BCFC: Hoping for Better

Birmingham City finally ended their winless start to the season on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Leeds United at Elland Road. A brace from Che Adams was enough to secure victory for Garry Monk’s men against his former club and lift Birmingham City in the Championship standings to 17th.

Birmingham City FC

While of course I’m always happy when Blues win, I’m especially happy this weekend as I think this is an important victory for both Birmingham City and Garry Monk.

In a time of uncertainty off the pitch with threats of points deductions, Monk has been one of the things that has given me hope about Blues.

Monk gets Blues.

I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but the manager has found a connection with the club and fans that I don’t think I’ve seen in many years.

I personally don’t think it’s about singing “Keep Right On” at a Q&A event or talking to fans by the side of a coach after an away defeat.

I think there is a deeper connection – something within Monk that resonates with us and gives us something to believe in.

I also think it helps that Blues are playing some of their best football in the last few years under Monk.

There may not have been many goals scored, but it’s not been for the want of trying; prior to Saturday’s game no team in the EFL had hit the woodwork as the nine times Blues had.

Luck has not been with us.

Previous managers such as Gianfranco Zola and Steve Cotterill went through barren spells and found themselves changing tactics, systems and personnel as they tried to get the monkey off their backs.

Not Monk.

One of the things that I appreciate most about this Birmingham City side is that there is clearly a strong bond between the players and manager.

The results might not have been forthcoming at first, but the belief was clearly there among the players that they would come if they kept at what they were doing.

Instead of tearing things up hoping for something to change, Monk and his team have kept at things and worked hard to tighten up and improve.

Not only that, but Monk has had faith in his younger players to step up and contribute.

The last two games have seen Charlie Lakin come into the midfield and acquit himself well enough that despite Maikel Kieftenbeld’s return to fitness the Solihull-born youngster kept his place in the team.

Hopefully Saturday’s positive result will be converted into a nice little run, with Blues playing winless Ipswich Town and Rotherham at home in the next couple of weeks.

It’s even possible that Blues can now put together the kind of run that ensures the punishment meted out by this disciplinary panel when it finally meets isn’t an absolute disaster.

I’ll admit I’ve spent a lot of this season expecting the worst because of the crap off the pitch. Right now though, Monk has me hoping for better.

Let’s hope that feeling lasts for a while for all of us.

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