Birmingham City could be without a number of key players for trip to Teesside to face Middlesbrough this weekend according to Lee Bowyer – including Ivan Sunjic.
The Blues finally broke their long winless run of seven matches last weekend with somewhat of a surprise victory over in-form Swansea City at St. Andrew’s.
One man who played all 90 minutes in that match is Croatian midfielder Sunjic, who has failed to appear in just one league match this season.
Quiz: Did these 25 Birmingham City transfers actually happen?
But he’s a serious doubt to take his place in the line-up at the Riverside, with Bowyer revealing that he has not trained all week.
One player who definitely will not be in action against Neil Warnock’s side is Maxime Colin, who faces another few weeks on the sidelines.
The Frenchman has not been seen since the defeat to West Brom in which he was substituted off early in the second half owing to an achilles problem which has yet to settle.
Colin has been a regular at right-wing-back and on the other side of the pitch Jeremie Bela has been playing in an unfamiliar role – he replaced Colin at The Hawthorns but has missed the last two Blues fixtures with an ankle injury.
The Angola international has trained all week though according to Bowyer and will more-than likely return to the starting 11 on Saturday.
Even though they did just fine against Swansea without Bela and Colin, it will be good for Bowyer to have the former back in contention at least.
He has been a surprise package at an unnatural position of wing-back and if Bowyer is going to stick to that system then Bela is going to be very important going forward.
As for Sunjic though, even though he has been a part of a big winless run for Birmingham he formed part of a talented double pivot with Ryan Woods in the early stages of the season and that was getting results.
Bowyer will be hoping that the bad run is behind them after last week’s success but it will not be easy without the Croat in the engine room.