Birmingham in Roots Hall opener.
Blues named the following squad for their Championship opener against Southend.
The League one Champions face relegated Birmingham shorn of nearly all it high earners. The Blues are bookies favourite to drop straight through the Championship.
The close season saw Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Lazaridis, Butt, Jarosik, Pennant, Izzet, Latka, Heskey and Sutton leave the club. They managed to retain David Dunn but he misses the trip to the seaside with a hamstring strain.
Mehdi Nafti plays his first game for 12 months after missing a year when damaging ligaments in pre-season. Manager Steve Bruce has kept his position as manager with Blues unable to pay-off his contract. The defiant former Manchester United defender says that he wants to ‘see the job through’ and get Blues out of the Championship. Unable to attract any replacements his squad has a threadbare look about it and may well plummet a division at least in the next couple of seasons.
In defence only his son Alex Bruce is significantly under 30 and will wear the Captains arm band. Blues have that Bradford/Nottingham Forest look about them. Their lack of goals will continue to be problem as neither striker, Campbell or Forssell has scored from open play for Blues this year.
Squad:- Maik Taylor, Alex Bruce, Oliver Tebily, Martin Taylor, Jamie Clapham, Damien Johnson, Neil Kilkenny, Steve Clemence, Julian Gray, Meddi Nafti, Mikeal Forrssell, Dudley Campbell.
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