Relief for McLeish after another comeback

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish is hoping for a little less drama after his side’s latest comeback against Coventry in the FA Cup.

Birmingham came from 1-0 down – 3-1 on aggregate – to beat West Ham United and reach the final of the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

And they were forced to repeat the trick at St Andrew’s on Saturday, fighting back from 2-0 down against Championship club Coventry to eventually win 3-2 and progress to the fifth round.

“I wouldn’t want to live through that too often with the stress levels, but I thought the team played well today,” McLeish said.

“There was a lot of really good stuff.”

“We had to show great strength of character again against Coventry and it underlined the importance of having a squad with quality. The more intense the competition the better from my point of view.”

“We shouldn’t have made it hard for ourselves because we started great,” he added.

“Coventry are obviously very dangerous up front. The big lad (Clive) Platt was a handful and of course we all know about Marlon King. But I knew there was goals in it for us.”

McLeish credited David Bentley with turning the tide – the loan signing from Tottenham struck in the 35th minute to drag Birmingham back into contention.

“Bentley’s was a cracker,” McLeish said.

“We needed that. If we’d gone in 2-0 down it would have been much tougher. The second half was again a measure of this squad’s resilience and their desire not to give up until the final whistle.”

Coventry manager Aidy Boothroyd felt his team’s ambition got the better of them as they surrendered their lead in the second half.

“I thought it was a terrific occasion and I’m afraid we got caught up in it in the second half and wanted to try to score three and four goals rather than being sensible,” Boothroyd said.

“If somebody’s bigger than you and better than you, you don’t go toe to toe with them – and that’s what we did.”

“For some strange reason, despite what was said at half-time, we went all out to try to beat Birmingham City, a Premier League team, convincingly when really what we should have done was weathered the storm, kept calm and hit them on a sensible counter-attack.”