Big Eck not drawn over Eduardo

26 March 2010 10:58
But the Blues boss will also spell out to his squad "don't stand back and admire Arsenal" whom he believes have a genuine chance of winning the Premier League title this season.

And he also disagrees with Arsene Wenger's theory opponents target the Gunners in terms of adopting a more physical approach.

Eduardo suffered his injury setback two years ago in a tackle during a 2-2 draw by City central defender Martin Taylor who has since moved to Watford.

Wenger initially claimed after the game Taylor should not be allowed to continue playing football although he later issued a statement regretting his comments.

McLeish has "moved on" from that unfortunate episode and is more concerned with Birmingham getting their season back on track and he is promising a fair but hard approach from his side.

He said: "We know if we are open, Arsenal will rip us apart but we believe we have got players who can cause Arsenal problems as well.

"But if you saying 'will we get in their faces' we don't have that type of player in the team. You've got to be competitive and, if you are brought up in the British game, that is the style of play.

"Arsene has created a European style in his team, with an international flavour, and they are fantastic to watch.

"But if we stand around and watch them we will get a battering so you've got to be making tackles. You must be able to make tackles in the game of football.

"It is a contact sport and I will certainly say to my players 'don't stand back and admire them' but there won't be any rough stuff and I don't think we are capable of doing that anyway."

Regarding Wenger's claims teams are more physical against Arsenal, McLeish added: Do I agree with that? No, I think every team has their own style.

"You play against other teams and you have just got to cope with whatever style comes up against you. If you can't cope with it, then obviously you aren't good enough on the day."

Blues have taken points of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool this season and McLeish believes they are capable of the same against the other member of the established "big four."

He added: "That is our aim. We want to make it tough for Arsenal. It is a great league, very competitive, and some of the other teams in the top five or six, will be looking for us to do something.

"We are capable of doing it. We got a draw against Arsenal two years ago with 10 men and arguably it wasn't as good a team as we've got now but that doesn't guarantee you anything.

"Arsenal could also maybe say they are better than two years ago."

McLeish has no fresh injury worries as he looks for his team to get back on track after defeats at Sunderland and Blackburn.

He said: "There is no reason why we can't go on another run because have proved before that we can do it. We've been punished a bit by every little mistake.

"It is not massive errors but, when you look at some of the goals we have lost recently, it is unlike us. It has been silly goals.

"It is not as if teams have played their way through us and killed us with great passing movements and ripped us apart.

"We have just been a bit slack at times but I can't fault the performance level in terms of the way we have played."

Source: Team_Talk