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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Liam Kelly Rotherham United Preview

The captain has started in each of the last five league games...

4 December 2020

Liam Kelly hopes the Sky Blues can “build” on their recent run of form when they play Rotherham United at St Andrew’s on Saturday afternoon.

                          

The skipper has helped City remain unbeaten in their last four league matches, but anticipates a tough test against Rotherham this weekend.

Kelly stressed the importance of being fully prepared for Saturday’s clash, having struggled against the Millers in League One last season.

Kelly said: “For me it’s probably the biggest game of the season so far, we’re playing a team who we know very well from last season, a team that gave us a lot of problems last year.

“We need to make sure that we’re fully on the ball and we’re prepared really well for this game, it’s going to be a tough game, they’re a very good side Rotherham, there’s no easy games in the Championship.

“If we can build on what we’ve been doing in recent games and build on what our home form has been like, we give ourselves every chance of getting a good result, momentum is with us at the moment, we need to try and keep that ball rolling,.

“If we can go on an even longer unbeaten run, add a few wins in there, we can start climbing up the table and that’s what we want to do, we don’t want to be in the bottom half for the full season, we want to make a real statement in this league this season.”

City have conceded just two goals in their last four matches and Kelly believes their solidity at the back is another thing the Sky Blues can build on.

“Performances have been good this season, but if we concede two or three goals in a game we give ourselves a massive uphill task of trying to get any points from it, we’ve tightened things up and maybe taken one or two less risks, conceding two goals in four games is a great platform and base to build from.

“We’ve got some great defensive players and organisation wise we’ve been really good, we’ve been working really hard on the training ground, especially during the international break, a lot of hard work was put in to try and get ourselves in a position where we can keep clean sheets and go and be dangerous against opposition.

“If we become a team that’s hard to beat, we’ve only conceded two goals in the last four games now, that gives us a massive opportunity to pick up points and also wins, if we continue what our defensive form has been like and become a little bit more clinical, we’ll give ourselves a great opportunity to have a really good season.”

The midfielder also feels City will receive a boost when the Sky Blues faithful are allowed to return to stadiums, with Birmingham’s tier three status preventing supporters from watching City this weekend.

“A massive part of playing in the Championship is going to big stadiums with big crowds and fantastic away days for the Sky Blues supporters who always travel in numbers really well, it’s been a massive miss.

“The way things are looking, hopefully at some point in the near future we can get some fans back in because it will give us a massive lift in the home games and especially going away because they travel so well, hopefully that can happen and fingers crossed it will.

“We didn’t get our first away win in the league last year until around Christmas time, if we had the away fans it would be a massive lift and all the players miss having the away fans there, there were some great away days last season and hopefully they can come back in and we can recapture that away form in the second half of the season.”

Kelly is pleased to be back in the team, having suffered an injury on the opening day of the season, and admitted that City need to adjust their mindset slightly this season, following their promotion last term.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to get a run of games with Coronavirus and lockdown, the team have been performing well, the results didn’t quite go with the performances so I’m very happy to be able get myself back in the team and get a run of games and contribute to some points on the board.

“It’s a different season to last year, last season we were expected to win every single game and we had a fantastic run, going in to this season, the quality of players and the quality of teams you’re playing are a lot better.

“We’re not going to get teams sitting behind the ball as we did last season, we’re going to play teams that attack us and try and capitalise on any mistakes, it’s just changing that mindset a little bit and playing what the game gives you at times, it’s a very different season this year, it’s about consolidating ourselves in this league.”


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