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Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 11:44 UK

Barry Ferguson decision pleases City boss Alex McLeish

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish
Birmingham finished a club record ninth in the Premier League under McLeish

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish believes his club will benefit from Barry Ferguson's decision not to come out of international retirement.

Scotland coach Craig Levein had tried to persuade the 32-year-old midfielder to reconsider but without success.

And his club manager believes his decision will help him with the physical demands of the Premier League.

"It's good news for me and Birmingham because of the demands of the Premier League on a player," said McLeish.

McLeish, Scotland manager between January and November 2007, had advised Ferguson last season that playing again for Scotland could impact on performances for Birmingham.

It's good news for me and Birmingham because of the demands of the Premier League on a player

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish

"Barry was magnificent for us last season and hopefully he will be able to maintain an edge, freshness and sharpness by playing just for Birmingham," he said.

"I am not saying he wouldn't have been able to do that had he played for Scotland but it would certainly have been a test for him.

"He was immense for us and we hope he can do the same again."

The Birmingham boss also added that he felt Ferguson had been placed in an impossible situation following his involvement in the 'Boozegate' scandal that resulted in him and then-Ibrox team-mate Allan McGregor being banned from the Scotland squad.

"Barry has taken everything into account. He was in a situation where he couldn't win," he said.

"If he had agreed to go back, no doubt lots of people would have been saying it's a disgrace and things likes that.

"But he's also being criticised in some areas now for not going back. Like I said, it was a no-win situation for him."

see also
Ferguson calls time on Scotland career
06 Jul 10 |  Football
No Scotland return for Ferguson
06 Jul 10 |  Football
Ferguson unsure on Scots comeback
08 Feb 10 |  Football
Barry Ferguson's career in photos
17 Jul 09 |  Scottish Premier
Gers' Ferguson 'harshly treated'
06 May 09 |  Rangers
Peat demands Scots drinks probe
03 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Scots end Gers pair's cap career
03 Apr 09 |  Internationals

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