McLeish savours success
Alex McLeish praised his Birmingham side for defying the odds and securing a 'deserved' win over Arsenal.
Last Updated: 27/02/11 8:41pm
Alex McLeish paid tribute to his Birmingham side for defying the odds and securing a 'deserved' victory over Arsenal following their Carling Cup triumph at Wembley.
The final had looked set to enter extra time after Robin van Persie cancelled out Nikola Zigic's opener.
Ben Foster kept Blues level with a series of splendid saves before substitute Obafemi Martins scored in the 89th minute to secure a 2-1 win.
McLeish felt his team had been written off in many quarters prior to kick-off and was delighted with the shock result.
"It's an achievement when you consider who we were up against," said the manager.
"We weren't given a prayer by the pundits and the bookies but we believed today. It was a titanic performance by the players.
"We had a game-plan and managed to get our noses in front, that gives you a great chance.
Out of position
"We thought if we could keep in it for as long as we could we'd get the quick guys on who can win it for us (Martins and Cameron Jerome)."
Whilst thrilled to come out on top, McLeish was disappointed with the defending of his players for Arsenal's goal.
He said: "We didn't deal with the equaliser well. Roger Johnson could have let it run out for a throw-in but he kept it in play.
"Too many of us were out of position and Robin van Persie's movement for the goal was magnificent.
"But no doubt you need a little bit of luck - and we deserved it today."