Patience is not the first word that comes to mind when I think about sports but it’s a quality that both sportsmen and spectators need. It was epitomised in Alastair Cook’s epic innings which lasted for 13 hours and 56 minutes, which according to a BBC article, is the time that it takes Wayne Rooney to earn £24,881. (I do love irrelevant factoids.)
One of the things I’m enjoying about Birmingham City’s present spell of good form is that supporters are happier and therefore more patient. They don’t give up on the team when they concede a goal. We didn’t sink into gloomy silence when QPR scored first on Saturday. And their patience was rewarded as the equaliser came in 7 minutes, with three players who have displayed patience contributing to it. Jacques Maghoma was fouled by a QPR player and needed treatment before Demarai Gray’s free kick was headed into the net by Paul Robinson. Maghoma had spent most of the previous 4 league games sitting on the bench but took his opportunity to shine when he started this game. Robinson too has spent a lot of time on the bench and was clearly delighted to score his first League goal for Birmingham. And Gray seems to understand that he needs to develop as a player and is content to stay at Birmingham and keep learning; it looked as though he might have been spending some time practising free kicks!
A year ago, we played our last home game under Lee Clark and lost 0-1 to Bolton. The following week, less than 14,000 of us watched Bournemouth demolish us under our caretaker management. And the loss was made more miserable by the sight of fans streaming out of the stadium because they couldn’t bear to watch any longer. I don’t think we’ll see anything that bad while Gary Rowett is in charge but we will probably have a dip in form and lose some games. As long as the team continues to pull together and the crowd supports them, I’ll be content.