Birmingham City (2) – QPR (1)

Team: Green, Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky, Sandro (Tozser), Henry, Phillips, Fer (Luongo), Chery, Emmanuel-Thomas (Polter)

Subs Not Used: Smithies, Angella, Doughty, Faurlin

Attendance: 19,161 (including 1,676 R’s fans)

Positives from the game? None, other than Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who doesn’t hold up the ball anywhere near good enough, but for me, he plays way above my expectations, and thankfully proves me wrong.

We are a million miles away from the recent comments of Les Ferdinand regarding any kind of promotion pushits an ill-timed nonsense. This side lacks leadership from both on, and off the pitch. We looked decent for 20 minutes, but after a fortunate deflected goal from Matt Phillips, it all went downhill.

Talking of Phillips, when Luongo came on, he contributed more down the left within five minutes than Phillips did the whole game. Unlike Phillips, he took players on, he got to the line, and tried to deliver.

A disjointed game, we weren’t confident enough to play it on the ground, ale house seems to be a far better option for these playerswhy would that be?

To add insult to injury, Ramsey removes Fer, who albeit had a poor game, but Sandro alsobig risk. Two-one down and Ramsey in his wisdom brings on Polter for Emmanuel-Thomas, who simply gave us nothing. He had so many optionsI give in!

Maybe the ref was appalling, maybe we miss Austin and Mackie, maybe it was a dodgy penalty, maybe we just lack confidence, maybe we just need more time to gel, all true, but its not why we came away with nothing on Saturday.

We are simply not nearly good enough. We need change and we need it now. Bringing in Warnock is a result, but as an advisor is another nonsense. Ramsey needs to go. Right now we could do a lot worse than have Neil Warnock at the helm.

Good trip with Steve R, Kevin and Dannydespite the result.

Jimmy Murray
bc v qprPaul Caddis converted a second-half penalty as Birmingham City fought back for a deserved victory against QPR.

Mid-table Rangers, who have announced that ex-boss Neil Warnock is to re-join as first team advisor, went ahead via a deflected Matt Phillips strike. But Paul Robinson’s flying header from Demarai Gray’s free kick brought Gary Rowett’s Blues level by the interval.

Caddis then hit the winner from the spot after Clayton Donaldson was fouled by Nedum Onuoha to keep Blues fourth.

A decent afternoon’s entertainment started on a sad note, with a minute’s applause for former Birmingham City player Howard Kendall, who had died at the age of 69.

The Everton legend, who played more than 100 games for the Blues during a three-year spell in the 1970’s, would have no doubt been impressed by an encouraging start for his former side, with Donaldson and Gray looking dangerous in attack and QPR being forced back.

Gray almost scored with a fine 18-yard drive after some nifty footwork that brought a decent save from away goalkeeper Rob Green, but Rangers held out and went ahead after 17 minutes.

Birmingham were slow to get out of their own area after a corner and, when the ball was eventually played back in, Phillips found the back of the net with a shot that took a deflection to deceive keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

The Londoners suddenly started to play with confidence but, for the second time in the game, a goal arrived for the side on the back foot. Veteran defender Robinson, now 36, was the scorer, doing brilliantly to head home Gray’s perfectly delivered free kick for just his second goal in 127 matches for Birmingham.

The hosts went on to dominate after drawing level, looking a constant threat on the break, happy to surrender possession against a QPR team who looked toothless in attack and slow in their build-up.

Donaldson’s clever hold-up play, and the pace of Jacques Maghoma and Demarai Gray, always looked like creating a third home goal.

Rangers, deprived of injured pair Charlie Austin and Jamie Mackie, did pose some threat in the latter stages with Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer both going close, but Birmingham held on without too much alarm.

BBC Sport

As we supped our pints before the game, Kevin announced the breaking news that Neil Warnock was returning to the club in some capacity. Later, there was a minute’s applause prior to kick-off in memory of Howard Kendall who had sadly passed away.

The ref was poor and the home side did play up to it, but that wasn’t the reason why we lost. It was a reasonable start and a goal did come when Matt Phillips’s shot received a deflection.

However, poor defending allowed their equaliser, when a close range diving header followed a free kick.

I didn’t get a very good view of the penalty decision, which led to Birmingham’s second-half winner when the ball was swung in from the right and a Blues player went down in the box.

The home side counter-attacked with pace and purpose whilst many of our attacks were laboured and included too many long/hopeful balls.

Sandro was never going to play 90 minutes but Chris Ramsey’s other changes were ridiculous. When Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was subbed many R’s fans voiced their bemusement with renditions of: “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing” and “There’s Only One Neil Warnock.”

Good Rangers turnout and my thanks to Jimmy for the lift.

Steve Russell