Jutkiewicz targeting next milestone

Jutkiewicz becomes one of very few players to reach 50 goals for Blues.


Blues striker Lukas Jutkiewicz was full of praise for both players and management after the team picked up a vital win over Reading on Wednesday evening. 

The 2-1 victory at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium means Blues have pulled six points clear of Rotherham United in the Sky Bet Championship table.

Captain Harlee Dean headed a second-half winner to give Blues Boss Lee Bowyer a perfect start in the dugout but only after Lukas Jutkiewicz had opened the scoring with his 50th goal for the Club.

Yakou Meite had equalised in the first-half, that was his fourth goal in four games against Blues.

Speaking to the press after the game, Jutkiewicz explained the impact the new Boss has had on the group of players.

"He [Lee] wanted to give us confidence. He has told us that he's followed the team and the results and explained to us that he knew we could play. He said it'll be hard on us at times but he's a man that's played for this Club and understands what it takes to be here."

"Of course, naturally, a new Manager coming in gives the place a lift. It brings new ideas, it was a quick turnaround but we've been working hard and have a clear understanding of what the Manager expects from us - and I think that showed on the pitch.

"In terms of a committed team performance, it was a focused one, one with quality at times and I think we can be reasonably happy with that.

"The Manager's position demands respect - whoever's in charge. But when someone like Lee comes in who's had a playing career like he has, at this level, at this Club, straight away that commands respect.

Jutkiewicz says this isn't the first time his paths have crossed with the Blues Head Coach - the two enjoyed battles during the 2011/12 season - when he was playing for Coventry City.

"I played against Lee as a player - he was coming to the end of his career at Ipswich Town but I grew up watching him. I was a big fan of the Newcastle United side that he was so successful in". 

Despite only having a couple of days with the first-team after his appointment earlier this week, Bowyer was quick to get to work at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre. Jutkiewicz admits he was pleased with the way the team was set-up against Reading.

"I always enjoy being picked. It's no secret that I enjoy playing with a partner - Scott [Hogan] did things that I can't do. He worked his socks off and stretched the game which makes my job easier."

"The Gaffer told us to get the ball in the box and make them defend, ask them questions. We certainly did that - Jeremie Bela and Alen Halilović put great service into the box."

Jutkiewicz's goal was his 50th for Blues and came over four-and-a-half years after his first. In scoring the opener against Reading, Jutkiewicz joined an illustrious group of players to do so - which now stands at 32.

On the goal, Jutkiewicz said: "I'm always appreciative of wingers who put it in the box - your eyes light up when it comes and I thought 'I'm either going to foul him or score here  - and I might've done both' but tonight, the decision has gone for us. 

"I'm proud to play for this Club - but I'm always looking for my next goals. I now want the 51st, the 52nd and so forth. 

"I'm frustrated I didn't do the baby celebration though. My wife has recently given birth to our second child and I'm going to get stick when I get home."