Tag Archives: birmingham

Alan Pardew praises travelling fans

Pardew praises travelling fans as 'excellent ambassadors' for Newcastle after Bruges clash

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UPDATED:

01:35 GMT, 10 November 2012

Newcastle United Alan Pardew has paid tribute to the club’s travelling supporters who have returned from Belgium.

More than 5,000 fans made the trip to Bruges for their second Europa League group clash, even though only half had tickets for the 2-2 in the Jan Breydel Stadium.

The rest watched the games in bars and a big screen in the main city centre square.

Praise: Alan Pardew lauded Newcastle fans for making the trip to Belgium to watch the Europa League tie against Bruges

Praise: Alan Pardew lauded Newcastle fans for making the trip to Belgium to watch the Europa League tie against Bruges

Pardew said 'Our fans respected the people and city of Bruges and helped contribute to a great atmosphere in and around the city as well as inside the stadium and we thank them for that.

'The support our club receives day in, day out, wherever we play, is absolutely magnificent and gives the players a massive lift.

'That cannot be underestimated and without doubt they are a huge credit to the club and to the city of Newcastle.’

A club statement said the vast majority of supporters who travelled to Bruges were 'extremely well behaved, acting as excellent ambassadors for the club and contributing to a great day in Bruges before, during and after the game’.

All square: The game ended 2-2

All square: The game ended 2-2

Newcastle and Northumbria Police had tried to secure extra tickets for supporters but only received 2,300 from FC Bruges, who had given twice that number to Birmingham City last season.

A Newcastle spokesman conceded that supporters who weren't able to gain access to the stadium were 'understandably frustrated to see so many empty seats on the televised coverage, and yet remained in good spirits in the city centre.'

The statement added: 'It was disappointing that supporters who had a ticket for the game had to endure a longer than expected escorted walk to the stadium but despite that, their behaviour throughout was admirable.'

One Newcastle supporter was stabbed in an attack in Brussels and Belgian Police said just two fans were arrested for drunkenness.

How many 5,000 loyal supporters made the journey in midweek, despite many of them not having tickets

How many 5,000 loyal supporters made the journey in midweek, despite many of them not having tickets

West Brom send Ben Foster to see groin specialist in Germany

Foster fighting to be fit for Wigan as West Brom send keeper to German groin specialist

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UPDATED:

22:07 GMT, 8 November 2012

Pain game: Ben Foster is struggling with a groin ailment

Pain game: Ben Foster is struggling with a groin ailment

Ben Foster is facing a race against time to be fit for West Brom's trip to Wigan this weekend as the Baggies seek to find the root cause of a nagging groin problem.

The former England keeper flew to Germany to see a specialist about an issue that has dogged him since his days with Birmingham City.

Foster, naturally left footed, chose to kick with his right during Monday night's 2-0 victory over Southampton rather than aggravate the issue.

But the injury was of sufficient worry
for head coach Steve Clarke to sanction a trip to gain a better
prognosis of the underlying problem.

He said: 'Ben's abroad in Germany.
He's gone to see a specialist. We are waiting on a report. Fingers
crossed, it is positive and I'm hopeful he will play again at the
weekend. I'd estimate it's 60-40 in his favour.

'The problem is his groin. Hopefully,
it is something we can manage, similar to what we have done with Shane
Long over the past few weeks. If we can, hopefully we can get some more
games out of him.'

Foster had to nurse himself through a
season at St Andrew's but Clarke said the first he knew about the
problem was on Monday evening when the problem first raised its head.

The Baggies head coach added: 'He's never mentioned to me in the past with the fact he has problems with his kicking.

'I know he likes to play from the back and doesn't always like to kick the ball long. But he does have a good kick on him. We will deal with it and hopefully he will be okay for the weekend.'

Clarke was further boosted by the return to training of James Morrison. The Scotland international missed the victory over Southampton but will be included in the squad for the trip to Wigan.

'It was a solid performance against Southampton, he added, 'we had conceded six goals in three matches previous to that. It's always difficult to win if you are letting in two goals every game.

