Maghoma’s facing a month on sidelines
INFLUENTIAL winger Jacques Maghoma is set for a month on the sidelines, Birmingham City manager Garry Monk revealed.
The flying wide man missed Saturday’s 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday with the ankle injury he sustained the previous week against Reading.
Maghoma has undergone tests and is aiming to return for the Second City derby at Villa Park on Sunday, November 25.
Monk revealed: “We got the scan back, it’s not bad news, but it’s not good news either.
“We are probably looking at the second week in the international break – maybe coming back into training.
“The target is to be fit for the Aston Villa game.”
Monk’s modest squad has been stretched further by an injury to Harlee Dean.
The centre-back had to be replaced by Marc Roberts just 13 minutes into the defeat of Wednesday after he “fell awkwardly on his hip”.
“He felt when he was trying to stride out that he couldn’t properly, so we had to make that change,” Monk added.
“In terms of Harlee’s reaction it doesn’t seem too serious. The good thing is now we have a week to recover and prepare the players. I am hoping that’s not too serious.”
Blues fell behind to a Steven Fletcher goal, just six minutes after Dean was forced off. But they came roaring back and secured a fourth successive win thanks to goals from Connor Mahoney, Lukas Jutzkiewicz and Che Adams.
Dean was quick to applaud the team’s spirit after a comeback win that extended Blues’ unbeaten run to 11 games.
“I’m delighted for the lads to turn that around,” he said. “It’s another win at the end of a tough week.
“Belief and togetherness is key and we have it in abundance.”
Dean is now in danger of missing his first Championship of match of the season. The former Brentford man has been a rock at the back for Blues, but Monk won’t be too despondent if he has to select Roberts for Saturday’s visit to promotion rivals Derby County.
Monk was hugely impressed with substitute Roberts’ display last weekend on what was only his fourth appearance of the season and second on home soil.
“It was Robbo who came on and was the one competing and trying to show an example to the rest of the team that that’s what’s needed,” Monk said.
“I thought he did excellently from the moment he walked on.
“He started to compete with their strikers, how we should have done from the start – and set the tone for us. We spoke about that at half-time about Robbo doing that and second half we managed to become more like ourselves which enabled us to go on and beat a very good side.”
Mahoney equalised on the stroke of half-time, but it didn’t save the players from a ticking-off at the interval. Monk admitted a few stern words were exchanged and they had the desired effect, with Jutzkiewicz and Adams scoring late on to clinch the points.
“The standard we are trying to set, we couldn’t accept that (first half ) performance,” Monk said. “Wednesday are a very good side and in 30 minutes they could have been out of sight. We got lucky in that period.
“We managed to overcome it with a good goal from Connor. At half-time we changed a few things to what they should be.
“I also understand this was the third game in a week, with the way we play and the physicality that we use, but still we don’t take that as an excuse.”
>Jacques Maghoma battles for the ball with Liam Kelly of Reading