Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

McLeish denies Birmingham board rift

Alex McLeish insists he will "not dismiss out of hand" any possible signings put forward to him by Birmingham owner Carson Yeung and the board.

McLeish is looking to concentrate on a list of four to five players he feels can enhance the City squad this summer. He dismissed as "ridiculous" reports that he is locked in a battle for control of playing affairs with Yeung and his back-up staff.

The former Scotland manager said: "There have been big headlines about control which have been ridiculous. The relationship I've got with Carson and the board is terrific. If they recommend players to me, I'm not going to dismiss them out of hand. I'm going to do due diligence on these players.

"I have to see if they can improve this club but I do get thousands of players thrust at me every week. If we can stick to a list of four or five players, with some back-up along the way, it is better than going through all these names and travelling all over the world to see what these guys can do.

"DVDs can help and [football vice-chairman] Sammy Yu can help by saying 'this player will definitely enhance your squad' and that is the kind of feedback I am looking for."

McLeish also confirmed he is willing to offer a new contract to veteran keeper Maik Taylor who has been No 2 to on-loan Joe Hart this season. He said: "We haven't sat down to speak yet but I don't see any reason why not. Maik is at a cracking level of fitness for a man of his age. He is a dedicated professional and we will still need three keepers. I don't see any reason why we can't agree something with Maik Taylor for another year."

Meanwhile, Karl Henry believes Wolves are now posing more of a threat to opposing defences – even though they are employing only one out-and-out striker in Kevin Doyle.

Henry feels Wolves were "too gung-ho" earlier in the campaign when operating with a 4-4-2 formation and paid the penalty with teams catching them out on the counter-attack.

The Wolves captain is confident the current system makes Mick McCarthy's side tougher to break down but has also resulted in them creating more chances.

Henry said: "How am I finding the five-man midfield? I am enjoying playing like that. We are still creating chances, probably more so than when we were using the 4-4-2 system.

"A lot of teams play with three in the middle and there has been a definite improvement in our performances since we have gone to the five-man midfield. The formation suits us and is instilled in us now.

"We know the way the gaffer wants to play and, definitely away from home, you don't need to be charging forward and being too gung-ho. That is something we might have been guilty of earlier. We were attacking teams too much and getting picked off."