Lee Bowyer guided Birmingham City to another valuable point to ensure they remain firmly glued to Coventry City’s Championship coat tails.
The Blues manager has made a real impact since taking over from Aitor Karanka, with his new boss bounce producing two wins and a draw from his first four games in charge of the Sky Blues ’ landlords.
St Andrew’s victories over Reading and Swansea, and last night’s point at Brentford – all top six sides – show that Blues have plenty of fight.
And Bowyer was quick to challenge his relegation rivals after last night’s goalless draw against third from top Bees.
“Seven points in four games is what we had to do to draw other sides into it and ask them the question, ‘can you compete and do what we are trying to do?’
“We’ve taken seven points when everyone expected us to get none and I can’t praise the players enough, they have been excellent.
“And they gave everything again tonight.”
He added: “The players got something they deserved through hard work. To come here and take a point from a top side like Brentford is some achievement.
“We were causing them problems at times and they caused us problems, which I knew and expected. But when our keeper was called upon he stepped up and made saves, so overall I’d like to think we deserved it. In fact at the end, I thought ‘we’re going to nick this’.”
Blues did suffer one setback on the night with the loss of influential midfielder Jon Toral with a hamstring injury.
Bowyer said: “Jon’s injury is a shame. I’m learning every day about the players and Jon is one of those I am thinking ‘I like him and know what he can bring’ and he is working hard off the ball.”
He added: “People expected us to get nothing from our last four but looking at the squad and the physicality we have, if we get the basics right we will cause teams problems. It’s given us a chance and now it’s a different ball game.”
And with home games against stuttering Stoke, fluctuating Nottingham Forest and crumbling Cardiff, and trips to rivals Rotherham, Derby County and a Blackburn Rovers side in free fall, Birmingham’s final run-in looks as good as it gets.