Krytsian Bielik came on for Birmingham after 55 minutes, as they beat Wolves at Molineaux, and produced ‘inspired defending’ according to fans.
The Arsenal man was introduced two minutes after Zola had watched Paul Robinson pick up a straight red card trying to punch the back of a Wolves player’s head:
The win brings to an end a three-match losing streak and handed Zola only his second win from the 15 games he’s managed.
As for Krystian, his stats for the 35 minutes he was on the pitch were impressive:
- 20 touches
- 3 passes – 75% pa
- 1 take-on
- 2 aerials won
- 1 tackle
- 4 interceptions
- 3 clearances
- 5 blocks
Some Birmingham fans were wondering why the Pole hadn’t started in place of Robinson to begin with, while others were simply full of praise for the teenager:
Why didn't Zola start Bielik over Robinson anyway. He has definitely been our MOTM since he came on!
— Jack_BCFC (@jxck_990) February 24, 2017
Inspired defending from Bielik tonight. Keen to see how he develops before returning to Arsenal stronger
— Adriel Thin (@adrielistwittin) February 24, 2017
Speaking after the game, in the video below, Bielik said, “I feel really good. It was my second time in the Championship. I just came on, I wasn’t actually ready. I saw Paul got the red card, I got ready and came on. I’m really happy we won and it’s my second game in the Championship.
“These points are very important for us. We couldn’t win the last two, three games. I think it’s very important for us. We have to keep going now, head up and look forward.
“It was really hard because we had ten players. They were attacking all the time and we needed to just keep them out. I think we did really well, We are defenders, we did a really good job. We are happy because it wasn’t an easy job to do. The red card changed everything.”
Zola added, “I am delighted because of the win and the performance. We have had tough times. In the second half we played very well. We looked like we were stronger.
“The sending-off could have killed a lot of teams but we showed a lot of character.
“The players are relieved, happy and excited because we have been through a lot of suffering in the last few weeks. It is not easy to pick the players up when there are so many bad results.
“This is a break that they deserve as they work very hard and believe in what we are doing. No-one can question the attitude and the passion that everyone has at this club and we will work even harder as we want this to be the beginning of things.”