Taylor gets his chance for Blues

30 October 2009 01:53
Taylor was Birmingham's number one last season and played a major part in them regaining their top flight status at the first attempt.

He lost his place when McLeish signed Joe Hart on a season-long loan from Eastlands, but his ineligibility to face his parent club gives Taylor a rare chance to remind McLeish of his ability.

The former Scotland boss said: "Maik has been brilliant. He has set a very good standard the whole season. He took it on the chin that Joe Hart has gone in ahead of him.

"But it has not dampened his enthusiasm or his attitude. He saw how professional Maik was when helping Northern Ireland get a shut-out away to the Czech Republic recently. Not many international teams do that.

"He's in good form and I have no qualms at all about bringing Maik in. I have to make hard decisions on team selection.

"They are never easy and they are never personal and it is just about how I see things. I am just glad we have two cracking keepers at the club."

Hart made a major blunder which allowed Sunderland to score a late goal against Blues last weekend.

McLeish said: "Joe beats himself up when he makes a mistake so I can imagine how he's feeling after that. But he is the sort of person who will work hard to make sure that doesn't happen again."

McLeish accepts that the mentality among some people in wanting big-spending City to fail is part and parcel of football.

He said: "I know what football is like. I've got a hard enough job myself without thinking about Manchester City.

"I know there is jealousy out there - not just for Manchester City but even for me. Some people want to see me fail. Some people are right behind me. It is just part and parcel of football.

"The little guy wants to see the big guy fail and Mark Hughes will be aware of that talk going on and will probably use it as a weapon for his advantage."

McLeish admits he is working closely with City's new assistant chairman of football Sammy Yu in trying to bring new players to Birmingham in the January transfer window.

He said: "I have got to forge a close relationship with Sammy and so far that is working pretty well.

"We are looking at a lot of different players and now we have to produce a short list of people we definitely want to bring to the club.

"That is not something that will happen in a couple of days. But if it is a player that can enhance the team, we will try and get them to the club.

"We have always kept players in mind in the event of there being some money to spend.

"But we will still try and work prudently and I'll try not to waste the club's money.

"But one or two people will now definitely come into the picture that we would not have thought about previously."

McLeish has been linked with several players, including many from his native Scotland but he is remaining tight-lipped over any potential targets.

He said: "I don't want to talk about names. It's better I make no comment. Some have been bandied about this week but I don't think it is right to start naming names."

Birmingham left-back Gregory Vignal is back in contention to face City after overcoming a hamstring problem.

Bu he may have to be content with a place amongst the substitutes given the impressive form of Liam Ridgewell who has been converted from a central defender into the full-back role.

Winger Keith Fahey is again doubtful because of an ankle problem.

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Source: Team_Talk