What Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer said about the pitch following Hull City draw

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Hard surface was not conducive for flowing football says Birmingham City boss

Blues boss Lee Bowyer admitted his side’s attacking display against Hull had failed to hit the heights of recent weeks – but he did have some sympathy for his side.

Whilst goalscoring chances were at a premium for both Blues and the Tigers in a lacklustre encounter, Bowyer believes the lively St Andrew’s pitch made it hard going for entertainment in the 0-0 draw.

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Chances were thin on the ground throughout, with Hull forcing Birmingham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge into two saves and Tom Eaves failing to take a chance from point-blank range, whilst the hosts failed to seriously test Matt Ingram.

“From what I understand the pitch isn’t too good – it’s really bobbly, but that’s no excuse,” said Bowyer.

Onel Hernandez, pictured taking on Hull’s Regan Slater, was Blues’ most dangerous player. Picture: Alex Morton/Getty Images.Onel Hernandez, pictured taking on Hull’s Regan Slater, was Blues’ most dangerous player. Picture: Alex Morton/Getty Images.
Onel Hernandez, pictured taking on Hull’s Regan Slater, was Blues’ most dangerous player. Picture: Alex Morton/Getty Images.

“The pitch was really lively – it’s firm. We couldn’t even do just simple passes – Onel Hernandez was in, the Gary Gardner pass – a simple pass and he overhit it. Then vice-versa.

“We got into some great positions, especially second half, but it was just that bit of quality lacking, that final bit.

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“If we can improve on that – and I’ve said it a few times this season – we will create and score more goals.

“It wasn’t very pretty. It was two groups of honest lads working hard but I think the quality wasn’t there for both teams. It was disappointing because we had some good players on the pitch.

“But we had too many that had an off day on the same day. That’s life.

“There were positives. We didn’t lose, we kept another clean sheet on a day when we weren’t at the standard we can be.”

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Lee BowyerLee Bowyer
Lee Bowyer

What did Hull City’s boss make of the surface?

Hull City head coach Shota Arveladze was largely in agreement, but felt his team asked more questions than Blues.

The Georgian said: “The good thing was both teams tried to win and I think in the first half we did well and could have scored,” he said.

“That was probably the reason why they changed their system at half-time because we’d been better than them and they came back as a back four.

“Even in the second half, we didn’t hold the ball as long as we wished but we still created two or three chances to score.

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“For long parts of the first half we did well and in the second half (it) was a little bit like a game of up and down – we get the ball, they get the ball and it was a bit rushed from both sides.

“That’s why I’m happy with a point. It could have been 1-0 or 0-0. It was a game where I think the team that scored first would have maybe got a second and a third.”

Shota Arveladze barks out orders at St Andrew’s. Picture: Alex Morton/Getty Images.Shota Arveladze barks out orders at St Andrew’s. Picture: Alex Morton/Getty Images.
Shota Arveladze barks out orders at St Andrew’s. Picture: Alex Morton/Getty Images.

Regarding the pitch, Arveladze added: “I haven’t heard much about it. Maybe it was a good sign that the players they haven’t talked much about it.

“Of course at this level the pitches must be very good but the weather doesn’t help – it’s cold.

“But at the end of March it will be a bit better.”

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Hull are now four away games unbeaten and the head coach admitted he has tailored their game on their travels.

“We’ve tried to change our style a little bit,” he added.

“It’s about having the ball a bit longer, being calm and not just reacting.

“At home there’s a bit more pressure on us to be number one and then get the opponent under pressure.”

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