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Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 17:55 UK

McLeish ready for day of destiny

Alex McLeish
McLeish's side stand on the brink of relegation from the Premier League

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish admits his side have to go for broke in their last home game against Blackburn in a bid to stay in the Premier League.

A 2-0 defeat at relegation rivals Fulham leaves Birmingham facing the drop back into the Championship.

McLeish said: "We have got nothing to lose now. We have to go for it.

"We are at home. We will have the encouragement of the whole of St Andrews, and I am sure our players will feed off all of that energy."

McLeish confessed he was disappointed with the manner of the two goals Birmingham conceded to leave Fulham with a genuine chance of survival going into their final game at Portsmouth.

He said: "I felt we had good chances in the first half and there was certainly no panic when we got to half-time goalless. I thought we were pretty comfortable.

"We shot ourselves in the foot, with the second goal especially, caught by a mistake when we were going for it. We needed to defend well, especially at set pieces, and unfortunately for us the first goal from Brian McBride was from a Fulham free-kick.

The Blue KRO!

"Now we have an opportunity next week and I am sure our fans will give us as much support as Fulham's did here."

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson warned the celebrating home fans that there was still work to be done.

He said: "We are one step closer. It was the game we had to win and I thought we did it in some style in front of our own crowd and that's very, very encouraging.

"We have got a very important game at Portsmouth next week and I am delighted we are going there with a chance of staying up, but I must warn against too much jubilation and euphoria. We have had two important victories, but we have still got an even more important victory to take.

"I thought we were good value throughout, but it was very important that we continued to play in the second half as we did in the first 45 minutes.

"I did not want us to deviate from the pattern we have worked so hard on and we did keep our shape, and as the game went on more counter-attacking opportunities came our way."

see also
How to watch Match of the Day
08 Oct 07 |  Match of the Day
Premier League as it happened
03 May 08 |  Premier League
Fulham 2-0 Birmingham
03 May 08 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
03 May 08 |  Football

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