McLeish: I deserve new pay deal

McLeish is understood to on a deal worth around £750,000 a

year after making the move to the club two and a half years ago.

The former Scotland boss is adamant that he is not driven by money

and his main ambition when joining Blues was to prove himself in

the Premier League. But he would be entitled to ask for a pay rise

after steering City to promotion from the Championship last season

and an eighth spot in the top flight during the current campaign

plus an FA Cup quarter-final place. McLeish, who is poised to meet

new owner Carson Yeung after Sunday’s game at Fulham, said: “I am

supposed to be having talks with Carson about the real terms of the

new contract because that has not been discussed. “Money has never

been my God. When I joined Birmingham, I told the lawyer to get it

dusted because my mission was to prove myself in the Premier

League. That was more important. “But when you make progress, you

look to be on a parity with your contemporaries. “There is no

timescale and I am not in a massive hurry to get the contract done

but I am happy to stay here. “It would be great to continue this

journey and keeping here so that in 10 years time people can look

back and say ‘that was a great era at Birmingham City’.” McLeish

admits Birmingham need to improve the infrastructure – including

training ground facilities and a larger back-up staff – if they are

to improve their current rate of progress. But he is adamant he has

the full support of Yeung and his partners. McLeish said:

“Stability is very important, infrastructure is very important.

There is no doubt at all that we have been punching about our

weight. “We will not be able to maintain these levels without

getting the infrastructure right but the board are giving me their

support. “The relationship I have got with the board is terrific

and I don’t understand where these headlines I have read this week

about us being at loggerheads have come from.” McLeish confirmed he

wants to re-sign on loan Manchester City keeper Joe Hart on loan

for another season. And he believes the England prospect would not

want to return to Eastlands unless he was playing first team

football. McLeish said: “I know City don’t want to sell Joe but it

would be good if they showed goodwill and allowed Joe to stay with

us for another season. “I hope they would recognise we have helped

to improve Joe as a keeper and I am sure the player would not want

to go back and twiddle his thumbs on the bench.” Birmingham

midfielder Sebastian Larsson wants to bury the memory of one of his

low points in football by winning at Craven Cottage. A 2-0 defeat

at Fulham two years ago effectively condemned Blues to relegation

from the top flight. Larsson said: “That game at Fulham is not a

good memory in my career because staying up after that was not in

our own hands and we eventually went down. “Playing in the Premier

League is what everyone wants to do and going down was a bad

feeling. “We want to erase that memory by winning on Sunday and

getting to the 40 point mark although we know it won’t be easy and

they are a shining example for us. “They almost went down as well

two years ago and since then they have done so well in turning

things around and getting into Europe.”