Manchester City 4 Birmingham City 1: 'Humiliated' Bruce vows to find cure for Blues

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The Independent Football

Steve Bruce confessed to being "embarrassed and humiliated" by his Birmingham team's latest abject performance in a season threatening to end in relegation.

The Birmingham manager has been told by the St Andrew's board that his position is secure but he admitted he had to consider how much of the side's sharp decline is down to him.

"It is hard to go on live television and to face the media when your team has been totally and utterly humiliated," he said. "It was the worst performance I have had as a manager and ultimately I am responsible. And I can't just accept it. I am embarrassed to be associated with it."

It would be a surprise, none the less, were Bruce to walk. When he insisted he "would not go down without a fight", it was clear he intends to do his utmost to restore his reputation by turning the side's fortunes around, with the players paying the price for too many sub-par performances. "The team needs emergency surgery," he added.

The rout was under way within the first minute with a goal timed at 42 seconds. From a corner, Antoine Sibierski headed goalwards and Darius Vassell knocked it into the path of full-back David Sommeil, who lashed it past a helpless Nico Vaesen.

A 15th-minute penalty enabled the home side to assume control. Joey Barton converted after Vaesen had brought down Vassell. After 40 minutes the points were Manchester City's as Sibierski headed a thirdfrom Barton's free-kick. Bradley Wright-Phillips added a fourth only 90 seconds after taking the field.

Jiri Jarosik, the Birmingham substitute, repeated the feat and Birmingham's misery was complete when Vaesen was sent off in stoppage time, earning a yellow card for handling outside the box, having been booked for the foul leading to the penalty.