Football

New players must have team spirit - McLeish

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Birmingham manager Alex McLeish insists any players he signs during January must have the right character to blend in with the current "tremendous spirit" he has developed in the dressing room.

McLeish is set to put the emphasis on attracting quality rather than quantity when he spends the funds - £20-40million - made available by new owner Carson Yeung. But the former Scotland boss is aware of the need for any new blood to be able to blend in with his current group of players.

McLeish told Press Association Sport: "I'll be quite happy to help spend the money that is available but it has got to be a certain character that comes into the dressing room."

He added: "I've got fantastic character in the current players and I'd like to enhance that.

"I'd like to help those players in there by bringing some more quality into the set-up - but I'd also like to think they would have the character for the dressing room as well."

McLeish, whose side visit Wigan on Saturday, has been delighted at the way his squad have come to grips with the demands of the top flight and a five-game unbeaten run has yielded 11 points.

He said: "Our players are still developing in the Premier League but I do think I've got the character in the dressing room that can help us maintain Premier League status.

"I've got a few winners in the dressing room, people who have a never-say-die attitude. The players deserve a pat on the back for their determination, application and attitude.

"We are at a decent level if you compare us to two seasons ago and the players have set the standards in recent games.

"We also know there are loads of points to be won between now and the end of the season and it is too early to judge any outcome at the moment. But I am pleased with the players' performance level and the results in recent games have justified those performances."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Alex
Wigan Athletic
Birmingham

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