Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

McLeish defends Blues signings

Alex McLeish
Alex McLeish

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has defended his signings and his decision to allow some of them time to adjust to the demands of the Barclays Premier League.

Blues acting chairman Peter Pannu questioned the quality of some of McLeish's captures and their impact last weekend. McLeish insists his relationship with Pannu - and owner Carson Yeung - is fine and he is working closely with them to bring in new blood before the transfer window closes.

McLeish said: "(Jean) Beausejour was excellent (in the Carling Cup semi-final win against West Ham). Again it takes time for people to settle. As you know, I went for British-based targets in the summer. I went for Charles N'Zogbia. If we had got him I wouldn't have gone for Jean. But Jean is settling in. He was out for six weeks with a knee injury which is something I couldn't legislate for."

He added: "Also, when you bring in any signing, they don't necessarily go straight into your team anyway unless it's a big marquee signing.

"But you have to build a squad and some of the signings were coming to feel their way in and learn under the Barry Fergusons and people like that.

"(Craig) Gardner came in. I said he wouldn't play in the first team to start with. He has got himself into the team. Like I said, Jean gave us a smashing performance and big Ziggy (Nikola Zigic) did well (against West Ham)."

McLeish added: "Just about every one of my signings are in the team. I can only play 11 players. Some signings are not signings which cost the earth but are signings you need to augment your squad."

The major disappointment for McLeish was the failure of play-maker Michel to make an impact after his £3million move from Sporting Gijon.

"Michel has been a big disappointment for me. I am not disappointed with him but I am disappointed I wasn't able to get him to adjust to the English game," the manager added.

"He is a good player but if things don't work out you have to act swiftly."

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