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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 9 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 5, 2008

McCleish rues City's missed home opportunities

Alex McLeish admitted Birmingham's failure to display the killer touch in home matches has been a major downfall in their battle to survive in the Premier League.

Blues have lost only once at St. Andrews - against Chelsea - since McLeish took charge in early December but they have won only three times and drawn seven matches.

Only sharing the spoils in front of their own fans against the likes of fellow strugglers Reading, Fulham, Derby and Newcastle means City are in the bottom three entering the final weekend of the season.

McLeish said: 'Chelsea are the only team who have beaten us at St Andrews since I came here - and even that was fortunate by a single goal.

'We have seen good performances at St Andrews. There is only one 45 minutes at home I've been really dissatisfied with and that was the first half against Fulham.

'Every other game I've been quite happy with the performances and we've made it a difficult place for people to come to.

'But we have not taken nearly as many three-pointers as we should have and that is why we find ourselves in this position.

'There have been a few draws and, if we had sneaked a win in some of those games, we wouldn't be where we are now.'

McLeish is aware Birmingham's fate is now out of their own hands ahead of their final match with Blackburn.

Wins for either Reading at Derby or Fulham at Portsmouth will condemn them to the drop whatever the outcome against Mark Hughes' side.

McLeish added: 'We have to keep our heads up and stay positive. We've seen dramatic last days in the Premier League over the years and things have changed almost with the last kick of a game.

'Let's hope it's the same again next weekend and comes out in Birmingham's favour.

'It is a question of getting down to the template we have used so successfully at St Andrews in the previous games and we have a very good record of bouncing back.

'We've got to do everything in our power to stay in the Premier League.'