McLeish will not pick Carling Cup Final team based on sentiment



Alex McLeish

Alex McLeish

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish faces the tough task of picking Birminghams Carling Cup Final team next weekend, but won’t be taking sentiment into account.

Birmingham have an FA Cup 5th round match against Sheffield United to impress the boss before the big day next Sunday, and McLeish insists his Wembley team will not be due to performances in this round or that.

“I’m not going to the cup final to be sympathetic to people,” said McLeish. “I’m not going to be thinking, ‘I need to play him because he did well in that round’.

“I’ve got to pick a team I think will win the cup and it’s up for grabs, places are up for grabs.”

With such a big game on the horizon some would have thought that the Birmingham players may be playing with a little less intensity for fear of getting injured, but McLeish was quick to rubbish such suggestions.

“There is great pride in this squad, regardless of the fact the Carling Cup final is being played next week.

“They have that pride that they want to win whichever game they participate in – and that includes training ones.

“There hasn’t been a different approach from people because we are in a cup final.

“We demand intensity in training, demand they train the way they play, and that’s evident on the training field.”

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