Bendtner gives Bruce boost
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Bruce paid tribute to Nicklas Bendtner after Birmingam's win over Colchester.
Steve Bruce paid tribute to on-loan striker Nicklas Bendtner after the Arsenal teenager scored the winning goal in Birmingham's 2-1 win over Colchester on the opening day of the Championship season.
The 18-year-old Dane had only been at St Andrews for two days before coming off the bench to score the 78th minute goal that broke Colchester's resolve.
The promoted side, playing their first ever game in the second tier of English football, had looked on course for a draw when Richard Garcia cancelled out DJ Campbell's opener.
However Bruce summoned Bendtner to make his decisive impact, and following the first game of the season the Blues boss revealed he beat off strong competition to land the striker who impressed in his first league game in English football.
"You saw a bit of class from the young lad and we are delighted to have him here," said Bruce.
"I think there were 15 clubs, including Celtic and Rangers, who were interested so we have beaten off a lot of competition and I am well pleased.
"We only got him on Thursday, but you could see when he trained with us yesterday that we have got ourselves a bit of a player on our hands.
"I have seen him play many times for Arsenal reserves. Last season he got something like 20 goals and you can see why they rate him highly.
"But we have a decent relationship with Arsenal when you think people like Jermaine Pennant, Matthew Upson and Neil Kilkenny have all done well for us.
"They see us as a decent learning place for their kids. But Nicklas is only 18 and he has got to keep his feet on the ground and keep doing what he has done today."
Bruce, who confirmed he is making a fourth offer for Coventry striker Gary McSheffrey, also revealed the club are considering an appeal against Cameron Jerome's sending off, as the striker was dismissed three minutes into his debut for making contact with Karl Duguid using his arm.
"I have seen the incident on television and it looks very harsh," Bruce added.
"We might appeal against it and ask the referee to have another look at it.
"The guy has fouled him and Cameron has tried to push him away."
Colchester boss Geraint Williams, after what was his first game at the helm following Phil Parkinson's switch to Hull City, rued his side's inability to turn their numerical advantage into a victory.
"You can say it was a cruel result for us but we let ourselves down," said Williams.
"We had the extra man and looked as if we might possibly win, but we got caught and to lose the game is a harsh lesson.
"I thought there were a lot of good things from our point of view. We have come to the home ground of the promotion favourites and competed between the two penalty boxes.
"Where they had the edge was with the two finishes for their goals. That was the only difference between the two sides."