Melchiot pledges to stay
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mario Melchiot insists he will not be quitting Birmingham in January.Birmingham defender Mario Melchiot insists he will not be quitting St Andrews when the transfer window reopens.
Melchiot's future has been the subject of intense speculation for some time with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
The former Chelsea man has put off all talk about his future by claiming he is concentrating on trying to help Birmingham avoid relegation from The Premiership.
"I'm going nowhere. All I want to do is focus on doing well for this club and I can't afford to let any distractions affect my performance," Melchiot told the club's magazine.
"All I am worried about right now is getting fit and helping Birmingham City win matches.
"I know that a lot of people in Birmingham are worried about our current league position and they fear we are in big trouble but I'm not worried.
"I am 100 percent convinced we will turn our season around and get out of trouble. I have no doubts whatsoever that Birmingham City will be a Premiership club next season.
"As players, we now have to stand up and be counted. When things are going well it's easy to look good.
"During bad times the best players respond and produce great things. We all have to show we are good players by performing under this type of pressure. It's a test for us."
Meanwhile, Blues boss Steve Bruce has hinted he could make moves for Preston's David Nugent and MK Dons' Izale McLeod next month as he looks to bolster his attack.
Bruce is actively looking for additions and has made a new forward his top priority with Walter Pandiani likely to move on in January.
Bruce admitted he has been keeping tabs on the pair and will consider his options before deciding whether or not to follow up his interest
"It is no secret that we are looking for people so we are going to get linked with this player and that player. It is wrong for me to talk about individual players," said Bruce.
"I went to watch Preston against Sheffield United and people are putting two and two together although, of course, it was an ideal opportunity to see the lad (Nugent).
"McLeod is another one we have been keeping an eye on but that's as far as that goes. That is where we are at with it.
"It's going to be a big ask of anyone we may want to get in so we have to make sure that (a) the player is available and (b) what we are bringing into the football club."