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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 28, 2009

McLeish's warning for prospective owner Yeung

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish insists he would have to approve of any new signings during the Carson Yeung era.

Yeung, who is poised to take full control of Blues during the next few weeks, had a reputation for being heavily involved in team affairs when the owner of Hong Kong Rangers.

But McLeish, who has still to talk to Yeung and his representatives, made it clear any additions to the squad would be down to himself ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at leaders Tottenham.

The former Scotland boss said: "I can't talk to the prospective owners unless I get permission from the current board and they have to be 100% sure the deal is going to go through. It looks as if it is.

"It would be nice to speak to Carson and his people and get a bit of clarity and talk about the way forward. But, until such a deal is done, it is difficult for the incumbents to say I can go and talk to them.''

McLeish added: "Any players that come in would need to be players that I approved of and there has got to be that respect from day one. We will wait until we get the green light to talk to Carson about these things.

"Are you concerned about interference in team affairs? I've got nothing to say other than that. We will have to wait and see what unfolds and I'll be able to give you a comment. It is all hypothetical at the moment so it is better I say nothing.''

McLeish believes Tottenham will be genuine contenders to break into the top four this season if they avoid injuries to key performers.

He began his reign in charge of Blues with a 3-2 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane 20 months ago.

McLeish said: "It is a very different team to then. There are still a few players who played in that game but we know they are at the top of their form now. Their confidence is sky high. They have multi-million pound players who can't even get a game. We are in no doubts about the mammoth task we face but that is the great challenge of football.

"We will be tested. They have great speed and technical ability, an embarrassment of riches we can only dream about. They have been the talk of the season so far. Are they top four contenders? There is no reason why they can't be if they keep everyone fit.

"You only need to lose two or three players and it can go pear-shaped for you. If two or three players missing can damage them, well spare a thought for us!''

McLeish is weighing up whether to give a first league start to Ecuador striker Christian Benitez after he impressed during the Carling Cup win at Southampton in mid-week.

He said: "It depends on my tactics. I know people who think they know better will have him in the team every week. But we have to tactically think about things and, whatever formation we have at Spurs, will be instrumental in the choice of player.''

Left-back Gregory Vignal could return after missing the last two games with a hip problem but striker Cameron Jerome is still ruled out with an ankle injury.

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