Often Partisan

Defensive Cover

Birmingham City held Sheffield Wednesday to a goalless draw last night as they continued their fine run of league form. However, the point came at a price as defender Michael Morrison was withdrawn halfway through the first half with an ankle problem, leaving Blues short in the centre of defence.

In some ways I think it was almost bound to happen; Blues send back Grant Hall from his loan spell and move on David Edgar and poof – there’s an injury in the centre of defence which leaves Blues short of options. Jonathan Spector did okay in the centre back position by all accounts but I don’t think it’s unfair to say the American, who is currently Blues’ highest-paid player has suffered his injury problems and the thought is always there as to how long he lasts before he succumbs again to some sort of issue.

The extent of the injury to Morrison isn’t yet known; Gary Rowett has said that it wasn’t as bad as first seemed – which is a good thing, as ankle niggles can easily keep a player out for a period of weeks. However, with Norwich City visiting on Saturday Blues are down to just Paul Robinson and Jonathan Spector with Morrison joining Will Packwood and Gavin Gunning on the sidelines. Packwood is slowly coming back to training but will need match action in the u21s before returning to the first team; Gunning is still some way away – with the upshot being that Blues will now have to step up their plans to bring in cover.

In the meantime, Blues do have options in Jonathan Grounds – who can move in from left back with Mitch Hancox coming into the left back position; alternatively both James Fry and Nat Kelly have done fairly well for the u21s this season and it may be time for one of them to step up to the bench to act as cover. With Paul Robinson on seven yellow cards there is also the chance that we may lose the veteran former Bolton man to suspension for a game or two as well and as such I think it wouldn’t be the worst idea to at least get Fry and Kelly into a matchday situation as the 19th or 20th man, warming up with the team so if called upon they’re not immediately overawed by the occasion.

If Blues are to bring in cover for the weekend a signing will need to be made quickly; a player has to be registered by midday on Friday to be eligible for Saturday’s game. Although the transfer window closes Monday night at 11pm, Blues do also have the option of the emergency loan window too; which opens a week after the transfer window shuts to bring in a player on at least a temporary basis. Colin Tattum did mention last night that Blues have got some room to manouevre wage-wise; they can’t go silly in bringing someone in but there is money there if it’s needed to bring in someone in the centre back slot.

One of the challenges of a smaller squad that Rowett desires is that when injuries and suspensions hit a manager needs to be able to shuffle his pack and bring in players who can maintain the quality of the team; I think the next couple of weeks could present a new test for the Bromsgrove Mourinho – but as a firm believer in the Rowett Revolution I think he’s up to it.

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62 Responses to “Defensive Cover”

  • Tony E says:

    Perhaps we will soon learn if the Ben Turner rumours are true, I wish Cardiff would hurry up and complete their signing of Huth as then things might happen.

  • @85Coy says:

    Rowett seemed confident over Morrison, saying bringing him off was more of a precautionary move. I am sure a new cb is immanent and we are just waiting on the transfer merry go round. G Dorrans would be a fantastic addition should we manage to pull that one off.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Rowett said there be a couple of players coming in this week so lets see what we get and have a strong team for Norwich… Dimmi gray rumours gathering pace with Liverpool but dorrans and turner would do for me so it’s all systems go over the next few days at the blues I would imagine.kro

  • Richard Granfield says:

    As I have posted before Gary is slowly but surely shipping out Clark signings he doesn’t want and replacing them with his own men. In the short term this will leave us light in certain positions, but in the medium to long term it is to the benefit of the team.
    Gary has done very well with the players he has inherited, just think what he can achieve with his own choices.
    Contrast Gary’s measured steps to improve the squad with Clark’s revolution at Blackpool, where 37 players have made their debut this season!

    • DoctorD says:

      I’m not defending Clark at all, but his hand has been forced as well by the increasingly bizarre actions of the Blackpool owners, including banning him from playing youth players or even allowing them to train with the squad.

      • chas says:

        You are right ,Doc. I have no love for Clark but the goings on by the Chairman leave a lot to be desired.I honestly cant see how anyone could work properly under the conditions and when you realise it is Lee Clark,well,he has no chance.

