Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish believes the Blues are in season-saving form following their ‘phenomenal’ 2-0 defeat of Sunderland.Sweden international Sebastian Larsson and Craig Gardner scored in either half to lift Birmingham level on 38 points with the Black Cats; five clear of the relegation places with six games to play.
While their safety in the top-flight is by no means assured with matches at Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham to come, McLeish is confident his squad has the talent and now the belief to see them through.
“We believe this current form can see us up the table,” McLeish said.
“We have hard games coming up; people won’t expect us to take any points from these games but you never know with this side.”
“It’s a massive win, we knew we could get parity with Sunderland in terms of the points tally today if we performed as we can do, and I must say the players stood up to the test and it’s a fantastic victory for us.”
“I can’t express how delighted I am, it is a phenomenal result.”
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was stoic in defeat, insisting the Black Cats can recover from a disastrous run of eight losses in nine games.
“We were in a wonderful position, we had something like 37 points after 24 games so it’s been an awful run,” Bruce said.
“But we’ve got to stay with it, stick to your beliefs and the only thing you can do is roll your sleeves up and come out fighting.”
“We’ve got seven missing, (Danny) Welbeck has got a bit of a hamstring (strain) too so it’s a concern to us, because of what’s happened, it’s nearly wrecked our season.”
“We’re all really disappointed, but the positives are that we played very, very well on the day, it’s the best we’ve played in weeks if I’m being honest.”
“It does go against you, you need a bit of luck and you need something to change. I couldn’t have faulted them – in adversity we’ve got a makeshift back four and six or seven missing.”
“But the young boys have come in and played very well and we just need to get a result. If we keep playing like that we’ll be okay.”