Birmingham 1-0 Cardiff City: Player Ratings

Steve Cotterill took charge of his first game as Birmingham City on Friday night against Cardiff City, and he got off to the best start possible. Blues put in a fantastic performance and a superbly taken Che Adams goal gave them the three points. Here are my player ratings from the game.

Starting XI

Kuszczak – 7

Didn’t really have too much to do throughout the 90 minutes, with Neil Warnock’s team failing to register a single shot on target. Dealt with the long balls that Cardiff pumped into the Blues box in the last 5 minutes really well.

Colin – 8

Looked a lot more composed in his natural right back position. Looked solid defensively and was dangerous going forward. If he continues to keep up this standard of performance at right back then he is going to become a real favourite at Blues.

Man of the Match: Morrison – 9

The Blues captain has recieved a lot of criticism lately from myself and many other Blues fans, but he certainly silenced the critics on Friday. It was a real captains display, he led from the back, won almost every header, and made more than one goal saving challenge. A fantastic performance.

Roberts – 9

Came back into the team having been dropped by Harry Redknapp, and showed why he should always be in the team. He won almost everything in the air, he was good on the ground – another very promising performance.

Grounds – 8

It was so good to finally have a left footed defender back in the team. Grounds was composed defensively, and stuck to his job well against Nathaniel Mendez-Laing who has arguably been the best winger in the Championship this season. Steve Cotterill rightly higlighted out Grounds for individual praise after the game on Sky Sports.

Kieftenbeld – 8

It’s crazy to think that just over a month and a half ago Harry Redknapp was happy to sell Kieftenbeld to Derby for less than a million. His performance on Friday really showed how crucial he is to this team, he can break the opposition’s play up like no other and his energy can’t be matched.

Davis – 8

Back to the David Davis of old. Energetic, closed down the opposition, and harried the Cardiff players. If he can keep up those sort of performances then it’ll be a real plus point for Blues, as he hasn’t been brilliant this season.

N’Doye – 8

This was the Cheikh N’Doye that all Blues fans have been wanting to see since he jointed, he must have covered almost every blade of grass during the game. He was played in the number 10 role and it worked really well, he was fantastic defensively, and going forward he added a new element of danger to the Blues attacks.

Adams – 9

Che Adams made his long awaited return from injury and what a comeback it was. He got the only goal of the game with a lovely run at the Cardiff defence and then a delicate finish into the far corner. His pace caused Cardiff problems all night, let’s just hope he stays fit.

Maghoma – 8

Another hard working performance from Maghoma. As well as looking dangerous going forward he also put a real shift in defensively. His performance was summed up when he chased back and made a last ditch slide tackle to block a Cardiff cross, great to see.

Vassell – 9

In his first Championship start he performed absolutely magnificently. His pace caused the Cardiff defence problems all night, and he continually created opportunities for Blues. Vassell and Che Adams are as dangerous as any attackers in the division.

Subs:

Jutkiewicz – N/A

Came on too late to have any real impact on the game.

Gardner – N/A

Came on too late to have any real impact on the game.

 Gallagher- N/A

Came on too late to have any real impact on the game.

Cardiff Fans – 5

Attendance 1,301

Decent travelling numbers for a night game on TV. Started in fine voice in the build up and up until the goal. That silenced them and they did little to motivate their team after. At one point they started “We are top of the league”, which died out quickly, I assume as they realised they probably wouldn’t be for much longer…

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