Blues set for ‘significant’ overhaul

Alex McLeish only managed to bring in playmaker Michel from

Sporting Gijon and midfielder Craig Gardner from Aston Villa during

the January transfer window. But Dunford predicts the former

Scotland boss will be busy with ins and outs from St Andrews when

the window reopens in four months’ time. He said: “I expect it to

be quite a busy summer. We will gear ourselves up for what I’m sure

will be significant transfer movement in the summer. “There are

also eight or nine players likely to be leaving the club which

means from a numerical point of view, we need new players of

quality to supplement the ones we have got as well.” McLeish has

already allowed central defender Martin Taylor and former skipper

Damien Johnson to leave on free transfers to Watford and Plymouth

respectively while wide player Gary McSheffrey has joined Leeds on

loan. Several players are out of contract in the summer, including

current first-teamer regulars Liam Ridgewell and Sebastian Larsson

plus Lee Carsley, Garry O’Connor, Stuart Parnaby, Franck Queudrue,

Maik Taylor and Gregory Vignal. McLeish has indicated he would like

to keep some of those players and Blues have options which means

they can extend the deals of several of them should they so desire.

The former Rangers boss is hoping his squad will have recharged

their batteries for Sunday’s home derby with Wolves, having given

them time off this week to recuperate from their heavy recent

schedule. He said: “We did our away stint as a group recently with

the warm weather training abroad and this time off was for them to

spend some quality time with their families. “It’s been a case of

trying to rest the minds as much as the physical side and I thought

some of the players looked a little tired against Tottenham last

weekend. “We are hoping they will be ready to go again on Sunday.

The coming weeks are going to be interesting because we’ve got some

games against teams fighting for their lives at the bottom of the

league and desperate for points. “There are some real battles ahead

and we’ve got to be prepared for those.”