McLeish plans to dent City's Euro hopes
irmingham manager Alex McLeish has warned Manchester City that his team are out to derail their bid to qualify for the Champions League. Birmingham travel to Manchester on Sunday knowing they could have a key role to play in who finishes fourth as they also have to tackle Aston Villa before the season finishes. McLeish said: "They may see the game as a good opportunity to get three points. "But we can certainly put a dent in their ambitions because of the previous evidence which shows we can do it." McLeish certainly does not expect his players to be star struck against big-spending City and he added: "We are delighted to be playing at a club like Manchester City. "But we don't want to be passengers admiring their stadium and the Manchester City players. "We want to go there and give a good account of ourselves. "The result like that which occurred at Burnley last week when Manchester City were such outstanding winners can happen against the top clubs - if they click on the day. "We have a team which I hope gives Manchester City a good game on the day and we are not going there expecting to be beaten. I have a side which relishes every challenge. "On the very first day of the season, Manchester United away, I said to the players that they had to make sure they're part of it next season. "Playing at Old Trafford is a highlight for any player. But to play there and not just admire the surroundings and show you are not fazed is the challenge. "My players have certainly done that this season and not been fazed by any team. "They have stood toe to toe to everybody and given a good account of themselves to prove they are worthy of being in the Premier League. "But there is no guarantee to win any game and going away is really tough. "Ask the Manchester United's and the Chelsea's of this world who have found it quite tough on their travels this season. "But I still think we are capable of picking up points on the road and hopefully we can do something in Manchester." There will be one enforced change in the Birmingham side from the one which held Liverpool to a draw at St Andrew's last week. Goalkeeper Joe Hart, who McLeish feels is destined to be part of the England World Cup squad, is unable to play against his parent club. Birmingham draft in veteran Northern Ireland international Maik Taylor for only his second Premier League game of the season in the absence of Hart. McLeish added: "Maik Taylor came into the side for the previous game against Manchester City and had a shut-out. "We know that we have an international goalkeeper coming in to play for us who has massive experience in the Premier League. "He has been a great goalkeeper throughout his career. He is a fantastic number two for us. "Maik has accepted that role this season. He has worked very hard with Joe Hart on the training ground along with our goalkeeping coach Dave Watson and Colin Doyle. "He is a great professional and we are happy to have him between the sticks." Taylor, 38, is coming to the end of his current contract but Birmingham want to retain his services and they are to open to talks with the former Fulham keeper to finalise a new deal.
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