Ever-present Chris Burke is shaping up to become the snip of the summer for Birmingham City.
The 27-year-old flying winger arrived on a Bosman and was one of Alex McLeish’s last signings before he crossed the Second City divide to join Aston Villa.
No other player at Blues has played more minutes than the former Cardiff City and Rangers man this season, and apart from Chris Wood, there isn’t anyone who has had a more positive effect.
In the last three games, Burke has struck three times and admits that he is starting to get used to life at his new club.
“I’m loving it here so far,” said Burke. “It’s a massive club and a great club to play for.
“I’m enjoying it and I’ve settled in very quickly. That’s partly due to the coaching staff and players and stuff like that and long may it continue.
“We’re starting to find a bit of form now which is good. We’ve had a good pre-season and hopefully we can reap the benefits of Europe.
“I thought we finished the Nottingham Forest game very well and strongly. That shows that our fitness is good.
“I thought the first half against Maribor, we played well, and it was just a mistake from us that gave them the life.
“The second half we passed the ball about, and after we got the goal and passed it about there was only one team going to win.
“It’s good to see that we come onto the game and we’ve got that never-say-die attitude.
“We’ve gone down a few times and we keep coming back.”
Burke has never lost a game he has scored in, but his goals are seen as a bonus because he is primarily there to create.
As well as scoring on Sunday in the 3-1 win over Forest, he set up Chris Wood for his first of two goals and admitted it was important to get that first away win.
“Our away record wasn’t the best but we’re kind of playing catch-up at the moment,” he added. “We’re delighted to get the three points and it’s another victory for us coming back from a goal down which is very pleasing.
“There is great team spirit here and I think it is really positive that near the end of games we are finishing strongly.
Burke’s form has not gone un-noticed by manager Chris Hughton who has been pleased with his performances so far.
“He’s a very influential player for us,” said the Blues boss.
“Most definitely he has played more minutes than anybody else in the squad, he’s an experienced player, plays with his head, and he’s the type of player that generally is never out of the game.
“Even the period when he doesn’t do so well he can have phases where he does something that can turn things a little bit. I think he’s showed that, certainly in the last week.
“It’s been a very good week for him – and I’m quite pleased about that.”