EFL

Tony Mowbray hails ‘amazing achievement’ as Birmingham win twice at home in week

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Birmingham manager Tony Mowbray saluted an “amazing achievement” after his team made it two home wins in a week by coming from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1.

Koji Miyoshi grabbed an 80th-minute winner after Jordan James cancelled out Jack Clarke’s 22nd-minute lead on the hour.

It meant City have recorded their first back-to-back home successes since October and they have climbed to 15th, six points above the Sky Bet Championship drop zone.

“I’m very proud of the group and their desire and determination to work really hard for each other on the back of a landscape of where we are in the league,” said Mowbray.

“After not winning many home games this season, it’s an amazing achievement for them.”

Despite the gap, Mowbray refuses to accept City are safe.

“We’re in a predicament and we’re still in the same position after a couple of teams won,” he added.

“We’re still six points away from trouble but it’s given us a bit of confidence and momentum and the belief that we can win against anyone at home.

“This is what the team needs to know to have that confidence and belief in themselves.

“The team is fighting hard for each other but this was about the supporters and the players on the pitch.

“We gifted Sunderland the first goal but we found a way to score two goals.”

Several supporter incentives meant Birmingham were watched by 27,449 – the biggest crowd at St Andrew’s for more than seven years.

Mowbray said he used the home crowd to spur on the players as they took the game to Sunderland after a lacklustre first-half performance.

“The message at half-time was ‘we will score, and if we score one, this place will take off and we’ll score two or three’, they made it happen,” he added.

“Days like this with a full stadium against a good team with a big support following them show that we can come out on top and win, and we did that together.”

Clarke intercepted Seung-Ho Paik’s square pass to Marc Roberts then raced on to coolly slot past John Ruddy.

James equalised after Miyoshi had two shots blocked when Tyler Roberts’ angled drive had been parried by goalkeeper Anthony Patterson.

Miyoshi prodded home ahead of Patterson after reacting quickest to Jay Stansfield’s deflected cross.

Sunderland have not won on their travels since Boxing Day and are currently 10th, five points off the top six.

Their head coach Michael Beale admitted: “Unless we improve our away form it (play-offs) is going to be difficult.

“We have to find a way of getting positive away results because it’s nowhere good enough.

“We’re certainly not giving up on anything with the amount of games we’ve got to go.

“But our away form all season has been a concern.”

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