Phillips makes McLeish defence

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Kevin Phillips believes it is vital for Birmingham's future that Alex McLeish remains as manager even if they are relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

Blues are only out of the bottom three on goal difference after the weekend 2-0 reversal at home to Fulham and will likely have to take something from their trip to Tottenham. West Ham this week sacked Avram Grant after their demotion from the top flight was confirmed.

But veteran striker Phillips feels it is essential that McLeish remains at the helm of the Carling Cup winners, and said: "I think it's highly important we keep him. He is an experienced manager and he managed to get us up to the Premier League."

He added: "He has done a fantastic job. If we do manage to stay in the Premier League, it will be the best season that Birmingham have ever had.

"If the worst comes to the worst, then there is no better man to be in charge to help us straight back into the Premier League.


"He knows what kind of players he needs for that to happen.

"At the end of the day, the club will make their decision but we are firmly behind our manager because he is top class."

Phillips insists it is a time for remaining calm, adding: "There is no need to panic. We are not relegated yet. We are not in the bottom three.

"There are some tough games for everyone on Sunday but we ultimately believe we can get a result at White Hart Lane.

"If we don't believe that, there is no point getting on the bus and going down there."

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