BIRMINGHAM made four key signings last season and they all did very well.
At one time their ambition was to get 38 points but in the end they flew away and got 48.
Christophe Dugarry added a touch of class and when he eventually scored, that put the icing on it. As a player he is very talented and I thought he played particularly well at Tottenham.
We know all about Stephen Clemence, Matthew Upson and Jamie Clapham. I played with Jamie's father and one of my first jobs here came when his father said he couldn't see much progress and if I could help him get a move. We got a deal with Ipswich and fortunately Jamie's done well. Stevie Clemence has also done well and I know the boy Upson because I had him at Luton.
They have a very snappy midfield. They close down, pressurise and are quite good in that area.
I'm pleased for Birmingham. They did well last season, did the double over Villa, finished higher than their rivals. I think they are very well run, David Gold and David Sullivan know what they are doing. They are not reckless. Karren Brady is also very aware of the dangers of this business.
Birmingham will know that the second season could be difficult and they will be more than happy to stay involved, stay in the flow and anything else will be a bonus.
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Director of football David Pleat assesses the challenge presented by Saturday's opening Premiership opponents Birmingham City...