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McLeish: Give summer signings time
Published : 26 Sep 2010 13:42:00Rss feed
Alex McLeish has called for patience to allow his summer signings time to adjust to the Premier League and Birmingham's style of play. City have built their success on a rock solid defence and allowed Wigan few chances in Saturday's goalless draw at St Andrew's. But McLeish admits he is still trying to find the right blend in the attacking third of the pitch. Alexander Hleb should be used to the top flight after his spell at Arsenal, although the on-loan Barcelona player is short of match fitness and sharpness. But £6million striker Nikola Zigic and winger Jean Beausejour are still coming to terms with the pace and demands of the game. McLeish said: "I am still trying to find the right blend. We've got to be patient and persevere with the guys. "Alex (Hleb) is still searching for sharpness and fitness as is the case with Beausejour. Alex has not played a lot of games, not a lot of football. "That game (Saturday) will help him and we've got to get the ball to him better than we did at times. "Alex knows the quality of some of the guys but we are not quite Arsenal where everyone seems to be available and their one and two touch passing is sublime. "Arsene Wenger is able to sign the very top players and nurture the very top young ones. But Alex has got to fit into our style as well and realise he can make a difference. "Nikola Zigic is still trying to adjust to the English game. It's hurly burly, 100 miles an hour, and people expect him to win every ball in the air. "But he doesn't really play that way on the continent or international level. "Like I said, they all need time to adjust, just like some of the lads last season after coming in." McLeish is aware of the need for City to win their home games even though they are now unbeaten in front of their own fans for a year, equalling a club top-flight record of 18 games. He said: "To go a year unbeaten at home is a phenomenal achievement and I am proud of the record. "I'm really proud of the players and the pressure was on with the media lining us up for a fall with all the talk about the record. But we need to win our home games. "We are in a better position than we were this time last season. "That doesn't mean to say we will have as good a season but the start hasn't been too bad at all." McLeish will not be contesting the straight red card handed out to midfielder Craig Gardner for a lunge at Wigan's Franco Di Santo. Latics boss Roberto Martinez is hoping his initial fears the player may have suffered ankle ligament damage are wide of the mark. He was full of praise for the attitude shown by winger Charles N'Zogbia who received verbal abuse throughout the 90 minutes from Birmingham fans after rejecting a summer move. Martinez said: "Since the transfer window has closed, Charles has just got focused, close to the players, spoke to the players, and he was here to help the team win games. "His behaviour has been fantastic. Charles has been working hard to get into the team and that's not going to change. "Then in January, if it's not Charles it will be someone else (clubs come in for) because that is the nature of the window. "But what we need to make sure of until that period is that we develop well, are a team the players enjoy playing for, and we reach our full potential. "If we do that, we will get to the next level and that is good for Wigan."
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