Sunday, February 28
Collect News Data
Jan 20, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
BirminghamBirmingham City
PrestonPreston North End

Friend (22'), Gardner (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Sinclair (61')

Aitor Karanka: 'We can avoid relegation battle'

:Headline: Aitor Karanka: 'We can avoid relegation battle':
Blues are six points above the Sky Bet Championship drop zone.
Sports Mole

Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka dismissed any relegation fears despite Preston condemning Blues to a sixth straight home defeat.

Scott Sinclair's second-half strike secured a 1-0 win for the visitors at St Andrew's on Wednesday.

Blues are now winless in nine games at home and have also scored just once in their last six outings in all competitions.

Defeat left them 19th, six points above the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone, but Karanka remains confident.

"I've never been concerned, even when we lost 4-0 to Derby (in December)," said Karanka, who is close to signing West Brom midfielder Rekeem Harper on loan.

"This group of players deserve to be much higher in the table. We need to do a lot of things to win games and on the other hand we have lost games we didn't deserve to lose.

"With the confidence and commitment we are a different team than we were two weeks ago.

"In 10 games played in the same way, maybe three or four we would have won and another six we would have drawn.

"To win the game we have to be perfect but even being better than the opponent this time we don't have a point.

"We played with some risk as our defenders were really high and we didn't arrive to press them at the right time. The one time we didn't arrive when we had to they scored."

After an uninspiring first half where Alan Browne curled wide and goalkeeper Daniel Iversen saved from Ivan Sanchez, Preston took control after the break.

Brad Potts hit a post for the visitors five minutes after the restart and then forced Neil Etheridge into a fine stop a minute later.

But Sinclair grabbed the winner after 61 minutes when Brighton loanee Jayson Molumby slipped him in and the former Aston Villa striker drilled in his eighth goal of the season.

Birmingham's response was limited and Jonathan Leko's shot which flew wide in stoppage time was their best chance.

It lifted North End to 10th in the table after a fourth win in six league games and they are seven points adrift of the play-off places.

Boss Alex Neil said: "We've had a bit of a transitional season which was always going to come because of contracts and different things.

"To come and win in the manner we did, be 10th and a bit outside the play-offs, I think we've done pretty well.

"Hopefully this year, but certainly next year, is going to be a big year for us.

"We spoke about a few things at half-time about what we could do better and the 20 minutes after half-time won us the match.

"If you look across the match we had the best opportunities, we were the more threatening team and we deserved to win. The first goal at this level is crucial."

body check tags ::

amp_article__431423 : Collect and Make Data not in DataBase  : 
last updated article - 2021-01-20 23:23:32:
html db last update - 2021-02-27 19:14:55 :

ex - 7200 : read : write cache and make html

Click here for more stories about Aitor Karanka

Click here for more stories about Birmingham City

Read more!
Share this article now:

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Recommended Next on SM
Wednesday's Championship predictions including Norwich City vs. Bristol City
Lionel Messi 'increasingly open to staying at Barcelona'
Preview: Huddersfield vs. Birmingham - prediction, team news, lineups
Championship Table
1Norwich CityNorwich33217547252270
4Swansea CitySwansea31178639221759
8Cardiff CityCardiff331481149351450
10Stoke CityStoke331112103837145
11Bristol City33143163544-945
13Preston North EndPreston33134163742-543
14Luton TownLuton32118132737-1041
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn32117144638840
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest331010132832-440
17Queens Park RangersQPR311010113136-540
18Derby CountyDerby32108142533-838
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield33106173850-1236
20Coventry CityCoventry33811143044-1435
21Birmingham CityBirmingham33810152541-1634
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham3185183342-929
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds3297162338-1528
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe3258192353-3023
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Premier League Table
1Manchester CityMan City26195252163662
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd26148453322150
3Leicester CityLeicester26154745301549
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa24123938261239
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2697102733-634
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2632211543-2811
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We value your privacy

A part of our GDPR compliance we need to ask for your consent. We and our partners use technology such as cookies on Sports Mole to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on Sports Mole.