Birmingham City midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld has spoken to the Dutch media about the intense rivalry his club has with Aston Villa.
In recent seasons the Dutchman has sampled the Birmingham derby after Aston Villa were relegated to the Championship two seasons ago.
In an interview with Voetbal International, the 28 year old was asked about the rivalry between Birmingham City and Aston Villa: “These mutual matches are so intense. You can taste the hatred in the stands. When I signed up at Birmingham City, I immediately received one urgent piece of advice: “From now on, you must hate Aston Villa”. And they were the board members who tell you that.
“Both are not playing at the highest level. Birmingham and Villa have both had their problems in recent years, but they remain two very big clubs.”
Kieftenbeld joined Birmingham City in 2015 but had to wait until the 2016/17 season to get his first experience of playing against Aston Villa. Unfortunately for the central midfielder he’s yet to be on the winning side in the Birmingham derby, with two draws and two defeats.
However, Kieftenbeld will get this chance to put this right at Villa Park this weekend, with Garry Monk’s side going into the game full of confidence. In recent weeks Birmingham City have climbed up the Championship table, helped by winning four games in a row last month.