McLeish still wants more

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Alex McLeish insists Birmingham are still not strong enough to survive in the Barclays Premier League despite signing seven players this summer.

McLeish intimated that Blues needed 10 new faces after promotion was clinched at Reading on the final day of last season. And he has stressed the need to strengthen considerably in midfield despite the capture of Lee Bowyer from West Ham on a free transfer.

McLeish said: "We need more players. Am I optimistic we will stay up next season? Not at this stage. We need more players."

He added: "There's no way that I can begin this season without an addition to the midfield, dare I say it, two additions.

"We're not yet strong enough to meet the challenge in the Premier League."

The Blues board have pledged to support McLeish, who stressed it will need a big outlay to attract the kind of top-class midfielder he desires.

He said: "Thankfully the board have given us the money for Roger Johnson and Scott Dann and also made the investment in Lee Bowyer and Stephen Carr.

"You get these players [Bowyer and Carr] for no transfer fees. Admittedly there's wages, but we are still working within our parameters.

"In terms of the young centre-halves, if I was looking at Premier League centre-halves, which I was, then we would have been busting wage caps. We would have been putting ourselves in debt.

"I think that we have to be sensible, I'm right behind the board in these kind of decisions. But we know we need more investment in the midfield and they have pledged their support for that."

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Stephen Carr
Roger Johnson
Lee Bowyer
Premier League
Scott Dann

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