Date: 10th April 2016 at 10:02am
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The recent negativity surrounding Ryan Shotton seems to have been in vein. The defender, on loan from Derby County, was selected at centre half alongside Michael Morrison for the win at Reading and put in a man of the match display.

Shotton’s three previous appearances in a Blues shirt came in the right full-back berth against Rotherham (0-0) Bolton (1-0 win) and QPR (0-2 defeat). Despite having a shocker at Loftus Road, his first two performances for Blues coincided with clean sheets and four points.

Gary Rowett is assessing his squad for another Championship campaign next season, assuming his side will not defy the odds and sneak into a play-off place. Paul Robinson and Jonathan Spector have both been used as Morrison’s defensive partner this season but the Blues manager admitted to wanting more height and strength. Shotton stands at six-foot-three and offers that in abundance.

Yesterday’s 2-0 win at the Madejski Stadium was comfortable for Blues, despite having only 30% possession. The back four defended astutely during a second half spell dominated by the hosts. Shotton was a key figure in the victory and will now get another chance to play in that role against Leeds at St. Andrew’s on Tuesday evening.

Rowett admits to having to be ‘clever’ with the funds available to him in transfer windows. Although it is slightly early to tell, Shotton could be a solution in the central defensive area and would be available for a nominal fee.

His goal at Reading, which proved to be the winner, was the icing on the cake in what was an outstanding performance against a team who hadn’t lost at home this calendar year.

Twitter @robwildey123

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