        • Tony says:

          Maybe just maybe Clark is an appalling manager, never mind the chairman or anything else, he has had recent premiership players in that squad ie Eagles O hara, etc. and still its pathetic.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        The two young players at Blackpool were offered £200p/w contracts, which they obviously refused to sign. Now the chairman has blocked them from being part of the first team squad until they sign. Plus, most players brought in are on one month contracts. There can be no consistency in form with that kind of system. Apparently, from what I’ve read, they have the money, the chairman just won’t spend it, except on himself. Madness. And we think we have it bad.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Can’t see Dorrans being an option. Colin Tattum said quite specifically last night that it’s a Championship midfielder we’re in for. He reckons the signing will “excite” fans if it comes off. For me, central defence has to be the priority… even if Morrison is fit. Sorry, but Spector doesn’t fill me with confidence, whichever position he plays.

    It’s unclear yet how Rowett views our younger players. Gray is a regular and Arthur has had a sniff here and there, but there haven’t really been signs of anyone else making the step up. If the younger players don’t make the first team squad, or at least go out on loan, I can’t see them progressing.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The Gray rumours are getting tedious now. Either way, whether he stays or goes, I wish they’d just get on with it, so we can see what we have for the rest of the season. £4m + add ons should do it.

    • mark says:

      Hi staffs, yes liverpool will surely match any figure that any other club come in with…..SOMEONE in the B’ham mail said if we wait 12 months we probably get 20 million for him they certainly need to wake up and smell the coffee…i said sometime back NR is a much better player imo….between 4 and 5 million that should conceal the deal….

      • StaffsBlue says:

        To be honest mark, as much a prospect as he is, I’m not sure he’ll ever be as effective as Redmond. Far too many step-overs and not enough end product for me. I think £4/5m plus a decent sell-on and we’ll have done good business. He’s definitely not irreplaceable.

        • Eveshamblue says:

          DG is a way better player than NR at his age. I think he is going all the way IMO. He came on vs Baggies and nearly scored not to mention he is GR’s first choice. I do wonder tho about Dyer being cover for if Demarai goes. He excites me when he plays. A match winner with plenty of skill

          • Eveshamblue says:

            Imagine if we had kept our best young players over the years?Mutch, Redmond etc needs must I guess. I really trust Rowett a lot more than Clark for sure!!!

          • Shirley Blue says:

            Totally agree Evasham Blue. Gray is a better player now than Redmond will ever be. A real gem we will miss badly.

  • a hawkins says:

    Hi mate, Ezewish donated a signed football at the recent Wigan game to Homestart, Northfield. We are currently auctioning it on Ebay Ref No 251811050967. if any bluenoses are interested please bid. All proceeds go towards Homestart,Northfield who help families by befriending with the help of parent volunteer.

    • Tony says:

      Dan, this guy seems to use this blog as a frequent advertising platform for his charities, never any mention of Football.

      • ahawkins says:

        I regular post comments about our club who i am so passionate about but for today im just trying to make a difference by trying to raise money for a deserved charity that works so hard for families that are living in hard times. Is that so wrong?

      • Luke says:

        IMHO, it’s a good cause and isn’t really too invasive here. If you’re not interested in the ball on offer or in supporting the charity, why not just ignore the post?

    • ahawkins says:

      Hi again, can i also add that Homestart Northfieĺd is losing more and funding so have to find other ways of fundraising. So many families with under 5s rely on Homestart for their support. We not only cover Northfield but also the surrounding areas. So please make a different by placing a bid for the signed Birmingham City ball.

  • Alan Crawford says:

    Sorry if someone already mentioned it but fair play to Gardner for not celebrating either of the goals on Saturday. It would be nice if we could sign Turner given he’s also a big fan of the club.

  • nicko says:

    also on gardner he went all around the ground clapping the blues supporters.turner would love to join us as would craig davis and troy deeney all big blue noses kro

  • a hawkins says:

    I regular make comments about our club so i care very much but i also care about what happens around us and that is why i did wot i did.

