John Eustace reveals Birmingham City ‘formula’ as Blues spoil Millwall party

John Eustace was in agreement with Birmingham City stars Marc Roberts and Neil Etheridge about this key formula to success.
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Birmingham City manager John Eustace revealed the formula behind his side’s recent success following Blues’ narrow 1-0 victory away at Millwall on Tuesday evening. Birmingham defended brilliantly to halt a Lions team desperately fighting for points in the play-off race, keeping a clean sheet despite facing 21 shots and over 40 crosses.

It’s the third time in the last six outings that Blues have won by a 1-0 scoreline and it was the fourth clean sheet in that period, emphasising the solidity of the squad. Now 11 points clear of the drop, safety has all but mathematically been secured despite limited financial resources.

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“We’ve come to a top team in the league and I thought we matched them,” Eustace told Sky Sports post-match. “We showed that fighting spirit and were 100 per cent committed. The one thing I want is togetherness and a connection with the fans. We went through a difficult period in January and February but we stuck together and when you do things right the results will come.”

Marc Roberts was handed the man of the match award for putting his body on the line to contribute seven aerial duel wins and eight clearances at The Den. The 32-year-old was solid alongside Kevin Long to just about keep Millwall at bay and help his team soar up to 15th in the Championship standings.

Asked by Sky Sports about Birmingham’s hard graft and determination, Roberts said: “That’s what we’re about. That’s what we trying to instill every day in the training ground. It was a tough atmosphere but I think we stood up to it really well.

“The only way is up for us and we want to look at the positives all the way through the season. We had a rough patch but even then we were in games and I don’t think we’ve got battered in many. We’ve stuck in, stuck to the basics and we’re always in with a chance,” Roberts continued.

Eustace was proud of his team’s togetherness in the 1-0 win over Millwall.Eustace was proud of his team’s togetherness in the 1-0 win over Millwall.
Eustace was proud of his team’s togetherness in the 1-0 win over Millwall.
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The defender wasn’t the only player to speak positively of the team spirit as goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who came on to replace an injured John Ruddy in the first half, bigged up his teammates. The Filipino played brilliantly to make some brilliant saves, including a double stop in the second period, but he owed his performance to his peers.

“It’s not easy but to be fair the lads helped me out today,” Etheridge told Sky Sports post-match. “I’m very happy for the whole team to keep another clean sheet. They were spot on and they have been throughout the season. We’ve had to be very versatile and we deserved the win tonight,” Etheridge continued.

Birmingham’s surprise win on the night took their total for the campaign to 53 points, making it their best tally since the 2016/17 season. It’s been a successful term for Eustace’s side and there are still a few games to go with Blackpool, Coventry City and Sheffield United to come.

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