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Survival is first priority for McLeish

By | 16th July 2010

Birmigham City boss Alex McLeish remains coy about the high expectations from his side. Following the Midlands outfit’s impressive ninth place finish in the Premier League last season, some are anticipating further improvement in the coming season. However, the man himself has told The Sun that survival in the English top flight is the club’s main focus at the moment.

Ben Foster has arrived from Manchester United to replace Joe Hart, who has returned to Manchester City following an amazing spell on loan at St. Andrews last season. Towering Serbian striker Nicola Zigic has also been added to the squad, and McLeish is looking forward to the continuing process of rebuilding an exciting Brum side for next season.

“I don’t look at last season — we’ve got to now start totally afresh. These two guys have given us a bit of freshness but I’m looking for more signings, we can’t rest on our laurels,” McLeish said, indicating ambition despite setting realistic objectives for his team.

“If any player is down on their level from last year, the Premier League is unforgiving. Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, said this is his club’s third year in the Premier League and he only wants to stay up,” he added. 

Although McLeish is staying optimistic about the impact new signings can make on his squad, he believes that finishing any higher than the previous season’s will be very difficult given the strength of Birmingham’s competitors.

“People are expecting us to finish higher than ninth, which I think is ridiculous. There’s a top seven that are pretty much untouchable and between the next 13 teams, it’s a big battle,” reflected the former Scotland manager.

“I might need to bolster the left-back position or one of the centre-back positions because if one of them go down, the numbers are quite short, but certainly in forward areas. We will try to bring in more players, the board have told me I would have the money for more players,” he concluded.

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