By Graham Hill
THERE are some things in football that are never going to happen.
Aston Villa allowing one of their own players to appear in a Birmingham City shirt for a Second City Derby is one of them.
Blues cheekily asked if on-loan Villa player Gary Gardner could start in Sunday’s game at St Andrew’s.
Boss Garry Monk probably knew the answer and it was a firm ‘no’ from Villa Park.
There have been cases this season where loan players have been given permission to face their parent club.
It happened earlier this season when loanees Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori turned out against Chelsea for Derby in the Carabao Cup.
That was more to do with Frank Lampard’s strong link to Stamford Bridge.
But it is fair to say that Sunday’s game is nothing to do with handing out favours to the opposition.
Monk told reporters on Thursday: “We did ask, it was a short conversation, a straight ‘No’ from Aston Villa.
“I expected it, it doesn’t really make a difference, it is what it is. It wasn’t in his contract.
“I think there was an occasion with Derby and Chelsea earlier in the season when Derby asked for the two Chelsea loans to play and Chelsea said ‘Yes’.
“But most common is the parent club or the club that own the player have the right for them not to play against them.
“We’ve got a small squad but everyone has been ready, whoever steps on that pitch will go on there and relish that occasion and give everything for three points
“We have to think about it, Gary has done brilliantly for us since he came in, he has been a really consistent performer.”