Birmingham boss Pep Clotet identified a Middlesbrough weakness before St Andrew's victory
Birmingham head coach Pep Clotet told his players to attack Middlesbrough’s left flank ahead of Friday night’s 2-1 win over the Teessiders.
The Blues dominated for large spells at St Andrew’s and claimed all three points after substitute Odin Bailey headed home an 89th-minute winner.
Birmingham could have scored more if it wasn’t for Boro goalkeeper Darren Randolph who made several impressive saves in the first half.
Clotet’s side regularly found space on their right-hand side, where full-back Maxime Colin linked-up well with midfielder Daniel Crowley.
As a consequence, Boro’s makeshift left-back Ryan Shotton endued a night to forget and was left exposed against the Birmingham onslaught.
When asked if he targeted Boro’s left flank, Clotet replied: “Yes, Middlesbrough does a high press and they press with the winger and the centre-back and I think they do it very well. They will become better and better Middlesbrough.”
Boro have struggled to find a regular left-back this season following injuries to captain George Friend and Hayden Coulson.
And Clotet, who also praised his other full-back Kristian Pedersen, expected space to open up in wide areas.
“We knew the way that they press there were going to be spaces there so we worked on it,” added the Birmingham boss. “Don’t get me wrong, I would love to create as many problems on the other side but our team suits that.
“Maxime and Kristian suits that as well. We feel comfortable doing it like this.”