'It wasn't our best. It wasn't our flashiest in terms of the football that was played. But it was a good solid performance and a much-needed three points.'

Ex-Manchester City and Everton striker Michael Branch jailed for drug dealing

Ex-City and Everton striker Branch jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to drug dealing

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UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 8 November 2012

Sent down: Former Everton player Michael Branch sentenced to Seven Years for selling drugs

Sent down: Former Everton player Michael Branch sentenced to Seven Years for selling drugs

Former Everton and Manchester City striker Michael Branch has been jailed for seven years after he pleaded guilty to selling drugs.

Branch, who has also played for Birmingham City and Wolves, appeared at Chester Crown Court and pleaded guilty to two charges.

The 34-year-old, whose last club was Northern Premier League side Burscough, was charged with handing over just under 3kg of amphetamine to another man in a car park in Liverpool.

The second charge was related to the seizure of 1kg high-purity (82percent) cocaine from his Otterspool home on July 10.

The prosecution was brought by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

A spokesman said: ‘This was significant criminality committed by someone who would once have been viewed as a role model.

‘The message here is that entering the illegal drugs trade is a route to prison, not to financial gain and a celebrity lifestyle.’

Branch made his debut for the Everton first team in 1996, when he was just 18. He was sold to Wolves in 2000 for 500,000. He finished his playing career with Burscough in 2010.

Gianni Paladini resumes Birmingham City takeover talks

Paladini resumes talks over potential Birmingham takeover

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 27 October 2012

Gianni Paladini has resumed talks with Peter Pannu over his potential takeover at Birmingham City – and the Italian is hoping to work around ownership rules that would block his purchase.

The former chief executive of Queen's Park Rangers has re-opened negotiations following an aborted bid to purchase the Championship club last month.

In talks: Gianni Paladini looking to take over at Birmingham

In talks: Gianni Paladini looking to take over at Birmingham

Paladini is looking to broker a deal
with the St Andrew's club's Chinese owners, a difficult task as they
have set a hefty price.

The Italian is trying to secure the
Championship club for a total package of around 25m but of more
interest to Football League officials will be his involvement.

The authorities contacted
Nottingham Forest when it became apparent last summer that Paladini
might be linked to the purchase of the former European Cup winners from
the estate of late owner Nigel Doughty.

However, it appears that a third
party is fronting the latest offer in a deliberate attempt to put
distance between the former agent and his designs on the Championship
strugglers.

A source said: 'Paladini's move is deliberate and will test the new Football League rules to the full.'

Other interested parties are also
eager to strike a deal but are waiting until owner Carson Yeung's trial
for money-laundering has been completed.

The one unknown is the financial state of the club's parent company, Birmingham Inernational Holdings Ltd.

It remains in severe difficulties and any potential collapse could spark a fierce war for control.

Paladini is aware that he has
rivals and is keen to tie up a deal with Pannu, recently appointed as
chief executive of BIHL, before Yeung's trial or the surface of any
other problems with the holding company.

Nathan Redmond puts Liverpool on alert as Birmingham contract talks stall

Liverpool target teenager Redmond as talks over new Birmingham deal stall

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UPDATED:

09:22 GMT, 19 October 2012


On alert: Liverpool are keen on Birmingham youngster Redmond

On alert: Liverpool are keen on Birmingham youngster Redmond

Nathan Redmond has put Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on red alert ahead of the January transfer window after talks over a new contract at Birmingham broke down.

The 18-year-old is increasingly frustrated by the Championship club's refusal to offer him his desired terms and is ready to walk out when the transfer window re-opens for business in the New Year.

Liverpool head the queue of Barclays Premier League side's interested in the England youth international, who has just 18 months remaining on his current deal – which is his first professional contract.

According to the Telegraph, Redmond was due to negotiate new terms last September but upheaval behind the scenes at St Andrews' appears to have proved prohibitive.

It is understood Anfield boss Rodgers will now keep tabs over Redmond's ongoing situation.

Manchester City and Tottenham are also admirers of the rapid winger while West Ham were linked with a move for him earlier this summer.

