1. The Resilience Remains – Over the past two seasons it seems that Birmingham have an acquired taste for comebacks and they possess something not even Manchester City could buy – resilience, teamwork and togetherness. After their comeback last week in the season’s curtain raiser at the Stadium of Light it was again put to the test when Steven N’Zonzi gave Blackburn lead on Saturday. But Blues showed the sort of character that enabled their unbeaten run last term to ensure that the St Andrews faithful will have to cast their minds back to September when trying to recall their last home defeat.
2. Nikola Zigic needs time – Blues big summer signing (in both senses of the word) is clearly finding the robust physicality of the Premier League difficult to adapt to since his arrival from La Liga outfit Valencia. The Serbian was controlled by Christopher Samba who won the lion share of balls played up to Zigic and the frontman hauled the Blackburn defender down for the penalty. He was replaced by loanee Matt Derbyshire in the second half having looked unimpressive and his body language as he left the pitch bore all the hallmarks of a frustrating day for the 6ft 7” frontman.
3. Ben Foster may just be the perfect replacement for Joe Hart – Blues were indebted to Joe Hart last season after his majestic performances went a long way in securing Blues’ best finish in 51 years and when Manchester City made it clear he would not be loaned out again, McLeish turned to Ben Foster as the ideal replacement. If Saturday is anything to go by the former Manchester United man will vindicate the Scotsman’s decision to sign him as he thwarted Blackburn on countless occasions. Foster denied Morten Gamst Pedersen from the spot with a fine save and even earned a rendition of the same chant sung to Hart last term surrounding England’s number one spot. Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce called him “outstanding” while his own boss, Alex McLeish, said he was “absolutely brilliant, exceptional”.
4. More pace in midfield is required – Not since the days of Jermaine Pennant and Julian Gray have Birmingham been blessed with pace in the midfield and Alex McLeish has made no secret of his desire to add some before the window closes. Take Cameron Jerome out of the Birmingham line-up and trying to pick a player with genuine pace to cause concern becomes an unenviable task for even the most optimistic of Blues’ fans. Charles N’Zogbia has been linked with Birmingham all summer long and if they can bring in a player of his ilk before the window shuts this would be ideal to differentiate the play in the engine room.
5. Craig Gardner may flourish if rewarded with a regular run – Craig Gardner was used in dribs and drabs last season by McLeish due to the excellent understanding that Lee Bowyer and Barry Ferguson built up before Gardner arrived from Aston Villa in January. McLeish opted to start the midfielder alongside Barry Ferguson on Saturday and the faith shown by the manager was repaid in a sterling midfield display that included two goals. His ability to sit in a pocket of space between the oppositions defence and midfield allows him the time for shots like the one which flew past Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal, couple this with his commitment and graft, Gardner could make himself a fans favourite amongst his own.