    • almajir says:

      Sometimes comments get held for moderation – mostly due to a link being in the comment, but sometimes it does it erratically. As I’m not around to monitor comments 24/7 I can only approve them when I’m able to log on – hence sometimes there is a delay. I know it’s annoying but unfortunately that is the way it is.

  • Dave Mann says:

    As well as Robinson and Spector did last night according to Gary rowett that partnership frightens me slightly so Morrison hopefully is not to bad and another centre half is a must and be big and strong and good enough to cope with strikers the size of Anichebe , another attacking midfielder also is what we’re looking for so those positions must be filled by Friday or Monday night rather than leave it till the loan market opens … If we can spend a few quid do it now before our bubble bursts and we start dropping down the table ! ..I hope not!! Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    A 4th Bournemouth for Gray bid rejected now apparently.

  • a hawkins says:

    Im pretty sure every player has a price and i fear that if it was around 10 million then Gray would be on his way.

  • Alex T says:

    just goes to show how much we got stiffed for Nathan Redmond, as imo he was a much more exciting prospect, putting regular game changing performances in (from first kick off not just half way into 2nd half) and we only got 3 or 4 million for him

    WELL DONE PANNU (nob end)

  • Dave Mann says:

    If we get 10 million for gray I would sell him then throw a party!!!kro

  • rhees says:

    Hope Morrison fit for Saturday,which club is turner playing for at moment

  • Eric says:

    Dan – Please do not refer to Gary Rowett as Maurinho, who is a man so arrogant and mouthy and so unlike Rowett..

    • raymondo says:

      My pet hate with Jose Mourinho is that he lets BBC and ITV commentators consistently pronounce his name wrong, In Portuegese a name beginning with a J is pronounced as if it began with an H and Mourinho does end in in eo or io but simply o. So it’s not JO-say morinEO it Ho-say MorinO. But I still don’t like his arrogance. It was apparently His teams fault that they lost in the cup, not because the opposition were better on the day. Anyway who cares about London teams, or Manchester or Merseyside. Up the Brummies (except Villa of course). KRO

    • Tony says:

      And Eric soooooooooooooooo Good

  • a hawkins says:

    I noticed Sky are saying that Blues have valued Gray at £5 million surely that cant be true.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    The problem with us selling Gray is not how much we get for him,but where the money would end up if we did. It’s no good selling off our young prospects if the proceeds end up in HK keeping BIHL heads above water.

  • Naime787 says:

    Will blues get any money from the mutch deal to palace.

  • Alex T says:

    It would probably get ‘misappropriated’ somewhere…..

  • andy says:

    Birmingham should only sell Gray if he wants to leave. Why keep selling the future of the football club? Oh yes, silly me, the parent company is in a mess

  • A Hawkins says:

    I couldnt agree more, id only consider selling him if we had a silly offer for him. Blues are not in a position where we can buy top quality players so its vital that we hold on too our youngsters.

  • atko says:

    I would be surprised at Gary Rowett taking the job if he knew his best players were going to be sold without him seeing the funds from the sale! He certainly doesn’t look like the kind of manager who will get the best out of players just to make a tidy profit for BIHL!! I’m sure he will have some kind of guarantees that players will only get sold if he says so & any funds from transfers he receives for squad improvements! On the Dermari Gray situation, I would think, or hope anyway, that given the fact they have Sterling, his chances would be very limited at Liverpool & as for Bournemouth, no disrespect but they are a smaller club than Blues. Defensively we need at least one Centre Half if not two. The problem we have is that GR sticks to his ideal eleven where possible so anyone we might be interested in can be forgiven for wondering whether they are going to get a game. The sort that are happy to be paid for not playing are the sort that usually aren’t up to the job when called up!

  • phillip wilkes says:

    Edgar was originally bought in as a midfielder to allow adeyemi to move forward. Things changed with injury to gunning. I believe he is looked upon as a holding midfielder by rowett. Certainly he was a ball watcher at center back.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The only way I would agree to transfer Gray to Liverpool is if we got Jordan Ibe and £1m in exchange!

  • flakey says:

    Who’s the poof we’ve moved on!

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