It was a worthy point for Steve Cotterill’s Birmingham City side today at Deepdale. Preston, not out of play-off contention by any means, may well have thought they were in line for all three points.
However the excellent Sam Gallagher secured a deserved equaliser to Ben Davies’ first-half opener, to earn a share of the spoils for Birmingham.
Whilst the result leaves Cotterill’s side still in the relegation zone, Birmingham are only a point away from safety. Preston fell to 11th place, four points off of sixth placed Sheffield United.
Cotterill felt his side put in a fine performance, and he was right. It was worthy of the point. More dominant in possession, Birmingham also had nearly three times as many shots on goal as their hosts. Alex Neil’s side had six, whilst Birmingham managed 17.
With Preston scoring from their only shot on target in the game, Cotterill may have been forgiven for feeling marginally, hard done by.
However, he chose to focus on the positives from his sides performance.
“I thought we were excellent today. We’ve been good for a little while now and that’s why the results are turning. You come to a place like Preston it’s always difficult, especially today, because if they get a win they’re in the top six.
“I felt we bossed the game for long periods and didn’t quite get our rewards, but it’s onto the next game now. I’m delighted with the boys today, their effort, tactical application and all the things we’ve been working on the training ground have come to fruition.
“I’m really pleased for them with that, because there’s lots of times we’ve done work and it hasn’t come to fruition.”
Birmingham will have to wait until their next game to feel the effect of the bounce from this dominant display. Huddersfield in the FA Cup next Saturday may be a nice distraction from the sides relegation fight, but it is the visit of Sunderland to St. Andrew’s on January 30th that will be of more significance.
A win against Chris Coleman’s side could prove pivotal for Cotterill and his players. Based on today’s performance, that is not beyond the realm of possibility.