Birmingham and Aston Villa played out a goalless draw at St. Andrew’s in the 113th league meeting between the two sides.
Both sides had their chances, with Jota going closest for the home side when he intercepted a ball out the ball. Running through on goal, the club record-signing was unable to hold his nerve, drilling his shot well above the bar and into the stands. At the other end of the field, Aston Villa smashed the woodwork twice in quick succession through Davis and Kodjia.
Somehow the game ended without any goals in what was an otherwise fiery encounter in the Championship on Sunday afternoon.
Steve Cotterill reflects on missed opportunities for Birmingham
“I think we could have had all three points with our second-half performance,” said Cotterill. “I know they’ve hit the bar a couple of times towards the end but they were probably counter-attacks.”
“I felt we started the second-half really brightly and then where there was a stoppage for Glenn Whelan, that probably didn’t help us and threw us out of our rhythm a little bit. We had a couple of really good chances – Cheikh Ndoye’s header and obviously Jota’s chance,” the boss continued.
“Had one of those gone in then I think it would have still been a narrow 1-0 but I think we would have gone on to finish the game off then.”
Promising home debut for record-signing Jota
"They’re all going to miss chances, there’s no blame attached to anyone for a missing a chance. You hope that players aren’t going to make mistakes in these games because that could be costly, but players are going to miss chances. You have to accept that."
Despite his glaring miss, Birmingham’s record signing put in a pleasing shift down the right-hand side. Showing good tenacity off the ball, Jota was the talisman in the final third, cutting in from the flank and getting shots off at Johnstone. While they failed to truly test the goalkeeper, it no doubt pleased Cotterill to see his star forward shine.
"I thought he had a good game today, especially in the first-half, he was excellent. If a chance falls to anyone you want it to fall to him because you know what ability he’s got. I thought towards the back end of the game he was tiring a little bit."
Consistency still the worry for Birmingham
"I said to them before today that I didn’t have any fears about them going into this game. I suppose what I do fear, because I don’t know them well enough, is how are we going to turn up against Brentford? How are we going to turn up against Barnsley? That’s more for me really."
"That one was for our supporters today and it’s a really big pity that we couldn’t get the goal and see it over the line, because I know how much it meant to them."
"It’s been a long time since we won a derby and I really wanted to do that today. But it’s important that we turn up for every game," concluded Cotterill.