Garry Monk salutes Lukas Jutkiewicz

Lukas Jutkiewicz after scoring
Lukas Jutkiewicz after scoring

It's a seasonal career high of 13 goals for Lukas Jutkiewicz - plus 10 assists

Garry Monk has paid tribute to Lukas Jutkiewicz's efforts so far this season.

The striker put in a man of the match performance in the 2-2 draw against Derby County.

He fired Blues into a second minute lead and was a constant thorn in the side of the Rams defence.

In typically hard-working and robust fashion, Jutkiewicz led by example once more.

And his goal made it 13 for the campaign - a seasonal career high for the 30-year-old.

Jutkiewicz also has 10 assists and Monk said what he brings to the team is not at all underappreciated.

Asked how instrumental he has been, Monk replied: "The best way to answer that is to ask his teammates - and I'd pretty much know what they'd say.

"He has been huge for us this season.

"We have tried to help by coming in here, looking at the squad and playing to their strengths, using the qualities they have and using that to the best effect. That's how we've approached it.

"It's also been down to a few to step on this season also and Jukey is a perfect example this season, he has been fantastic.

"I have said it for quite a few weeks now when I have been asked the question, but his contribution of goals - which is what a striker wants to be doing - and his all-round team performance, what he does for the team, is not underestimated.

"I know for a fact his teammates don't underestimate him, they appreciate what he does.

"It's been brilliant to have been working with him, to have seen that improvement and also that mentality. He is a great example to the younger lads in the group of what a professional mentality needs to look like and attitude to go and do it out on the pitch and not just in training as well."

Jutkiewicz's effort and commitment was such that he had to be withdrawn in the 79th minute, due to cramp.

But he should be fine and available for selection for the Easter Monday match at Rotherham United, said the Blues boss.