Chris Powell could unleash James Vaughan on Birmingham City from the off.

The 26-year-old has played just 45 minutes of an Under 21 game and 12 minutes for Huddersfield Town’s first team since returning from a calf injury.

But the boss is desperate to pep things up as he bids to bounce back from the 5-0 Championship setback at Norwich City.

And with Nahki Wells struggling for goals and loan frontman Grant Holt due back at Wigan Athletic at the end of the month, Vaughan could be given the green light.

The former Norwich player has top scored for the last two seasons.

But amid a string of injury issues, he hasn’t netted in more than a year.

“It’s been a tough 12 months for James, but from my perspective, it’s what can he do for us now?” said Powell, whose side are 17th and unbeaten in seven at home.

“He is training well and I need to decide whether he is ready to make a difference to the team.”

Powell also backed Town’s £1.3m record signing Wells, who like Holt, has gone six games without a goal.

 

“There’s no panic, either for Nahki or ourselves,” added the manager.

“I’ve known plenty of strikers to go through these type of spells.

“Don’t forget Nahki has only been playing at this level for a year, so he is still learning his trade.

“He’s already a good player and he will get better.”

Powell, who has Murray Wallace suspended against Birmingham, said his fellow centre-back Joel Lynch is unlikely to be back after a groin problem.

Wideman Harry Bunn (thigh) and keeper Joe Murphy (foot) are also under treatment.

Powell hopes Lynch and Bunn could be back for the Boxing Day trip to Rotherham United.

Anthony Gerrard and Lee Peltier are both central defensive options against 15th-placed Birmingham.