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Gorman: Balkestein Could Step Up
Gorman: Balkestein Could Step Up
Thursday, 15th Jan 2009 16:00

New assistant manager John Gorman says Dutch defender Pim Balkestein could force his way into the Town first team with the Blues currently short of defenders. The 21-year-old has made three starts and three sub appearances since joining from Heerenveen in the summer.

Town are lacking central defensive cover at present with Iván Campo out for around a month with a torn calf muscle, Tommy Smith still sidelined after breaking his ankle and Richard Naylor having joined Leeds on a month's loan.

The Blues also have limited full-back options with David Wright out for around another week with a hamstring problem and Moritz Volz a doubt for Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace with a minor knock, which could see Alex Bruce required at right-back.

Gorman says he has been impressed with the Dutchman and is confident he can step up if needed: "It does leave us short at the back but it gives people like Pim a chance.

"I have liked what I have seen of Pim. He has potential, a great physique and a smashing left foot. He works very hard and is the type of dedicated footballer we want at the club.”

Last month, boss Jim Magilton said he was considering sending Balkestein out on loan, but any proposed short-term move is likely to be put on hold until one or two senior players return to fitness or the Blues sign another central defender.

Midfielder Veliche Shumulikoski is available for the trip to Selhurst Park after a one-match ban, while Dean Bowditch will be named in the squad having impressed in training after returning from his loan spell at Brentford.

Photo: Action Images

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