Marc Roberts looking for positive reaction

The Wycombe result was deflating but we’ve got a quick turnaround and a chance to put it right and improve performances.

Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts says the squad have the right character to bounce back from Blues midweek disappointment.

The commanding centre-back found the back of the net for just the second time in his Blues career, heading home a Jeremie Bela corner in Wednesday’s clash with Wycombe.  

But the visitors rallied after the break and with two late goals, inflicted defeat on Aitor Karanka’s men for the first time in four games.

It was also the first time this season that any side have breached the Blues backline more than once and Roberts says the players will be determined to set the record straight when they welcome Bournemouth to St. Andrew’s on Saturday.

“The Wycombe result was deflating but we’ve got a quick turnaround and a chance to put it right and improve performances,” says Roberts. “A lot of it comes down to how we are as a group and I think that’s the character of the lads.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game. They’re a good group of players and we’ve looked at them in detail.

“But if we play our game we can more than match anyone in this league.

“We’ve got to be at it one-hundred-and-fifty percent and that’s all we will concentrate on.

“It’s a crazy league. We’ve seen some of the results that have popped up already but at home I feel like we’ve got as much of a chance against them as we have against anyone else.”

After swapping Barnsley for Blues in the summer of 2017, Roberts has had to fight for his place in the starting line-up under five different managers.

The 30-year-old featured 35 times at the heart of the Blues backline last season and enjoyed a fairly consistent run of games both pre and post lockdown.

But with the return of Chelsea loanee Jake Clarke-Salter and the additions of George Friend and Mikel San José, competition for places has increased once again.

“I think it helps,” admits Roberts. “Knowing you’ve got to be on your game, day in, day-out.

“Not just in games but in training, the gaffer looks at everything.

“All the players he has brought in have been excellent.

“George is a great leader, great lad and great player and Mikel has obviously got a wealth of experience in a top, top team in a top league.

“As you can see they are only going to get better the more games they play.

“That goes for everyone who has signed, everyone has settled in well and had a really good effect on the team – not just on the pitch but around the place. 

“We’ve got a set amount of players now and the gaffer will make a decision on whether he thinks a certain player will fit a game better than another.

“From a tactical point of view, it might be certain players are needed to play different roles or need a rest.

“So everyone knows, if you’re in this group, you’re going to get a chance to play.

“Everyone’s on the same page, everyone is pulling in the same direction and it can only be a positive thing.”