Alex McLeish banishes Euro talk as Birmingham battle to beat the drop

09 May 2011 01:42

Alex McLeish has welcomed confirmation that Birmingham will compete in next season's Europa Cup but says he cannot celebrate until his side confirm their Premier League safety.

Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Newcastle leaves McLeish's team on 39 points, which is three ahead of Wigan, with a superior goal difference. Close tosafety, but not close enough for the Birmingham manager.

Right decision: Alex McLeish had no argument with the dismissal of Liam Ridgewell (right)

He said: 'It's great we've got the clearance for Europe but we know we have to service that decision with an assault on all fronts and that means having the players with the quality and strength in depth.

'And we need to get over that finishing line. Europe is not at the top of my agenda at the moment. It's all about can we go higher up the league by winning our last two games. We just have to keep going, I never count my chickens.'

FIGHTING SPIRIT?Subdued at Newcastle, even when 2-1 down. Didn't create enough to earn a draw.

McLeish had no complaints about Liam Ridgewell's dismissal for deliberate handball which allowed Shola Ameobi to put Newcastle in front.

But he was furious referee Chris Foy missed Steven Taylor's elbow to Cameron Jerome's crown before he added the decisive second.

He said: 'I'm not sure of the rules but if it was for preventing a goalscoring opportunity, then I'd agree with the sending off.

'But Taylor should have been sent off for an elbow to Cameron Jerome's face earlier.

'He led with his elbow. You just can't do that. That is something we just don't want to see in the game. Cameron could have had a broken jaw with that challenge.'

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 Explore more:People: Steven Taylor, Alex McLeish, Liam Ridgewell Places: Birmingham, Newcastle, Europe

Source: Daily_Mail

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