Lee Bowyer heaps praise on Tahith Chong after Derby win

The Blues move temporarily up to fourth after victory over Derby County

Birmingham City moved into the Championship play-off places after beating Derby County 2-0 on Friday evening.

Goals on the night came from Scott Hogan and Jeremie Bela but it was Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong who once again stole the plaudits with yet another man-of-the-match performance.

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Lee Bowyer was full of praise for all of his players post-match but when questioned about Chong, he couldn’t help but add another glowing reference to the midfielder’s resume.

“He’s a very good player there’s no two ways about it,” Bowyer told Sky Sports.

“Everyone will talk about what he does in possession. The way he glides past players and his end product is very good as well.

“But did you see him sprint 50/60 yards back when they hit us on the break and make that tackle? To me, that’s an all round player.

“Everyone can have a luxury player but he brings so much more than that.

“He’s a young lad and he’s still learning the game but his attitude has been spot on.

“He’s been a credit to Manchester United since day one he came in for us and we love him.”

The Blues manager also believes he’s started adapting to the physicality of the Championship but says it’s no excuse for some of the tackles that were being put on him tonight.

There were numerous occasions throughout the evening where he was brought down by a white shirt, simply as it was the only way they could stop him, but Bowyer thinks he deserves a little more protection on the field.

“Did you see some of the challenges that went on him tonight?

“One, he skipped past him and he didn’t even bother going for the ball. Another, he elbowed him in the face or wherever he hit him.

“I have to protect him a little bit as well because we want him to get on the ball and excite the fans.

“People can’t just get on the ball and kick him. Refs need to protect him a bit too.”