Every word from Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka after the 1-1 draw with Luton Town with answers on attacking players, his tactics and his goalkeeper Neil Etheridge
The Birmingham City boss was asked about the change in team form, Neil Etheridge’s performance and one more game without goals from the open game.
It’s a game to be happy with a point because it’s true we had a chance to win it but, to be fair, they had their chances. I think one point is good, especially in the first half we didn’t play and we didn’t control the game as I would like.
When we scored a goal I thought everything was going to be easier, but it was worse. They started to play better, we became more disorganized on the field, we no longer held the ball.
The first half wasn’t as good as we expected and the second half started very well. Then I made two or three substitutions and changed my form because they were doing well and creating opportunities.
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I think both goalkeepers were the best players of the game, our goalkeeper and their goalkeeper with the last save.
I couldn’t see it but since Neil signed for us I knew how lucky I was because he is definitely one of the best goalkeepers in the league. he belongs in the Premier League? but we have him here and he shows that he’s one of the best.
I don’t know if it is or not, my question is what is the difference between the foul the referee said against Jukey at the beginning. I thought it wasn’t a foul. and then the difference to the goal.
We knew the pitch was tight, they are very aggressive, very good at set pieces and we conceded the goal on a corner.
I knew we would have problems with players like Jeremie, Ivan or Riley. We tried to play with the same form that we played against QPR because the pitch is more or less the same.
Then in the second half when they were attacking more I decided to switch because we needed the ball more. With Ivan, Riley and Jeremie we held the ball more and had more chances.
No, with the same form that we played well against QPR and Preston, it’s not about form, I think it’s about how they understand the moves.
I think it’s true that we weren’t really good in the first half without the ball. When we got the ball back, we lost it very quickly. The problem is that we have to hold the ball longer as it is impossible to defend for 90 minutes.
It is sometimes easier for defenders to give long balls to Jukey and opt for second balls. Now we try to hold the ball more, we couldn’t in the first half ????.
In the meetings, the training sessions, every single thing is about scoring goals. If we’d won two or three clears last Friday, nothing would have happened because we had three or four clear chances.
If Jukey had scored a goal or two, everyone would have said « OK, Jukey is a real striker ». . He didn’t score, so we’re a defensive team.
It’s football, I know where I am, I know how good I have a group of players. It’s about moving on together.
I think I know why. I don’t want to make a mistake, I don’t want to criticize, today after 60 minutes the team reminded me of the team from last season. Two players up front, eight players defending, it’s something we don’t train, I don’t like it and that’s why I made the move.
I told them after the game that I’m taking a step forward today, I don’t want to have the same feeling we had last year because the team was committed on the pitch. We believed we could win the game until the end.
We keep forgetting what happened in the past, keep growing, the first 15 to 20 minutes of the second half reminded me of the team from last year.
It’s easy to attack players, good players, it means money, we have no money, we have to build a team. I don’t criticize my squad because they are the best players in the world.
But you know we’re building. In order to build, it is important not to achieve goals. If we have more time together and bring more quality to the squad, we will definitely improve.
But it’s impossible to play like Spain or Barcelona if you don’t have these players. The main thing is not to admit and have a dedicated team on the field.
Birmingham City F. . C.. . , Luton Town F.. . C.. . , EFL Championship, Aitor Karanka, Neil Etheridge, Lukas Jutkiewicz
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