"Joe had to tighten up on a couple of things but I thought the other night was all round his best game," McLeish to Birmingham's website.
"The things he wasn't doing in the Sunderland game he did well the other night.
"He wants it badly and he's very determined.
"He's a great trainer and he and Maik (Taylor) work well together.
"I understand there was a little bit of a swell saying that I should keep Maik in but we work with the players everyday in training and I think we've got to be given some respect at times in these decisions."