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Birmingham to tour China and Hong Kong

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has given the thumbs-up to a pre-season tour of Hong Kong and China, reports the Birmingham Mail. The Blues manager said that the trip would be carefully planned to balance the demands of first-class preparation for the 2010-11 campaign and PR for club owner Carson Yeung.

Blues intend to spend a fortnight in Yeung's homeland from mid-July, with up to four friendlies in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

"We're delighted to go and fly the flag," said McLeish.

"We've discussed the organisation of it now for a few weeks and I'm sure it will be an exciting venture for the club.

"Of course, we have to make sure that our preparation is the best possible, especially for next season when people will be judging us and wondering 'can they do it all again?' after what we have managed to achieve so far this season.

"I will be speaking to Sir Alex Ferguson to get his experiences of tours to the Far East to help ensure that we do things the right way and the players get the correct preparation.

"There's the humidity for a start and you have to be careful of the travelling demands.

"Carson and the board understand that you can't go over there and drag the players from pillar to post.

"But, that said, I appreciate the need to promote the club in Hong Kong and China and myself and my staff will do as much as we possibly can to help and when the time is right so will the players."

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