Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Sunday March 8 2009
Southampton's Welsh Under-21 international Lloyd James has shared Mark Wotte's disappointment at the team's performance, after Birmingham ran out 1-0 winners at St Andrew's on Saturday.
The youngster has made the right-back position his own this season, and James put in yet another strong performance at St Andrew's, but his ranging crosses up to the front men were unable to find their target as City's powerful defence stood firm.
Speaking to the club's official website, James said, "Obviously we're very disappointed to lose. Birmingham defended well but we didn't create as many chances as we would have liked and we were very disappointed to concede the goal in the last minute of the first half."
Once again, Saints began the game brightly and Wotte's side went close early on as they looked to take the game to their high-flying hosts. However, after a promising opening, Birmingham stepped it up a gear and began to bombard Southampton's box, forcing the south coast club to defend in numbers.
Although the Blues have been criticised by their own fans for not playing 'attractive football', it's their direct approach that has seen them maintain their position in the automatic promotion places, and James admitted that they were almost too hot to handle.
"They caused us a few problems with their pace and power up front, it was hard to defend against. Any free-kick they got near our half they loaded our box with the big lads.
"I thought we defended well against the set pieces but it wasn't our day today."
Southampton conceded at the worst possible moment as Keith Fahey scored the only goal of the game right on the stroke of half-time. Mark Wotte's team talk reflected the Dutchman's disappointment, as James explained.
"The manager went mad at us conceding such a late goal with two minutes to go, and obviously we were very disappointed ourselves to concede a goal like that."
"He said to pick ourselves up as there was 45 minutes left in the game. We really took the game to Birmingham but couldn't get the ball into the back of the net," James continued.
Ex-Saints 'keeper Maik Taylor also helped his side to keep the Saints at bay, but James is already thinking ahead to the upcoming fixtures.
He said, "Their two big centre halves and their keeper just took everything out of the air. They are a big team and that's how they play. We have to move on now and look towards Derby on Tuesday and we think we can take three points from that game.
"It's massive," he continued. "We're still in a dogfight at the bottom, which is not ideal after three wins but we are still thinking we can beat Derby.
"The mood in the dressing room is a bit down after losing the game but there are a lot of positives to take from it. Earlier in the season we would have rolled over and lost by three or four goals.
"Birmingham are a Premiership club," he added. "They've just come down and they've still got Premiership players.
"They've also brought good players in on loan like Scott Sinclair who came of the bench and was a big handful for us.
"We need to deal with it and I feel we did for ninety per cent of the game. It's just the last two minutes of the first half which we slipped up and it lost us the game."
Date:Sunday March 8 2009
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|2. Man City||22||14||5||3||+23||47|
|4. Man Utd||22||11||7||4||+15||40|
|7. West Ham||22||10||6||6||+10||36|
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