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Byline: Colin Tattum

ALEX McLeish has urged his Blues players to once more go 'toe-to-toe' with their opposition.

McLeish said Blues have not had one easy game this season.

Such parity between so many teams has meant that the relegation issue, which by now has usually crystallised, remains hard to predict.

"We know every game in the Premier League is a tough one," said McLeish.

"I don't think we've had an easy game the entire season.

"We've had to battle for everything we've earned this season.

"I've never seen us having an easy game where the opposition have given some sloppy goals away.

"I've seen us doing it once or twice but in general we have gone toe-to-toe with everyone.

"And tomorrow, at Wigan Athletic, it's another one where I expect the players to do likewise.

"The evidence is there for us, that we have competed and got some very big results."

McLeish said that how Blues handled the mental pressure would be important in deciding their fate. "We're looking to get up the league as far as we can,'' he continued.

"A couple of wins would be perfect, but we know that other teams will be saying the same thing.

"I guess it's who can stand up to the pressure - and we've got experience in that dressing room, which should put us in good stead."

Craig Gardner and Barry Ferguson are both in training again and ready to do their bit at Wigan.

McLeish said: "Gardner has been very important for us this season, the amount of goals he has scored, and he has taken his opportunity well.

"Ferguson needs no introduction.

He brings a calmness to the team and gives us some control in midfield with his great maturity and ability."

McLeish added: "We had a right few missing last week.

"If they had played there could have been a danger of them incurring muscle injuries and being out for the next month, even longer.

"It was good for them to get a regeneration of the batteries and much-needed treatment."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 18, 2011
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