their rel­e­ga­tion from the Pre­mier League in 2013, and the Ful­ham board have grown im­pa­tient with their in­abil­ity to chal­lenge for a pro­mo­tion place.

Noth­ing had been con­firmed by the Ful­ham board at the time Sy­mons spoke to the press, but when asked if he ex­pected to be given time to turn things around he said: “That’s what ev­ery man­ager wants in foot­ball, it’s a bit of time to get things right.

“Some­times you’re given it, some­times you’re not. There were two boys this week who weren’t given the time to im­ple­ment their ideas and get things right.

“That’s what I want to do. There has been a lot of change at this foot­ball club. I un­der­stand peo­ple get­ting a bit rest­less be­cause of the lack of con­sis­tency.

“We’ve put in some ex­cep­tional per­for­mances lately, but then we’ve had some poor ones as well and this was a very poor one, I’ll put my hands up to that.”

City had failed to score in their last three league games, but they made up for lost time by ham­mer­ing Ful­ham with three goals in 12 first-half min­utes.

Stephen Glee­son opened the scor­ing 19 min­utes in, beat­ing Joe Lewis with a 25-yard strike.

The Blues got a sec­ond from the penalty spot three min­utes later, with Paul Cad­dis con­vert­ing af­ter Lewis felled Clay­ton Don­ald­son.

The Whites’ ter­ri­ble show­ing con­tin­ued as Jon To­ral fired home a third af­ter Jacques Maghoma did well to pull Cad­dis’ through ball back from the by­line and into the Arse­nal loa­nee’s path.

Jamie O’Hara rat­tled To­masz Kuszczak’s cross­bar as Ful­ham threat­ened for the first time since Tom Cairney had caused the Pole to scram­ble away a shot just be­fore Glee­son’s opener.

O’Hara was lucky to es­cape cen­sure just be­fore half-time as the of­fi­cials missed a ma­li­cious el­bow to To­ral’s face. How­ever, Ful­ham left-back James Hus­band was dis­missed af­ter the break, af­ter he com­mit­ted two clear book­able of­fences in as many min­utes.

It would be stretch­ing it to say Ful­ham played bet­ter with ten men, but the in­tro­duc­tion of big striker Matt Smith from the bench in­jected some im­pe­tus to the home side at least.

Smith hit the up­right on 62 min­utes with a fierce low drive from the edge of the box, and his knock­down al­lowed fel­low sub­sti­tute Alex Ka­caniklic to pull one back for the Whites four min­utes later.

Don­ald­son’s goal put the game be­yond any re­main­ing doubt, but there was still time for both sides to score in in­jury time through Ross McCor­mack and Viv Solomon-Ota­bor’s first se­nior goal right at the death.

Birm­ing­ham boss Gary Rowett said: “We’ve got a re­ally hon­est bunch and we’ve all got faults, but we stick to­gether and work in­cred­i­bly hard.

“We’ve had three games where per­haps we’ve not been quite as good or been as free-flow­ing as we can be.

“I asked them for a lit­tle bit more at­tack­ing qual­ity here be­cause we’ve not been ruth­less enough in the fi­nal third, but I didn’t quite ex­pect such a good per­for­mance to be hon­est.

“I have to say, de­spite go­ing in at 3-0, in some ways I felt we let Ful­ham off the hook be­cause we got into some bril­liant po­si­tions when we broke.”

PIC­TURE: Me­dia Im­age

ON THE SPOT: Ful­ham goal­keeper Joe Lewis brings down Birm­ing­ham striker Clay­ton Don­ald­son for a penalty, which Paul Cad­dis steps up to score, in­set

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