Cotterill claims fatigue led to Birmingham's FA Cup exit

Jota of Birmingham is challenged by Tom Ince of Huddersfield Town during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town at St Andrews on February 6,...

Birmingham City manager Steve Cotterill has commented on the fatigue of his players following their FA Cup loss last night.

Jota of Birmingham is challenged by Tom Ince of Huddersfield Town during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town at St Andrews on February 6,...

As reported by Birmingham Mail, Birmingham City boss Steve Cotterill pointed towards fatigue as a big reason behind his side’s exit from the FA Cup last night.

Following a goalless first half, City took the lead early in the second half through Che Adams, although their lead lasted just eight minutes before Premier League side Huddersfield levelled things up through a fortunate own goal.

It was at that point the legs began to tire, with the Terriers eventually being able to wear the Blues down in extra time following a tight final half hour.

Steve Mounie of Huddersfield Town celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides second goal during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town...

Three goals in a 12-minute span across both extra-time periods ensured the top flight side’s passage through to the next round, and despite the loss, Cotterill was fairly upbeat about how his team played.

"I couldn't be prouder of them because they didn't give in but I am telling you they are dead on their feet," he said.

"We have had an unbelievable schedule since December 23, we have had no breaks, hardly any days off, we train properly. I couldn't be any prouder of that dressing room tonight.

"In fact it's my proudest time since I have been at the football club because they have given everything.

"Extra time done us, that's what we couldn't cope with. Up until then we needed a chance to go our way.”

Many fans were critical of Cotterill’s appointment a few months back, but in the last few weeks the veteran boss has been able to prove many doubters wrong with some of the performances his side have produced.

A general view outside of  St Andrews ahead of The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town at St Andrews on February 6, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

The Blues may still find themselves down in the relegation scrap but they’re in a much more promising position than they once were, with the form table signifying the progress they have made as of late.

The overall strength of their squad is what many neutrals are pointing towards as a reason for their turn in fortunes, given that the other teams around them are wafer thin in some departments.

Still, the loss last night is bound to sting to some degree given that a clash with Manchester United would have been on the cards for the fifth round.

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