Boss – We love having Kief here

Maikel Kieftenbeld
Maikel Kieftenbeld.

I was a bit surprised when he was going to leave, but I don't know if anyone else was lined up.

Steve Cotterill

Steve Cotterill has paid tribute to Maikel Kieftenbeld as the Dutchman prepares to face the club that he almost joined back in August.

It was announced at the end of a busy deadline day that the 27-year-old had completed a move to Derby County, but the Football League refused to sanction the deal due to all the relevant paperwork not being submitted to them on time.

Blues have been the beneficiaries of the administrative red tape and Cotterill is delighted to still have the midfielder’s services at his disposal.

"I like Kief, I liked him last season (when Cotterill was at the Club as Assistant Manager)," said the Blues boss.

"I was a bit surprised when he was going to leave, but I don't know if anyone else was lined up."

With Kieftenbeld coming up against the Rams for the first time since the move to Pride Park broke down, Cotterill was asked if he intended to take the midfielder aside and say anything different to him ahead of the match.

"No, I doubt it. He's an experienced enough boy," said Cotterill.

"What went on before is history although I'm sure there's something there for Kief.

"I wouldn't think I would need to say anything to Kief about Saturday's game.

"He plays like a bull in a china shop anyway. That's the good part about him and the thing we love about Kief.

"I have to admit that sometimes when he gets a yellow card early, I think about whether I need to take him off.

"There's been quite a few times I’ve questioned it and I've probably kept him on for his energy, because he has got bucket loads of that.

"My heart was a little bit in my mouth last week (against Burton), but the thing is he's committed and he presses and closes down you can't take that out of someone."