Date: 1st October 2010 at 7:07pm
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Blues boss Alex McLeish has revealed that he left Lee Bowyer feeling hurt when he dropped him at the start of the season, but fully backs him now to make a major impact when called upon.

Bowyer, along with Barry Ferguson had a great season last time around playing a major part in Blues securing a top ten finish.

But at the start of this season, Craig Gardner was picked ahead of him, Bowyer has had games but mainly being played out of position.

But now Gardner is banned for three matches which opens the door for Bowyer to stake a claim for his place back.

McLeish said: ‘I don’t want a player who is happy when he is dropped and Lee is a proud guy.

‘He played a major role last season in the middle with Barry Ferguson. They formed a great partnership.

‘It really was a risk taking a player like Lee out of the team last season. He got six goals last season.

‘On that day I was proved right with Gardner coming in and scoring two goals.

‘It didn’t mean that Lee wouldn’t have scored two goals – we’ll never know that – and it’s my right to chop and change the team.

‘But I have certainly got no doubts about Lee’s ability and what he brings to this side when selected.

‘Bow is 33 but he’s got great legs, he runs for fun and he’s still got a great engine.

‘There’s no red mist or rush of blood as there was in yesteryear, he’s pretty mature now.’