Blues boss Gary Rowett believes Maikel Kieftenbeld needs to carry on with his full-bloodied approach, despite only being one yellow card away from a two-game suspension.
The Dutchman has been an ever-present figure in the side since joining the side at the start of the season, endearing himself to fans with a tough approach and ability to knock in a goal or two.
If Kieftenbeld picks up another caution before 13 March, he will be banned for two matches- something Rowett thinks is on the horizon.
“I don’t think you can wrap a player like Maikel Kieftenbeld in cotton wool,” said Rowett.
“He’s got to play the same way and be full throttle. He’s got to go into tackles like he does – in a full-bloodied and committed way and if he gets a suspension for two games, that’s what happens.
“I think if Maikel had to try and avoid a booking he wouldn’t play with the same intensity and sometimes you have to encourage players to be what they are.
“We certainly don’t want to lose him, but I think the reality is he’s probably going to pick up at least one more booking in the next five or six games.
Yellow cards have been somewhat of a theme in the Blues midfield this season with Kieftenbeld’s centre-midfield partner Steven Gleeson also having eight to his name.
But with big games against Bolton, QPR and Hull on the horizon, Blues could do with having their biggest names on the pitch.
“Glees is probably up there as well with bookings.
“But most of his tend to be frustration and back chatting to the ref so I need to have a little chat with him about that.
“I’d rather they were for tackles than talking to the ref and being for dissent.”
That’s why we’ve got a good squad and we’ve got someone like Dave Davies that has done brilliantly for us and he would be ready to come in at any opportunity.”
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