Monk hopes overdue win ‘sets the standard’ for Birmingham

Birmingham City

Garry Monk had every reason to have a wide smile on his face after guiding Birmingham to a vital 3-0 Championship home win over below-par Hull.

Although they remain in the bottom three, Blues’ survival prospects have greatly improved following a runaway victory which was completed in bright sunshine after long spells of the game had been played in a blizzard.

Following his first victory as Birmingham’s manager, Monk was full of admiration for the impressive attacking performance of his team which produced an outstanding victory and ended a run of seven successive league defeats.

Jota, who had previously failed to score at St Andrew’s since his record signing at the start of the season, was twice on the mark including a 12th-minute opener which set the tone for the rest of the game.

Che Adams, who also had an outstanding game, was rewarded with a 48th-minute goal while a rejuvenated Jota settled the game in the 59th minute.

Monk admitted: ‘This is a step in the right direction but it sets a minimum standard. We cannot go below this standard but I think that we can get even better.

‘To get three points sends the right message to the players that the confidence level and belief is a little higher than it was before the game.

‘The fact we got three points, three goals, a performance and a clean sheet made me very pleased for everyone.

‘It has been a difficult season for the players as they have not been at their best but you can now see their commitment.

‘I thought we should have been more clinical in the first half. If we had gone in two or three goals up at half-time no-one would have said we had not deserved them.

‘There is a long way to go but this win is a step forward to what we need to achieve.’

The result could indeed have been even more lop-sided but for the brilliance of Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor, and Tigers manager Nigel Adkins was far from happy with the outcome.

He said: ‘I will have to take a bit of time to reflect on this result.

‘We certainly didn’t see this result coming. We had focused the players’ minds as we knew that it would be a tough game, as it proved to be.

‘We had enjoyed two good victories and we thought we would be a threat going forward with Abel Hernandez back in the side.

‘We were on the back foot from the start of game, while Allan McGregor was excellent. He kept us in game in the first half with some really good saves.

‘The first half was as bad as we have played since I came in as manager. Credit to Birmingham, they deserved to win and we didn’t.

‘We were second best and now we have two big games against Aston Villa and Wolves.’