Birmingham: Randolph says Blues have lost home fear factor

Darren Randolph
Blues keeper Darren Randolph has proved a popular figure in his two seasons at St Andrew's

Birmingham City keeper Darren Randolph says Blues have conquered their fear of playing at home since the autumn arrival of Gary Rowett as manager.

Prior to Rowett's appointment on 25 October, following the sacking of Lee Clark, Blues had won just once in their previous 25 Championship home games.

Rowett then started on the Monday with Blues in 23rd, following their club-record 8-0 home defeat by Bournemouth.

"Last season, there was a fear about playing at home," Randolph told BBC WM.

"It was the same at the start of this season. We preferred to be away. But, since Gary Rowett came in, there's been more belief, more confidence among the players.

"We've been able to go out and play football and not worry about the boos and the jeers."

The contrast in fortunes at St Andrew's
Blues at home in 2013-14 Blues at home in 2014-15
P 23, W 2, D 8, L 13, Pts 14P 23, W 10, D 7, L 6, Pts 37
Goals (F 29 A 40) Goals (F 29 A 31)

Bizarrely, Blues have still ended up scoring the number of goals at St Andrew's this season at home, 29 in 23 games, just as they did in 2013-14.

And, but for those eight conceded against Bournemouth, the goals-against column for home games would be almost identical too.

But they have lost just twice at home under Rowett and picked up 23 more points at St Andrew's, on average a point a game.

The only downside being that it has not been matched by their form on the road, as they have had just one away league win since the turn of the year.

Going into Saturday's final game at Bolton, where they stayed up by the skin of their teeth a year ago, Randolph, who has a big decision to make up about his future as his current contract expires next month, still insists: "I'd say it's been a successful season.

"A lot of hard work has gone in since Gary took over. It's been tough to stay focused in our climb back up the table after being in such a dangerous position.

"But, when you've seen the bad side, it's makes it even better to come through and see the good side."