Lee Clark is adamant that the pedigree and quality of recent on-loan recuit, Eglinton’s Shane Ferguson (below), will prove to be big assets while at Birmingham City.
Clark is delighted to have snapped up the Northern Ireland international on loan from Newcastle United, initially until April 1st.
In fact, when Clarke was coaching at Newcastle he immediately saw something in Ferguson after the local lad had joined the ‘Toon’ as a schoolboy.
“He’s a lad I have known for many years,” said the Blues manager after last giving Ferguson his bow for the second half of last weekend’s 5-3 defeat at Hull City, Birmingham losing 3-0 at the break.
“I got to see him a few times in the youth team and I liked what I saw and I’ve just kept an eye on his progress,” he said.
“What does he bring to us? He can play anywhere on the left side. He’s predominantly a left winger. He’s quick, he’s tenacious and has great desire and can cross a great ball. When he plays left-back he can put his foot in as well and he’s very competitive. He’s got a good pedigree for someone so young,” added the Birmingham boss.
“Shane has also played in the Premier League, the Europa League and he’s an international footballer . . . and he was desperate to come and play here,” declared Clark who admitted that Newcastle’s January Transfer Window splurge helped open the door.
“What has helped us are the acquisitions that Newcastle made in January. If they hadn’t been able to make those signings, Shane would have been an important member of their matchday squad.
“But the addition of players allowed those lads who had been doing so well to be pushed to the fringes the chance to come out and bring on their development and learning in the Championship – obviously with Shane and Sammy Ameobi going to Middlesbrough.
“We’ve hit lucky here. I’ve kept asking the question since I’ve been manager here, I must have asked on five or six occasions about Shane’s availability and once the news came through about Rob Hall’s groin injury and going back to West Ham, it was imperative that we could get someone in – and thankfully we did.”