Birmingham City’s impressive start to the Championship season received something of a setback on Tuesday evening, as Lee Bowyer saw his side succumb to defeat in their second-round Carabao Cup clash.
While a loss in a competition that is not likely to be high on the 44-year-old’s list of priorities this season, the manner in which the Blues fell to a 2-0 defeat against Fulham could well concern the former Charlton Athletic manager.
Over the course of the 90 minutes, Birmingham failed to muster a single shot on target, had just 39% of possession and completed nearly 200 passes fewer than the visitors.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were a number of disappointing individual performances in the fixture, none more so than by the Blues winger, Jonathan Leko.
Indeed, despite playing for the entirety of the game, the £1.35m-rated man managed no shots at goal, completed just 10 of his 16 attempted passes and touched the ball a grand total of 33 times – nine times fewer than Birmingham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
The 22-year-old also lost possession of the ball on 17 separate occasions, won just three of his 10 duels – a loss percentage of 70% – failed to find his man with either of his one attempted cross or his one attempted long ball and was flagged offside once.
As such, considering the fact that the winger has started just one of Birmingham’s four Championship fixtures so far this season, it would very much seem as if the 22-year-old did very little against Fulham to convince Bowyer he is deserving of a starting spot in the 44-year-old’s side to face Barnsley this weekend, as the youngster failed his manager’s trust on Tuesday evening.