Five things we learned from Birmingham's draw with Huddersfield

Gary Rowett still has much work to do if he is to get his Birmingham City charges to finish in the top 10.

Birmingham City's draw against Huddersfield on Saturday extended their unbeaten league sequence to four games with eight points taken, five goals scored and only three goals conceded.

With Gary Rowett looking for the Blues to finish the season on a high in the top 10 of the Championship, here are five things we learned from the result against Huddersfield.

1) Even when he plays poorly, David Cotterill is worth his place

Cotterill has struggled in the Birmingham City team of late and as a consequence has found himself starting on the bench more than once. Against Huddersfield he struggled to impose himself, finding the first man with his corners and failing to get the ball into the box often enough. Yet despite nearly giving away a goal when making a crossfield pass to a Terriers player allowing Huddersfield to break, Cotterill was made Man of the Match by the sponsors because it was his name on the scoresheet - and he once again proved that his policy of shooting whenever he has a chance pays off.

2) Birmingham City need to work on how they deal with long throws.

The Huddersfield goal came as the Birmingham City defence struggled to deal with a long throw launched into the area. They were lucky not to concede more as time and again Huddersfield were able to put the back four under pressure aerially and the Blues defence were left to desperately hack the ball clear on more than one occasion. While Jonathan Spector and Rob Kiernan have done creditably at the back, the return of Michael Morrison should allow for a more complete and calmer defence.

3) Clayton Donaldson works hard but needs support

Despite being isolated up front for long periods, Donaldson gave the Terriers' back-line a tough time, chasing every ball, doing his best to win headers and running the channels. However, a lot of that work went to waste as he struggled to hold the ball while a Blues player got close enough to receive it. Too often Donaldson wasn't within 10 yards of a blue shirt and that gap between him and the midfield meant that many attacks broke down quicker than they needed to.

4) Nikola Zigic needs to be given more minutes on the pitch

Zigic has been used almost completely as a sub since he re-signed for Birmingham City and because of that has found it difficult to impose himself on games. Coming on for a clearly tired Donaldson he continued the work of the Wakefield-born striker and continued to win headers - however with Wes Thomas on alongside him he found it easier to act as a focal point and to allow the former Bournemouth and Rotherham man to run on from his flicks. The Blues lack that aerial presence at times and with the right men around him Zigic could still be a huge threat in the remaining games.

5) Andrew Shinnie cannot play 90 minutes

The former Inverness man has played much better since Gary Rowett has come in, but he cannot finish a game. In more than 20 league starts Shinnie hasn't played 90 minutes in any of them; at times he has been sacrificed as a tactical change but it also seems clear that he doesn't have the fitness to play a full game for Birmingham. Either Shinnie needs to sort his fitness out and be able to last the pace or Rowett will need to seek out a new number 10 in the longer term.

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