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Page last updated at 05:48 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 06:48 UK

Midfielder Barry Ferguson signs new Birmingham deal

Barry Ferguson
Ferguson joined Birmingham from Rangers in 2009

Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson has signed a one-year contract extension that is set to keep him at the club until the summer 2012.

Ferguson joined the club in July 2009 from Scottish side Rangers and was Blues' player of the year last season.

"I loved my first season down here at Birmingham and I was more than happy to extend the contract by another season," said the 32-year-old Scotsman.

"I can now focus on trying to do the job I did last year, and do better."

It was announced on 6 July that the former Blackburn player would not make himself available for international selection under new Scotland manager Craig Levein.

606: DEBATE

Former national boss George Burley stripped Ferguson of the captaincy and did not consider him for selection after he indulged in a late-night drinking session following a World Cup qualifier against Iceland and then made obscene gestures from the bench at Hampden Park on 1 April 2009.

Ferguson hopes his decision to focus on club football will benefit Birmingham.

"It was a major decision I took," he stated.

"I spoke to Craig Levein at the end of February and I honestly didn't then think about it until the end of the season. I said to Birmingham I would give them everything when I came down, and I'm a firm believer in keeping my word.

"I wanted to make sure I finished the season as good as I could and then I went away and thought about it.

"I spoke to various people and came to a decision. It's been put to bed now and now I can focus on Birmingham.

"I was going to leave it until the start of August, but I just felt that Craig was a guy who came down to see me, we spoke a couple of times on the phone, and I thought I had to let him know before pre-season started.

"I wanted to concentrate on my pre-season here and, at the same time, there was my contract as well, and I wanted to get something sorted."

We've got a big job this season to try to do what we did last season, better than last season

Barry Ferguson

"I think you always do need to bring in fresh blood. The gaffer knows what he's doing and he won't stand still - and the club can't."

Ferguson now hopes to help McLeish's men improve on last term's excellent performances when the club finished in ninth position in the Premier League..

"We've got a big job this season to try to do what we did last season, better than last season," he said.

"I believe the players we've got here, the characters we've got here, are the right bunch.

"The gaffer's brought in further signings and I am sure he is after three or four more.

"I think you always do need to bring in fresh blood. The gaffer knows what he's doing and he won't stand still - and the club can't."



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see also
Ferguson decision pleases McLeish
13 Jul 10 |  Scotland
Ferguson calls time on Scotland career
06 Jul 10 |  Football
Birmingham clinch Ferguson deal
17 Jul 09 |  Birmingham


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