Alex McLeish admits that – despite Sunday’s Carling Cup final – the overriding priority for Birmingham City this season still had to be Premier League survival.
“The Premier League is the most important thing for us, but it’s always nice to win and progress to the major occasions of cup competitions,” said the Blues boss.
“There are a lot of challenges ahead of us and we’ve had a heavy schedule over the last month or so. Therefore it was a great chance on Saturday (against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup) to recharge some batteries it was also a great chance for some players to get some sharpness about them.
“I can now go into Sunday – hopefully, touch wood, the injuries will be okay – with the guys who have not been playing a lot in recent weeks looking much sharper because of a result of that FA Cup game.”
Although Blues should not fear their task in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, McLeish reckons glory in both cups and securing survival in the league would be a tall order.
“It would be really tough ask for us to go and be successful in all three competitions. Being successful in the Carling Cup is as big a task as you could ask for. We are playing a team that beat Barcelona the other night.”
McLeish was pleased that Jean Beausejour scored his first Blues goal in the 3-0 romp against Wednesday.
“It was great to see Beausejour get on the end of a ball coming into the box,” McLeish enthuses. “He has been adapting to English football. He’s been used to maybe a slower tempo in South America, where they keep possession and they change the pace in the final third.
“So we’re trying to get him into the intensity of the English game and he’s settling in well. He’s a lovely guy and I’m delighted for him that he scored.”