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Birmingham City Football Club

  • Nickname:Blues
  • Founded:1875
  • Manager:Lee Clark
  • Ground:St Andrew's
  • Capacity:30016
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City challenge to O'Connor

07 Dec 2007 - 09:07:12

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish has challenged Garry O'Connor to prove he deserves a first-team place.

The 24-year-old striker has struggled to make an impact following his £2.5million arrival from Lokomotiv Moscow in the summer.

O'Connor has started just one Premier League game for the Blues and McLeish - who managed him at both Hibernian and with the Scotland national team - believes he has all the attributes required to be a success.

However, McLeish, who swapped Scotland for St Andrew's last month, wants to see more "maturity" from the Edinburgh-born forward.

"Garry came into the Scotland set-up and did extremely well," he admitted.

"He played in a friendly against Austria where he looked really composed. He looked like a centre-forward who knew what he was doing. Then against the Faroe Islands, he scored a precious goal for us.

"Garry has got to prove he's good enough to be in the team and he's got to be better than the other players competing for the same place.

"Garry has got ability, there's no doubt about it. He can shoot with either foot, is decent in the air and is mobile.

"He's got all the attributes but it's up to the player himself to get it all together and to have the positive mind that he can pull it off.

"He's got to mature very quickly and he knows we won't accept anything other than what we see as what a professional footballer is all about."


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