Lee Bowyer hailed Birmingham City’s destruction of Luton Town as the “best performance I have ever seen from any of the teams I have managed”.
The Blues rioted at Kenilworth Road with Marc Roberts, Scott Hogan (2), Gary Gardner and Chuks Aneke on target in a 5-0 win.
This is the first time the Blues have scored five away goals since a team led by Gary Rowett defeated Fulham 5-2 in November 2015.
Three more points put the Blues on seven in their first four games and Bowyer’s side also kept three clean sheets in those games.
Here’s everything Bowyer said about that performance, the Tahith Chong loan sensation and the transfers during his post-match press conference…
Best of Bowyer
“I’m thrilled. From start to finish I felt we were the best team and we deserved the win – it could have been more. To come out in a tough place like this, get the three points, the way we did it, in possession, out of possession, the way we passed the ball, the way we defended as a unit, for me this is the best performance I have ‘ have never witnessed any of the teams I led.
“There’s one thing his band (Nathan Jones) always does is work hard for him, and we’ve had to compete and match that, and we’ve done it and more. I am delighted with the three points and our performance.
“In full 90 minutes, the way we kept the clean sheet, the way we attacked the heads, the way we fought for the second balls, the last minute tackles.
“And then in possession, we were excellent – 15 or 20 passes without them touching the ball. We have people coming off the bench and scoring. He ticked all the boxes you could want as a manager. Overall it was exceptional. “
Kings of the clean sheet
“The one we conceded the other night should have been noted too, the first one was handball. It’s not just defenders, it starts from the front.
“I got the two forwards out because they were broken – not for some other reason. Scott Hogan, I would have loved to keep him to try to get a hat-trick, but he couldn’t run anymore.
“That’s why we keep the sheets clean because, as a group, we work hard and try to do the right things. If we keep doing that, everything will be fine this season.
“He slides in front of people, doesn’t he, with ease. It’s beautiful to watch for me as a manager, and for the supporters, whether on your team or on the opposing team.
“He’s a talented boy, but he’s a talented boy who learns. He’s still learning the game. The first half, the first 20 minutes before they changed shape, I thought he had left them out a bit.
“He passed one and he could have gone on and been shot, but he didn’t, he passed. Then in the second half, I said to him: “Look, be more offensive and pass one, pass two and shoot your shots”. And he did it in the second half.
“He learned today. It’s just recognizing when to dribble, when to pass and when to shoot and that’s why he’s here on loan with us.
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Did you know how good he was?
“I knew he was a good player but I have to say he surprised me. Do you know, as good as he is in possession, his rate of non-possession work is exceptional for a young boy.
“He just came up to us and it’s like, ‘That’s how you play if you want to play for us, you work hard so you don’t have possession”, and he says, “OK, no problem “.
“Whatever you ask him to do, he will. He is low maintenance with a great attitude and just wants to improve. He wants to turn people on and I just want him to score a goal because his performances since he’s been here, he’s deserved one.
“But that will come with time. I think today he had three shots on target, maybe more, so his goals will come but he’s giving us something a little different.
“Not (further) for the moment. It’s a tough market. We are always trying to improve. We’re going to keep trying to push to get there, that’s all we can do.
“We are financially constrained so we have to keep trying to do what it takes to get better. There is no point in bringing in bodies that are not going to make us better. “
“We already have five loans, so if we do, maybe we’ll offer one more. We just have to weigh in and see what happens after the weekend.
“We only played four games, there are 42 left to play. We’re going to have injuries, suspensions, so you have to strengthen the team. You need numbers.