Birmingham boss Alex McLeish was a happy man after seeing his side serve up a first Barclays Premier League victory for the club's new owners.

With Carson Yeung and his board of directors watching from the stands, City roared into a 2-0 lead and then survived a belated fightback from Sunderland to ensure that the new regime's reign could celebrate a win.

A delighted McLeish said: "It was more important for me. The whole Birmingham City ethos, the fans, the players, everybody associated with the club, it was very important for us."

He added: "It was good. I am pleased for the owners, I am pleased for Carson Yeung and (vice-chairman (football)) Sammy (Yu).

"They are absolutely ecstatic, and so they should be because it was a great home start for them in what was a thoroughly deserved victory."

The home side got themselves in front when defender Liam Ridgewell turned home Sebastian Larsson's 37th-minute free-kick, and doubled their advantage with James McFadden's fine finish three minutes after the restart.

But the home fans among a crowd of 21,723 endured a nail-biting finish after defender Scott Dann put through his own goal, with substitute Fraizer Campbell and Darren Bent passing up late opportunities to snatch a point for the visitors.

The manager said: "We were 2-0 up against Liverpool two seasons ago and there was a bit of deja vu. But the thing about this squad is I believe there's a bit more resilience than we had two years ago.

"We are persevering right to the very end, we are showing that real strength of character when under the cosh.

"On another day, we should probably have been more goals up than the two, but we gifted them a goal and it put us under a bit of pressure. But we withstood it and credit to the new players who have come to the club."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Sunderland
#James McFadden
#Football
#Liam Ridgewell
#Premier League
#Alex
#Scott Dann
#Birmingham
#Darren Bent
#Sebastian Larsson
#Fraizer Campbell
#Liverpool