Often Partisan

Who’s next on the production line? Development Squad report

Birmingham City drew 2-2 in the Professional Development League 2 game with Bolton Wanderers this afternoon. Goals from Andy Shinnie and Emmanuel Mbende looked to have won it for the hosts but a late equaliser from Quade Taylor ensured the visitors took a share of the spoils.

The game was not without controversy; on what was a heavy and muddy pitch tackles were fair flying in and the ref seemed content to let many go. However, a rash challenge by Charlee Adams on Channing Campbell-Young just before half time was one too many and the Bolton man wildly retaliated. This led to an unseemly pushing and shoving match involving nearly all the outfield players before the ref showed red cards to Campbell-Young and Charlie Cooper of Blues.

On a day when Demarai Gray left the club for pastures anew it was interesting to see who could be potentially the next one off the production line. Adams certainly put a case forward that it might be him with a midfield display that looked competent and assured; always ready to receive the ball, to look for the right pass to get the attack going and to drive forward to support the front four with the ball in the final third. I’m not sure if Reece Brown was held back due to injury or something else but I think he’s in danger of being overtaken by another player and being pushed further down the midfield pecking order.

Shane Lowry and Mbende both stood out for Blues. Despite conceding a free-kick early on that led to the first goal, Mbende showed that he has got some real talent despite being an absolute unit of a player. He seemed as happy to play a cultured pass to a midfielder or direct to the front as he was to thump a clearing header into the opposition half. His goal came following a corner, with the ball being sent back in by Lowry he struck home from close range, letting out a roar of jubilation as the ball hit the back of the net.

With Lowry’s experience I’d expect him to be able to handle this level of football but even so, he looked calm and assured on what must have been a difficult pitch to play on. He made a crunching tackle in the first half to prevent a certain goal without even hinting at giving away a penalty; his distribution set up various attacks as he swept the ball diagonally across the pitch to the wingers Montell Moore and Kyle McFarlane.

Up front, it wasn’t Nicolai Brock-Madsen’s day. I counted seven chances where he could have scored, only to see the keeper make regulation saves. Indeed, at one point it looked like the only way he would score would be dumb luck when a Josh Cogley ball across the box rebounded off Brock’s shins only to be stopped on the line by a Bolton defender. If I was being positive I’d say he took up good positions and he made the right runs – but he needs to be stronger, more assertive and yes, he needs a bit of luck too.

Trialist Montell Moore played an hour and I didn’t see much that suggested he’d be asked to play again for the development squad. He did pass the ball to Shinnie for the first goal but it was the Scot who created the chance for himself before slotting the ball home. His body language when he trudged off after being subbed for Noe Baba spoke volumes.

Team:

Connal Trueman, Josh Cogley, Dom Bernard, Charlee Adams, Emmanuel Mbende, Shane Lowry, Montell Moore (Noe Baba, 58), Charlie Cooper, Nicolai Brock-Madsen, Andrew Shinnie, Kyle McFarlane.
Subs not used: Alex Jones, Jake Weaver, Perry Cotton, Wes McDonald.

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20 Responses to “Who’s next on the production line? Development Squad report”

  • AndyP says:

    Will be interested to see if any of today’s team have a chance of getting in the squad for Saturday.
    Bournemouth will make many changes but I would like to see us put out a strong team with the possible additions to the squad of say mbende and Charlene Adams. Would also like to see some quick progress in signing img a couple of players now Gray has gone. Leave it till last minute and we will end up missing the boat.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    The start to This head line Who’s next on the production line? I would say VIv is the next player and will be better than Gray. Kyle McFarlane Looks a good player But as a striker not a winger. Its a waste to have all that pace and strength just sitting in the U21 We need a striker and he needs a chance. And he is best as a striker. He scores powerful goals wen played up front.

