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Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka ‘not concerned at all’ by lack of goals

Queens Park Rangers v Birmingham City – Sky Bet Championship – The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium
(Image credit: Steven Paston)

Birmingham manager Aitor Karanka insists he is not worried about his side’s failure to score in open play this season.

A 0-0 draw at QPR extended a frustrating run for both teams but Karanka believes there are positive signs.

“I am not concerned at all. The main thing for me is to have a committed team on the pitch,” he said.

“We are building and we know we have the quality to score goals.

“I am a manager who prefers to draw 0-0 than 5-5 or 4-4. A clean sheet means commitment.

“With this commitment and more regular time together, we will score goals and when that happens these draws will be wins.”

But Karanka did regard the stalemate at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as two points dropped, given that the visitors were on top for much of the game.

“We lost two points because we should have won this game,” he said.

“But we had chances and it was a good performance, so it’s another step forward.

“We played more offensively, had good chances and showed consistency on the pitch. Another clean sheet is important.

“When players are committed, everything is easier. The group we have here is amazing – everyone is committed and it’s easy to manage them when you know you have a committed team on the pitch and the bench.

“I prefer to look at the good things – and the team are playing well.”

QPR manager Mark Warburton was encouraged by his team’s improved second-half display but felt they could have been more direct.

Like Birmingham, Rangers have gone six matches without a win and failed to score in their past three.

Warburton’s side were on the back foot for most of the first half but went close to scoring early in the second when Bright Osayi-Samuel’s shot was headed off the line by Blues captain Harlee Dean.

From the resulting right-wing corner by Ilias Chair, Lyndon Dykes’ header bounced up and clipped the top of the bar.

And Chair had a late chance to break the deadlock but fired wide of the far post after Osayi-Samuel had pulled the ball back for him from the right-hand side.

“It was poor in the first half, if I’m honest,” Warburton said.

“We didn’t move the ball with any real intensity or purpose and we looked a bit lacklustre.

“We didn’t mix it up enough and didn’t deserve anything in the first half.

“The second half was much better and we moved the ball a lot quicker. We created chances in that second half and it was much better from us.

“Birmingham always pose a threat. From set-pieces they’ve got real physicality, so we’re pleased to keep a clean sheet.

“But we must get the ball towards the other end. We were trying to walk the ball into the net – score too perfect a goal.

“Sometimes you just need to flash the ball across, get a nick on it and get something.

“It’s a tough programme of fixtures at the moment. You just rest and then get ready for the next game.”