Birmingham City 3 Wigan Athletic 2: Prospective owner has confidence in capable Bruce

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Whether it placates David Sullivan is another matter, but Steve Bruce is scenting victory behind the scenes in addition to the vital one with which his players ended a trying month.

Three hours after the final whistle at St Andrew's, Birmingham City's manager emerged from a meeting with the club's prospective buyer Carson Yeung convinced there was common ground between them.

"We know what he has done for the club and we will be very supportive of him when we take control soon," Yeung said. "I don't plan any big changes when we take over."

No doubt the atmosphere was helped by the salvaging of three points, if not by the warning in the programme from Sullivan, currently co-owner, that Yeung was damaging the club by dragging out his purchase and therefore the issue of a new contract for Bruce. He has already told his would-be successor to assume control by Christmas or take his dollars elsewhere.

The millionaire Hong Kong-based businessman doesn't want to fan those flames and claims everything was "fine" in the boardroom on Saturday. More so, presumably, after Birmingham had brought an exciting end to a run of four defeats and four games in five without scoring.

Wigan Athletic, themselves now beaten in five successive matches, played a full part and left with empty hands. On an afternoon of cheap goals, they twice went ahead through Marcus Bent, the second time following a grotesque mix-up between Stephen Kelly and Maik Taylor, only to lose to a needless penalty – one that Bruce bizarrely couldn't watch – Liam Ridgewell's tap-in from a corner and a sweet second strike of the day by Olivier Kapo. Despite Chris Kirkland's excellence, they are conceding at a disturbing rate although their manager Chris Hutchings put Emile Heskey at the top of a list of absent or returning players as he argued: "On and off, we've been disrupted quite a bit."

For now, Birmingham appear closer to the survival formula. Apart from drawing at Anfield, all their points-harvesting has been against potential fellow strugglers, which could be crucial come spring. Progress is as unspectacular as 11 points and 11 goals from 11 games sounds yet Bruce's insistence that he has a brighter, better squad is supported by occasional flashes of quality. Kapo again looked a class act, although his match-winning contribution was overshadowed by Daniel De Ridder in both his home debut and his first Premier League start. The Dutch winger, signed from Celta Vigo in the summer, tormented Wigan's left flank and brought two fine saves from Kirkland, one from a free-kick that showed why Bruce handed set-piece duties to him almost lock, stock and barrel.

He has been missed since his injury at Chelsea on the opening Sunday of the season and was given a warm ovation when substituted.

There's an unmistakable warmth towards Bruce, and Ridgewell said: "We want the gaffer here. He is our leader." Yeung, clapping enthusiastically at full-time, didn't look like a man who wanted to turn his back on the fun – or the manager.

Goals: 0-1 Bent (23); 1-1 Kapo (26, pen); 1-2 Bent (59); 2-2 Ridgewell (67); 3-2 Kapo (82)

Birmingham City (4-4-2): Taylor; Kelly, Schmitz, Ridgewell, Queudrue; De Ridder (McSheffrey, 90), Muamba (O'Connor, 61), Nafti, Palacios (Larsson, 78); Jerome, Kapo. Substitutes not used: Kingson (gk), Danns.

Wigan Athletic (4-4-2): Kirkland; Melchiot, Granqvist, Bramble, Kilbane; Valencia, Landzaat, Scharner, Koumas; Bent, Sibierski (Aghahowa, 84). Substitutes not used: Taylor, Pollitt (gk), Boyce, Skoko.

Referee: S Tanner (Bath).

Booking: Wigan: Scharner.

Man of the match: Daniel De Ridder.

Attendance: 27,661.

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