Lee Bowyer opens up about captaincy and that Scott Hogan miss

Lee Bowyer cut a relieved figure after two second half goals gave Birmingham City a first win in eight games.

The head coach expressed his pleasure at the result, explained his decision to make Troy Deeney captain, gave an update on Jeremie Bela – and much more.

Here’s every word from his post-match press conference.

Match reaction

We finally scored a goal, to get three points at home against a good Swansea side. I think we deserved it, if I am ultra critical we could have scored more. We should have won by more.

They had one real chance in the second half, you have to say their goal was outstanding. great pass, great movement from the striker and a great finish.

That’s the quality they have in their squad and he has come off the bench.

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A kickstart?

I hope so, I have said on a few occasions we haven’t been that bad but we have kept missing chances.

Today was the same we scored two but four, five easy I think we should have scored.

This will give the players a bit of a boost and I am really pleased for them because it’s difficult when you keep working as hard as they are working and not getting any reward for it.

Today they have got their reward so now we have just got to get ready for next week and see what we can do there.

McGree performance

He did really well on Wednesday, he started the game at Huddersfield, I know he was a bit disappointed to be left out but that’s my job I felt Scott being fresh, if we could win the ball in certain areas and Scott’s pace would get behind him and it paid off.

I know Riley and I can trust him. They changed shape, we changed shape and we brought Riley on and he is a player that likes to get into the box and score goals. I am really pleased for him.

Giving him experience?

Yes but you have to earn it, I don’t give anyone anything for nothing. Another one in training that has stepped up a little bit and said ‘Give me a chance’. That’s why he got it.

READ: Birmingham City player ratings vs Swansea City: Deeney inspires Blues to vital win

Has it taken you a while to trust him or work out how to use him?

I know how to use him, I know what he brings but it’s difficult. I’ve never seen him work as hard out of possession as what I do now.

I felt he was more of a luxury player before, that can play in as a ten. Everyone who says they can play as a ten to me you are a bit of a luxury player.

But he has shown more than that. He has shown he is a ten, luxury player who will also work and compete. He showed that on Wednesday. I thought he was excellent.

That’s why he’s now in and around it.

READ: Lee Bowyer reveals how Birmingham City’s ‘luxury player’ proved himself

What made you decide to make Troy captain?

It was between him and Robbo, it was a difficult decision but I know what it’s like to play for your boyhood club.

For him to captain his boyhood club, I know that would mean a lot to him. I know he is a leader anyway, a winner, a fighter. I believe it was the right decision to make.

Will he keep that?

It depends if he plays the next game.

If he is playing will he be captain?

It depends, I am not going to put myself into a situation where you can come back at me in a month’s time and say ‘Ah, you said…’

I am sure there will be times this season when Troy will be captain.

Troy Deeney
Troy Deeney

What was his reaction when you told him?

I try not to make big deals out of things like that, I didn’t even tell him. Someone else would have told him. I don’t want to put more pressure on him so I have left him out a little bit.

There’s so much pressure, I have been in this situation. You are going to play for your boyhood club, you want to show everyone how good and amazing you are.

Then sometimes you can go the other way because you try too hard but this week in training he has been excellent, a little bit sharper. Maybe that weight off his shoulders has been lifted.

He deserved to be captain because he is a leader, a winner all those things, and it is his boyhood club so I know it might mean the world and give him and us as a team that little bit more of an edge. And it paid off.

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What was said at half time?

I thought we started really quick, the first ten-15 minutes the way we pressed them and won the ball, if you think of Gardner’s chance. That’s high energy.

We played Wednesday, to sustain that is difficult.

The thing we did in the first half was we kept giving them the ball back too cheaply, instead of taking care with that first pass.

Again I thought we could have slipped through the sides of them, Scotty’s chance, I felt we could have done that in the first half as well.

Lee Bowyer
Lee Bowyer

That’s all I said to them at half time ‘Trust the press. You have seen what it does in the first 15-20 minutes but you can’t go in ones or twos, you all have to go’.

And yes it’s risky because someone could get turned but if you do it right you will get chances.

I said ‘Please just take care of that first and second pass because if you do that you are going to get slipped in one-on-one’

That’s what they did, they took the information and they put it into practice. They did really well.

That’s what Scott brings…

That’s why I started him instead of Riley because I knew we would get that from him. That’s why he started.

Feel for Scott after that one-on-one?

You don’t feel sorry for someone because they miss a one-on-one, he has to be more clinical.

He has to be because that could be the difference between me sitting here now and us as a football club with one point or three points.

I didn’t see them miss their one-on-one. His was harder than Scotty’s. Scotty knows. He’s disappointed and rightly so.

birmingham city scott hogan
Scott Hogan of Birmingham City.

But the thing that pleases me more than anything, of course I want him to score the goal, he puts himself in that situation. He could easily stand on the half-way line and not put himself in that situation and make that run.

But he is brave enough to make that run. Should he score? Yes. Will he score in the future, chances like that? Yes of course he will.

He is human, he is trying to do the right thing. It just ain’t going his way at the moment.

Jeremie Bela situation….

I thought he might have been fit for today, he’s not far away but Jordan was excellent for someone who doesn’t even defend really. I thought defensively he was outstanding.

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