McLeish not counting on shopping spree

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The Independent Online

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has not drawn up a transfer hit list despite Carson Yeung's promise of £5m before next week's deadline.

Hong Kong billionaire Yeung is apparently close to completing his takeover of the club, and although his cash could come in very handy McLeish is dubious the funds will arrive in time.

"I've heard that as well! I don't know if it's possible or feasible to do it before you take ownership, but I would gladly accept it," he said.

"The window is closing but we also know we have to balance it in some way because some players might find themselves squad players because of the new players coming in."

McLeish is close to one new addition, adding: "I'm working on Michel from Sporting Gijon, and we hope to have some news on that this week."

The Scot could certainly do with some reinforcements after his patched-up side squeezed past League One Southampton 2-1 in the Carling Cup.

McLeish made seven changes to the side which drew with Stoke on Saturday, but injuries throughout the squad meant he could only name five substitutes.

City were looking at an upset after Adam Lallana fired Saints ahead shortly after the interval.

But two goals in three minutes from old stagers Lee Bowyer and Lee Carsley - Birmingham's first from open play this season - ensured the Blues dodged a bullet.

"It helps confidence and creates good habits, winning in the cup," added McLeish.

"The performance I'm not entirely pleased with but I didn't expect it to be smooth - we made a lot of changes and rotated the squad.

"But we soldiered on. When we went behind I thought we were going out of the cup. But I felt we had goals in us.

"If we'd gone two behind Southampton would have seen it through. But we got a lot stronger.

"It was a classic Bowyer goal, and Carsley has played a captain's role and got the winner."

Saints' promising performance was overshadowed by a nasty knee injury to veteran right-back Graeme Murty.

"It's a bad injury, it looks like a long one," said manager Alan Pardew.

"It's a shame we lost the game because the players deserved better. The performance and the goal we scored were special. I thought we played the best football we've played all season."

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