McLeish: Cool dude Carlo can cope

BY foxsports • April 19, 2011

McLeish is a hero with Blues fans after lifting the Carling Cup as his side look to complete a double over Chelsea in Wednesday's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge. In contrast, Ancelotti is currently feeling the heat despite leading Chelsea to a trophy double last season. But McLeish knows he also will come under the microscope if Birmingham are relegated despite their shock cup win over Arsenal at Wembley two months ago. He said: "I can relate to what is happening with Carlo. I went trophyless one of the seasons at Rangers. "That is not very good in the eyes of the Rangers fans or anyone associated with the club. "Carlo will be feeling the same. We know the law of the jungle as managers. You are going to get scrutinised and criticised. "Chelsea are expected to win things and Carlo gets scrutinised on that basis. "Equally if I don't keep the team in the Premier League, I'm going to get it in the neck as well. We all have relative pressures. "But Ancelotti is a cool dude, has been around the block a few times, has massive experience." McLeish is adamant that City are still a work in progress despite the success they have achieved under him during the past three seasons. He said: "We are expected to stay in the Barclays Premier League and some people might expect a bit more than that. "But, for me, we are still developing, we still don't have that real strong infrastructure as yet. "The board have done really well and improved a lot of things in the last year since they came in. "But there is more work that needs to be done here." McLeish knows it will be a major achievement to emulate their win over Chelsea in November, courtesy of Lee Bowyer's goal, or even obtain a point. But he has been pleased with the response of his players in picking up seven points from the last three games. He said: "Chelsea looked happier at West Brom on Saturday with the one player up front. "We know if we get anything at Chelsea, we are punching above our weight. "We got a bit of luck that day we beat Chelsea at our place, some great rearguard action, great goalkeeping. "But I'm just really pleased with the way the players have responded in the recent games. "Results can go against you due to no fault of your own, a decision, a bit of bad luck, but you must continue to give the performances. "We've actually played some good football. Maybe we don't build up the way Barcelona and Arsenal do but then again not many teams do. "But when we get the ball down, we've got some players who are terrific on the ball and you've seen that." Winger Jean Beausejour has recovered from a hamstring injury after a two-game absence and is included in the squad travelling to Stamford Bridge. But strikers Obafemi Martins and Nikola Zigic plus defender Martin Jiranek are still ruled out.

share story