Having games every three or so days and keeping everybody fit is important. Today Gazza scored another important goal but I also have to say players like Riley McGree, Josh Dacres-Cogley deserve the credit too.Aitor Karanka
Aitor Karanka on not getting carried away after back to back wins and a move up the Championship table to a couple of points off six place...
I am really excited with the performance of the team. We can’t forget where we are coming from and let’s see where we arrive. But this is the way for sure.
We are in October, we are doing really well but the Championship - and I told you at the beginning when I came - I don’t want to make a mistake saying we are going to be at the top or in the play-offs or we are going to be mid-table . . .
It is just to build day by day. We can achieve something nice but again we have to go carefully because maybe it sounds stupid to say this but Wycombe is going to be really, really tough game on Wednesday. So from the CEO to the kitman, the top to bottom of the Club, we are always together (with this approach)."
Aitor Karanka on Gary Gardner's impact off the bench, scoring the 85th minute winner..
I knew Gazza could make an impact, it was perfect for him.
We needed energy on the pitch. He had scored last game, I knew he was going to be really important.
Having games every three or so days and keeping everybody fit is important. Today Gazza scored another important goal but I also have to say players like Riley McGree, Josh Dacres-Cogley deserve the credit too.
Aitor Karanka on Riley McGree's goalscoring full debut in the Championship...
I am really pleased with him because I think he is the image of the work in the training ground.
I don’t know exactly when he arrived but he has settled in really well, the other players have taken to him really well because everybody could see how good he is. Today was a difficult game, firstly because it was his first game as a player and the second thing is the opponent: if there is a tough team to play against Preston is. We knew it was going to be a really demanding game and he was lucky because he scored at the beginning.
To be honest I think that goal penalised us a little bit because we thought that the game was over and against Preston the game is never over.
We have a very good relationship with Charlotte FC, we were speaking about our players and when we were speaking about Riley I didn’t have any doubt he was the type of player who was going to help us a lot. And at the same time we are helping Charlotte because we are developing Riley in this league – one of the most competitive in the world.
All parties are really pleased. The player who is happy now because he has played and scored a goal, Birmingham City Football Club because we have a very good player and Charlotte because we are developing this player.
Josh Dacres-Cogley made his first Blues appearance since a year ago last August, before his season loan to Stevenage; Aitor Karanka's view...
Top professional since I have been here. He has played friendly games in pre-season but not others and he trains at 100 per cent, the kind of player who is important in your squad. He is not complaining, he is waiting for his chance and when he got his chance, he was brilliant. So I like players like him in the squad, especially in the Championship.
Aitor Karanka on altering the system again: starting with three centre-halves and then moving to a 4-2-3-1 in the second-half...
I can't remember which game it was now, one we lost, but I told the players in the changing room afterwards that tactics are important but more than the tactics the attitude and the team spirit is. On the pitch they again showed that they are a really good team - everybody is committed and everybody is confident - so, again, it is just to keep going. This league doesn't stop. We have another game Wednesday and another on Saturday.
On making five changes to the starting line-up...
Again, I said since the beginning here that I wanted to build a really competitive squad.
Not just to compete in the games, but to compete against each other. To have competition on the pitch is vital because they are going to improve that way, individually. If players improve individually then we improve as a team also.We saw today that we have a really good squad. Everybody fighting together, everybody fighting each other (for a place). This is important, especially when you have too many games in a row to keep the players fit and to not have injuries.
Aitor Karanka asked if he had doubts what the team could do given the changes...
Not for me, because I knew it. It is for the players. Because they are feeling even more so now that we are really good, we are improving a lot and we have won two games in a row. We will lose games, but now it is time to take advantage of this situation because last year it was completely the opposite. I told them after the game that a winning run is much, much better than a losing one so it is just to keep improving and keep going.