Belfast Telegraph

McLeish: We're up for the battle

Alex McLeish believes a combination of "experience, bottle and passion" is required to keep Birmingham in the Barclays Premier League.

The Carling Cup winners now have to concentrate on staying in the top flight for a third successive season - starting with Saturday's vital clash at fellow strugglers Wigan.

McLeish said: "You need that never say die attitude and bottle to get you through. You need to persevere right to the very end but the experience factor could help and we have that as well."

He added: "The good thing about this squad is I believe the lot of them could be Birmingham fans given the way they have committed themselves to the cause over the last couple of years.

"That should be a trait in every footballer anyway.

"You sometimes get some players who don't have the character and the same feel for a club and maybe don't put the same input in.

"But I know these guys in the current squad are all capable of being Birmingham fans because of their attitude and approach."

McLeish accepts this weekend could be a pivotal one in the battle to survive with locals rivals Aston Villa and Wolves facing each other at Villa Park.

He said: "There are a lot of big games this weekend and, as a league, we have come to the real business side of the season. We know that winning this game would give us fantastic confidence for the run-in.

"But, if we don't get the result we are looking for, the league is not finished. There will still be plenty of points to be played for in the nine games after that."


From Belfast Telegraph