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Birmingham fail to extend four-point gap to Sunderland as Cotterill rues lack of goal power

Birmingham City boss Steve Cotterill
Birmingham City boss Steve Cotterill

Birmingham City failed to leave Sunderland seven points adrift of Sky Bet Championship safety when they lost 2-0 at Middlesbrough last night.

The fourth-bottom Blues remain on 15 points, four above bottom club Sunderland and one ahead of the drop zone.

Boss Steve Cotterill remains confident his side will turn things around, despite this defeat meaning they have now picked up just one point from nine away games this season.

The Blues have the worst away record in the Championship by some distance, but Cotterill felt they would claimed something from the Riverside had Boro not been able to name Britt Assombalonga in their ranks.

Ex-Sunderland assistant manager Cotterill said: “Goals are what we need to add to our game, that and maybe a bit of confidence and belief. But goals are the main thing. If Middlesbrough don’t have Assombalonga, then I don’t think they win the game.

“He was the difference. He was on to the shot for his first goal so quickly, and then he made a great run for his second goal. When he gets in there, he’s composed and he scores.

“He was the difference because we probably created enough chances to have put Middlesbrough on the back foot, but we didn’t score.

“I’m still confident we will turn things around though. The effort and desire are there – I didn’t see any of my lads pulling out challenges or anything like that.”