Birmingham City latest: John Eustace on Scott Hogan dry spell, Keshi Anderson injury, praise for supporters | OneFootball

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Football League World

·23 September 2023

Birmingham City latest: John Eustace on Scott Hogan dry spell, Keshi Anderson injury, praise for supporters

Article image:Birmingham City latest: John Eustace on Scott Hogan dry spell, Keshi Anderson injury, praise for supporters

Birmingham City are enduring a bit of a lull following a positive start to their 2023-24 season.

The Blues, who are now the Championship's longest-serving club, were unbeaten in the first five games of their 13th successive campaign in the second tier.

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But John Eustace's side suffered back-to-back defeats against Watford and Preston North End, before playing out a goalless draw with Queens Park Rangers at St Andrew's.

Here, we look at the latest news surrounding Birmingham - with rallying cries from the manager, and their latest injury worry.

John Eustace defends Scott Hogan

Scott Hogan has now gone four games without scoring following Friday's 0-0 draw with Queens Park Rangers.

The striker, who has scored just once in eight Championship appearances this season, spurned the Blues' best opportunity of the match when he shot straight at Asmir Begovic from eight yards out.

Hogan squandered a similar chance in last weekend's 2-0 defeat by Watford, while he also missed a penalty against Millwall during his dry spell.

The Republic of Ireland international looked despondent when he was replaced by Lukas Jutkiewicz for the final 20 minutes, but Eustace leapt to his defence.

"What is pleasing with Scott is that his work-rate and effort is still there," he said during his post-match press conference. "He is still working his socks off for the team, which is very important.

“We have to create more chances for him as well, he can’t just be having one or two chances a game.

"As a team, we have to create more from our front three or four players. Scotty will score goals as long as he keeps going and keeps believing."

Eustace also expressed sympathy towards Keshi Anderson, who faces a spell in the treatment room after sustaining a hamstring injury.

The winger was forced off before half-time in the QPR stalemate at St Andrew's after pulling up in the centre of the pitch.

It is the latest injury setback for the former Blackpool man, who was limited to just nine Championship appearances last season due to a series of issues.

"It’s a really disappointing one for Kesh," Eustace said. "We have asked him to play three games in six days. He had big injuries last year and has been outstanding for us.

"We asked him (on Thursday) if he was good to go again, and he put his hand up and said yes, but it just looks like it was a game too much, unfortunately.

"Any strain is going to be two or three weeks minimum, I would have thought. It’s really disappointing that he’s had to come off. That affected us a little bit because we had to change bodies around in midfield, and meant we couldn’t make the substitutions we wanted to make a little bit later as well."

John Eustace message to Birmingham City fans

But Eustace was pleased to see Birmingham extend their unbeaten start to the season on home soil.

And he saluted the atmosphere generated by the fans, whose support he feels will be crucial for his side this term.

"You can feel the buzz and the excitement when you walk from the tunnel onto the pitch," he told the official club website.

"The fans were outstanding tonight, and they really kept behind the group.

"We want to make this a really difficult place to come to. Being unbeaten here at St. Andrew's is very important."

Lee Buchanan on settling in at Birmingham City

Meanwhile, Lee Buchanan is pleased to have hit the ground running since his move to St Andrew's.

The former Derby County left-back returned to England in pre-season after spending the 2022-23 campaign with Bundesliga side Werder Bremen.

Buchanan was straight back in the starting line-up against QPR, as he returned from suspension following his red card at Watford last weekend.

And the 22-year-old feels he is flourishing in his new surroundings.

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