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Birmingham boss McLeish: Michel needs time to bed down

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish says he will be patient with Spanish midfielder Michel.

Before his transfer, Michel had not had much match action because of injury and La Liga's winter break.

"Even Xabi Alonso took time," said McLeish. "Michel has to realise and have a look at that, see the others ones who haven't come right in and made the position their own.

"He's got competition ahead of him and it's up to him.

"I hope this experience does benefit him. For now's a bit of an educational period for him. I have tried to tell him, I have tried to tell his advisors that.

"I did plan to play him more after we had reached the 40 points, but every human being is entitled to change their mind and I felt Michel wasn't ready in terms of the physical, even the tactical, and mental side.

"He's just been lacking a little on the fitness side and sharpness side of things, the things that are required for this league.

"Now, one thing I do know is that he can play. But there are so many other facets to the game of football, to being a top-class player."

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Tribal Football Staff

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