Birmingham boss Alex McLeish delighted with January signings

01 February 2011 05:36
Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish was pleased with his transfer window dealings, but frustrated at having to 'go right up to the wire' to secure the striker they needed.

The St Andrew's club brought in former Newcastle forward Obafemi Martins from Rubin Kazan on loan, with the deal going through during the last few hours of transfer deadline day.

They also signed defender Curtis Davies to provide cover for the injured Scott Dann, and secured Tottenham midfielder David Bentley on loan.

Forward thinking: McLeish delighted with his January dealings at St.Andrews

McLeish said he is satisfied with the end result, even if it involved a degree of brinkmanship.

He said: 'You see doors getting shut in your face over January, so finally getting over the line was great.

'We're really pleased with the players we brought in.

'We tried a few, Martins was always in that mix, but you've got to keep the balls juggling in the air, and we did that right up to the wire."

McLeish believes that Martins, 26, will bring an extra dimension to his team.

'He's explosive, two-footed and good in the air," he said.

'He's probably a more experienced Chucho Benitez, who did a reallygood job for us last year and was instrumental in creating chances.

'I believe that Oba will do that as well.'

Premier return: Martins will return to his former stomping ground in Newcastle, this time with Birmingham

Fellow new boy Davies, who has crossed the city from Aston Villa, felt he had no option but to move in search of first team football - even if that meant defecting to his former club's fiercest rivals.

'I hadn't played a league game for Villa for 18 months,' said the former West Brom defender.

'If I was a regular in the side and had jumped ship to come to the Blues it might be different, but it was more the case that they were happy to see the back of me and I was happy to see the back of them.

'At the end of the day, I wasn't playing, I was just sitting there doing nothing, so I think both parties were really happy to go their separate ways.'

Bitter move: Davies swaps Villa for their city rivals

Hell Bent: Bentley was first through the door during January window

The former West Brom man added that the only downside to the deal was his ineligibility for the Carling Cup final.

Davies has played just 104 minutes of first-team football for Aston Villa this season, but unfortunately for him, 14 of those came in the Carling Cup third round against Blackburn.

'I came on because someone got a knock,' he said.

'I didn't really need to come on, and now I miss out on playing at Wembley again.

'People have been texting me saying 'you've got a nice little cup final slot there', and I've said 'unfortunately not', crying into the other end of the phone.

'I'm just hoping they go and win it now,' added new-boy Davies.

Both Davies and Martins should be eligible to play in Birmingham's game against Manchester City tomorrow, with McLeish taking a decision on Martins' fitness nearer the match.

 BIRMINGHAM v Manchester City: New recruits Martins and Davies available for McLeishBirmingham block any move from Larsson to big-spending Man CityClub-by-club guide to every Premier League transfer deal during January

 Explore more:People: David Bentley, Scott Dann, Alex McLeish, Obafemi Martins Places: Newcastle, Birmingham

Source: Daily_Mail