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Kieftenbeld - This pre-season bodes well for Blues

Maikel Kieftenbeld training in Austria.
Maikel Kieftenbeld training in Austria.

The training is excellent and with Garry Monk, Pep Clotet and James Beattie you have three coaches that are really passionate about the game, put on excellent training sessions and everybody is extremely positive.

Maikel Keiftenbeld

Maikel Kieftenbeld insists there is a greater togetherness amongst the Blues squad than there has been for some time and believes that is largely down to the efforts of Manager Garry Monk and his backroom staff.

The Dutch midfielder is currently in Austria, where he is enjoying his fourth pre-season with Blues and the 11th of his professional career and he feels that the current tour is one of the best he has experienced.

“Last year was difficult for us as a group because there were so many players being signed, that you didn’t know if you’d be leaving or staying,” said Kieftenbeld.

“But this year it is very much more settled, and everybody gets on with each other - the players and all the staff, and I’m really happy so far.

“The training is excellent and with Garry Monk, Pep Clotet and James Beattie you have three coaches who are really passionate about the game, put on excellent training sessions and everybody is extremely positive.”

“It also helps that Garry Monk came in before the end of the last season, so he’s been able to hit the ground running,” continued Kieftenbeld.

“He hasn’t had to introduce himself and get to know the players, so it means that we can now concentrate on working on the tactical and technical side of things.

“When he first came in it was about keeping us up, so it was about making sure we were organised, and he kept things simple to enable us to do that.”

Having seen Blues struggle in the Championship over the past two seasons, Kieftenbeld is naturally keen not to put unrealistic targets on next season's campaign.

However, he is very much of the mindset that Blues should be looking to avoid those negative scenarios again.

"The last two seasons were very disappointing, but I think things are looking a lot more positive for us," he said.

"I don't want to say where we will finish, but I'm confident that under Garry Monk we will have a much better season and will be looking up the table rather than down.

"Hopefully we will be strengthening the squad further, plus we have some very good young players coming through from the Under-23s squad that have done very well over here in Austria.

"Towards the end of last season there was that was real connection between the Birmingham fans and the players again.

"Iif we can harness that togetherness, along with how well the squad as a whole gets along plus the input of the Manager, it looks good for the Club moving forwards."

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