Birmingham City head coach reveal what potential star told him as city consider a transfer

Juninho Bacuna has told Tony Mowbray what he wants as Birmingham City weigh up transfer

Tony Mowbray’s daring inspired Birmingham City’s 2-1 FA Cup success over Hull City, according to Alex Dicken’s analysis of the game.

Jay Stansfield and Koji Miyoshi, two of Mowbray’s five substitutions at St Andrew’s, scored to cancel off Jason Lokilo’s opening goal. Miyoshi scored in the 93rd minute to avoid extra time in the FA Cup replay, setting up a fourth-round matchup with Leicester City.

It was only the Blues’ third victory in 18 matches since Wayne Rooney replaced John Eustace in October. While Rooney was not the answer, the hugely experienced Mowbray could be the ideal signing the Blues have been looking for.

His two games have given excitement, goals, and a distinct manner of playing, which is where our post-Hull discussion begins.
Prior to Rooney, the Blues were well-drilled, with each player knowing his role. Mowbray made it his duty to simplify things from the start of his Blues stint. Players now understand their roles, and they have performed admirably during the first 180 minutes.

2,000 Juninho bacuna Stock Pictures, Editorial Images and Stock Photos |  Shutterstock

Blues are not yet the 60-odd percent possession, 20-something shots per game team that Mowbray wants in the long run, but they outperformed Swansea and Hull. They had more shots than both of those teams and, in a rare occurrence, Blues actually enjoyed more of the ball against Hull.

Granted, it wasn’t Hull’s strongest XI – but it wasn’t Blues’ either. It wasn’t anything like Blues’ best line-up until Mowbray changed half his team just after the hour.
Blues are playing out from the back far better than they did under Rooney. John Ruddy has looked assured in the past two games with the ball at his feet, the experienced goalkeeper was anything but that a month ago.

By building slowly, with a 4-2-3-1 structure that suits his players, Mowbray has been able to inspire an immediate upturn in performances and results.

Birmingham City man Juninho Bacuna opens up after 'tough time' and Hull City  thunderbolt - Birmingham Live


Mowbray is no stranger to playing without a striker. He led Sunderland to the play-offs last term despite not playing with a recognised centre-forward during the second half of the season.

Jordan James began for the Blues off Romelle Donovan against Hull, with Scott Hogan, Tyler Roberts, and Stansfield on the bench. Donovan had some wonderful moments, but at the start of the second half, it was clear that the Blues lacked a striker.

There were numerous promising crosses that were missed because Blues lacked a player in Hull’s penalty area. Despite the fact that neither Roberts nor Stansfield are natural strikers, their arrival significantly altered the situation.

The two centre-forwards on Blues’ books are Hogan and Lukas Jutkiewicz – who is out for three weeks with a calf injury. No wonder Mowbray decided not to risk Hogan against Hull.

By the sounds of it, Mowbray is ready to give Hogan another chance. However, given how well stocked Blues are in other positions, signing a striker this month might be a sensible move if there is some cash to play with.

Bacuna wants midfield role

Juninho Bacuna has played in every position this season bar centre-back and goalkeeper. He even had a spell at left-back against Bristol City to cover for an injured teammate.

The Curacao international started in midfield against Hull before finishing the game at right-back. While Bacuna is willing to play anywhere, he has told Mowbray that he wants to play in midfield.

“I’ve grown up playing as a number six with the freedom to join the attack, because I have the ability to give assists and score goals myself,” says Bacuna, who has six goals and five assists this season across all competitions. “Number six is my position.

“He asked me where I want to play, I told him where I want to play and what I want to do, and what I can do for the team. But it’s up to him where he needs me, where the team needs me. I’m trying to work hard and do my job in every position.”

JJ transfer is being weighed up

All three of Mowbray’s press appearances to date have included a question about in-demand teenager James. Atalanta’s interest in the Wales international is well known, and Mowbray has not ruled out a possible sale.

Mowbray has stated that the Blues might sign three or four oven-ready players if the price is right for James. However, he has acknowledged James’ talent and value to this Blues team.
Mowbray said of Blues’ top player, “We played him false nine to start, then we slid him back to six, and he was spraying it all around. He is a wonderful footballer and a lovely child.

v“Is there interest in him? Maybe. What’s the number? In my mind, we don’t want to sell our best young players, but if we want to reinvest and you get a number that helps you bring four players in, I hope if that’s what we choose to do – and I’m not saying we are – the fans understand it’s only because we are trying to make the football club better quickly.
“He is a talent, we can all see that. I like watching him burst away from players. He changes pace. He’s like one of these cars that has that nitrous oxide, he can put his foot down and he’s off.

“I can see why he’s coveted. He plays for his country and he’s scored six goals. We’ll see how it rolls in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully he’s still here doing his job, whether it’s an eight, a six, a 10 – he can do all of them.”

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