Birmingham City: Lee Clark demands Blues improvement

Lee Clark

Birmingham City manager Lee Clark has demanded that his players show more of a work ethic in matches.

Clark's side secured passage to the Capital One Cup second round with a 3-2 win over Plymouth, but he was concerned by their play off the ball.

"Some of the play on the ball was fantastic, but it's the whole package now," Clark told BBC WM.

"You can't just play when you've got the ball, as in matches sometimes you are out of it for long spells."

Clark, whose side suffered an opening-day Championship defeat by Watford on Saturday, continued: "I've said to them that I've given them a chance to stake a claim because I believe in everybody in the squad - don't give up the opportunity by not doing the right thing.

"I showed them clips of Saturday's game with the work ethic, the determination and pressing that was shown, and we need to do that every game, that's our standard bearer."

Last season, Clark's side ended the campaign in 12th place.

And the former Huddersfield boss believes that if his players can improve upon their decision making, they have a real chance of a successful season.

"The camaraderie around the training camp is showing togetherness and I think we could be on the verge of doing something," Clark said.

"But what we've got to drill into them is the other side of the game. Sometimes you can't always pull the ball out the sky and do a trick.

"Sometimes you need to put it in behind defenders and let your striker run on to it and turn them, or they'll kick it out for a corner.

"At this level winning is the be all and end all.

"Saturday was the best performance at home since I've been manager. How much credit did the team get? Not much, because they didn't win."