Date: 19th October 2017 at 8:46am
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Chiekh Ndoye has been heavily criticised since his move from Angers to Birmingham City in the summer.

The 31 year-old was signed by former manager Harry Redknapp who was quick to point out his strengths as a footballer. Seemingly, his goalscoring record from midfield stood out – 63 in 275 professional appearances.

Standing at over 6 foot 3 and weighing more than 14 stone, the Senegal international was certainly expected to be a presence in Blues’ flimsy midfield.

Early signs were not good. Ndoye’s tendency to needlessly slow the game down irked many fans and his passing was more Wayne Sleep than Wayne Rooney. To put it politely, Ndoye was a passenger.

But one attribute that came to the fore from the very first minute was his aerial prowess. Anywhere on the pitch, Ndoye will win a header.

The criticism of his early performances began to boil and was worsened by Blues’ dissapointing start to the season.

However, that’s where my cricisim stops. Ndoye is starting to show signs of improvement. His recent performances during the games against Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City – were inarguably the best of his 12 appearances to date.

Ndoye is finally showing evidence that he can be that presence we so desperately crave, that player who covers so much ground for 90 minutes.

Admittedly, he missed an absolute sitter against Wednesday and could have done better with a header against Cardiff, but he’s finally getting into the positions where he can be threatening.

Redknapp was certainly an admirer, Lee Carsley started him in all three of his games as caretaker and new manager Steve Cotterill picked him for his first game in charge.

It was inevitably going to take time for a French Ligue One player to become accustomed to the pace and competitiveness of the English Championship. Slowly but surely, Ndoye is getting there.

Follow Rob on Twitter  wild3y86

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