McLeish applauds commitment
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish praised his side's commitment after their 1-1 draw with Everton.
By Laura Slatcher
Last Updated: 12/04/08 6:23pm
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish applauded his players after they came back to draw 1-1 with Everton at St Andrews.
Joleon Lescott opened the scoring for the visitors in the 78th minute before substitute Mauro Zarate scored a superb free-kick five minutes later.
McLeish had particular praise for the 21-year-old Argentinean after he inspired his side to a comeback.
"It was a good performance but it wasn't perfect," said McLeish. "We'd have loved the three points.
"In the second half I thought we merited the three points but we didn't take our chances.
"Thanks to a bit of quality from Zarate we came away with a point which was the least we deserved.
"I'm pleased with the commitment they've all shown and Zarate showed me how it's done when he came on and scored that free-kick.
"I applaud the players that came out for that second half because they gave everything."
Zarate's goal ensured Birmingham a crucial point after relegation rivals Bolton and Fulham both recorded wins.
McLeish is hopeful his side can remain out of the relegation zone and a win next time out against local rivals Aston Villa would prove an added bonus.
"We're still ahead," added McLeish. "We'd rather be ahead of our rivals at the moment and if we can keep it that way until the end of the season it will be a fantastic achievement.
"Villa are on form at the moment but you never know in a derby game. We're the underdogs, there's no doubt about it.
"Hopefully we can cause an upset at Villa Park."