Bruce buoyed by Izzet

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Steve Bruce hopes the return to fitness of Muzzy Izzet will give Birmingham City a huge lift.

Izzet made his first Premiership start in almost 12 months on Saturday as Blues slipped to an undeserved defeat at Newcastle United.

The Turkish midfielder was returning to action after an Achilles problem, which had interrupted his comeback from a knee injury.

The 31-year-old played almost the entire game at St James' Park and Bruce was buoyed to see Izzet patrolling the midfield again.

"You have seen what a difference it makes to a team like ours when Muzzy Izzet comes back," said Bruce. "He trained on Friday for the first time in six-and-a-half weeks.

"Because of the injuries we have got, we had to throw Muzzy - and Stan Lazaridis who has also been a big player for us - in at Newcastle.

"Muzzy Izzet was absolutely immense for a kid who was tasting his first 80 minutes of action since last October when his knee problems first started.

"He is a good player. He just hasn't had the chance to show it at Birmingham because of his knee problem. You could see on Saturday what a big player he is."

David Dunn is another Birmingham player to suffer ill-luck with injuries, with the midfielder currently sidelined with a calf complaint.

The former Blackburn Rovers man has made just one appearance since last Christmas but Bruce hopes to have Dunn back to face Bolton in the club's next game.

Bruce added: "I am convinced when we play Bolton that we may have the re-emergence of David Dunn as well which would be another big lift.

"He has also had horrible luck with injuries and we all know what a difference he makes to us as we have seen when he has been fit."