Alex McLeish has a wise enough head on his shoulders to know that fortune in football can change like the wind.

The Birmingham manager travels to the City Ground on Saturday in search of the almighty breeze that will blow his team back on course for the Championship’s top spot.

You would have to go back to the Trevor Francis era at St Andrew’s to find the last time the Blues lost three consecutive games in English football’s second tier yet that is a prospect that McLeish has before him.

From having Wolverhampton Wanderers snapping at their heels, Birmingham are now chasing the tails of their local and title rivals and, in a worst case scenario, could find themselves seven points off the pace tomorrow afternoon.

However this is the whimsical world of Championship football and McLeish takes heart from the recent upturn in fortune his next opponents Nottingham Forest have had.

Less then two weeks ago, Colin Calderwood’s squad were slumped at the bottom of the league but a win and a draw, against bitter rivals Derby County, later and life is much rosier for the Reds of Nottingham.

McLeish, a stalwart of football management for 14 years, is now confident that by using his own experience, he can help end Birmingham’s temporary turn for the worse.

“It has been four points out of six for Forest so I’d imagine there will be a spring in their step in training,” said the optimistic Scotsman. “Previous to that they were probably tearing their hair out wondering what they have to do to get a result.

“I know how quickly it can change in football. We now have our backs to the wall after a couple of defeats, people are looking at us closely, scrutinising us and now it’s a test of character for myself and our players. I’ve been in this position before, I’ve handled it before, we’ve come out of it stronger and I believe we can do the same again.”

There was heartening news for McLeish on the injury front yesterday.

Turn to Page 35