Pennant: I don't need a minder
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Birmingham midfielder Jermaine Pennant has vowed to stay out of trouble.
Birmingham midfielder Jermaine Pennant has insisted that he does not need a minder to keep him out of off-field scrapes.
The 23-year-old has been no stranger to controversy, and was recently alleged to have been thrown out of a Birmingham nightclub where an after-show party was being held for rapper Kanye West in the early hours of the morning.
However, the former Arsenal man, who also spent a month in jail last season for drink-driving offences, has stressed that he did nothing wrong and will continue to stay out of trouble.
"I'm not a 12-year-old kid, but I realise the club are trying to protect their asset," he commented.
"A lot was made of the fact that I would be getting a minder when I first came to Birmingham City. But I think that's a bit strong and I can look after myself.
"The club have listened to my side of the story over what happened the other day. There was no fine or disciplinary action taken. The only thing Steve Bruce said to me was that I shouldn't have been out that late.
"I'm 23 and I can still go out. Now, though, I'll be making sure I go straight home and not hang around because there's always somebody who'll want to tell a story about me to the papers.
"The headlines that appeared at the Kanye West party really annoyed me - and I was annoyed for days afterwards. People were judging me for something that didn't happen.
"What really amazed me was that two guys got shot at the gig but everyone was talking about me and something that I didn't do"
Meanwhile, midfielder Damien Johnson has backed Blues to come good in the last 10 games of the season and avoid relegation from The Premiership.
Birmingham are still three points from safety after being held to a 1-1 draw by fellow strugglers West Brom on Saturday, but Johnson believes that his team will thrive on the pressure and survive the drop.
"We're big enough and strong enough to be able to handle it the pressure," he declared. "We haven't played well enough this season and we've put ourselves in this position."
"The crowd are understandably anxious and if things don't go well for us on the pitch, maybe if we concede a goal, then that anxiety spreads throughout the team.
"But we've got to be men enough to handle it and pull ourselves through."