McLeish enjoys Birmingham success

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Alex McLeish hailed Birmingham's Carling Cup success over Arsenal as his "greatest achievement" as a manager.

McLeish enjoyed plenty of success north of the border with Rangers when he was part of a two-horse race for trophies with Celtic. But he helped Blues overcome their tag as underdogs to topple Arsene Wenger's side.

McLeish said: "Relatively speaking, it is my greatest achievement. With Glasgow Rangers I was expected to win trophies, even though it is difficult against Celtic. To come to England and for a club like Birmingham to beat the might of Arsenal is a dream come true."

He added: "It is especially so for the fans who have had a long wait, those long-suffering Blues fans.

"No one gave us a prayer, we were underdogs. But sometimes the bookies don't get it right.

"After the goal I really did have the vision of the cup in my hands."

It was a perfect day for Birmingham owner Carson Yeung, who was celebrating his 51st birthday.

McLeish said: "It's a fantastic birthday present for Carson. He must think it's easy being an owner of a football club - we finish ninth in the Premier League and then win the Carling Cup - but he has been supportive."

McLeish admits Birmingham have no major celebrations planned until after next weekend's league clash with West Brom, with a civic reception provisionally arranged for next Sunday.

He said: "We didn't plan anything. We have reserved next weekend, the day after the West Brom game, for celebrations. The West Brom game is another cup final."

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