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McLeish says ´more to come´ as Birmingham stay top in football league

SoccerNews in English Premier League 24 Aug 2008


Alex McLeish promised there is more to come from Birmingham after his side maintained their perfect start to the Championship campaign with a third successive win.

“In terms of the points we have picked up I can't ask any more from the players than to have collected maximum points,” said McLeish after veteran striker Kevin Phillips scored again in Birmingham's 2-0 win at home to Barnsley to keep the Blues in first place.

“But I do think that there is still more to come from us and that we can get better,” added the Scottish manager.

“It was a very satisfying three points. We knew that there would be some pressure on us playing at home. But the players were able to deal with that and it is good that we have been able to keep our momentum going.”

Birmingham, relegated from the Premier League last season, maintained their 100 percent record as Phillips and strike partner Gary O'Connor each headed a goal in the first half.

Phillips, signed pre-season from West Bromwich, has now scored three goals in the Blues' first three league matches. Saturday's result meanwhile left Barnsley rooted at the bottom of the table.

City's local rivals Wolverhampton won 2-0 at Ipswich, who had Alex Bruce sent off.

Goals from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and David Edwards sent Mick McCarthy's side one place above Bristol City, who enjoyed an impressive 3-0 win at Coventry.

“Our goalkeeper hardly had a save to make and they didn't have many chances,” said McCarthy. “It was a good team effort but I was especially pleased with the back four.”

Former Sky Blues striker Dele Adebola had given the Robins the lead early on, before second-half goals from Michael McIndoe and Steve Brooker completed a miserable afternoon for Coventry.

Derby extended their poor run of results after Southampton left Pride Park with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from striker David McGoldrick.

Sheffield United continued their solid start to the new campaign with a 3-1 victory at Blackpool, who scored a consolation goal through ex-Blades frontman Steve Kabba. United's trio of scorers were Stephen Quinn, Gary Speed from the penalty spot and Greg Halford.

Charlton ran out 4-2 winners at home to Reading but not before the visitors had clawed back a two-goal deficit to make it 2-2. Luke Varney and Hameur Bouazza made sure of victory for the Londoners with goals late on.

Matt Holland and Andy Gray had put Charlton in control, before Ibrahima Sonko gave Reading hope with a goal just before the break. Stephen Hunt's retaken penalty made it 2-2 before Sonko received a red card for two bookable offences.

There were also plenty of goals at the City Ground, where newly-promoted Nottingham Forest edged Watford 3-2. Nathan Tyson scored the winner after Tommy Smith had twice drawn the Hornets level following goals by Lee Martin and Robert Earnshaw.

In the day's other games, Arturo Lupoli's late double earned Norwich a 2-2 draw at Cardiff, big-spenders QPR won 2-0 at home to Doncaster, Preston drew 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea grabbed a 1-0 win at Plymouth.

Crystal Palace and Burnley failed to find the net at Selhurst Park, although the Eagles had two players sent off.


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