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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 10:45 GMT
Birmingham unveil McLeish as boss
Alex McLeish
McLeish is only Birmingham's fourth manager in 15 years
Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish admitted the lure of the Premier League was too strong to turn down after he was named Birmingham City's new boss.

The 48-year-old succeeds Steve Bruce at St Andrew's on a three-and-a-half year contract, and said: "I absolutely loved my time as coach of the national team.

"But it rekindled my passion of being able to work with players every day.

"I have always harboured a desire to manage in the Premier League and I am really excited about the challenge."

Andy Watson and Roy Aitken, McLeish's assistant coaches with Scotland, are also joining him at Birmingham.

And the former Rangers boss insists he has the full backing of the club's board, despite uncertainty surrounding a proposed takeover by Carson Yeung.


It was that uncertainty that prompted Bruce to quit City to take over as Wigan's new manager, but McLeish said: "The terms of my contract are private, but I have been satisfied in my chats with the people here that we can move forward."

Blues chairman David Gold added: "It was a bizarre situation in the sense that a takeover board won't allow you to enhance an existing contract - in this instance Steve's - but you can offer a brand new contract to a brand new person.

"It surprised us and was the reason we had to ensure we got proper legal advice and clearance."

We'll see if we can make some introductions in the January transfer window

Alex McLeish

The Blues are 16th in the Premier League table with 11 points from 14 games since winning promotion from the Championship last season.

But McLeish is confident he can turn their fortunes around, saying: "It is a manager's job to get the best out of his squad and that is why I'm here.

"I'm sure we can do that and, we'll also see if we can make some introductions in the January transfer window."

McLeish's first match in charge is the Premier League fixture away to Tottenham on Sunday.

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