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As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Competition for Birmingham places pushing players to maximum

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has admitted that intensive competition for places is pushing his Blues team to the maximum, reports the Birmingham Mail. None of McLeish's transfer deadline day signings figured in the draw against Liverpool.

"We now have great competition for places and the players out there on that pitch gave everything," said McLeish.

"They know they have to keep their performance levels high as there are others who are itching to be involved.

"If they keep playing to that level, then we will do OK. At the same time, if they keep going at the rate they did against Liverpool, to be tested by a team like that, with all the ground they had to cover, I think some of them will be burned out by Christmas.

"That's why I have had to add to the squad, and with quality at that.

"Players in the side just now should be delighted there's competition because it keeps them on their toes, and they can't play at that rate of knots every single week.

"And at some stage we will probably get an injury - hopefully not, touch wood - and suspensions.

"So we have one or two players of quality who will make an appearance in the next couple of weeks, I'm sure."

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