Birmingham City head coach Steve Cotterill has told the club website that Maikel Kieftenbeld still has the opportunity to break into the first team despite him almost leaving in the transfer window.

On transfer deadline day, it appeared all but certain that Kieftenbeld would be signing for Birmingham’s Midlands rivals Derby County. However even though the 27-year-old midfielder was all ready to head to the Rams, the move broke down has the paperwork for the deal had not been completed in time.

It was expected that Kieftenbeld would have to wait until January to move to Derby but things at Birmingham would soon change. A poor start would see Harry Redknapp relieved as duties as head coach and his former assistant manager Cotterill would return to the club to take his job. And now the new man in charge has said that Kieftenbeld does still have the opportunity to break back into Birmingham’s first team.

He said: “They (all the players) are all integrated, I don’t leave anybody outside of the group,”

“I think he (Kieftenbeld) was ready and wanting to play when he wasn’t playing.

“I don’t think his attitude has ever been questioned. He is ready to be involved like all of them are.”

Cotterill could give Kieftenbeld a chance to show he should stay at Birmingham in their next match against Cardiff City which takes place on Saturday. The game is set to be a tough one with Cardiff being one of the in-form teams in the Sky Bet Championship right now.

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