McLeish rues missed derby chances

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Football News

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish was left to rue his side's failure to kill off Aston Villa as their derby clash ended in a 1-1 draw at St Andrew's.

Roger Johnson gave the home side the lead early in the second period but a deflected shot from Villa centre-back James Collins ensured the game ended all square. McLeish felt his side had enough clear-cut opportunities when in front to wrap up the game in addition to having yet another penalty claim rejected, this time by referee Mark Clattenburg.

McLeish said: "It was probably a fair result overall. We have come a long way in a couple of years in terms of these derby games and the results. Had we been a bit more clinical at 1-0, we would have seen it through."

He added: "Craig Gardner had a wonderful chance with a volley which he put wide and he is a guy you would normally want and trust in that situation.

"Brad Friedel also made a great save at that point from Matt Derbyshire and we had the chance to turn the screw.

"But we allowed Villa to come back into it, and gave away a few unnecessary free-kicks and I was disappointed with the build-up to their equaliser. But the shot from Collins was not even on target before it hit someone and was deflected in."

McLeish voiced his concern before the game at City's failure to win any penalties this season and felt his side again had a strong case when Marc Albrighton caught the legs of Birmingham full-back David Murphy.

McLeish said: "I don't even claim for those now. I've got to be dignified after a game and the referee has got a tough job. But their guy (Albrighton) has caught the legs of our guy (Murphy) and I've certainly seen those given against us."

McLeish confirmed that City defender Scott Dann will be unlikely to play again this season because of a severe hamstring problem which will require surgery.

He said: "It will be a long shot for Scott to be back before the end of this season. It is not totally confirmed yet but we are going to miss him for a long time and it is a big blow."

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Marc Albrighton
Roger Johnson
Premier League
Brad Friedel
Scott Dann
James Collins
Aston Villa
Matt Derbyshire
Craig Gardner
David Murphy

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