Often Partisan

Injury Problems and Squad Opportunities

Birmingham City have some real injury worries ahead of their game against Middlesbrough tomorrow. Jon Toral (dead leg) and Nicolai Brock-Madsen (ankle) could miss the game in addition to longer term absentees Paul Robinson, David Cotterill, Clayton Donaldson and Koby Arthur.

With Jacques Maghoma also missing training due to his partner giving birth and Tomasz Kuszczak being ill most of this week it’s going to be a very interesting squad that Blues put out tomorrow. Defensively Blues should be okay but in attack Blues are especially light. Should Maghoma not make it then Gary Rowett may have to give Viv Solomon-Otabor his first start for the club in what is a very tricky away game.

James Vaughan will return to the squad having been ineligible against his parent team and it’s likely he’ll start instead of Brock; Blues will have to change their plans slightly to make the most of his pace rather than lumping up balls for their striker to win and hold up play with.

One player who could benefit from the paucity of fit squad members is midfielder Charlee Adams. The 20-year-old made his Blues debut as an 89th minute sub in the 3-0 win over Bristol Rovers in January 2014 but has not been near the first team since. However, a good loan spell last season at Lincoln City raised his stock and word from inside St Andrew’s is that he has pushed his claims further this year – to the point where he may have overtaken Reece Brown as the next cab off the Academy rank.

As much as it shows the thinness of the squad having to look to our kids I am actually quite happy with it; if Blues are to become more self-sufficent then it’s imperative we look within for squad additions and with the end of the emergency loan system next season the u21 team is going to become of importance to bulk out the squad. I think this shows in the fact Blues are looking at players like 19 year old Bradley Ash as a potential development player to come in – after all, if Blues bring in five players at u21 level and one makes it (even as a sale to another club) then it’s worth it.

I’m not expecting anything from the Boro game and perversely I think that could work in Blues’ favour; Boro will be the ones who are expected to break Blues down and if they can defend a bit better than they did against Huddersfield then there is always the chance we could nick something on the break. What it comes down to is how positive Blues are – defending is important but if we can play with the intent going forward we showed against Fulham then we can win it – play just to park the bus and we’ll more than likely fail.

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22 Responses to “Injury Problems and Squad Opportunities”

  • DoctorD says:

    I’d take a 0-0 all day long.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I haven’t seen us park the bus at any away game I’ve been to this season so Ime not expecting it tomorrow neither no matter what eleven we play .. Boro will have most of the ball but that’s nothing new and we will have to defend for our lives but on the break if it’s Gray, Solaman, Maghoma , Toral or Vaughan we have the pace to cause them problems .. No pressure , No expectations .. Looking forward to a good day win loose or draw because there’s nothing like playing away if you know what I mean ! Kro

  • Swedish Bluenose says:

    I don’t know the severeness of Paul Robinson’s injury but if he could play I would love it. He has a never-say-die attitude that can lift the whole team. I could also think of moving Jon Spector to the left instead of Grounds and give Greg Halford a chance in the middle – or the opposite. If GR has loaned Halford in a short-term deal he has to use him.
    It would really be interesting to see what Charlie Adams could do on the midfield if he gets the chance.
    And I guess we’re all looking forward to see what James Vaughan can do. I hope for the best, he is fast, he has experience and he is a Bluenose …

    • Dave Mann says:

      James Vaughan came on at Brighton and he looked lively and that’s when we had our best period of the game , must start tomorrow . Kro

  • Marky mark says:

    Tough place to go at any time, but with an injury savaged squad dont expect to get anything.

    Hopefully the team will put in a good effort win lose or draw to reward those fans that are travelling,
    sometimes thats all you can ask for.

    I wont be able to go tomorrow, but respect to those who are.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Talking of squad opportunities we have two strikers who have scored 19 goals between them in the last 10 games for the under 18’s.
    Their names are David Popa and Ronan Hale. Hale in particular reminds me of a young Michael Owen in style and eye for goal. Hale like all good strikers shoots first time. He doesn’t hesitate by trying to trap the ball first and lose the opportunity to shoot.

  • Halford must play , groundsy needs a rest , Maghoma is a must with Vaughan , he who dares ,

  • Mitchell says:

    In every area Middlesbrough. are by far superior- which by our nature of being BCFC is likely to bring us a 1-0 win. That’s us perverse to the extreme. Point is we should not plan any in depth strategy or plan b or c etc. Our whole season is unpredictable. No two games are the same. Ask us to beat the lowly teams then that is a bridge too far- but Borough away put your house on it. Sticking my neck at 1-0 Blues.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    See Robert Tesche an unused sub for Forest again and it does make you wonder if it’s beyond the realms of possibility that he could come back on loan again.It suits all parties as it gives him game time and we all know what a good fit he was at Blues.Why not?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Personally, I’d rather pass on Tesche. He’s hardly had any football for months and I’d prefer to have players who can hit the ground running, not take weeks to get up to fitness. We’ve had enough of those lately.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Our only hope against Middlesboro is to flood the midfield, get as many men behind the ball as possible and try to restrict them to long range shots. We’re clearly not going to outplay them, so the only way is to try to frustrate them. They’re going to be quick down the wings, which is why I haven’t included caddis or Grounds, who are both suseptible to pace.

    Kuszczak

    Halford Morrison Spector Lowry

    Kieftenbeld Davis

    Maghoma Gleeson Gray

    Vaughan

    • Mitchell says:

      looking at your back 4really brings it home as to what our alternatives to Caddis and Grounds is. Makes you thankful we have already amassed 28 points. Another 18 should do it.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        My thinking is, that Halford has long legs and height, so he shouldn’t be easilt passed, on the deck or over his head. There’s his long throws too. With Lowry, we need someone in there with a bit of tenacity. We’re far too easily beaten at full back these days.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I got slaughtered for picking that same back four just over a week ago but somethings got to give in defence so let’s see where our manager goes . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Whether Adomah is up against Caddis or Grounds, he’ll leave them for dead. We need solidity in defence and, at the moment, we haven’t got that. Changes are needed. What was that old saying? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results lol

  • Mitchell says:

    Cannot believe GR comments about Vaughan and Huddersfield holding the power as to whether we can buy him or not. His attitude in training-his comments to other players as to whether they think Gary will sign him etc. I know GR loves his attitude but for heavens sake keep blinking quiet until he has hit the back of the net a few times. Really surprised by these comments from GR. Young and naive come to mind.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      At the end of the day, if he does well and scores goals, which we hope he does, the the Udds will want him in their team for sure. He could always ask for a transfer I suppose.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Just getting ready to go to Middlesbrough … Those of you interested I will give you my honest opinions on the game , the good the bad and the ugly .. See you later . Kro


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