O'Connor welcomes fellow Scot McLeish to Birmingham

Garry O'Connor is delighted with the appointment of fellow Scot Alex McLeish as new Birmingham City manager.

O'Connor knows all about McLeish's qualities from his spell at Hibernian and then as part of the Scotland squad which fell agonisingly short of reaching the Euro 2008 finals.

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And he believes his no-nonsense and honest approach will be welcomed by the current squad as they prepare for Sunday's league clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

O'Connor, whose niggling groin problem has improved, said: "Everyone will soon learn that if you play well, you stay in the team and if you don't, you won't play.

"You will then get a kick up the backside and be told what you are doing wrong. To be honest, I think that is what we need.

"Tactically, he's very aware. He knows opposition teams and he can change the shape of his sides dramatically. It's a fantastic coup for Blues to get such a man as their manager.

"For me personally he has been like a father figure. He gave me my chance at Hibernian and I was in all the squads with the national team when he was in charge."

O'Connor, who moved to Birmingham from Lokomotiv Moscow in the summer, added: "As a Scot, I was a little disappointed that he left the national team but I am glad he has come to Birmingham.

"We are a top-half-of-the-table side in my opinion and we have underachieved this season, and he can only help us to go forward.

"All of Alex's teams play with a passion and a desire and he can get players up for games. He expects them to show the same passion."

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