Blues optimistic over Johnson

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Birmingham are hopeful key defender Roger Johnson will be fit for this weekend's crucial home clash with Sunderland.

Johnson suffered concussion in the weekend draw at Blackburn and had to be taken off at half-time - much to his irritation. Blues boss Alex McLeish insists he was right to replace the former Cardiff man and is confident he will be able to count on Johnson for the game against freefalling Sunderland.

He said: "The doctor felt there was concussion. Roger was a bit groggy but he will get over it. We don't think it's too severe and hopefully he will get over it for the weekend."

He added: "I had to drag Roger off. You know how he never wants to stop playing. He was just saying 'give me half-time', but I said 'no chance'.

"He had a bit of a rant and a rave, as he does.

"But I told him there was no way I was going to compromise the health and safety of one of my most important players."

McLeish is also keeping his fingers crossed that Johnson's replacement, Curtis Davies, will have recovered from a knock to his lateral knee ligament.

Midfielder Barry Ferguson is expected to be fit despite sustaining a neck injury in the 1-1 draw at Ewood Park.

Birmingham are 16th in the Barclays Premier League table, three points above the bottom three.

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Roger Johnson
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Cardiff City
Curtis Davies
Barry Ferguson

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