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Maikel Kieftenbeld - The fans have helped keep the positive vibe going

Maikel Kieftenbeld congratulates Lukas Jutkiewicz on his hat-trick.
Maikel Kieftenbeld congratulates Lukas Jutkiewicz on his hat-trick.

There could have been a lot of negative things around the squad, but the fans recognise we are doing the right things and it keeps a positive vibe going.

Maikel Kieftenbeld

Maikel Kieftenbeld admits it would have been easy for Blues supporters to become frustrated this season due to circumstances both on and off the pitch.

But the midfielder feels they are finally getting the rewards for their ongoing backing.

"I've been thinking about that," said Kieftenbeld when asked how he and the players had coped with all the adversity.

"The atmosphere around this Club from the start of the season was really positive.

"There were so many factors for maybe fans to be negative, with things like the embargo and the small squad.

"But people see what we are doing out on the pitch and how hard we are working to try and give the fans what they want to see.

"As long as they can see that, they don't really care so much about what's going on off the football pitch.

"There could have been a lot of negative things around the squad, but the fans recognise we are doing the right things and it keeps a positive vibe going."

Blues have lost just two of their opening 12 games, but eight draws out of the remaining 10 fixtures, mean they are not as high up the table as Kieftenbeld feels they should be.

"Of course, we would have liked more wins but the other side it shows we are also hard to beat," he said.

"The best thing about those eight (drawn) games is that we should have won a lot more of them. We're doing well and giving our all on the pitch.

"Against Rotherham (on Saturday) we got the result, but I didn't think we played really well, but sometimes you have to take it.

"We won against one of the teams I think we should be looking to beat at home, and that's a big plus if you compare it to the QPR game and the other game against Ipswich.

"If you look at the game against Ipswich the first 10 minutes there was a big skirmish in front of the goal and if that had gone in it would probably have been a different game.

"Against Rotherham we were on the other side and were a bit lucky to score two goals."

Whilst Blues weren't at their best in the 3-1 success against the Millers, it was their clinical finishing which ultimately proved the difference, with Lukas Jutkiewicz scoring his first senior hat-trick. And Kieftenbeld felt it was a well-deserved achievement by his teammate.

"I'm buzzing for Jukey because he's such a great guy on and off the pitch," continued Kieftenbeld.

"I'm really happy for him. He works so hard whether he's scoring or not. I see it every day, but everyone else does as well and it's a great thing to be part of." 

Blues are not in action again until 11 day’s time when they face a difficult away trip to Gary Rowett's Stoke City.

Kieftenbeld says the international break will be an ideal time for the players to recharge mentally before going again.

"Physically we are alright," he added.

"We can play two games a week because this group worked really hard in pre-season. We are all fit guys so that is not a problem.

"Sometimes the hardest part about the Championship is to do it after every three games and be at it 100 per cent.

"Mentally it is good for all of us, but also for me to go home and see my friends and family. It always gives me a big boost to go again after the break."

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