Monday, January 5, 2009
Blues boss hopes Kelly can now bounce back from injury
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is hoping that fit again Stephen Kelly will return eager to bounce back from his early season misery.
The Ireland international is back in contention after three months out with a thigh muscle injury.
Prior to picking up his injury, the right-back was forced to play second fiddle to Stuart Parnaby at the start of the season.
Ironically Kelly was Blues’ only ever present outfield player last season yet he has only made one start and three substitute appearances during the current Championship campaign.
Now, with Nicky Hunt having been recalled by Bolton Wanderers, Kelly, for whom Blues rejected a £2.7 million bid from Fulham in the summer, will attempt to outmuscle Parnaby from the right-back berth.
And McLeish now wants to see the hungry Dubliner looking to make amends for his lack of action so far this season.
“Stephen Kelly hopefully comes back with all guns blazing,” said McLeish.
“He will be disappointed at not starting earlier in the season and I think it set him back a wee bit mentally, then, of cours,e he got an injury.
‘‘So I will be looking for Kel to come back and try to give Parnaby huge competition for the spot.
“I think Stephen will be anxious to get his head down and get back into the team, he’s been out for such a while I’m sure that will be his first mission.
“Stephen’s return to fitness has been absolute perfect timing"