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Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 16:09 UK

We need more signings - McLeish

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Birmingham need more players - McLeish

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish believes his club do not yet have enough quality to survive their return to the Premier League this season.

McLeish told BBC Midlands Today: "We have to remember the parameters we're working under."

And when asked if he was optimistic ahead of the new season he added: "Not at this stage, we need more players."

The former Scotland and Rangers boss has already signed seven new players so far this summer.

McLeish has just concluded the addition of 32-year-old midfielder Lee Bowyer, who spent the end of last season on loan at St Andrew's, on a two-year contract.

The former West Ham player joins Christian Benitez, Stephen Carr, Scott Dann, Roger Johnson, Joe Hart and Giovanny Espinoza for Birmingham's return to England's top flight.

He's a terrific prospect, he's still got to prove himself in England so there's still an element of gamble in that

McLeish on new signing Christian Benitez

"We have been a bit of a yo-yo club and it would be nice to think we could stay in the Premier League," he continued.

"But we don't want to be spending money that sinks the club.

"The reason for going for players like Roger and Scott, who are unproven in terms of the Premier League, is quite simply the financial parameters. So we have to cut our cloth accordingly."

Dann moved to St Andrew's from Coventry City in June and although the 22-year-old is a former England under-21 international he has not played at a higher level than the Championship.

Johnson, 26, left Cardiff City for Birmingham in the same month to become McLeish's third centre-back addition of the summer.

But despite their lack of experience at the highest level the Scotsman has faith in his new defenders.

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"I believe I've bought two of the best young centre-half prospects in the country.

"These are guys I want by my side and that I want to work with because if you've got young, hungry players then you've got half a chance," he added.

The Blues boss was more sanguine about the £9m acquisition of Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez from Mexican side Santos Laguna.

"He's a terrific prospect," he said. "He's still got to prove himself in England so there's still an element of gamble in that.

"He's certainly got all the ingredients to be a sensation here but that depends on the player himself."



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