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McLeish grateful for international break

SoccerNews in English Premier League 31 Mar 2011

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Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish says last week’s international break will help his side fight against Premier League relegation.

McLeish’s men go into Saturday’s game against Bolton in the bottom three after losing three of their last four matches but the club’s injury problems are clearing up.

“The international break was ideal in terms of injuries,” McLeish said.

“There is no doubt that it gave respite to some players who were ready to explode, ready to implode, and others like Roger Johnson who has been hanging by a thread over the past few weeks.”

Birmingham are just one place off the bottom of the table and have not won in the league since the middle of February.

McLeish wants his side to return to the form that saw them beat Arsenal to lift the Carling Cup in February.

“We’re going to try and get back to the form that saw us storm to the League Cup,” he said ahead

“We’ve got to get back to the type of tempo and type of commitment that have earned the plaudits for the team.”

“To be fair, the discipline side of things has been very good. But mentality counts and keeping your nerve counts.”

Defender Martin Jiranek (toe), midfielders Lee Bowyer (hamstring), Alexander Hleb (knee) and Barry Ferguson (ribs) are doubts.

Forward James McFadden (knee) is definitely out.

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