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Reaction: Blues 2 Middlesbrough 1

The way the team focused on the game from the beginning I'm very proud of them and the players deserve massive credit.

Pep Clotet.

Pep Clotet's comments after seeing his side power their way to a thoroughly deserved win on Friday night at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium.

Pep Clotet's on seeing his side return to winning ways after three successive defeats...
"I am very positive, as a coach I always focus on the positive side because the mistakes we make as a team just highlights where we can get better for the future. We will always be a team when we make mistakes, we will a lot to correct them. We know this is the path for us to get better and better. There is always setbacks and it's not easy to approach games like that tonight, but I think the team has stuck to its philosophy and managed to take the game from the beginning with a very good mentality. The combinations were on a very good tempo, the ball moved very quick and we created a lot of problems to Middlesbrough in between the lines and especially out wide in the first half. We managed to force Middlesbrough to think more about defending than on hurting us, although we always had to be aware of quick counter-attacks because they have very good players. That required a lot of focus from our players and they did very well. The second half they knew they had to go for it, they tried to match us in the system, and we could find more spaces. Despite being 1-0 and being under pressure from Middlesbrough we always chased the second goal - that came after their goal. This could have been a draw today - but I think the result was fair."

Pep Clotet on the maturity shown by the younger players in his team...
"I am very pleased with that because it's the work the whole Club is involved in now. First, we find those players when they are young, second bring them to the Club, third develop a plan for them and fourth - my job is to give them the space. I think they responded very well; they have been doing that all the time since we started. We like the talent we have; the courage and they are the future of this Club. We are very happy they have the talent and they want to play for this Club and show the fans they have someone there they can call their own."

Pep Clotet on Jude Bellingham's excellent performance in the centre of midfield...
"He is a very confident player, very grounded, there is nothing in his head other than to succeed at Birmingham City. He is a homegrown player who really loves the Club, who is very confident in his ability but never over-confident. He works very hard to cut out mistakes, we have worked a lot with him and the other younger ones as well. Every little bit we work with him he takes it straight away, I say 'You are going to end up running out of my book' - he takes it straight away. You don't see the end of his development. I know he is a bright player and he will have an unbelievable career but at the same time he is very grounded, he is very mature, the family is very mature for him and they understand the work the Club does for him."

Pep Clotet asked if he thought his was the best display from his side since he took charge of the team...
"Yes, probably. We're all committed to this kind of football and today is probably the day that we were able to join the performance that we want and the result that we want. At the end of the day it was not easy as we were recovering from three defeats. But the confidence was always good because the performances have been right. The way the team focused on the game from the beginning I'm very proud of them and the players deserve massive credit."

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