Redmond has made 12 appearances for Lee Clark's outfit so far this season and is the club's second youngest player behind Trevor Francis after making his debut in the League Cup two years ago.

Fabrice Muamba to release autobiography and reveal all about heart attack

I'm still standing: Heart attack victim Muamba to reveal all in new autobiography

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 26 September 2012

Fabrice Muamba has revealed his new autobiography will be called 'I'm Still Standing.'

The now-retired midfielder was playing for Bolton Wanderers when he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during an FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham Hotspur in March – his heart stopping for 78 minutes as paramedics battled to save his life.

Miraculously, Muamba survived and spent a month recuperating in the London Chest Hospital before announcing his retirement from football in August.

Revealing read: Fabrice Muamba's new autobiography is to be called 'I'm Still Standing'

Revealing read: Fabrice Muamba's new autobiography is to be called 'I'm Still Standing'

The book will detail his life, including his own account of what happened in that cup tie and in the months of recovery afterwards.

Muamba tweeted a picture of the book's front cover, which shows a picture of the player lifting a Bolton shirt to reveal a t-shirt emblazoned with 'I'm Still Standing.'

Miraculous recovery: Muamba with former Bolton teammate Martin Petrov at last week's Championship match between Birmingham and Bolton

Miraculous recovery: Muamba with former Bolton teammate Martin Petrov at last week's Championship match between Birmingham and Bolton

He wrote: 'This is the front cover of my autobiography due out in November. Hope you like it have a great day and keep smiling.'

Muamba was born in Kinshasa, Congo in 1988 and moved to England at the age of 11. He joined Arsenal's youth academy in 2002 but made only a couple of first-team appearances for the club in League Cup ties.

He spent the 2006-2007 season on loan at Birmingham City and impressed enough to earn a three-year contract.

But he moved north to Bolton in the summer of 2008 for a fee of 5m, becoming a regular fixture in the side and making 130 league appearances in total.

Having worked his way through the youth ranks, Muamba also made 33 appearances for England Under-21s.

Following his heart attack, doctors advised him to retire from the game, a decision confirmed just before the start of the current season.

Terrible moment: Paramedics battle to save the life of Muamba after he collapsed during Bolton's FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham in March

Terrible moment: Paramedics battle to save the life of Muamba after he collapsed during Bolton's FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham in March

League Cup should be no afterthought for big clubs – Michael Walker

The League Cup should be no afterthought for 'big' clubs

By
Michael Walker

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 23 September 2012

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 23 September 2012

Everton have never won the League Cup. It is a fact to make Goodison Park think. They reached the final twice – in 1977 and 1984 – but they lost, first to Aston Villa, then Liverpool.

Everton have won the league title and the FA Cup of course, but the last time Goodison held one of English football’s three major domestic trophies was 1995. That was the FA Cup and Joe Royle was Everton manager. Current boss David Moyes was a Preston North End centre half.

The next League Cup final will be almost 18 years on from Everton’s last trophy, therefore, and that is too long a wait.

Distant memory: Everton last won a trophy back in 1995

Distant memory: Everton last won a trophy back in 1995

We know all about the modern, mitigating factors caused by the Premier League’s monopolising money, with Chelsea and Manchester City denying others opportunity as they buy theirs. Even so, since the turn of the century, Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers, Middlesbrough and Birmingham City have won the League Cup. Cardiff City were pretty close last season.

Everton have not even made the final in that period, but they are not alone among the top-division clubs for whom the League Cup should be a silver priority.

These are the clubs that cannot win the Premier League, as it is financially skewed. They can win the FA Cup, but since Everton’s ’95 victory, 16 of the 17 FA Cup winners have been either Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, City or Liverpool.

On the other occasion Portsmouth won – and how that looks a bought trophy now.

So if the league title is a non-starter and the FA Cup a hope, then the League Cup should be of significant interest to the likes of Everton. On Tuesday night, Moyes’ confident team arrive at Elland Road. The Leeds United manager Neil Warnock usually has other priorities when it comes to the competition. An Everton win takes them into the last 16. A home draw, or a good draw, then and it is the quarter-finals.

