Lafferty’s already a hit with Birmingham boss Rowett

Kyle Lafferty celebrates after scoring for Birmingham.

Kyle Lafferty celebrates after scoring for Birmingham. - Credit: PA

Kyle Lafferty was the toast of the blue half of Birmingham yesterday after the almost inevitable debut goal for Gary Rowett's side.

Norwich City's on-loan striker took just 16 minutes to get off the mark for Birmingham – although he couldn't avoid a 2-1 defeat at home to Chris Hughton's Brighton. It was his first league goal in England since January 2015 and his first league appearance since he came on a sub for City against Leicester last October.

'I was really pleased with him,' Blues boss Gary Rowett told the Birmingham Mail.

'I think on the 65th minute when I was taking him off some fan was screaming at me, shouting 'he's our only chance of a goal'.

'He didn't quite realise that he'd only trained for 45 minutes and he was stretching his groin for five minutes before that.

'I think when you see a player have that sort of impact, you certainly want to make sure that he's got a chance of being on the pitch for the next game, as important as this one was.

'I'm hoping that he'll be able to have that sort of impact again, because I thought at times he looked a cut above, certainly for the first 20, 25 minutes.

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'To say he's not played an awful lot of football, I'd like to see him when he gets really fit and at it.

'Hopefully we'll give him the opportunity to do that.

'He's got a little bit of everything that I'm looking forward to seeing.'

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