Harry Redknapp admitted he was convinced at half-time that we'd go on to clinch victory at Birmingham on Saturday.
However, the manager also felt the need for the cushion of a second goal - and he was proved right as the resilient home side pushed us back before equalising in the 81st minute as it ended 1-1 on an icy afternoon at St Andrew's.
Sebastien Bassong had fired us into a 1-0 lead as we dominated the first half against a team with just one home defeat in the last 27 matches.
Further chances came and went, that second goal proved elusive and the arrival of six-foot-eight striker Nikola Zigic just before the hour helped the Blues get a territorial grip on the game, rewarded by Gardner's late header.
"When we came in at half-time I couldn't see any other result but three points for us," said Harry.
"We absolutely dominated the first half but at half-time I felt we just needed that second goal.
"I said that there were more goals for us, so let's not sit back, let's be positive, keep going forward, keep playing, but we started dropping deeper.
"They brought Zigic on and started hitting him with diagonal balls, and he started winning headers.
"They were always looking to run off him and they pinned us in a little by doing that.
"Gardner kept running forward and eventually got on the end of one. That was always going to be the problem but we sat too deep in the second half.
"That's how it goes. They never give up, Birmingham. You know they will work hard and keep going. Alex (McLeish) gets everything he possibly can out of them week in, week out.
"I thought we could come here and win and certainly at half-time, I felt sure we would."