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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Brady insists Birmingham will not sack McLeish

Birmingham managing director Karen Brady insists manager Alex McLeish will not be sacked at the end of the season, even if the midlands club are relegated from the Premier League.

City will go down if both Reading and Fulham win at Derby and Portsmouth respectively this weekend irrespective of their result against visiting Blackburn.

But Brady said: 'One thing I'll make clear now, there is no way we are going to sack Alex McLeish. Alex McLeish has style - no whingeing or falsehoods in the wake of defeat.'

Brady's statement will come as good news to skipper Damien Johnson, the club's longest serving player, does not feel sacking McLeish if Blues drop back into the Coca-Cola Championship is the right way forward.

Johnson said: 'I think chopping and changing managers isn't the way to go forward - for any team. Nobody is thinking about relegation and Alex's future - and they shouldn't be.

'Alex is definitely different to Steve Bruce but they are both good managers in their own way. Alex needs to be given an opportunity to stamp his mark.

'It was quite difficult for him when he came in. The transfer window was just about to open, he was trying to assess the squad and was working with someone else's budget.

'He was also trying to get his own ideas across and I thought he handled everything well. Alex needs to be given time. It is no good for anybody if things change again.'

The Northern Ireland international added: 'I'm sure Alex will love the summer when he can really get his teeth into things seriously. He might think he needs to make wholesale changes, he might not, but I'm sure he will want to do a few things.'

The records of Bruce and McLeish during this turbulent season at St Andrews are almost identical.

Birmingham collected 11 points from 14 games before Bruce and his assistant Eric Black left to join Wigan while under McLeish they have earned 21 points from 23 matches.