Football - Clark hails beaten Blues

Birmingham boss Lee Clark was delighted with the performance of his injury-hit side despite a 1-0 defeat at Brighton.

PA Sport Report

The result ended Blues' 10-match unbeaten run and, apart from complaining at a lack of quality in the final third of the field, Clark was more than satisfied with the effort of his depleted squad.

He said: "We were exceptional under the circumstances. We've a depleted squad and had lost five players from the starting 11 since Boxing Day.

"We got into some great situations, but our final ball was not to the required or usual standard. It's frustrating for the players because they've given me absolutely everything again.

"But we have to go again and go on another unbeaten run. The level of performance in terms of effort and application was there again. I can't complain about what the players have given."

Clark is relishing the challenge of producing a competitive team while balancing the books, and was delighted with the way teenager Reece Brown responded after coming off the bench.

He admitted: "It's getting harder because I'm losing players but Reece came to the fore today."

Clark also explained three loan players had been recalled to their clubs, decreasing the size of his injury-hit squad.

"The young players have been brilliant for me," he said. "I hope to add one or two to the group as well as having players come back from injury.

"We've lost Dan Burn, Jesse Lingard and Aaron McLean to their parent clubs and that's been a blow to us."

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