Decision time: Moyes must decided whether to field a strong team on Tuesday night

Decision time: Moyes must decided whether to field a strong team on Tuesday night

In total it is five games to Wembley, four for the teams in Europe.

Moyes is talking about Everton making the Champions League places but that’s a 38-game struggle. Five games to Wembley in the League Cup, when others are involved in Europe, that is an opportunity.

It does not just apply to Everton. Come the final on February 24 it will be 17 years since Aston Villa won a trophy, it will be 40 years since Sunderland’s last triumph, the 1973 FA Cup.

Like Everton, Sunderland are away at lower opposition – MK Dons – and the fans are not travelling from Wearside to see them lose, as they did in the second round at Brighton last season. Realistically, what else are Sunderland going to win The same can be said of West Brom, who won the League Cup in 1966 and reached the final in ’67 and ’70. This feels like a consolidated club with a squad of accumulated strength that has started the season well – though Fulham and Stoke are the same and they’re already out.

On Wednesday night West Brom host Liverpool (the holders) having already beaten them 3-0 at The Hawthorns a month ago.

You cannot imagine that this season, this competition is top of the Anfield agenda.

Priority: Liverpool will be looking to retain the League Cup they won in February

Priority: Liverpool will be looking to retain the League Cup they won in February

And QPR They won the League Cup in 1967 as a Third Division team so it should not be beyond a squad purchased at great expense over the past 18 months to get past Reading at Loftus Road on Wednesday. Again: what else are QPR going to win Reading have other priorities.

The epic wait in domestic football amongst clubs considered ‘big’ belongs to Newcastle United. They have never won the League Cup either. They reached the final under Gordon Lee in 1976 but lost to Manchester City.
Newcastle’s last major domestic trophy remains the 1955 FA Cup. 1955.

Being drawn away at Manchester United does not make this Wednesday a promising beginning to this season’s League Cup for Newcastle. But where does the competition figure in the Old Trafford priority list

There is another club who have not won a trophy for a while. By February, it will be eight years.

On Wednesday Arsenal are at home to Coventry City.

Drought: Arsenal have not won a trophy since 2005

Drought: Arsenal have not won a trophy since 2005

Birmingham feeling blue

Arsenal fans thinking ‘Well, anyone can beat Coventry’ could do with speaking to their counterparts at Birmingham City.

Those Blues who experienced the agony of Saturday’s 5-0 home defeat by Barnsley were given a foretaste of that embarrassment in the last round of the League Cup, when Birmingham lost 3-2 at Coventry.

It is just over 18 months since Birmingham defeated Arsenal 2-1 in the League Cup final, Obafemi Martins scoring the late winner. Martins and many others left once City were relegated and on Saturday, of the starting XI against Arsenal, only Keith Fahey started against Barnsley.

The pace of change is rapid: Robin van Persie, Alex Song, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri all started that final for Arsenal.

By the way…

Ravel Morrison, once the next big thing at Manchester United, did not even make it off the Birmingham bench on Saturday.

Former QPR supremo Paladini leading bid for Birmingham… but Briatore is not involved

Former QPR supremo Paladini leading bid for Birmingham… but Briatore is not involved

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UPDATED:

15:36 GMT, 12 September 2012

Gianni Paladini has confirmed he is heading a consortium who have launched a takeover bid for Birmingham.

But the former QPR chairman insists, contrary to reports, that Flavio Briatore is not involved.

Paladini, who is a close friend of former QPR owner Briatore, claimed on Wednesday the offer tabled is considerably more than the 12m reportedly rejected by Birmingham's board.

Sharp operator: Gianni Paladini, the former chairman of Queens Park Rangers, is leading a bid to takeover Birmingham City

Sharp operator: Gianni Paladini, the former chairman of Queens Park Rangers, is leading a bid to takeover Birmingham City

Birmingham have made no official comment on the matter.

Paladini told BBC Radio WM: 'I am involved in a consortium and the bid is not 12million, it's much, much more than that. Unfortunately I can't really say too much because everything is in the hands of the lawyers.

