BIRMINGHAM boss Garry Monk believes Cherries loanee Connor Mahoney has “definitely benefitted” from his spell with the Blues.

Mahoney, 22, started the season down the pecking order at St Andrew’s with his appearances limited to late cameos off the bench.

But the former Blackburn Rovers man has since become a regular feature in the side with 19 of his 32 appearances this campaign coming from the start. He has also scored two goals in the Championship.

Speaking to Birmingham Live about Mahoney, Monk said: “He’s been fantastic this season, in terms of coming in here, his attitude and how he’s fitted in.

“Everyone can see the ability and potential of him, but he just needs work.

“To be fair to him, in these past five or six games he’s taken his opportunity and that’s what it’s about, no matter what age you are. I’ve been really pleased with him this season.

“I’ve had loan players come in before and think they should play every single game and if they don’t, they sulk or get a little bit on their high horse and believe they should be playing because they’ve come from a Premier League club or whatever, but Connor is not like that at all.

“He’s come into this latter stage of the season and performed really well. I’m delighted with him.

“He’s got a bright future, Connor, and he’s a fantastic lad as well.”

Mahoney has featured twice for Cherries' first team since joining in 2017, both in the FA Cup, before spending four months on loan at Barnsley last season.

And after a full campaign in the second tier with Birmingham, Monk believes Cherries will see an improvement when the winger returns to Vitality Stadium in the summer.

Monk said: “I think he’s definitely benefitted from the experience.

“He’s managed to get into a situation where he’s put a solid block of games together.

“It’s probably the most he’s played in his career consecutively.”