Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish last night moved quickly to ease fears of an injury to his inspirational captain Lee Carsley ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the table showdown at Molineux.
Carsley, such an instrumental part of everything his side have done so far this season, looked to have overshadowed Birmingham’s 2-1 victory over Ipswich Town when he limped off in the 28th minute,
Losing the former Everton man to injury would have been the last thing that McLeish needed ahead of this weekend’s crucial encounter with local rivals and Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The midfield general is exactly the type of character that he will need for the battle with the old gold and black enemy.
However McLeish quickly played down injury fears but admitted that Carsley had been hiding a thigh strain from him following his side’s third consecutive victory.
“I’m not sure of Carsley’s injury but I think it was more precautionary,” said the Birmingham manager.
“He’s been feeling his thigh for two or three days and he only told me at half-time.
“Carsley’s the type of guy that would go throw brick walls, we are hopeful that he will be OK for Wolves game because he had a real determination in his game tonight.”
Nigel Quashie and Franck Queudrue also both limped off with injury but McLeish also insisted that the duo’s knocks weren’t too serious either.
Birmingham made easy work of Ipswich in the first half of last night’s victory and took a deserved two-goal lead into the interval thanks to goals from Liam Ridgewell and Kevin Phillips.
McLeish was delighted with his side’s encouraging performance throughout the first 45 minutes and then praised their mental toughness after the break as Birmingham nervously clung on following Alex Bruce’s late consolation header.
“It was a great first half, we were on fire, a brilliant opening few minutes of the game and they really wanted it,” added McLeish.
“We had our chances to get more, good defending or lady luck prevented us from doing that. The injuries absolutely disrupted our rhythm, our centre midfield was decimated by losing the two players out of there.
“Of course we expected some kind of response from Ipswich and they duly went about their business that way.
“Where it’s only 2-0, they know that if they get a goal back it can become edgy for us but I think our players showed great mental toughness towards the end and got us a deserved victory.”