11 Dec 2020
LMA PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK IN ASSOCIATION WITH SKY SPORTS SOCCER SATURDAY - BLUES WIN AWAY AT READING
The League Managers Association’s panel, comprising LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Joe Royle, Dave Bassett, Barry Fry Paul Ince and Rachel Yankey, has determined that the LMA Performance of the Week Award, in association with Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, should go to Birmingham City for their 2-1 victory against Reading on Wednesday 9th December 2020.
The experienced and highly distinguished panel has managed a combined total of over 6,500 competitive matches in professional football.
Birmingham City Manager Aitor Karanka will receive a celebratory bottle of champagne, courtesy of Tanners Wines, and an LMA Performance of the Week trophy.
On receiving the award Karanka said: “I’m honoured to accept the award on behalf of Birmingham City for the LMA Performance of the Week, but I really want to dedicate it to the players and staff.
I think we showed the best of both sides to our game that night. We knew how good Reading were and how dangerous they can be so to go and play with intelligent football in the first half and then overcoming adversity in the second half - I could not be prouder.
We scored two goals of the highest quality, two fantastic finishes from Jon Toral but also two moves that were put together involving multiple players.
Reading are amongst the highest scorers in the league and we knew it was going to be tough to keep them out.
We have a special spirit amongst our group, and we needed every bit of it going into the last 20 minutes with ten men.
We have been working hard to mould a team together, with so many new signings and I think we are starting to see, with every week that passes, the development of this team.
It was a performance I am extremely proud of, but all praise must go to the players.”
Facing one of the division’s pacesetters, Aitor Karanka’s side led through two Jon Toral goals at the break, before Yakou Meite halved the lead in the 61st minute.
And it appeared the three points would be slipping away when the referee awarded a penalty to the Royals and sent Harlee Dean off in the process.
However, Neil Etheridge ensured it was Blues fans at home and not the Reading supporters inside the Madejski Stadium who were celebrating when he saved Lucas Joao’s spot kick.
The victory takes Blues onto 22 points ahead of the visit of Watford this Saturday.