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Mark Venus hails Emanuel Aiwu and explains ‘worst part’ of Birmingham City job without Tony Mowbray

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Emil Aiwu has received a ton of appreciation from Mark Venus for coming through for Birmingham City when they needed him.

The ailments to Marc Roberts and Kyle Bielik have forced the Austrian defender into the starting lineup; Roberts may be able to play at Millwall on Saturday after participating in training. Aiwu was the only center back available for the Blues for the midweek match against Hull City due to Dion Sanderson’s suspension, and he put up what was maybe his greatest performance since coming back from Cremonese.

In order to keep Hull star Jaden Philogene from forcing a one-on-one with goalkeeper John Ruddy in the second half, Aiwu made multiple smart challenges and stood up effectively. In addition, he completed 94% of his passes and maintained focus throughout the entire game to make sure Ozan Tufan only controversially broke through the Blues’ net once.

After having to wait his turn under Venus and Tony Mowbray, Aiwu can finally make his move. Venus thinks Aiwu’s professionalism and patience are paying off.

Venus made reference to Aiwu’s illness-affected withdrawal from the FA Cup match against Hull in January, saying, “We tried to give everyone a game at the beginning and when he was supposed to play, he wasn’t very well and had to stand aside.” “We had a few successful games during that time, and Krystian developed into a key member of our football team, making it more challenging for him to succeed.

“He has put forth a lot of effort. He’s been amazing on the practice field, and he’s been aching for the opportunity to wow us. He must continue since he hasn’t let anyone down and that is what the circumstances have placed in front of him.

For those on the periphery of the Blues’ large roster, Aiwu serves as an inspiration. Since January, Scott Hogan, Keshi Anderson, Gary Gardner, Manny Longelo, and Oliver Burke have all periodically found themselves cut from the team. Burke, a Werder Bremen loanee, hasn’t been a part of any of the Blues’ previous seven rosters.

Normally Mowbray would break the bad news to those that made the squad, but because the manager isn’t here, Venus has taken on that responsibility as well. He said, “It’s been the worst part of the job.”

As a former football player, I can attest that the most heartbreaking and disheartening experience is not making the team on the day you actually report for duty, instead of practicing.

“The players did a fantastic job with it. We have made an effort to rotate the individuals on the squad until a certain point. Everyone has come to terms with it, put in a lot of effort, and not one person has pouted on the practice field. Of course, we may exchange words and engage in conversation about it, but in terms of their workload, they have handled it quite well.

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