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Birmingham boss McLeish confident going into Fulham clash

Birmingham chief Alex McLeish is in bullish mood as he prepares for Saturday's clash at relegation rivals Fulham which could decide his side's Premier League fate.

Third-bottom Birmingham could be relegated if they lose to the Cottagers, one place below them, and Bolton and Reading both win.

But McLeish is a renowned fighter and he said: "I'm pretty bullish and positive about the whole thing.

"This is a huge game. It is the most important game of the season for us.

"The players now have to step up to the plate and endorse my words with a big performance.

"It is time for them to roll up their sleeves and get out there and show how much it means to them as individuals and how much it would enhance their reputations to remain in the Premier League.

"There have been occasions this season when they have left their form in the dressing room.

"Against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham and Spurs they were all spirited performances.

"But for some reason in some other games we have not been able to get up to that standard.

"Obviously, there is a balancing act for me. Some players are young and inexperienced and having to learn the hard way how to cope.

"This time they have to stand up. Every 50-50 ball we have to be in there contesting.

"There will not be any in-depth talks just before the game. You can bombard players but their attention span is not the highest at the best of times.

"I will try to keep things as limited as possible and do it the way we feel is right.

"Fulham are in the situation that they must win the game. But I do not concern myself with the opposition. I am more concerned with the way we approach the game.

"If we come off the pitch and fans are applauding their performance that is all we can ask for.

"We are going down there to win but it all depends on other results."

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Tribal Football Staff

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