Maghoma’s fac­ing a month on side­lines

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Foot­ball Writer

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

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