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Football: Championship top two Wolves and Birmingham share points and praise

Discussion in 'News Archive' started by admin, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. admin

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    Mar 11, 2006
    <div><img alt="" src="" width="1" height="1" /></div><p><strong></strong>This was a local derby where compliments rather than blows were traded. Wolverhampton Wanderers passed up the chance to pull clear at the Championship summit while Birmingham City tugged at the leaders' reins before letting go, yet there were no bitter exchanges to accompany the missed opportunities. Instead the $managers and players extolled the qualities of their rivals in a post-match love-in that would make their Premier League counterparts cringe.</p><p>"You have got to give Wolves enormous credit for the start they have made and the points total that they have now," said the Birmingham City manager, Alex McLeish, whose side remain six points behind Wolves. "It's no shock that Birmingham are where they are," offered Richard Stearman, Wolves' England Under-21 international. "They've got goals from all over the pitch and on the bench as well."</p><p>Much to Stearman's regret, Birmingham provided first-hand evidence of the latter, the substitute Cameron Jerome scoring after capitalising on a rare mistake by the Wolves defender. "We looked at the video of their defence and noticed they were playing with a high line," said Jerome, breaking ranks and daring to criticise the opposition. "There was a lot of space behind them and with my pace I'm always going to run away from them. That was the plan and it worked."</p><p>Birmingham might have done their homework in the lead up but Radhi Jaidi can expect a detention after his part in the equaliser. Having swapped passes with the industrious Michael Kightly, Stephen Ward skipped around Jaidi's reckless lunge before cutting the ball back for $Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to bring parity. McLeish could not hide his frustration with Jaidi and it would be safe to assume the Tunisian will be practising staying on his feet this week.In truth, there was little else to concern Birmingham's manager on an afternoon when Mick McCarthy's side appeared unnerved by the visitors' bullish opening, during which James McFadden had a perfectly good goal ruled offside and Stearman later ended up in the net when he hacked clear after Marcus Bent lobbed Wayne Hennessey. At the other end Liam Ridgewell headed against his own upright. "We got at Wolves," added Jerome. "Other teams might be a bit wary of doing that."</p><p>Sam Vokes came close to pilfering a winner but it was not to be and Wolves, for the second time this season, missed the chance to equal the club record of eight straight wins. Promotion is theirs to lose and a promise of transfer funds in January indicates the board's intentions. In the meantime, Wolves and Birmingham will expect each other to keep collecting points. "I think they'll know we're a good side and I'm aware they're a good side," added McCarthy. That much was clear.</p><p><strong>Man of the match</strong> Richard Stearman</p><p>$(Wolverhampton Wanderers)</p><div style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"><ul><li><a href="">Championship</a></li><li><a href="">Wolverhampton Wanderers</a></li><li><a href="">Birmingham City</a></li></ul></div><a href=""></a> &copy; Guardian News & Media Limited 2008 | Use of this content is subject to our <a href=",,933909,00.html">Terms & Conditions</a> | <a href=",,1309488,00.html">More Feeds</a>
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