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We tamed Gijon well, says boss.

ALEX McLeish declared himself satisfied with the way Blues went about their task against Sporting Gijon.

Before the match McLeish revealed he wanted Blues to be less open once they had lost the ball, something that has undermined them in pre-season so far.

"I know that any team from La Liga always has good technical ability," said the manager.

"They can pass it well so we knew that when we didn't have the ball we would have to be organised.

"I felt we were much more organised and we had some chances.

"We concentrated on our shape, players have got to apply themselves within the shape and if they stop working then it can break down.

"I think over the past couple of weeks we've had a little bit of misfortune in terms of injuries and players not fit at all, not participating, which would probably make up our strongest team.

"But I thought we played well on Saturday.

"We were organised, Sporting didn't look as if they could really open us up.

''There were one or two incidents but I felt we had the better chances overall."

Blues came closest to breaking the deadlock and Keith Fahey was denied by a brilliant stop from Ivan Cuellar midway through the first half.

McLeish said: "It was an amazing save because we thought he had clawed it back from over the line.

''The way he got across his goal so quickly and kept it out was tremendous."

James McFadden missed the friendly as he was allowed to link up with Scotland ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Norway on Wednesday.


Denied: Keith Fahey.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 10, 2009
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