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Pep: A good start against the Owls is critical

Pep Clotet.
Pep Clotet.

I think we’ve started games very well. This is credit to the players who understand the mentality, the fans who create that atmosphere and to the staff who are working with the players to have the right warm up so that we can go out in the right way.

Pep Clotet.

Pep Clotet has stressed the importance of his side being on the 'front foot' straight from the kick-off against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Blues head into the fixture on the back of a 10-game unbeaten run, whilst Garry Monk's Sheffield Wednesday side have won just one of their last 10 matches.

In their last away fixture at Luton, Owls fans voiced their discontent at the final whistle after seeing their side beaten 1-0 by the relegation threatened Hatters, and a positive opening for Blues would inevitably put the visitors under pressure.

"It’s massively important to have a good start because if we waste half an hour there’s only 60 minutes left in the game. The start is critical for us," said Blues' Head Coach.

"I think we’ve started games very well. This is credit to the players who understand the mentality, the fans who create that atmosphere and to the staff who are working with the players to have the right warm-up so that we can go out in the right way.

"We have a team that believes a lot in what we are doing together and that helps as well.

"I like our team to be on the front foot the same as everyone else. If it’s not possible for the 90 minutes, then as much as possible, but especially from the beginning."

Clotet says the sort of positive opening he wants was ably demonstrated in last weekend's draw against high-flying Brentford.

Lukas Jutkiewicz fired the hosts in front after just 13 minutes and that set the tone for the game.

"For the team it was very good because we put Brentford against the ropes for half an hour with brilliant offensive football with a lot of courage and a lot of desire to win," continued Clotet

"We saw complete unity between the team and the fans, the game started very well with Scott Hogan intercepting from the kick-off.

"It just shows the mentality of what we are trying to build. We need to keep building and growing but we did a lot of really good things.

"Not only that first half hour where we created a lot of problems to them and possibly should have been more ahead - but also some of the side that we don’t normally put our eyes on, was really spot on.

"Brentford had nine counter attacks against us on Saturday with 0% success getting into the box, normally they have an average of 16 per game.

"So, you have to do a lot of things right because counter attacks are the easiest way to create problems to a football team, to not get into those situations is a lot of work behind that.

"Normally that doesn’t catch the eye but it’s this focus on doing the right things that the whole team did which made a very good game when I saw it back.

"We are a very difficult team to play against and when we went forward, we were dangerous against one of the best defensive sides in the league. It fills everyone with pride and it’s credit to everyone involved.

"Now we are in a good run, but we forget it, it doesn’t matter now. The run can end any day but now we have a team that can focus on the mentality of one game per game, it’s a team that is difficult to beat, creates problems and believes in what we are doing."

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