McLeish rules out top six for Blues

McLeish is aware that expectation levels have risen amongst

supporters after Blues finished ninth last season. But he has

echoed the thoughts of former City manager Trevor Francis, who

feels a top-six berth is an unrealistic aspiration. McLeish said:

“It is ludicrous to suggest that. It is incredible that some people

think that. “But my experiences in the game tell me it is nigh on

impossible. “We can all dream and have ambition but there are about

eight teams in there who, over a length of the season, will always

come to the fore. “Then the rest are fighting for the other places.

“If we come ninth again, it will be phenomenal. “I would judge that

even better than last season. Finishing in the top 17 is our

priority again.” Meanwhile McLeish has challenged Birmingham’s

fringe players to show they are worthy of being amongst his

first-choice selections in tonight’s home Carling Cup clash with MK

Dons. “The guys playing tonight have got to show what they can do

and put pressure on the ones who started at the weekend,” he said.

“They’ve got to say ‘I’ll show the manager I’m worthy of a

first-team place’. “The gauntlet is being thrown down to these guys

to show what they can do.”