Being blessed with five talented strikers should be a joy but Birmingham manager Alex McLeish admits that it is still proving to be a headache.
Garry O’Connor, Kevin Phillips, Cameron Jerome, James McFadden, Marcus Bent - decisions, decisions, decisions.
McLeish has given all five a decent run this season and even shunted some out to the flanks in a bid to give his firepower game time as McFadden and Jerome have discovered in recent weeks.
The Scotsman thought he had the debate resolved when Phillips and O’Connor were scoring for fun but an injury to the latter and a brief barren spell in front of goal ensured that the can of worms was reopened.
Apart from Bent’s failure to so far get off the mark in a Birmingham shirt, McLeish doesn’t have to worry too much judging by Saturday’s goal-fest against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
Phillips tops the St Andrew’s scoring charts with six while O’Connor (5), Jerome (4) and McFadden (3) are close behind.
But despite seeing three months of the season go by, McLeish insists that he is still struggling to find the ideal scenario for his fearsome flock of forwards.
“There’s no doubt there’s flaws in it and it’s finding the right balance,” admitted McLeish. “I’ve been trying to do that. We had some great momentum going when Garry O’Connor and Kevin Phillips were banging them in, they were very good together.
“James (McFadden) got a wee injury so that forced him out the team. I said to him that he needed to be patient because I just couldn’t leave the other guys out. Then they get injured so the opportunity is there for the personnel we bring in.
“I don’t think we are weakening the team at all with the guys we had to come in but sometimes it does just effect your momentum and I think it has done over the last couple of weeks.”
Meanwhile McLeish will be waiting with baited breath for the majority of the week ahead of Friday’s trip to play-off-chasing Swansea following a host of international call-ups.
Winger Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has been included in Ghana’s squad for Wednesday’s friendly with Tunisia, who have called-up Birmingham centre-half Radhi Jaidi, while Seb Larsson will be involved with Sweden for their match against the Netherlands the same day.
That follows Maik Taylor and James McFadden’s call-up to the Northern Ireland and Scotland squads respectively.
McLeish now faces a challenging selection dilemma for the journey to south Wales as he may be forced to rest his international stars and he also has to deal with Nigel Quashie’s suspension after the midfielder was sent off during Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Charlton.
Quashie’s one-month loan deal from West Ham United was due to finish after the Swansea match but McLeish plans to discuss extending the former West Bromwich Albion player’s temporary deal this week.