Birmingham boss Alex McLeish counts down to 'biggest game of career'

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish admits he is braced for the biggest game of his managerial career against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

McLeish led Blues to Carling Cup glory in February but three months later the club's Barclays Premier League future is on a knife edge.

City are one of five clubs who could drop through the relegation trapdoor amidst speculation surrounding McLeish's future.

He said: "It's hypothetical stuff. I'm not going to get involved in ifs and buts (about my future).

"But I do know it is probably the biggest game of my career.

"It is certainly the biggest of my managerial career - so bring it on.

"I believe we will stay up. We have to try and play to the strengths the players possess.

"We know opening up against a Spurs team could be deadly.

"We've got our own strategy and we have to try and be good on the day to get a positive result at White Hart Lane."

Birmingham have been decimated by injuries and two lengthy cup runs have taken their toll.

But McLeish is refusing to blame the side effects of Blues lifting their first trophy for 48 years for their current predicament.

He said: "I'm not blaming anything on the cup. We have been savaged by injuries. There is no doubt about it and suspensions don't help.

"We have been hit in that department but I'm not blaming the cup. It was a brilliant day.

"The players have given the fans some fantastic days this season including the Carling Cup.

"There have been other games as well. We beat Chelsea, drew at Manchester City who are now in the Champions League.

"They've got plenty of great moments that they have given the fans and I am looking for one more great moment at Spurs."

McLeish feels any side relegated this season can count themselves unlucky.

He said: "We are where we are because we have not won enough games, or got enough points. But 39 points in any other season would have been fine.

"Three teams are going to go down and they don't deserve to go down but if it's your destiny, then that is what will happen - but I think we'll stay up."

McLeish concedes that a lack of goal power and failure to register as many clean sheets as last season are the main reasons for City's current plight.

He said: "The nucleus of the guys have played for two years solid.

"We've gone right to the wire in some ways to get 39 points with the trials and tribulations we've had.

"But we have been short of goals again which last year we got away with because we had so many shut-outs.

"This season we've not quite got away with that."

Birmingham's top scorer, nine goal Craig Gardner, and defender Liam Ridgewell will return after suspension.

McLeish is also hopeful striker Cameron Jerome will have recovered from an ankle problem.

News
news
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all