Birmingham City learn worrying EFL update on eve of Bristol City clash as fans

Contract worry

Garry Monk admits Birmingham City are in limbo over Michael Morrison’s expiring contract.

Blues are currently labouring under an EFL-imposed business plan which covers many areas, including player deals.

The restrictions on the club’s recruitment are well known but those constraints also affect the retention side of squad management.

And they specifically affect the future of Michael Morrison whose contract is due to expire next summer, which Blues would like to renew.

Blues have sought clarity on the situation but are yet to discover whether they can move forward with a player who has been at the club for four years.

Birmingham City v Preston North End

“These are the difficulties for myself,” Monk said.

“It’s not just about what you would have liked to do in the summer to strengthen the squad and players that you can bring in – it’s about the players you have here as well.

“The players are fully aware, and I’ve spoken to players like Michael, not being able to do those sorts of things is not ideal to secure those players’ futures.”

Read Monk’s full update on Morrison here.

Blues fans hit out

Birmingham City’s FA Cup third round tie against West Ham United has been moved to an early kick-off – and plenty of fans aren’t particularly pleased about it.

Blues make the trip down to the capital for the cup clash on Saturday, 5 January, but supporters will have to set their alarms for slightly earlier after the kick-off time was switched.

The game at the London Stadium, which will be the first meeting between the teams for almost seven years, was originally scheduled to kick off at 3pm.

But that has been brought forward to 12:30pm because of overseas transmission.

Fans who will now have to make the journey earlier than planned have had their say about the change on social media.

Here’s how they’ve been reacting.

Dale: Was never going to be a 3pm was it.

Daniel Avery: Cheers nice one son’s crying.

Glenn: 12.30??? Football should about the bloody fans and not TV.

Matthew Jones: Why should OVERSEAS broadcasting dedicate what time the game kicks off… absolute nonsense!

Copo: What a joke, overseas are now dictating when our football matches kick off.

Tony Chudley: Useless for the Blues fans.

Jase: TV ruining the game for the fans!

Darren Pointon: What a load of f*****g rubbish again.

Read more here.

Dream come true

Gary Gardner cherishes his place in Birmingham City history as a ‘dream come true’.

Against Millwall last week the midfielder became one half of the first pair of brothers to play for Blues in 44 years.

The proud moment came when older sibling Craig came off the bench in the 78th minute at the New Den to scribe both their names alongside the great Latchford brothers.

And Gary, who has returned to the team after a two game hiatus, spoke of a significant moment for the club but an even bigger one for his family.

“It was a dream come true, I have waited from a little boy growing up to play with my brother in a professional game,” Gardner told BirminghamLive.

(Image: Roy Smiljanic/BCFC)

“It was a very proud moment for me.

“Without him I wouldn’t have had the career I have had, he has been a massive part and all I can do is thank him.

“Right from being a young kid if I have ever needed advice he has been there for me.

“I am a very lucky lad to have a brother in the same sport as me, who has achieved a lot of things, played ten years in the Prem and come back to Blues and done really well.

“He has been vital for me. I can’t thank him enough.”

Read Gardner’s interview in full here.

Read More

What’s happening at Blues?

Team news

Jota is available for today’s clash with Bristol City.

If selected the Spaniard will make his first appearance in three weeks after picking up a groin/pelvic injury against Hull.

Davis Davis and Isaac Vassell aside, that gives Garry Monk a full squad to choose from going into the busy Christmas period.

“Jota has ben back out training this week and will be ready and available for selection.

“As I said before there was soreness around his groin, a lot of it was dictated by himself, the pain threshold he could handle and could he tolerate the intensity at which we train.

Jota has played 18 games so far this season, scoring once and providing five assists, he will challenge Jacques Maghoma and Connor Mahoney for a starting berth.