MAIKEL CAN RUN HIMSELF INTO THE GROUND
MAIKEL Kieftenbeld is more than happy to be a box-to-box midfielder for Birmingham City, even if that means he doesn’t get to complete the full 90 minutes.
The Dutch midfielder has been instructed by boss Gianfranco Zola to get himself into the opposition’s penalty area to support the lone striker.
However, that doesn’t mean Kieftenbeld can neglect his defensive duties and the 26-year-old knows there are fresh legs on the bench to replace him once he’s given everything for the team.
“The manager has given me a bit of a different role. Even if we play with one striker, he still wants people in the box,” he explained.
“It was funny before Wolves as he pulled me and David Davis over and said he wanted us to play like second strikers when crosses came over and get into the box.
“The manager wants me to defend as well but make it into the box.
“Myself and David Davis, we have to run a lot, but we can. It’s one of our strongest points.
“It’s hard, but I don’t care. We need to play compact as well as get forward.
“If we can do that for the team, that’s what we will do. If you see the bench we can make changes if needed.
“I have to run and, if I do that for 60, 70 minutes, then you have Maghoma on the bench, Stewart on the bench, Frei on the bench, Gleeson on the bench.”
With plenty of miles to be covered, the Dutchman added that the support of the home crowd at St Andrew’s has a big part to play.
“It’s a hard time for the fans as well at the moment, but you can’t say they don’t give us support and that’s what we need,” Kieftenbeld added.
GRAFT: Maikel Kieftenbeld