Gary Rowett admits surprise at level of commitment from Birmingham loanee, would like to keep him

The Birmingham City boss has been impressed with how dedicated Ryan Shotton has been to the club's cause.

Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett has told the club's official website that he has been pleasantly surprised by how committed Ryan Shotton has been to the club since his arrival on loan from Derby County in late January.

Rowett brought in Shotton to reinforce his defence in the winter market and he has proven himself a useful player at St. Andrew's in his three months at the club, able to play at right-back or in the centre of the backline.

The 27-year-old has played the last five matches at the heart of defence and has looked a committed figure for his loan side, and Rowett admitted that he has been impressed by the performances and rhetoric of the former Stoke City man.

The Blues boss added that he would like to keep the player this summer if there is a possibility that a deal could be struck, but he acknowledged that the ball is in Derby's court.

Rowett told the Blues' website: "In some ways he has surprised me a little bit with some of his comments after games. He has got a real desire to want to be part of what we are doing. I know it's easy for people to say that when they are at a club and away from their parent club but I genuinely believe he sees an opportunity to perhaps kick-start what has been a good career.

"Obviously we would have an interest in trying to keep him. But it's always difficult for me to stand here and say 'I want to sign Ryan Shotton,' because he's not our player. We don't know whether Derby see him in their plans going forward, we don't know whether Derby want a huge fee for him, we don't know the circumstances around it.

"All we can say is he has done well, integrated really, really well into the group - which is always important - and he's certainly one that if he was available for next season we would try to follow up."

Despite Shotton's good form at the back, Rowett's side have endured an extended run of poor form in recent weeks and any hope of a play-off spot go up in smoke.

The club have won just one of their last 11 Championship fixtures and are currently on a five-match winless streak ahead of their final-day trip to Cardiff City.

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