Lee Bowyer admits he is not sure when Taylor Richards will be able to make his Birmingham City debut.
The attacker has joined on loan from Brighton until the end of the season.
The deal was ultimately announced on Friday evening, after concerns about the 19-year-old’s ankle injury had at the minimum been slightly allayed.
That clearly kept him out of Blues’ FA Cup defeat against Plymouth Argyle and Bowyer admits he needs all the help he can get particularly in attack.
But it is not clear whether he will be fit to confront Preston at Deepdale next weekend.
“I am not too sure how long, he’s got a problem with his ankle,” Bowyer admitted.
“He brings quality in the final third, goals, assists – clearly disappointing he’s out at the moment but that’s what he will bring when he’s playing for us.
“Gary Gardner [also] took two whacks on his ankle and it’s all swollen so he had to come off. He took two, both in the same area, so it’s really swollen, he will struggle a little bit I think.”
Blues failed to have a shot on target against League One opposition – and have scored only once in the last three games.
Bowyer believes the absence of players like Richards, Riley McGree, Tahith Chong, Jeremie Bela and Jordan Graham is a huge factor.
“If you go back to the start of the season we were creating 14, 15-20 good chances a game and we have just played a game there and not already had a shot on target.
“It’s not a coincidence, we are lacking quality in the final third and we have to fix that. I do think that’s a problem.”
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