McLeish - Michel has the Blues
Blues boss reveals midfielder's struggles
Last Updated: April 21, 2010 10:17am
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has admitted midfielder Michel is struggling with life at St Andrews.
We've got to pick Michel up. He's not in a great moment psychologically from maybe not being in the team, not getting as much game play as he wanted.Alex McLeish on Michel
Michel has found it difficult to make an impact at the club since his January arrival from Sporting Gijon.
The 24-year-old has only started two Premier League games and has been forced to play second fiddle to Lee Bowyer and Barry Ferguson in Birmingham's midfield engine room.
McLeish admits they need to lift Michel psychologically and has challenged the Spaniard to fight for his place next season.
"We've got to pick Michel up. He's not in a great moment psychologically from maybe not being in the team, not getting as much game-play as he wanted," said McLeish.
"But the two midfielders have been exceptional, in front of him. Two experienced midfielders, two of the best in the league for my money this season, Barry Ferguson and Lee Bowyer.
"I do think Michel has been short of fitness and sharpness. He needs to be ready for next season and it's all about being professional about it.
"He's earning good money, he cost us a few bob. So he's got to show he possesses the character to be a part of this club.
"I did plan to play him more after we had reached 40 points, but I felt Michel wasn't ready in terms of the physical, even tactical, and mental side."