'Yes, we've made an approach. But I'd like to make a point that Flavio Briatore is not involved in this venture.'

Paladini insisted he would not be waving blank cheques around should he and his team be successful in taking control of the club.

Asked about the wealthy members of the consortium, Paladini replied: 'Even if I mentioned the names you wouldn't know them anyway because most of them are Italian, they all live in Italy.'

Paladini left his native Italy in the 1960s and moved to Solihull where he has remained.

No part: Paladini says that his friend Flavio Briatore, the former QPR owner, is not involved in the bid

No part: Paladini says that his friend Flavio Briatore, the former QPR owner, is not involved in the bid

Becoming involved with QPR in 2003 and having helped save the club, Paladini kept his position as chairman at Loftus Road after the significant 2007 investment by Formula One chiefs Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone and the family of Lakshmi Mittal.

He stepped down in August 2011 following the takeover of Tony Fernandes and was handed a consultancy role.

Paladini kept the position for three months before finally parting ways with QPR in November last year.

And he has now set his sights on taking charge at Birmingham.

'I'm a Birmingham boy myself,' Paladini added. 'I've always liked Blues and I've got a good relationship with a lot of Zulu Warriors [City's hooligan element], if they're still there I don't know, because I've been at QPR for 11 years.

'I've been a long-serving chairman of QPR. I think we did a great job, sometimes you have to do things the hard way to get success but the most important thing is that I took QPR when they were in League One at the time and then we got promoted the way we did, spent a fortune and at the end the job was done. QPR are now in the Premier League.'

Birmingham are owned by Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung, who is currently unable to leave the Far East as he prepares for a November court date over alleged money laundering.

Acting chairman Peter Pannu has been exploring the potential for bringing in new owners or finding investment in the club.

Nottingham Forest on the up – The Midlander

Whisper it quietly, but Forest could be on the road to success…

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 7 September 2012

The preferred route to success for any football club would be sustained and steady growth.

Planned development with one eye fixed firmly on the finances.

I make no apologies for saying this again – just like the model that is currently being followed at West Brom. There is another alternative, of course.

You can throw money at it (Aston Villa). You can throw money at it and then watch as it spectacularly implodes (Birmingham City). You can throw a finance house's cash at it, fail, drop down two leagues and still lose money (Coventry City). You get the picture.

And then we have Nottingham Forest.

Looking up: Nottingham Forest have made an encouraging to the the new season in the npower Championship

Looking up: Nottingham Forest have made an encouraging to the the new season in the npower Championship

More from Neil Moxley…

The Midlander: Thorn sacking is one of many strange decisions by Coventry
30/08/12

The Midlander: Lambert has work to do in the window to add the goals he craves
23/08/12

The Midlander: How West Brom emerged as the unlikely flag-bearers round here
16/08/12

The Midlander: Tremendous track record Solbakken faces test from the start
09/08/12

The Midlander: All change at Villa but fans will relish new era of Lambert's Lions
02/08/12

Season review part 1 – Aston Villa, Wolves, West Brom, Birmingham and Coventry
24/05/12

The Midlander: Solbakken faces uphill struggle to restore Wolves' fortunes
18/05/12

The Midlander: Council are the only ones who can revive Coventry
11/05/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Nigel Doughty certainly threw his money at his favourite football club. Pretty much to no avail.

They couldn't get it quite right at the City Ground. If the manager was capable, (Paul Hart, Billy Davies) the players fell short. And if the manager was hopeless, (Joe Kinnear) the players fell even shorter.

And all the while the spectre of the director of football hovered over the manager. Was David Pleat a help or hindrance Should we spend money (Steve McClaren) Or not (again, Steve McClaren)
Mixed messages. Consequently, they just couldn't get it right.

Now the director of football has surprisingly disappeared, new owners have pitched up in the at Midlands and Nottingham Forest appear to be on the up again.

What struck the eye this week was a tweet from Nottingham Evening Post journalist Paul Taylor's tweet about the air of positivity encircling the club.

