Harlee Dean: Birmingham City defeats hurt Blues players even more than the fans

Barnsley were ahead inside two minutes through Tom Bradshaw (right) on Harlee Dean's recall at Oakwell on Saturday
Harlee Dean's recall at Barnsley on Saturday was his first Blues start since the 6-1 defeat at Hull

Birmingham City defender Harlee Dean says that losing hurts the players even more than it does the Blues fans.

August signing Dean suffered a fifth defeat in seven starts for Blues when his side lost 2-0 at Barnsley, to drop into the Championship's bottom three.

It was Dean's first game since Steve Cotterill took over, having been axed after the 6-1 defeat at Hull, caretaker boss Lee Carsley's last game in charge.

"It's a horrible situation. It affects our lives dramatically," said Dean.

"People don't want to go home to their missus and kids in this mood. It can't go on like this, for ourselves, our families and the fans.

"It must be horrible for the fans that travelled. But it's a tough one to take for ourselves as a playing squad. This hurts us more than them, definitely.

"But we just have to stick together and get through it. It's about reaching our potential. We will put it right."

Four things to put right

  • Birmingham City have the worst away record in the EFL this season. One point from eight games.
  • Blues have also scored the fewest goals in the entire EFL. Just eight goals in 16 matches.
  • Jacques Maghoma is Blues' top league scorer this season, with two goals. Che Adams has got four in all competitions. but three came in the EFL Cup win at home to Crawley.
  • Since Gary Rowett's sacking following the 2-1 home win over Ipswich on 13 December, Blues have won just seven times in 41 league games.

Five Blues changes at Barnsley

Dean's recall to the Blues side at Oakwell was one of five changes made from Blues' midweek home defeat against Brentford, when he sat on the bench against his former club.

One was forced, following the early injury to his old Brentford team-mate Maxime Collin - to add to an injury list that also includes goalkeeper David Stockdale, defender Carl Jenkinson and striker Isaac Vassell.

But, just over two months on from Dean's arrival at St Andrew's, the 26-year-old former Brentford captain backs Cotterill to get it right.

"There's been lots of changes to the squad and to the management," he said. "But it's going to take time.

"We've probably deserved more points than we have got since the gaffer took over.

"And we're a lot fitter since he came in. That is evident. We just need that bit quality and that bit of confidence."

Having dropped to 22nd in the Championship, just two points off the bottom, Blues' next game is after the international break - at home to one of Cotterill's former clubs Nottingham Forest.

But, while a home win would certainly lift the mood, the more pressing concern is the three games that follow.

Away matches against Middlesbrough and Sheffield United look even tougher, given that no team in the EFL this season has a worse away record than Blues. And their next game after that is at home to current Championship leader Wolves.

Top Stories