John Eustace: I’m really pleased with the birthday present John Ruddy gave me

Posted Thursday, November 03, 2022 by PA

John Eustace: I’m really pleased with the birthday present John Ruddy gave me

Birmingham head coach John Eustace admitted he received an early birthday present from goalkeeper John Ruddy after his side’s 0-0 draw against Millwall at St Andrew’s.

Ruddy’s heroics denied Tyler Burey a potential 74th-minute winner after Dion Sanderson missed out on halfway and the substitute raced clear on goal.

It meant Blues stretched their unbeaten home record to five games.

Eustace, who turns 43 on Thursday, said: “I’m really pleased with that birthday present John sent me there!

“He said he was going to send me one and there you go.

“That was probably the only incident in the game where John had to make a save and that was really pleasing.

“I thought the back five defended the box brilliantly – from the first minute, Millwall were putting the ball under the crossbar and the lads’ collective defending was really good.

“We know what Millwall do – they’re very experienced and it’s another test for us and something we have to learn from and move on with.”

Five days ago, Ruddy saved a penalty in Birmingham’s last home match against QPR to preserve their lead in a 2-0 win.

Birmingham failed to trouble Millwall goalkeeper George Long but Eustace insisted his side deserved a share of the spoils.

“I didn’t feel we deserved to lose – I thought a point was a fair result,” he added.

“Both teams cancelled each other out. To pick a point up after such a great night on Friday beating QPR was really good.”

Millwall manager Gary Rowett felt his team had the key moment to have snatched all three points and make it five wins out of six.

“It’s the Championship and one big moment can make the difference between three points and one point,” said former Birmingham boss Rowett.

“We had the big moment but we just couldn’t quite take it. It was Tyler’s run and he did brilliantly to get there in the first place.

“He possibly could have lifted it over John Ruddy or squared it to Andreas Voglsammer for a tap-in but I understood why he shot.

“Unfortunately for us, it didn’t go in because up until that point, we really nullified Birmingham’s threat.

“We had some good moments of control and I’d like a bit more quality but it was a difficult game where both teams were going at it.

“I think it was always going to be tough in the conditions – a big part of the evening was it actually stopped raining for a while.

“We knew it was going to be tough and I thought we defended really well.

“For Birmingham to have no chances on target and our keeper to not make a save was a brilliant effort.”


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