Birmingham City: Striker search stepped up after Donaldson blow

Clayton Donaldson
Clayton Donaldson has scored 20 goals in 60 league starts for Birmingham since joining on a free transfer in July 2014

Birmingham City have failed in a bid to sign a striker to cover for injured top scorer Clayton Donaldson but will carry on looking, says manager Gary Rowett.

Jamaica international Donaldson, 31, hurt his groin playing for his country last Wednesday and is unlikely to return before the end of the year.

"Between now and Thursday we will try unbelievably hard to get another player in," Rowett told BBC WM 95.6.

"I tried to get someone but we couldn't quite get that right player in."

Donaldson has spearheaded Blues' charge into the Championship play-off places, scoring five goals this season, including a hat-trick against Bristol City in September - and Rowett admits that he is a real loss.

"He's going to be out for at least six weeks and we're slightly frustrated about the situation," he said. "He went down after 10 minutes on a 4G pitch in Haiti, got treatment, but went down again 20 minutes later.

"Again he was told he was OK and he played 90 minutes but, on the clips, you could see he wasn't right."

Jamaica head coach Winfried Schafer is upset that Donaldson has returned to St. Andrew's injured, but insists they did everything they could to make sure the striker was fit enough to carry on.

"I'm sorry he has come back injured but we ask all our players - local and those from overseas - before the match and at half-time whether they can play," Schafer told BBC Sport. "Nobody plays in a match if they are injured - it's not my style. I hope Clayton can come back early for Birmingham."

With Blues already without midfielder David Cotterill because of a knee problem, Rowett knows the need for attacking reinforcements is paramount with only one win in their last five games.

"We lose a key player in Dave Cotterill and then Clayton - that's 24 goals out of the team from last season," he said.

"It's been 'striker search' for the last two weeks but that's got stepped up."

Gary Rowett
Gary Rowett has been in charge at St Andrew's for 13 months