Often Partisan

Kiernan in, Preston Out

Birmingham City have signed former Republic of Ireland u21 defender Rob Kiernan on loan from Wigan Athletic. The 24-year-old has found opportunties limited under Malky Mackay at the DW Stadium and has moved to Blues on an emergency loan which covers the remainder of the season.

It has to be said, the signing of Kiernan hasn’t exactly been met with exultation online and in social media. I get the impression that some fans expected Blues to bring in a player from a team with a higher placing and a bigger reputation than Wigan. Yet without seeing him play I think it’s wrong to judge; Blues are lacking at the back and having seen the effect Michael Morrison has had on the team I’m fairly confident that Rowett knows what he wants from a defender.  I don’t know enough about Kiernan to make a judgement one way or another but one thing I am very aware of is that we were very light at the back and this gives us more cover.

With Blues looking destined for a finish somewhere in midtable mediocrity and with all probability having nothing to play for in the closing weeks one thing I am hoping from Rowett is that he is able to go through the squad fully and work out how we can lose deadwood. Although it often didn’t feel like it Lee Clark has left Blues with a fairly extensive squad and unfortunately there are a lot of players that just don’t add much to the squad than another body. I don’t think thinning the squad is going to be easy; for example Neal Eardley has until June 2016 left on his contract and yet he couldn’t get into the team at League One Leyton Orient; indeed, he returned to Blues with a flea in his ear from the Orient management over a perception of disrespect for not calling in when he was ill.

Eardley isn’t the only player within the squad that I think doesn’t have a future with us yet is tied to us for a long period; both Mark Duffy and David Edgar appear to have fallen massively out of favour and both are contracted to the team until the end of next season. I think it’s one of those things that not every signing is going to come off; for every Morrison, Gleeson, Davis or Grounds there are going to be players like Eardley who just don’t live up to expectation and Blues are paying somewhat for having to rejig the team once a season. I think it’s interesting Rowett has spoken about transfer policy over the next 18 months as I think he understands that there needs to be a more long term developmental policy in place and hopefully with the backing of Panos Pavlakis in the boardroom there is a possible chance of it succeeding.

Blues played two friendlies this week – one behind closed doors at Wast Hills against Oxford United and one in front of fans at AFC Telford allowing Rowett and his staff to give run outs to young and fringe players. Although both games were lost I think both were useful in that Blues got a chance to look at trialists Kees Luyckx, Bilal Yafai and Erico Sousa as well as runouts for players like Mitch Hancox, Will Packwood and Reece Brown. I’m not sure if it’s related but young Blues goalkeeper Callum Preston has today moved on loan to AFC Telford United to help them in their fight against relegation from the Conference.

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19 Responses to “Kiernan in, Preston Out”

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Rowett’s comment earlier this week that Thomas was injured for the Millwall game was misleading as Thomas played a full 90 minutes in the match against Oxford the next day!!
    Blues have some outstanding youth players with the under 18’s in the Quarter Final of the FA Youth Cup. The back four of Perry Cotton, Wes Harding, Josh Martin and Dominic Bernard are particularly promising. With the continuing improvement of Demarai Gray, Reece Brown and Koby Arthur the future looks bright, but I would like to see Brown given a chance in Shinnie’s position before too long.

  • Bluenosegaz says:

    what I did notice against millwall and in other games most of our players are terrible at jumping to head the the ball we do seem to have a lot of small players got no problem with small players but ours don’t seem to be able to jump very high they are useless in the air and are pushed around and pushed off the ball to easy.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    This is Kiernan’s 9th spell on loan in his short career. The expression of deja vu etched on his face in his photo at St Andrews speaks volumes.
    Kiernan at 24 needs to put down roots and cement a consistent place in a team. I hope that team will be Blues and I wish him well.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I agree that we have good youngsters coming through and Reece brown when he first came into the team looked very promising but as fell away slightly… When and only when we have made it mathematically safe from relegation then I would like to see Gary playing some of the fringe places but until then we have to play our strongest 11 and shinnie is without dought one of them because he’s one of the few with a bit of swagger when on the ball though he does now again get it wrong … Ime happy with Kiernan and at 24 and already played 18 games this season he’s ready for first team action straight away if he’s good enough which at the moment with what we’ve got he certainly is in my opinion !! Kro

  • Trevor Honnor says:

    I was at the Telford v Blues game and in fairness, Telford have some BIG experienced lads playing for them. They were too strong for the kids in almost every area of the pitch. Youthful fitness started to show through near the end I think but Telford just dropped a little deeper and coped with Blues.

