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Pep Clotet - plenty of work still to do

Pep Clotet addressing the media
Pep Clotet addressing the media

Pep Clotet has played down a Play-Off push, insisting Blues are just focusing on growing and improvement.

Even though Blues put themselves to just three points away from the top six after the win against Blackburn Rovers, Clotet is more concerned about the continuation of the side's evolvement and style of play.

Clotet was quizzed about whether Blues were good enough to challenge for the Play-Offs, following the Rovers match

He responded: "I don’t really even know what position we are in the league, I go very much game by game.

"The way I like to work - and our staff like to work - is we just know where we have come from.

"I look to our game against Brentford, we won a game with one chance - I love the English expression ‘smash and grab’!

"But for us that was not what we want. We made a list of all the things we need to be better at to not accept that. And that list was huge.

"The players and the staff worked a lot to correct and correct and organise and organise to go from a team that has one chance in a game to a team that has probably 15-16 shots.

"Sixteen shots at Leeds away and 26 shots at home against Middlesbrough. There is a lot of work in that.

"I don’t know if we are what is required to be in the Play-Offs but what I know is if something can be done better, we recognise, we grow it and improve it. We go game by game.

"I think we are competing against teams like Leeds who has been working and playing really good football for a year-and-a-half.

"We were competing against Blackburn, a team that has improved massively from last season, they had a few additions that gave them the extra, a player like Dack makes a huge difference in this league. They have replacements for their strikers, if they want to go forward they can go forward.

"What we have is our football and everyone committed to our football. Let’s focus game by game and see where we finish."

Clotet's Blues News programme notes for the Rovers match made for interesting reading.

He shed some further light on the philosophy, culture and approach that the Club is transitioning.

He wrote: "Part of our philosophy at the Club is to develop our own players. First, we find those players when they are young; second, we bring them to the Club; third, we develop a plan for them and fourth - my job - is to give them the space.

"We are all pleased that this is happening and the younger players are responding. And I am sure that our fans are enjoying seeing their own come through, as well as the impact the other players we have brought here are having.

"What we are also trying to do is to commit to playing an attacking game, more possession-based.

"It is not easy to move to that from what has been our style in recent years but I am proud that we are making big strides in that department - huge credit to the players, the staff and everyone connected.

"We know that there are going to be bumps along the road and we are always analysing what we need to do, looking at our mistakes, and trying to learn from them and correct them. We are still in a process."

He continued the theme post-Rovers: "The fact that our team has won four of the last five home games, how the team is looking to play now is a good progression.

"I still expect set backs because we have a young team and away from home it will take a lot more work and more confidence but games like Middlesbrough and Blackburn help
our fans understand what we are doing - that we are trying to develop a young team with an offensive idea of playing, creating as many chances as possible and limiting the opposition.

"We are trying to be front foot, press high, a team that combines quick, that controls the possession, that attacks smartly, that attacks with numbers. And we have a few tactical
surprises.

"Someone who has seen the last five games of the team will have seen that all over. We know we are not there yet, but that’s why I am very proud because the players stick to it,
we took care of our football and slowly it is growing and I think our fans can enjoy that."

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