Four things Steve Cotterill has changed at Birmingham City

After Tuesday night’s impressive 3-1 win over Sunderland, Birmingham City have climbed out of the relegation zone and up to what feels like the heady heights of 20th.

Having looked in crisis and doomed to the drop barely a month ago, they are now among the Championship’s form teams. The turnaround isn’t complete yet – but the green (blue) shoots of recovery are very much in evidence – here’s four things that Steve Cotterill has done to turn fortunes around.

Fixed the right flank

It may not be the greatest coincidence that Birmingham have won seven games this season but wide man Jota – who featured for the first time in early September – has started just one of them.

The Spaniard thrived at Brentford, but there is something about the tactical and cultural setup at St Andrews that doesn’t quite suit him and that was evident when he came on in the second half.

Blues enjoyed their best football on Tuesday when Jacques Maghoma – who started in Jota’s place – linked up with right-back Maxime Colin, while midfielder David Davis overloaded the flank with vibrant runs.

The combination play between that trio was in evidence for the opening two goals – the first a smooth finish from Davis after Maghoma’s reverse ball, the second a back-post Jeremie Boga header from Maghoma’s cross.

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