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Reaction: Blues 0 Preston North End 1

Everyone was fighting until the last second.

Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka remained in good spirits despite Blues falling to defeat at home to Preston North End in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Head Coach saw his side lose 1-0 at St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium, but was able to find positives in the outcome.

Blues had come into the clash on the back of an impressive win on Teeside.

Addressing the media post-match, Karanka offered his assessment of the game and how he believed his side faired against Alex Neil's team.

He said: "The first 45 we were really good, the first 15-20 minutes in the second 45 were not as good, but near the end, we were trying to score and creating chances.

"Everyone was fighting until the last second. The spirit and body language was really good. We showed we were better than Preston, but the only difference is that they took the chance they had.

"The atmosphere in the changing room makes me positive and with that, we are going to win games."

The Boss also explained his team selection to the press, with Blues going into the game unchanged from their success against Middlesbrough five days earlier, before offering an insight into the nature of Scott Hogan's injury that saw him withdrawn in the second-half.

He said: "With no games in the next ten games, I decided not to change anything as we played really well on Saturday and the effort was really good today.

"Hogan felt his hamstring and we hope it is nothing serious. I prefer to not take a risk and used [Lukas] Jutkiewicz from the bench. Also, Jonathan Leko and Gary Gardner were very good when they came on."

Blues now have ten days without a game before welcoming Coventry City at the end of January and Karanka is looking forward to what lies ahead, remarking how he feels his team's performances have warranted more from the season so far.

The Gaffer said: "This group of players deserve to be higher in the table. We need to do a lot of things to win the games, but we lose games we do not deserve to lose. But with our confidence and commitment, we are a completely different team. In the past five days, we have competed against two teams around the play-off positions."

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