Tainio ‘open-minded’ over future
Tainio had previously expressed a desire to try and convince Blues
boss Alex McLeish he was worthy of a permanent deal. But the
Sunderland man is facing fresh competition at St Andrew’s from
January arrivals Craig Gardner Aston Villa and Michel Sporting
Gijon. Tainio said: “I have one more year at Sunderland on my
contract. If the club tell me I am staying, then I stay. “I am
really open-minded on my future. I will just play to the end of the
season with Birmingham and hopefully I will get a few more games.
“When you see what the team has done this year, it’s really good.
It’s hard to say what will happen but I am open-minded.” Tainio has
just returned to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery and is
ready to challenge for a spot despite the additions to McLeish’s
squad. He said: “I am pleased I am back. My knee feels good. I
haven’t had any problems since the operation. “The injury is done
and dusted and I hope I can get to play a part. “I had a chat with
the manager when I was near to fitness and he said it would be
tough to get in again because the team was playing well. “When I
was out, a few midfielders came in. You need a big squad because
there are a lot of games. There is a big fight for places here.
“There are a very good bunch of midfielders here. But I am ready
for the challenge.”