McFadden gives credit to McLeish

Blues visit Fulham on Sunday having already virtually guaranteed

their top flight status and secured a place in the quarter-finals

of the FA Cup. It seems hard to contemplate now but McLeish was

under pressure last season when promotion from the Championship was

looking uncertain and again at the beginning of this campaign when

the Carson Yeung era got underway. But former Rangers and Scotland

manager has showed his qualities during a recent 12-game unbeaten

league run and is now ready to sign a new contract. McFadden said:

“The worst question you can ask a player is how good a manager is

but, to me, his (McLeish’s) man-management is great. “We’ve seen it

especially during this great run of results. He’s not let us get

carried away. He’s challenged us to keep it going, to keep winning.

“I’ve always played under Scottish managers. The only non-Scottish

manager I’ve had is when I played for Scotland! I don’t know why

they seem to do so well! “The best manager in the world at the

minute is at Manchester United (Sir Alex Ferguson) and David Moyes

at Everton is doing a great job for them, and is getting

recognition for the job he’s done there. “Hopefully the manager

here, if we can keep this run going, will get the recognition he

deserves and, if we can keep the run going, hopefully we can use it

as a springboard for next season.” McFadden added: “People say the

gaffer was under pressure last season but still managed to take us

to automatic promotion. “We didn’t play particularly well but, if

you look back on it in years to come, you won’t remember that, only

that at the end of the day the job was done. “Now we’re playing in

the best league in the world, and the manager is proving to

everybody he is a good manager.” McFadden says the secret of

Birmingham’s success is the trust shown in the players by the

manager and also in themselves not to let standards slip. He said:

“The manager has trust in the players but the players trust each

other as well, “We’ve got a great spirit, and if somebody is maybe

not at it, there’s no shortage of players around them to tell them.

“The manager, I wouldn’t say he’s a disciplinarian, but he likes to

keep a tight ship, making sure that players don’t stray – and I

think the players are similar themselves. “That’s where the trust

comes from and, when the chips are down, they’re the first to say

to each other they’re not performing to the levels they can do.”

Meanwhile McFadden says the competition for places ensures there

will be no complacency heading into the final third of the season.

He was left out of Birmingham’s last league game at West Ham before

being recalled for the FA Cup tie at Derby last weekend. He said:

“I don’t think complacency is an issue. I think we want to win

every game and we’ve got a belief we can win every game now. “We

know with a bad performance, you could be out of the team because

players are waiting and ready to do well. “It is good for the club

as a whole that, first and foremost, we are getting results on the

pitch and good the players that aren’t playing regularly are coming

in and showing they are capable of playing.”