Birmingham City loanee Ryan Stirk is starting to shine for Mansfield Town
Birmingham City youngster Ryan Stirk is starting to really catch the eye after winning a starting place in the Mansfield Town side.
Two of the 21-year-old's passes in the build-up to the opening goal in Saturday's 2-1 win at Crawley Town were superb and boss Nigel Clough said: “He is just getting back to fitness really, but the two passes were very good quality.
“The fact he didn't stand after his first one – that was the most important thing. He went and supported the attack, got on the ball again and then played the killer pass for Ollie Hawkins to get a toe on it.
“It was just one of those passes-cum-crosses that are so good, it makes it very difficult for defenders.”
Clough is a big fan of Stirk and said: “It's just the quality he has on the ball.
“He is a little bit of an unusual midfielder for League Two because he is more of a cultured player and sometimes you don't get the time to show that side of your game in League Two.
“But he does have a bit of an edge to him as well and will put his foot in, and you saw he can score goals after his finish at Stevenage.
“Ryan has a little bit of everything and it's brilliant Birmingham see the best way to develop him is to go and play a season at League Two and see how he's looking from there.”
Clough would happily sign him if available but expects Stirk to play at a higher level.
“Of course we'd love to him longer but I can't see that happening at the moment,” he said. “We have him on a season-long loan which is great.
“That's all we're looking at at the moment with him. I think he will probably go beyond us at the moment.”