Bruce salutes Oubina
Midfielder gives Blues more options
By Stephen Pass. Last Updated: September 7, 2007 4:48pm
Oubina: Experienced player
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has spoken of the options new loan signing Oubina brings to his team.
Bruce believes the Spanish midfielder - signed on a season-long loan deal after an £8million move from Celta Vigo to Benfica fell through - will bring much needed experience to his young side.
And Oubina will also give Bruce the option of changing his system if he sees fit.
Bruce told the Birmingham Mail: "He will add some experience. You could see that at Middlesbrough in the centre we had (Fabrice) Muamba and (Johan) Djourou who, although cracking players, are only 19 and 20 respectively.
"The Middlesbrough lads, (Julio) Arca and (Fabio) Rochemback, are very good players, they've seen it and done it and our two struggled.
"Because of their physical size and presence, we sometimes forget that Muamba and Djourou are young and still a bit raw at times.
"Muamba, for example, showed us what he can do when he was against (Frank) Lampard and (Michael) Essien at Chelsea. But youngsters are going to be up and down."
Bruce added: "Oubina has a good pedigree and, with him here, it leaves me to toy with the idea of maybe changing our system.
"Whether you say I've been adventurous playing two up and two wingers, I don't know. But Oubina gives us another option, going that way of having three midfielders in there and a couple out wide supporting the front, or one off the front.
"Especially against the big teams, we've done well playing that way, like at Chelsea, and I might adapt us a little bit.
"That's not being negative, it's just something that tends to work for us, especially away from home."
Bruce believes the Spaniard's arrival will make up for missing out on Frenchman Peter Luccin, who chose to move to Real Zaragoza from Atletico Madrid after courting the Blues during the summer.
"He's a very good footballer. He doesn't really score a lot but he's a good passer of the ball and he's got good intelligence," added Bruce.