Birmingham City have undergone a sort of revival since the start of this year and City manager Alex McLeish has no hesitation to single out James McFadden as the reason for the transformation.
The player was signed in January from Everton for £5 million and has already established himself in the Birmingham starting line-up. McLeish says:
James has brought a bit of creativity from middle to front, which we had lacked. James has definitely added something in that department.
He has taken the responsibility on of being a £5million player. James knows that is what comes with the territory when people look at you as a top player.
You have to take that responsibility and you have to show consistency, do it in every single game – and James is relishing that challenge.
I just felt it was a case of him being the right man at the right time. He has settled in very well and is a popular lad in the dressing room.
Has he been waiting for this stage?
He has been waiting for this chance. Over the years he would have been a wee bit impatient about it. He has been developing all the time through that spell.
I am sure his mental toughness would have improved because of the amount of times he would have been knocked down and had the stuffing knocked out of him having played and then being left out.
It takes a strong person to keep bouncing back.
I am not saying he will play every game because players cannot play 40 odd games consecutively – but he is certainly going to be one of the major players for us and has made a great start.
Seems like McFadden’s decision to leave the greener pasture of Goodison Park was a blessing.