Aitor Karanka has revealed how he plans to cope with the absence of Adam Clayton in Birmingham City’s midfield against Queens Park Rangers this weekend.
Clayton was sent off in Blues’ 1-0 midweek defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road – the midfielder was shown a second yellow card on 86 minutes following a strong challenge on Todd Cantwell.
The 31-year-old will now miss the trip to West London this week, as Birmingham look to return to winning ways against QPR this weekend.
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Clayton has been a key player for Blues since arriving on a free transfer after leaving Middlesbrough in the summer, starting in each of their first Championship games.
His absence this weekend will leave a hole to fill in midfield, and Karanka has now revealed who could come in to fill the void.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he revealed that among those in contention are Ivan Sunjic, Gary Gardner, Maikel Kieftenbeld and youngster Caolan Boyd-Munce.
Blues will be desperate for a win this weekend. They haven’t won since the opening day of the season, and have fallen to two successive defeats.
Clayton will be missed on Saturday, but Karanka has some decent options to choose from to come in and replace him.
Clayton is a combative, tough-tackling player, so a natural like-for-like replacement for him would probably be Kieftenbeld or Sunjic.
QPR will be a tough test, and I’d be putting in Sunjic if I were Karanka.