Eh Since when Since someone, somewhere took the decision to appoint a 'proper' football manager who certainly had done enough to warrant a crack at a club such as Nottingham Forest.

I took my annual break this summer just after the Al-Hasawi family assumed control.

After the excitement, there were names trotted out for the managerial post such as Glenn Hoddle. Ho hum.

Man in charge: New Nottingham Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll (R) has impressed at the City Ground

Man in charge: New Nottingham Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll (R) has impressed at the City Ground

Then Mick McCarthy – who has an excellent track record for leading clubs from the Championship on a budget – was mentioned.

Eventually, someone, somewhere (and I have a pretty good idea who) might have said to the owners: 'Listen, results picked up when Steve Cotterill brought Sean in.

'The players liked his training. Why don't we bring him back'

Hey presto. Unfortunate for Crawley Town, I accept that.

I suppose it was meant to happen sooner or later, but finally Nottingham Forest have a manager with the desire and ability to put XI players on the pitch who, at the very least, will play attractive, winning football. He's a Black Country bloke. I just wonder if Wolves may rue the day… but that's another story.

I like the smell around the City Ground at the moment. It's about as enticing as a whopping Sunday roast. Whisper it quietly, but it could be Forest's time.

But just don't ask them how they've done it – because I'm not exactly sure they know.

Ireland highlights positive signs at Villa

The reports from St James's Park were encouraging. Most commentators agreed that Villa were more than value for their point.

But, speaking to a colleague this week, the line: 'I've never seen Stephen Ireland work as hard as that,' was spoken.

Ireland has his own agenda – winning a new contract – but if Paul Lambert can get the talented ones to run around for 90 minutes, then that's certainly a positive sign.

Roy's tale of booze and football is a must-read…

Red card Roy: Ex-Colchester star McDonough tells all in his new book

Red card Roy: Ex-Colchester star McDonough tells all in his new book

The name of Roy McDonough won't be familiar to the current generation of Premier League followers.

But, back in the day, the man who amassed the most red cards in English football… well, let's just say he has lived the life – as his new autobiography reveals.

McDonough, now in his 50s, grew up in Solihull, so his roots are firmly embedded in the Midlands and started off life at Aston Villa as a kid and made his debut in the Football League with Birmingham City.

But his career really heads into a nose-dive after he signs for Chelsea and his tales of life in the lower leagues with Colchester, Southend, Cambridge and Exeter – among others, certainly puts the 'win or lose, on the booze' mentality into perspective. And then some.

I've read a few sports' autobiographies in my time – Paul McGrath's was as harrowing an account as they come. Niall Quinn's was excellent. As was Roy Keane's – apart from the nagging theme of self-justification which began to grate towards the end.

But this, ghosted superbly by Bernie Friend, is a real warts and all tale of football, wanton hedonism and, as the subject himself freely admits, self-loathing.

My favourite line Probably when he asks his physio at Southend whether drinking 70 pints of Stella every week is suitable behaviour for a professional athlete…

'Red Card Roy' is published by Vision Sports Publishing

Owen Coyle battling to save Bolton job

Coyle fighting to save Bolton job after Gartside warning over poor start to season

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UPDATED:

21:36 GMT, 3 September 2012

Owen Coyle is fighting to save his job at Bolton after chairman Phil Gartside warned that results must improve.

Bolton are banking on an immediate return to the Premier League but Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Hull left them with four points from their first four games, just days after Coyle's side crashed out of the Capital One Cup to Crawley Town.

Fans called for Coyle to go and he now faces a run of three games in seven days after the international break – against Watford, Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday – to convince Gartside that he should be given more time.

Under pressure: Bolton manager Owen Coyle (left) must improve results

Under pressure: Bolton manager Owen Coyle (left) must improve results

‘I can understand the reaction from the fans, and I was as disappointed and frustrated,’ said Gartside. ‘It wasn’t good enough.

‘There is absolutely no doubt we have to improve, and I will be looking for a reaction.

‘Ahead of the break, we wanted to maintain an average of two points a game, and it’s important that we achieve that. Clearly we haven’t hit that target and it’ s a given that we must get back on track.’