Birmingham boss Chris Hughton feels his side were taught a lesson as the harsh realities of European football came home to roost in Blues' 3-1 Europa League Group H defeat to Braga
Shortly fter Adam Rooney missed a sitter in the fourth minute, Helder Barbosa thundered a 20-yard volley beyond Boaz Myhill. The former Hull goalkeeper was beaten again on the hour when Lima cracked in a 12-yard half-volley and, although Marlon King gave the Blues hope in the 71st minute, Barbosa finished a counter-attacking move late on to seal the win.
"I've no arguments with the result," said Hughton. "What we saw in Braga was a team who once they got into the forward areas and close to goal, they were more clinical and showed better quality than we did."
He added: "At 2-1 we were the team in the ascendancy, and if anybody was going to get the next goal, then it was possibly going to be us.
"But when you are playing against a side of the quality of Braga that have the experience they do, there is always the possibility of getting caught on the counter-attack, and that is what happened."
There were plenty of positives for Hughton, not least that of King - a controversial signing given his prison record and undertaking to re-sign with Coventry early in the summer, before opting to join Birmingham.
"Marlon showed the quality of player he is," Hughton said.
"When you consider, that apart from coming on as a sub on Sunday, that was the first game he had played for some time (due to a knee injury), he has done very well. His goal will be a fantastic confidence boost for him.
"Marlon is a very good player, and not only did he get a goal, but his performance... I wasn't sure I'd be able to get 90 minutes from him considering what he has missed in pre-season.
"But it's testimony to the medical staff and sports science people who have worked him very hard in that period of time. So I'm very encouraged by him. He'll be a big part of what we are trying to achieve."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms