Alvaro Gimenez has big boots to fill, says Birmingham boss Pep Clotet
The Spaniard scored on his full debut for Blues after his summer move.
Birmingham boss Pep Clotet insists Alvaro Gimenez cannot be compared to Che Adams after he struck on his full debut to seal a 2-0 win against Barnsley.
New striker Gimenez, a £1.4million summer buy from Almeria, secured victory at St Andrew’s with a classy second-half lob.
Lukas Jutkiewicz’s header opened the scoring just eight minutes earlier as Blues bagged their second win of the season.
Gimenez scored 20 goals in the Spanish Segunda Division last season and joined to fill the gap left by Adams.
The forward netted 22 times before a £15million summer move to Southampton, but Clotet wants Gimenez to be his own man.
Clotet said: “He has big boots to fill, the fact you are Jukey’s partner means you are compared with Che. I’m not looking for Alvaro to be Che, I just want him to be Alvaro.
“They partnered very well and I think he put in a big effort. He understands what British football is and has embraced it. He has been one of us from the beginning. The quality of the finish was very good.
“It will give him a lot of confidence but I hope he forgets it completely and gets back into the race again and works hard again.”
After a forgettable first half Birmingham struck twice in eight minutes when Jutkiewicz headed in Wes Harding’s cross after 69 minutes.
Gimenez then coolly lobbed Samuel Radlinger after being put through by Steve Seddon.
Victory, which put Birmingham eighth in the early Sky Bet Championship table, was also a boost after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Clotet added: “I take into consideration where we were coming from, it was very hard for us on Saturday. It was really important for the players to come back after that.
“I’m very happy with the performance, bouncing back like that I can credit them massively.”
Barnsley sit 17th and rarely threatened Lee Camp in the Birmingham goal.
Head coach Daniel Stendel said: “Until the first goal we played a good away game and Birmingham didn’t really have chances.
“I thought we had the chance to win the game but we presented a goal and that made it difficult. It was very hard to see us doing that which made it a different game – it was very frustrating.
“We were better in the second half than Birmingham but 1-0 changed the situation.
“You could see after that we were very nervous, we lost our structure and it was difficult to change the result.”