clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Question Time: Birmingham City with @blake2108

All you need to know about Tuesday's opponents

Harry Trump/Getty Images

Games are coming round quick and fast right now, and Bolton Wanderers will play their second out three games in a week tonight - as Birmingham City travel to the Macron Stadium.

The Brummies are flying high in the table so far under manager Gary Rowett, so I talked to my very good Twitter friend, the wonderful Blake Peterson, to see just how they are achieving their early success.

1) How's your start to the season been?

Fantastic really. You'd be mad to complain at being joint second in a competitive league like the Championship, even more so given where we were 12 months ago. Obviously there have been a couple of disappointing performances, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham United at home for example, but on the whole I couldn't be much happier after the first 11 games!

2) I had you tipped as my outside bet to get in the play offs this season, think it's possible?

I'm a pessimistic football fan (you had to learn to be as a Birmingham City fan under Lee Clark) so I'm scared of getting my hopes up when we're not even a quarter of the way into the campaign yet, however, to start so well you can't help but dream of being up there come May. It's a long season and a lot can change in football so if it's not meant to be then so be it, but do I think it's possible? Of course it is, but at this stage it's just as possible to get relegated!

3) Since joining the club, what has Gary Rowett done to make you a good side?

I have absolutely no idea to be quite honest with you. The man is a magician, a god almost. He arrived on the back of an 8-0 home defeat to Bournemouth last season, inheriting a squad made up of free transfers, loanees and academy graduates. A Lee Clark squad at that. He got the team believing in themselves first and foremost. I think his man management is much better than Clark's too. I believe Gary Rowett knows his best team thus being able to get the best out of his players and consistently so.

I'm most pleased with his work over the summer, bringing in some good players at this level and more importantly maintaining the momentum off the back of the end of last season. We've come a long way since that 93rd minute goal at your place last year to save us from League One!

4) What can a team like Bolton learn from a team like Birmingham?

It's difficult as I don't pay enough interest in Bolton to really know their flaws. I know you've been struggling for a while and the change in management last season hasn't had the same effect that ours has done. Obviously Bolton have relied heavily on free transfers and the loan market in this last transfer window which is something Birmingham have been doing since relegation in 2011. On paper your side isn't the strongest in the league by any cost but I guess the one thing you can learn from us is that you don't need a great squad on paper to get results. The majority of results we tend to grind out and wins are usually by the odd goal. Perhaps you guys need to believe in yourselves a bit more. Just work that extra bit harder too. Hard work wins when the talented don't work hard.

5) Did Paul Robinson actually score a goal on Saturday, because I refuse to believe it?

Yes he did. An actual real life goal. Only his second in over 120 games for us and you'll know well yourself from his time with Bolton he doesn't hit the onion bag that often at all! Delighted for him though, towards the end of last season he wasn't too popular amongst the fans and I myself felt he shouldn't have been kept on. Now as a player/coach he's come in when needed and has done brilliantly the last few games despite his advancing years!

6) What kind of football can we expect from Birmingham?

We're very old fashioned. Rowett's not the type of bloke to have us playing tiki taka football. We play with traditional wingers who'll often stay wide and put a cross in for a big man up front. We tend to score simple goals and try and keep it tight at the back. We've got the odd couple of creative players who look to mix it up but it's usually a very traditional way of playing for Blues, which for the fan usually means it's a frustrating and nerve wracking time watching us!

7) Which players should Bolton fans keep an eye out for?

The obvious answer here would be Demarai Gray. He's come through our academy and is your typical tricky winger. Fast, creative but sometimes lacks with his end product and decision making, but again that's typical of a 19 year old. Again Clayton Donaldson is a threat leading the line; big, strong and pretty good aerially and in front of goal, but I'd take note of our midfield pair of Stephen Gleeson and Maikel Kieftenbeld, who have been very solid so far this season. When they play well the rest of the team tends to as well.

8) What do you make of Bolton this year?

Disappointing of course. One win in 11 isn't good enough for any side, however you aren't too far adrift at the bottom of the table, a win against Blues could see you out of the relegation zone so all is most certainly not lost at this stage. I think there are poorer teams in the league than yourselves and I think you've had a very tough run of games to start the season so I don't think it tells the full story really.

9) Any Bolton players that particularly worry you?

I may have been playing too much Football Manager lately to be saying this but I always try and worry more about my own team and our players. If we give them the opportunity any of your players can be a threat to us on Tuesday night, and one of the great things about the Championship is that any team is capable of beating any other team in the division if they turn up, so I'm hoping that Rowett has our boys ready and up for this fixture because I don't see it being an easy game for us at all.

10) Finally, how do you see the game going and what score will it be?

I think it'll be a good game. Your boys won't want to get cut adrift at the foot of the table and we'll want to continue our momentum on the back of a brilliant result on Saturday. We're prone to conceding a goal and it would be typical of Blues if Emile Heskey pops up against his old employers, but we've only been denied on two occasions in the league this season ourselves. I think it'll be a tight affair. I'd put my money on a score draw, but I could see either team winning by the odd goal at the Macron on Tuesday and in that case I hope it follows the form book! If you're to push me for a scoreline I'll go 2-2.

You should follow Blake on Twitter @blake2108