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Who’s Left For Leeds?
Blues face Leeds on Saturday with a squad that is decimated by injuries leading Lee Clark to remark that a minimum of ten of the travelling squad of 20 will be under the age of 20. With so many players out I thought it might be wise to look at precisely who is fit and who isn’t.
Injured: Marlon King, Peter Lovenkrands, Akwasi Asante
Suspended: Nikola Zigic
Cup-Tied: Jake Jervis
Blues are even more short-handed in the striker department with Jake Jervis being ineligble for this game having played in the FA Cup for Tranmere Rovers against Braintree. With the 21-year-old forward out it leaves just non-contract player Marcel Henry-Francis (18) and second year scholar Reece Hales (17) as the only out-and-out strikers who are fit and available.
Injured: Hayden Mullins, Darren Ambrose, Papa Bouba Diop
Doubtful: Jonathan Spector, Callum Reilly, Chris Burke
Compassionate Leave: Keith Fahey
Ineligble to Play: Robert Hall
With West Ham United denying Rob Hall permission to play this game and Hayden Mullins (and possibly Jonathan Spector and Callum Reilly) picking up knocks that will rule them out, Blues have some headaches in the middle of the park. Chris Burke was ill and missed training on Thursday so could also miss out, meaning Blues would be left with just Nathan Redmond, Morgaro Gomis, Wade Elliott, Ravel Morrison, Josh Hawker and 18-year-old Eddy Gnahoré who was handed a squad number yesterday who are definitely fit and can travel.
Injured: Stephen Carr, Paul Caddis, David Murphy, Emmitt Delfouneso
Doubtful: Will Packwood
Blues have less injuries in the backline – which is a good thing because it’s probably the part of the team that has the lowest number of players. Packwood picked up severe cramp against Cardiff City but should be okay to play and he will join Paul Robinson, Mitch Hancox, Curtis Davies, Pablo Ibanez, Steven Caldwell and possibly 19-year-old Jack Deaman and 17-year-old James Fry as being fit to travel.
All three of Blues keepers – Jack Butland, Colin Doyle and Nick Townsend should be fit to travel.
There is of course the question of players being “rested” so that they aren’t cup-tied and thus are more saleable in the transfer window which could rule out the likes of Davies and Butland from the team also.
Of the names listed above 16 (18 if you count Deaman and Fry) are definitely fit to travel with decisions to be made on another four. One could almost joke that the Blues side is so young it’s the MILFs you have to watch for rather than the WAGs…
Whilst there has been much criticism of Lee Clark I honestly believe if he can get any kind of performance out of a squad with that many injured, that many kids and that many rookies then he will have done well. It’s going to be an experience for a lot of our younger players and hopefully it will be one that will help to positively shape their careers.
Edit 11:40 January 4
18-year-old non contract player Ryan Higgins has been given squad number 40. Higgins is primarily a right-back but can also play right midfield.