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Dean Smith on Blues: John McGinn gives me ultimate selection headache

Injury report: Tommy Elphick Dean Smith: My verdict on importance of Conor Hourihane
Dean Smith on Blues: John McGinn gives me ultimate selection headache

Dean Smith says he has a major selection headache ahead of the Second City Derby at Birmingham City this Sunday.

One of our stars of the season so far, John McGinn, becomes available again this weekend after serving a two-game suspension.

And the Head Coach will spend the week pondering whether to throw him back into the mix at St Andrew's, or stick with the midfield trio that engineered the 4-0 demolition of Derby.

Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane were both on the scoresheet and at the heart of our attacking impetus, while Glenn Whelan controlled the tempo of the game brilliantly from deep.

Speaking about the selection dilemma to Club TV, Smith said: "At half-time on Saturday we were in the coaches room looking at some clips to show the players before we went into the dressing room.

"One of our analysts showed me our second goal, and the movement and quality of it.

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"I thought straight away, 'bloody hell, it's going to be hard to get John McGinn back in this team', which prompted some laughs.

"But it's nice to have that problem again. We haven't had it for a while.

"We've had a lot of injury issues this season, and we haven't really spoken them that much.

"We've had our goalkeepers missing, centre-halves missing and more. Tommy Elphick will be now, too, alongside Alan Hutton. It's been stop-start and a tough period in that sense.

"So it's nice to have that problem again now to try and get John back into a midfield that played so well against Derby.

"Throw Tom Carroll into that mix, and it's a real selection headache."

Looking ahead to the mouthwatering Blues fixture, Smith is relishing the battle ahead – insisting we fear no one.

He added: "We're looking forward to it.

"The result last weekend gives us a lot of belief and confidence going into it.

"We're away from home, but we don't fear anyone, despite having full respect for them.

"I played with Garry Monk and know him well. He's done a good job there this season, but it's just another game."

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Dan Connor
By @danconnor 5th March 2019