So it all didn’t quite go to plan. Blues came away from Villa park with nothing after a single goal separated the two City rivals on the night. Was it fair? No. Is there anything we can do it about it now? No again. So where does that leave Blues now?
The Capital Cup journey is over, but I don’t think Gary Rowett will be losing too much sleep after last night’s performance. He set his team up cleverly, and it nearly had the desired effect in the first half- Blues were much the better team. Bringing David Davis in worked a treat, and the local lad broke up the play and allowed Blues to win the midfield battle.
Even though there were no clear cut chances, Blues looked the better team and looked like the team that would score. It was two substitutions that changed the game for the home side, and there wasn’t a lot Blues could do about it. Grealish and Ayew made the difference but Blues can be proud of their battling performance.
Much has been made of the value of both of the squads both before and after the game and it is something that can’t be ignored. Blues spent less than £500,000 this summer, whilst Aston Villa have spent well over £50million improving their squad.
To put down a team wholly made up of free transfers and loans would be defeatist. Rowett set his team up in the best way he could, and the team played well. The players can come away from Villa Park safe in the knowledge that they didn’t let their team down, nor did they fail to turn up. Although the quality to score was lacking in large parts of the game, they fought and probed, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
But what now? It means that Rowett can continue with an already promising Championship campaign. Blues have surprised many critics already this season with their strong start, and they sit very pretty at 7th in the table with a game in hand over their rivals. If you were asked at the beginning of the season if you would take this position after seven games, most people would have said yes so Rowett deserves the plaudits.
It’s always a horrendous feeling to lose to your rivals, but at least the noses can look forward to pressing on in the league, in what has already been a season of overachieving.
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