Alex McLeish is sure he has raised the quality and competition levels at St Andrew’s following his whirlwind transfer deadline-day dealings.
McLeish signed Aleksandr Hleb, Martin Jiranek and Jean Beausejour to beef up the Blues team.
In doing so he addressed certain needs in the side – and put his players on their toes.
“You can bring any amount of players in, but you have to try and get the right players of the right quality who can enhance the team, the squad,” he said.
“We believe in the guys we signed on deadline day, we have done just that. All of them have an international pedigree.
“Competition for places is becoming intense and that can only be good. It keeps everyone on their toes.
“Building a squad is an ongoing process and something we will continue to work hard to do.”
McLeish admitted Hleb’s arrival from Barcelona on a season’s loan was a major coup for Blues.
“We tried for a lot of players over the summer. We were unlucky in certain situations and others just weren’t to be.
“We never, ever thought we could get Hleb. My chief scout, Paul Montgomery, kept saying over the past couple of years that it would be great if we could get Hleb.
“But we thought it was a bit of a pipe dream. That we would never be able to get to the level of finance.
“But in the last 48 hours before the window closed, despite losing out on one or two other targets like Charles N’Zogbia, we were told it could happen and the board backed the financial side of it.
“He’s a great player and I’m sure the rest of the team will be inspired by it too.”
Hleb will provide McLeish with a variety of attacking options. He can play anywhere across midfield, or off the front.
Beausejour is a recognised left winger, while Jiranek is a centre-half who can also do a job at left-back if needed.
Jiranek will be putting pressure on Scott Dann and Roger Johnson, Blues’ so far rock-like central defensive duo.
He said: “I was the captain of Spartak Moscow so this move was a difficult one but now I’m very happy and I hope to bring more strength to the team. I’ve always been a warrior so I think I can help my new team-mates to more victories.
“I think I have enough quality to make an impression but it’s a question of time and taking my chances when they come.”
Jiranek added: “I know Birmingham have a good coach and a great team who did very well last season.
“I also know Birmingham is the second biggest city in England and the club has brilliant supporters who are crazy about their team.
“I’m very happy to sign a contract. As soon as I saw the stadium and the city I knew it was the right move for me.”