Skip to main content

Birmingham ‘dead and buried’ before second-half fightback, admits Pep Clotet

Pep Clotet File Photo
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Birmingham head coach Pep Clotet admitted his team were “dead and buried” before they somehow salvaged a 3-3 draw at home to struggling Hull.

Gary Gardner headed home in the 88th minute to secure a point after on-loan Liverpool midfielder Herbie Kane curled a free-kick under the defensive wall to put Hull 3-2 in front in the 67th.

Josh Magennis and James Scott had fired Hull into a 2-0 lead by the 16th minute, before Gardner pulled one back and Dan Crowley made it 2-2 after the break.

“We were dead and buried in the first half. We were in the ITU and we were gone,” said Clotet.

“But that’s the beauty of this game – we recognised what was wrong and we knew what we needed to do to come back and try to win the game.

“They understood that perfectly and put their hearts into it.

“It just shows the huge pride that the team has and the determination to fight to the end.

“In the second half we came back to life – they didn’t bury us very deep.”

Clotet added: “It was absolutely a game of two halves. We started very slowly and we didn’t like ourselves in the first half.

“They got two goals ahead and we were struggling tactically. We didn’t have the right distances defensively and we made it very difficult for ourselves.

“But at half-time I saw a huge determination in the players and a huge clarification to correct what we had done and cause them problems.”

Hull manager Grant McCann admitted the 3-3 draw felt like a defeat.

“It does, to be fair. That’s a fair assumption,” he said. “For how good we were first half, we were the polar opposite in the second.

“I thought we could’ve been more than 2-0 up in the first half. We had some really good chances. Mallik Wilks had a couple where he didn’t get his shot off.

“I just felt the early goal in the second half put them in the ascendancy a little bit, they got their tails up. We conceded off a shot on the edge of the box, which is disappointing, and then the other two we conceded are just criminal. People making a free run into the box and not being tracked.

“This is a tough place to come and it’s another point on the board. Yes it does feel like a defeat but we’ve got to take the positives out of it into Middlesbrough.”

McCann, whose side are level on points with 22nd-placed Huddersfield but will slip into the bottom three if the Terriers get anything at Nottingham Forest on Sunday, was delighted with the application of his players in the first half.

“I just thought we had the majority of the team performing. The energy was good, everything seemed to click,” he added.

“We should’ve been 3-0 or 4-0 up at half-time and the early goal (in the second half) knocked us.”