On the 21st of August 2017, Championship side Birmingham City announced their seventh signing of the summer in the form of Southampton striker Sam Gallagher.
The former Blackburn Rovers forward went to the Midlands club hoping to build on the 12 goals he scored during his first stint in the second tier of English football and despite being a little slow to get off the mark for the Blues, in recent weeks the 22-year-old seems to have found his feet.
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Cotterill beginning to turn things around
Following the sacking of former boss Harry Redknapp, the Blues appointed one time assistant to the former Blues boss, Steve Cotterill, and having endured a terrible start to life as Birmingham City manager, Cotterill has recently started to turn things around, and all that comes because of some of the changes he has made.
Starting with the win over Leeds United on December 30th, Cotterill dropped club captain Michael Morrison to the bench and instead of handing deputy captain David Davis the armband, he decided to give it to another summer signing, Harlee Dean.
Since Dean has become captain, Blues have started to play with a little bit more control and composure all over the pitch. In the three games that Dean has been captain for, Blues have won them all and they have also kept clean sheets in the trio as well.
In addition to handing Dean the captaincy, Cotterill also opted to bring Jacques Maghoma back into the action to partner Gallagher and Chelsea loanee Jeremie Boga upfront in a very attacking front three.
With Maghoma scoring two goals in two games, including the winner in the game against Leeds, it would be fair to say that reintroducing the winger into the team has been a stroke of genius from the former Bristol City manager after he turned in yet another man of the match display against Burton Albion in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
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Gallagher showing his promise in central striking role
Speaking of the FA Cup, it was Gallagher who netted the winner against the Brewers on Saturday afternoon to ensure that the Blues progressed into the fourth round of the competition and with that goal it now means that the Saints loanee now has four goals in his last five appearances for the B9 side.
And all four of those goals have come since Gallagher has started to play through the middle. That sounds silly because that is where you would expect a striker to play but when Cotterill was first appointed, it was an initial idea to play the youngster out wide, something that later didn't work out how he had planned it to.
Now he is playing through the middle, he is showing just how deadly he can be in front of goal and with Blues' turn of fortunes in the last few weeks, some credit has to go to the on loan Saints man purely because of the hard work and desire he is showing.
Blues fans will be hoping that Gallagher can keep this form up for the rest of the season with the Midlands side not yet out of the relegation battle that they are currently in.