McLeish hails will and desire
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish felt his side's 4-1 win over Tottenham was the 'icing on the cake.'
By Laura Slatcher
Last Updated: 01/03/08 8:31pm
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish felt his side's 4-1 win over Tottenham was the 'icing on the cake' after a convincing performance on Saturday.
A hat-trick from Mikael Forssell and a free kick from Sebastian Larsson ensured Birmingham claimed their first Premier League win since Boxing Day.
McLeish was delighted with his side's performance which sees them move slightly away from the relegation battle and had particular praise for goalscorer Forssell.
"I'd have been happy with 1-0 because winning was the most important thing," he said.
"We put on a great performance today and it was a great performance by Mikael (Forssell). He showed his prowess as a striker.
"He's a guy who hangs about after training to practice his finishing. He's never going to be rusty so I felt confident with that.
"Some people say Spurs will come and play very relaxed football and clean the floor with us. Or they could have a hangover.
"We had the will to win and the desire. The fantastic result was the icing on the cake."
Despite a strong performance from his side, McLeish was disappointed with the number of chances that Spurs were allowed.
"I suppose we were threatened on occasion but we defended reasonably well," he added.
"We were a little indecisive on some of our clearances which allowed Spurs a few chances.
"Mikael missed a good chance. He was in there again after a good cross from (Gary) McSheffrey.
"But then the chances were there for him again and (James) McFadden very unselfishly laid him on for his hat-trick."
20-year-old Argentinean striker Mauro Zarate made an appearance as substitute much to the delight of the home fans and McLeish recognises his quality.
"We're trying to get him to play on the last line of the defenders because he's got the ability to beat a man back there," McLeish added.
"He excites the crowd and he's now getting to a level of fitness and sharpness where he's going to be very valuable for us.
McLeish is now feeling optimistic about their chances of avoiding the drop and insists the fans have an important part to play.
"If we can play like that every single week until the end of the season then we'll be fine," said McLeish.
"It was a great atmosphere from the fans today. But you have to give credit to the players because they gave supporters something to sing about."