Just one point currently seperates Birmingham City from the relegation zone, although their manager Alex McLeish doesn’t appear too nervous going into Monday night’s match with Newcastle United. Indeed, he has every reason to be confident after a number of recent bright performances from his team, including a resounding 4-1 win over Tottenham a fortnight ago. Sky Sports report that Big Eck is delighted with the attitude of his squad, praising their mental toughness which he hopes will carry them over the finishing line.
“The mental side comes into it without question,” McLeish said.
“Like anyone, there are some days when they might think, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’
“It is a question of training the mind to prevent these things happening and I can help them with my experiences over the years.
“But I am not seeing signs of a nervous team. I can’t praise these guys high enough in terms of their commitment to Birmingham and there is individual pride there.
“We can only look back at some of the mistakes but I don’t think there is any fear about them. I don’t see a team that is frightened in recent games.
“I would be expecting a similar approach to against Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs in recent home matches and if they give me that level of performance, I have to be happy.
“Sometimes the outcome may not be what you want but if they give me those type of performances, I can’t ask for any more than that.”
A win against the Magpies will move Birmingham up three places in the Premier League, such are the tight margins involved at the foot of the table. With Fulham back in the race for survival, Monday night’s match could be crucially important in determining which teams are involved in the scrap for survival.