Birmingham City’s new manager Tony Mowbray, reveal why 27-year-old will not play under him again

Tony Mowbray, Birmingham City’s new manager, immediately brought winger Siriki Dembele back to earth.
Birmingham City boss Tony Mowbray has revealed a weird Siriki Dembele concern that he had to address during his first few days in command.

The winger may have put on a magnificent performance on Saturday as the Blues drew 2-2 with Swansea City, but it wouldn’t have been as powerful if he hadn’t spoken with Mowbray earlier in the week. In his post-match press conference, the new manager said that he had to request a meeting with Dembele because the 27-year-old “didn’t want to run” during training.

“I called him in for a one-on-one because I was a bit concerned during one of the early training sessions as he didn’t want to run,” Mowbray described. “One of his first comments was that he’d like to conserve energy to damage the opposition. I said, ‘Well, that ain’t ‘gonna work mate. What, we have 10 men when we haven’t got it and then you come alive when we attack?’ I think he bought into it.

Siriki Dembele reveals failed transfer and what he won't do at Birmingham  City - Birmingham Live
“Hopefully I can inspire him to enjoy hard work as well as lots of talent. He knows he’s a good footballer, he’s got the confidence on the ball, it’s just whether I can coax him to get back, tackle and compete to win headers. If you want to play at the top level, you have to do all of it,” Mowbray continued.

Although there was an early effort issue, Dembele appears to have quickly addressed the new manager’s concerns, as he performed admirably defensively over the weekend. His goal was terrific, but Mowbray will be more concerned about the improved levels of desire demonstrated.

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