Hughton: Europe helps us

PA Sport
Chris Hughton
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Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton admitted Birmingham are enjoying the real benefits of their Europa League exertions having extended their winning sequence to six matches in all competitions with a 1-0 victory over Leeds.

Many observers felt Blues would struggle this season juggling a 46-match npower Championship season as well as their European adventure, which can often be the case for clubs with smaller squads who are unused to the testing demands.

But Hughton said: "There have certainly been some real benefits from it (Europe), which have been that it has given us some continuity, it's allowed us to use the squad and I think that's probably the area that has benefited us."

He added: "For us it has gone well, I have been able to make some changes and it's allowed us to have some really good competition in the squad.

"At the moment it's healthy, where it becomes a little bit more difficult is the period of time you go through when there's a few injuries. At the moment we're in decent shape."

Leeds boss Simon Grayson felt his side deserved reward for their efforts at St Andrew's, but was ultimately left to rue a lack of killer instinct in the final third.

Adam Clayton's first-half volley forced Blues goalkeeper Boaz Myhill into an excellent save before Ross McCormack, the Championship's joint-top scorer with nine goals this season, was also denied by a super stop late on.

"I think we deserved something from the game," he said. "I thought we played very well. We were the team who passed the ball around well and created some good opportunities, we worked their back four and the goalkeeper.

"Unfortunately we couldn't do the hardest thing that happens in football and score a goal, but we know Birmingham are a very organised and experienced team and you've seen from their record so far they don't give much away.

"But I don't think we could have done too much more in terms of trying to win the game."

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