McLeish wants 'rottweilers'

BY foxsports • May 14, 2011

Blues have had a season to remember having lifted the Carling Cup - their first major trophy for 48 years. But McLeish is aware of the need to establish City as a top-flight club as they aim to clinch a third successive campaign in the Premier League. He said: "It's in our own hands if we win so there's that motivation and that target for us. "To get to this stage of the season, given the injury problems we've had since the Carling Cup final, I think the lads have done brilliantly. "But they've just got to make that final push over the line on Sunday. "We are looking for our boys to be rottweilers at the weekend and give us those performance levels we got against Bolton, Sunderland and, to a lesser degree, Wolves when we were down to 10 men." He added: "The league has always been of paramount importance to us. The Carling Cup was fantastic from the point of view of the trophyless cupboard for 40-odd years. "You can never take that away from us, so we're proud of that, and I wouldn't change that for anything. "But the Premier League is the bread and butter and the stakes are extremely high. "We just want to try and get that stability of staying in the league for three or four seasons like Stoke have done and go from strength to strength. "The players have got to go and enjoy it, not fear it. The sun will still come up the next day whatever happens. "We need them to go and show no fear and they have gone and done that exceptionally well. "We've had a wee bit of travel sickness recently in terms of away performances but they've got to turn it on for the home crowd." McLeish still relishes the demands of his job even with the pressures of football management and desire for instant success in the modern era. He said: "It's demanding but it's also exciting because, if I was doing another job, I'd be feeling the pressure of another job. "But why not have the pressures of playing professional football or coaching professional football at the very highest level? "It's phenomenal and we're in such a privileged position that I still have to pinch myself at times to realise that I'm still travelling on the bus, still going to hotels with players. "It's all the stuff that I really enjoyed as young player growing up. It's a wonderful vocation to be in the professional game." Defender Liam Ridgewell will have to serve a one-game ban for his sending-off at Newcastle while midfielder Craig Gardner completes a two-match suspension for his red card against Wolves. Striker Nikola Zigic's hip and groin problems mean he will not play again this season and he may require surgery.

share story