Birmingham City’s Roger Johnson is pleased with his new club’s summer spending having heard that investment wasn’t usually forthcoming at St Andrew’s.
The highly-rated centre-half has spent the last week getting to know his new team-mates, having arrived from Cardiff City last month.
Johnson hasn’t been the only unfamiliar face to be wandering around Wast Hills in recent days, as he is one of five new boys, seven if you include last season’s loanees Stephen Carr and Lee Bowyer, to have arrived at the Premier League club this summer.
The Birmingham board have clearly signalled their intention to finally establish the Blues in English football’s top flight with the money that they’ve already armed Alex McLeish with.
That has come as something of a pleasant surprise to 26-year-old Johnson.
“I heard a few rumours that they (Birmingham) never really buy and spend but you can’t really say that this year,” said the former Wycombe Wanderer.
“I’m pleased they’re making a go of it and that’s why I came here, there’s good ambition. Hopefully we can stay up.”
Johnson matured as a defender during his three years in the Championship and was named in the division’s team of the season last season.
The Surrey-born player is now confident that he can comfortably make the step up to the top tier.
“The Premier League is the toughest in the world so there is going to be a big step up but I’m ready for it. It’s going to be tough but I know I can cope with that.
“It was a disappointing end to the season with Cardiff (they narrowly missed out on the play-offs) and it was utterly disappointing personally not to get into the Premier League but now I’ve been given that opportunity so I’m happy.”
Meanwhile Birmingham’s Academy manager, Terry Westley, has explained the reasoning behind the club’s decision to award reserve goalkeeper Artur Krysiak a new contract having initially released the Poland Under-19 international.
It came down to a combination of the loan arrival of Joe Hart, the desire to temporarily send Colin Doyle out to a Championship club and Birmingham’s decision to re-enter the Premier Reserve League.
Westley explained: “We didn’t want to get Artur and loan him out for a season and never see him again. But with one of the other goalkeepers likely to go out on loan it will allow him to play reserve team football and also train with the goalkeeping coach Dave Watson every day.”