Date:Friday December 16 2005
We all expected a lot from Nick Butt when he arrived from Manchester United, but sadly we didn't see anything of what he has produced in the past. It was said at the time 'Alex Ferguson doesn't sell his best players', and that could well be right.
Yet Birmingham manager Steve Bruce says Butt's season is about to begin.
Bruce: 'The one thing Nicky needed when he came here was games. He didn't have a lot of them at Newcastle United for one reason or another.
Like any professional, when you have missed month after month after month it's difficult.
'Just as we were getting him settled, he was having his best game for us at Portsmouth when he got sent-off just before half-time. That was on September 17. He was suspended for four games, we had an international break and then he couldn't play against Newcastle, for obvious reasons.
'He then had to come off injured against Everton and so, all of a sudden, we're into Sunderland away on November 28, when I didn't feel I could include him because of his lack of matches.'
'I think Nicky showed what he was all about against Fulham. He had a huge appetite for it,' said Bruce. 'He led from the front with what we required. He identifies that we've been trying to get more people in the box and he's been cropping up there a few times.
'He's had a lot of shots and headers at goal this season. He scored against Manchester City and what was pleasing for me was he was still prepared to get in there after missing a header just moments before he did score on Saturday.'
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