    Blues played 451 which surprised me. I’d have expected them to be encouraged to push on for a win, all guns blazing. The lad up front for Blues did a lot of running for the (long) ball but never really got a hold of the ball to do much with it, certainly not in the final 3rd. Having said that, they hit the bar and the post but never really troubled the Telford keeper.

    Amarii Bell looked very useful at left back. Really comfortable on the ball and reads the game very well. He never looked out of position and dealt with their winger (and full back at times).

    A side note:
    Telford swapped keepers in the second half and the new keeper changed from an all yellow kit which was worn by the Blues keeper into a bright orange shirt worn by the Telford keeper. I thought at the time that Telford were borrowing a keeper from Blues for the remainder. Perhaps I was right, hence the loan agreement today?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The BM: ‘In fact the 19-year-old, who has previously been put on loan at Conference North side Worcester City, has already made a non-competitive debut for Telford having played for the Bucks against Blues in a friendly on Wednesday night.”

      Well spotted!

  • andy says:

    Gary Rowett knows what Kiernan can offer Blues having worked with him at Burton so I cannot understand why some moan about this type of signing. Remember the loan signings Lee Clark made from clubs with a bigger reputation than Wigan? Tyler Blackett for instance? I must admit I am still baffled by the Edgar situation, he impressed me as a centre back.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    No one can really judge Kiernan before he’s kicked a ball for us… but if he’s not really any better than what we have in reserve (Spector, Packwood etc) then we may as well have saved our money and spent it on a striker for example. Saying that, I hope the lad does well.

    I agree about the deadwood being pruned, but in Duffy’s case, he’s barely had a chance, unlike Eardley, Edgar, Lee etc. This is one signing I’m disappointed about. I don’t call 2 league games, an FA Cup game and 3 sub appearances enough to judge a player. Give him a run of half a dozen games or more, then we can judge better.

    As for the friendlies, both the team played pretty well… but, reading the reports, they let themselves down in front of goal. Sounds familiar.

  • edd77 says:

    Could be a useful addition,my biggest concern is the lack of goals if Donaldson or cotterill dont score we dont, shinnie has done great since rowett came but needs to add goals,with Donaldson being the lone striker the player in that attacking midfield role needs to score

  • Dan Insole says:

    I know most of us are going along with your assumption that we will have a quiet end to the season with nothing to play for but it has to be said (not trying to be negative) we are only 8 points above the bottom three. A defeat at home to Middlesborough and we could fall a few places and see the points gap reduced. With 16 games to go I think we have a long way yet. I am much more optimistic under Rowett and I’m sure we will be fine but until we are mathematically safe I wouldn’t want the squad to be thinned any more so than it is now. We have seen with recent relegations from the EPL that a bad run at the end of the season can lead to you falling through the trap door when none of us saw it coming …

  • rhees says:

    You got to trust GR if he wants him he sees something he likes

  • Dave Mann says:

    If he’s good enough for the first team then all well and good but just as back up then forget it because hangers on are hanging around pointless and need moving on … I think he should replace Robinson as partner to Morrison for a couple of games to see how it goes then judge then, until then lets hold opinion because let’s be honest none of us thought Morrison was gonna be so good did we ? …yeah exactly!! Kro

  • tony allen says:

    I wish the people having a pop at Rowett realise that he might go in the summer if the current owners are still here and say sorry no money to spend the Greek and rowett are our only hope at the moment

  • fergy says:

    Im a blue through and through but ive been living in wigan for the last eighteen years over the last couple of seasons I watched quite a few wigan home games and rob kiernan has always been there stand out player he really is a class act just fallen out of favour be assured he is a fantastic signing

  • stevieF1 says:

    Blues do have something to play for……..I’m double or quits with a Forest supporter that we finish above them after doing the double over them!!!

  • Pete says:

    Every league place is an additional £200,000 prize money. Each place is crucial.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Not in the championship pete!! Kro

  • Always a Blue says:

    Morrison (as good as he is )missing has nothing to do with current run it is scoring goals which has become a problem,

    Since Gra hasn’t started we have struggled.


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