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INTERVIEW: John Dempster talks Birmingham, Rowe and Bell

John Dempster looks back on last night's defeat...

27 September 2022


INTERVIEW: John Dempster talks Birmingham, Rowe and Bell

John Dempster looks back on last night's defeat...

27 September 2022

The Sky Blues Under-21s slipped to a 3-0 defeat to Birmingham City on Tuesday night and Head Coach John Dempster was disappointed with what he saw from his side.

Despite heading into the break goalless, three second half goals for Birmingham took the game away from the Sky Blues youngsters at St Andrew’s.

However, despite the defeat, Dempster was able to draw on the positive performance of ‘keeper Luke Bell and the return to action of defender Blaine Rowe, who had been on the sidelines since March of this year.

Speaking after the final whistle, here’s what Dempster had to say:

Thoughts on the defeat to Birmingham…

“We’re disappointed because we've lost, and we've lost convincingly.

“I thought Birmingham were outstanding particularly in the second half and we were disappointed with some of the defending, especially to concede from a set-play early in the second half, it put us on the back-foot and in the end like I said they run out convincing winners.

“They played some good attractive football in the first half, but we were pleased with our defensive shape. “We were quite narrow and compact, and we felt we could hurt them on the counter and we had some really good opportunities to do that but when we played forward with the with the ball it lacked quality.

“There were needless giveaways, people running in behind when they should be coming short, people coming short when they should be running behind and that's just game understanding.

“We need to be better, but like I say I don't think we can complain about the result because we've been beaten convincingly.”

The performance of Goalkeeper Luke Bell on the night…

“Luke has been in real good form in training, and he's been up with the first team and performed well in training and he's done well for the 21s so far.

“I think this is the first time he's conceded that number of goals in a game, so he's been really good and he made some good saves.

“I think his distribution can be better, but again he's been in good form, and I think the plan for him is that he'll be going out on loan soon to get some first team football where three points matters which will be brilliant for his development.

The return of Blaine Rowe from injury…

“I thought another positive was Blaine Rowe getting on the pitch for a half.

“He's been out for a long time and he’s a brilliant lad. When he came on he was a bit rusty as you'd expect, but he physically got through the 45 minutes and it's great to have him back on board.

“It's been a long time for him and when you're injured you can become frustrated when you're watching the players go out on the grass and train and that's all you want to do as a young player and as a footballer.

“He’s back with us now and he's been training hard and he's been looking better in training and every session he's got better and better and to get him on the pitch was massive for him.”

Chance to bounce back on Friday against Barnsley…

“That's a good thing that the next game comes quickly.

“It'll be a different challenge, but it'll be tough, and it always is against Barnsley. I know a lot of their backroom staff very well they'll be performing well.

“It'll be another tough game but it's brilliant for the lads to have an opportunity to respond and I'm sure we will.”

The Sky Blues entertain Barnsley on Friday 30th September at the Alan Higgs Centre, with kick-off scheduled for 1pm.

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