  • Mitchell says:

    It may seem rather shortsighted of me but I am getting tired and a little weary of hearing about our great youngsters -and who is next to break through etc. I now want seasoned pro’s to come in and give us a proper chance of play-offs. Our young talented players get snapped up anyway without any chance of doing it with blues. As regards Gray, good luck to the lad,but in all honesty I feel more saddened by the passing of John Roberts than of Gray leaving the club.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Brian Dick in the BM: “Montell Moore is a definite prospect. The Brentford winger was playing his first game as part of a trial with Blues and was impressive, he’s clearly got bags of potential.”

    A slight difference of opinion it seems. :)

  • It seems that we are still producing and selling young star player for other clubs to cash in on although it was the most sensible thing to do at the present time ,, it doesn’t alter the fact that gray has gone. The good factor being that we will cope without him as maghoma and Solomon are also good players , but with a shortage of strikers around of good quality I reckon that should be where our main aim should be with the high prices they fetch , what a good job the coaches are doing , proud to have them as BLUENOSES. Kro…

  • zxcv says:

    I think you can only formulate your own opinion as it seems absolutely every one has a different one, and just because someone in a news paper said something does not mean he is right. for example, Sky News have just put up a graphic showing a comparison with the winger who plays along side Vardy I think his name is marez or something probably worth about 10/12 million at least and the guy doing the comparison just forgot to mention that Gray stats are obviously from his time in the championship and this guy`s is in the prem, not a mention of that but he thought they were quite comparable LOL. Did no one think to tell the clown there is just a bit of difference between stats obtained in the two leagues. Unbelievable. ..

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      Mahrez was bought for peanuts from some Turkish side and is probably the Premierships bargain of the season having scored 12 or so goals.
      I wouldn’t mind seeing how Gray’s 1 goal and 1 assist in the championship matches up against Mahrez’s stats myself….!!?

      • almajir says:

        Le Havre, Turkish?

        • Hillfield Blues says:

          I knew my facts were a bit sketchy but you get my point.

          • zxcv says:

            That’s the fella sorry I have not kept up with what Leicester did in the transfer market. If you have sky News keep a lookout as they will probably repeat it again before the nights out but yes how on earth can they compare the two.

  • zxcv says:

    Its not Brocks fault he is here but imo he ain`t anywhere near championship standard. we have better players (just) out on loan I feel Gary and Panos would probably take half of what they lay out for him. Just to compare 160 grand for our winning goal scorer verses Brentford.

    • KC says:

      zxcv, Agree with you totally about B-M, but on a sad day with Gray going and the news on John Roberts ( not the greatest- but put in some good service at the club }, have to say you have left me with a smile on how you have used the word “{just}” about the players on loan. Bang on comment.

      • zxcv says:

        Yes KC very sad news indeed, He did work very hard for the team both teams tbh Arsenal as well as bcfc and only 69. I think we should smile and celebrate his life altho its always sad to.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      To be honest, Although most people don’t rate him, I’d feel more confident with Wes Thomas coming as a sub than I ever will with Brock-Madsen. You know what you’re gonna get with both players.

      • zxcv says:

        Yes very true Staffs.I can`t back this up but I feel sure Gary has a problem with Thomas`s attitude and its been that way since GR walked in the door. Gary as you know is strong on players having good characters and I get the feeling he can be disruptive when its not all going his way. but he is a player who has not fulfilled his potential imo.

        • atko says:

          Surely it’s as simple as Thomas doesn’t think he is getting a fair chance & doesn’t want to sit warming the bench. I happen to like that kind of attitude from the point at least he wants to play, at least he wants to earn his salary rather than earn it sat doing nothing. Unfortunately, certain players, namely Thomas, Novak & others were obviously here before Rowett arrived so the change in system meant that only one up front means an abundance of forwards at the time. We know that nobody can do what the Don can do but I’ve always thought that Thomas was the one player who came close. Personally I, like Staffs, would like to see Thomas off the bench ahead of Brock Madsen. Nothing against the lad but I think a stint in the first division getting him used to English football & banging a few goals in will do wonders for his confidence. Who knows, next season he could come back a different player & as we all know, that a player returning from a loan spell can be like a new signing.

  • Daz says:

    Alex Jones not fully fit? seems a bit silly that he didn’t come off the bench to play any part


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