Alex McLeish hailed the achievements of his Birmingham predecessor Steve Bruce - and then urged the fans to give his Sunderland side "absolute dog's abuse" when he returns to St Andrew's on Saturday.
Bruce spent nearly six years at Blues, steering them to promotion twice and keeping them in the top flight for four successive seasons despite having only limited funds to spend. McLeish wants the fans to recognise Bruce's record at City before kick-off, but then to make life as uncomfortable as possible for the Black Cats.
McLeish said: "Steve is where he is now because he did a good job at Birmingham and I'd like to think, if I can last as long as Steve, then we will be doing something right here."
He added: "Now he is doing a good job at Sunderland. Steve has spent a few quid and he has spent it wisely and brought in good players.
"He has mastered that in the last three or four years and done a lot of good, solid business.
"I think Steve should get a nice polite clap from the crowd when he walks down the track to the dug-out because of the sterling work he did here.
"But then the fans have got to get right onto the Sunderland players' backs after that, give them absolute dog's abuse, be relentless and get back to the type of fans that Steve inherited when he came to Birmingham.
"At that time the City fans were notorious for their vociferous support for the home team and also for the way they unsettled the away team."
Carson Yeung will oversee his first home game since taking control of Birmingham and McLeish senses the fans are relishing a new era at the club after 16 years under David Sullivan and David Gold.
The former Scotland boss said: "It is a new era. The fans got a wee bit fed up over the last few years. They have been a little bit doom and gloom."
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