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Gary Rowett busy preparing for the future

As things stand English Football League clubs will not be able to take any players on short term loans outside of specified transfer windows, after FIFA ordered the Football Association to stop clubs taking players on emergency loans after the end of the 2015/16 season.

Like many league clubs, Blues have taken advantage of the system, but with the end in sight Rowett says there will be more emphasis on trying to promote young players from within the Club.

"I think we have to wean the club off emergency loans," said Rowett.

"If you look at us at the moment we have maybe got 22 players in our first team squad and our U21s who I feel a lot of those as technically and as talented as they are, are perhaps not close enough to the first team at the minute.

"So if you look at next season when there becomes no emergency loans, you can't cover injuries with that, you have to look in your squad first and foremost. The biggest thing with that is you have got to start looking ahead.

"That has been a major factor behind our recruitment, it's been a major factor behind us re-signing players and it's been a major factor behind us looking at bringing one or two into the Under 21 group and subsequently bringing one or two of those into the First Team group."


One of those youngsters that has already made the step up is 19-year-old winger Viv Solomon-Otabor (pictured above), who last night made his league debut as a substitute against Nottingham Forest.

"We need Viv Solomon-Otabor to be a First Team player by next year," added Rowett.

"We need Reece Brown to be a first team player by next year because if they are not then we are going to have to find three or four more players to build our squad from within.

"That's not easy because we haven't got another £1m to go and spend on players at the moment. I know I keep talking about things like that but it's important we build it properly.

"That does have a massive affect. It's certainly something in my thinking. There has got to be a little bit of planning involved."

Rowett also stressed the importance of speeding up the development of the U21s group as a whole.

"The biggest thing for me is the 21s rather than being an extension of the U18s team, have got to be a feeder for the First Team. That's going to be a real challenge.

"By next summer it would be ideal to have five, six or seven of that U21 group ready to play in the first team if needs be.

"Whether that means we have to recruit some players to fit into that group between now and then or whether that means we can accelerate some of the younger players.

“It's not easy. That's the problem at the moment, young players need time to develop and with the emergency window closing next year I don't think they are going to get that time for next season, so we are going to have to do something about that."


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