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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 14 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 30, 2011

McLeish demands Birmingham response

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has delivered a "your club needs you'' message to his players after admitting they suffered an adverse reaction to their Carling Cup triumph.

Blues have taken only one point from a possible nine since their shock Wembley triumph over Arsenal last month and they slid into the bottom three of the Premier League after the 2-1 defeat at Wigan 12 days ago.

But McLeish will demand a positive response after the international break, starting with Saturday's home clash against Bolton.

"I have spoken to a lot of people in the last fortnight and it is clear there is often a reaction after a huge game like that cup final. It's not unique because as a club you have to dig deep into the reserves of energy in your players.

"But the fact is we lost momentum and we need to get it back. We need to hit the ground running on Saturday. We'll be putting pressure on every player to do that, including those coming back from international duty.

"Never mind 'your country needs you' - it's a case of 'your club needs you'.''

Midfielder Lee Bowyer has resumed training and should be available to face the Trotters after a hamstring injury, but central defender Martin Jiranek is still rated by McLeish as "touch and go'' due to a foot problem.

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