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McLeish hails Foster performance

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Apr 2011

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Birmingham boss Alex McLeish paid tribute to Ben Foster on Saturday after the goalkeeper’s heroics helped his side to a crucial 2-1 win over Bolton.

Birmingham took an early lead through Kevin Phillips, and Craig Gardner doubled their advantage just before the hour mark, but when Johan Elmander struck back for Bolton 10 minutes later the stage was set for a thrilling finish.

Foster made several brilliant stops throughout the match at St Andrew’s, including two in the dying stages that undoubtedly secured all three points for his side, and McLeish was delighted with the 27-year-old’s contribution.

“He had a brilliant game today,” McLeish said.

“Ben is not going to keep everything out for us during the whole season but today he certainly helped us get two points we may have lost.”

“He made some fantastic saves at the end, what a point blank save, he’s been absolutely immense.”

The win moves McLeish’s side to 14th place in the English Premier League, and the Scot was proud of the way his men responded to the pressure of such an important game.

“It was a game that we felt we had to win,” McLeish said.

“It was a big result for us. Everybody knows to win is going to be a big result, it heaps the pressure on but they responded magnificently.”

Bolton boss Owen Coyle felt his side were hard done by in the match, and also made mention of Foster’s goalkeeping.

“You don’t always get what you should in football, and that happened today,” Coyle said.

“We recognise that we had a slow start in the game and we found ourselves one goal down after just a few minutes. It took us 15 to 20 minutes to get into the game but once we did we played with real vengeance.”

“We forced Ben Foster into two or three outstanding saves and that’s because he is a top-class international goalkeeper and Birmingham paid a lot of money to secure his services.”

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