Alex McLeish will call upon the Birmingham City board to release the funds to enable him to bring in more players before the transfer window closes after a spate of injuries depleted his squad.
Blues have made a perfect start to the season but injuries to Mehdi Nafti and Cameron Jerome weakened McLeish’s options before the 2-0 victory over Barnsley on Saturday and the situation worsened as Garry O’Connor and Stuart Parnaby had to be substituted after picking up knocks.
Parnaby may have concussion, which will sideline him for at least a week, while O’Connor picked up a dead leg and was calling to be replaced just before he scored Birmingham’s second goal. The pair may not be out for long but Nafti, who has torn his hamstring, and Jerome, who has a thigh muscle tear, will be missing for approximately three weeks and McLeish believes further absentees could impact on his side’s promotion push.
“I think when you have a few injuries it opens your eyes a bit,” McLeish said. “You think you are okay and everything is covered but then one goes down and you see the impact it can have.
“We have Cameron out and Mehdi for a few weeks, so that is us two down and we haven’t got a huge squad in terms of numbers.
“I don’t know if Parnaby has concussion, I will have to check with the doctors. There are recommendations and guidelines for when you have knocks. He was feeling dizzy and sick so the doctor had no hesitation in telling us he had to come off. Hopefully he will be okay. Kelly came on and was very positive and we have two great right backs.
“Some of them will have to go again on Tuesday night at Southampton but O’Connor came off with a dead leg. I am sure dead legs don’t keep players out for too long and I would like to think Gary will be okay because the numbers are depleting.
“He signalled he needed to come off before the goal and he hadn’t had a sniff before that because the two centre backs had marshalled him well. The boys said we needed to get him off but fortunately it was just a dead leg and he was able to jump at the back post for the goal.
“I would like another four players but I don’t think the chairman or the board will be having any of that.
“I would like to strengthen with another player and we have one or two options. I need to be sure that the player will enhance the squad 100 per cent and if I don’t think that then there is no point bringing him in.
“I will also look at loan deals over the next few weeks and there are a lot of good young players out there but again it will need to be a strong recommendation from their manager.”
The loan system has certainly proved fruitful in the past for Blues.
Two years ago Sebastian Larsson, Fabrice Muamba and Niclas Bendtnar all arrived temporarily from Arsenal and played vital roles in Blues’ success, and another loanee is making a significant impact.
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, who is on loan from Spartak Moscow, has become and instant terrace hero. His silky skills and ability to beat defenders will add a new dimension to Blues’ attack and he was in great form against Barnsley.
“Quincy is an exciting player,” McLeish said. “Not only is he quick but he has a trick and doesn’t run up alleys, he can see pictures. I think he can only get better. It was a very good performance from Quincy and the fans have taken to him. I look forward to seeing Quincy doing some damage to opponents this season.
“He has a big role to play this season, as does everyone in the squad. When you bring a player to your club you are looking for them to make a difference, and Quincy made a difference today.”