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Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 11:31 UK

Blues boss applauds O'Connor show

Garry O'Connor
O'Connor's fourth goal of the season was enough to see off Crystal Palace

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has said Garry O'Connor deserved the goal that earned a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace - despite it being lucky.

The Scottish striker diverted a Kevin Phillips shot into the net off his chest deep into stoppage time.

"He didn't mean it but he was there for the second ball, anything spilled by the keeper," McLeish told BBC WM.

"I thought he played with great confidence and great belief in himself and he hit the woodwork twice."

O'Connor has started the last three Championship games for Blues, rewarding McLeish with his fourth goal of the season to deny Palace a point at St Andrews.

He's got reasonable pace - he's not lightning quick like Cameron Jerome but he's no slouch

Alex McLeish

"I think we maybe underestimate him, I don't think we've seen the best of Garry since he's come to Birmingham," said McLeish.

"He's got good touch, he's good with his head and he does get flicks in there.

"He's got reasonable pace - he's not lightning quick like Cameron Jerome, for instance, but he's no slouch."

The Blues boss also revealed he chose to take Nigel Quashie on a month's loan from West Ham because of a sudden run of injuries.

In the build-up to the Palace game he lost James McFadden to a groin problem and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie to a tight calf but both hope to be fit to face Sheffield Wednesday at St Andrews on Saturday.

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see also
Birmingham 1-0 Crystal Palace
21 Oct 08 |  Championship

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