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Bullish Aitor Karanka not worried over future despite defeat to Blackburn

Birmingham City v Brentford – Sky Bet Championship – St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Birmingham head coach Aitor Karanka insisted he is not concerned about his own position and instead hit out at his side being denied two penalties after a 2-0 defeat at home to Blackburn.

Blues suffered a fifth straight home loss in the Sky Bet Championship and have now lost eight home games this season – more than any other team in all four divisions – to lie 18th, four points above the relegation zone.

Adam Armstrong struck after 10 minutes for his 16th league goal of the season before substitute Bradley Dack sealed the points in the second minute of time added on.

“I am completely calm. I know why I came here, I know where the club was, I know where we want to be and I am really, really calm,” said Karanka.

“And I know if we can bring one or two or three more (players in), we have to do it.

“I am doing my best, the team in terms of effort is doing their best so I am not concerned at all.”

Karanka was angry at the refusal of the officials to award Birmingham a penalty for an alleged shove on Ivan Sanchez by Amari’i Bell immediately before Rovers scored their first goal.

The Spaniard also insisted Blues should have had a spot-kick in the second half for a push on Mikel San Jose at a corner.

“I have seen both of them back. They were clear but when you see the penalty decisions we have suffered, it’s difficult to understand,” said Karanka.

“I don’t know if it’s the referees or the committee, but the lack of respect to this club and to these players is amazing. Every single game there is something against us. Once again something that is not in my hands has changed the game again.

“When you’re due a decision at home and your confidence is not good and you should have a penalty, but 20 seconds later you concede a goal, it’s difficult to take.

“Two penalties for us but we got nothing. I don’t know if it’s a lack of respect or someone has something against this club or against me, but it’s the same.”

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray admitted his injury-hit and Covid-hit squad had been well below par.

He believes there should be some formal guidelines issued by the EFL on how many players need to be out before a game is postponed after missing 10 players.

“I was quite annoyed in the dressing room at half-time – that was probably the worst we’ve been for a long time,” said Mowbray.

“The question that hangs over football is how many Covids (players who have tested positive) do you need before you call a game off?

“We have some Covid issues, but someone needs to tell us the criteria. When we ask the question, we’re asked if we’re socially distancing – we are – we received an exemplary pass, and yet we’ve picked up some Covids.

“But the players don’t live in the training centre, they go home and see their missus, then go shopping. You can catch it at the petrol station and the supermarket.

“We had maybe eight injuries here, two Covids, when can you call it off? Two, supplemented by the eight injuries, should be enough. We are very transparent and tell them how it is. Maybe we should ‘play the game’ a bit more.”