The Carsley Factor
Lee Carsley took charge of his first game as Birmingham City caretaker manager on Saturday as the team drew 1-1 away at Derby County.
Despite the 43-year-old dismissing himself with the permanent role, he`s certainly doing all of the right things that should put him in contention for the full-time job.
He's coming across extremely well when facing the press and the performance of the team at Pride Park was quite refreshing.
The important thing for me was to get the team playing as a unit. Of course, with so many new bodies coming into the building, it's not going to click immediately and that's why Harry Redknapp was very unfortunate to be sacked.
But, there had to be some sort of system in place that had the players playing together as a team rather than individuals doing their own thing - Carsley seemed to address that.
There also seemed to be more of an identity to the side. We saw on numerous occasions the team playing out from the back and also pressing high when Derby tried the same.
Carsley himself has admitted that it could`ve been done better but I liked the reaction from the players and what the temporary boss was trying to do.
The return of Craig Gardner to the starting line up was an interesting one. It hasn't quite gone the way we expected with him since he returned to the club in January, but his display on Saturday was arguably his best.
The inspired substitution of Lukas Jutkiewicz scoring with his first touch will also give him the confidence to kick on - he didn`t have much of a chance under Harry.
And that would be the criticism of Redknapp. He pretty much wrote off the players that were already at the club.
However, the likes of Gardner, Jutkiewicz, Tomasz Kuszczak and Jacques Maghoma all showed that they have crucial roles to play for us going forward.
Let's just hope that we can kick on now against Sheffield Wednesday at St. Andrew`s on Wednesday night.
We've done the main thing and stopped the rot of six straight defeats - now lets step it up a gear in front of the home fans and bring back all three points.