Carr agrees contract extension

McLeish waiting for decision from £5million-rated Dembele

Carr: Rising to challenge

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Birmingham captain Stephen Carr has agreed an improved and extended contract at St Andrews and the defender is now determined to rise to the challenge.

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Skysports.com revealed at the end of July that the 33-year-old was close to a new deal, with his previous terms set to expire next summer.

Carr, who was coaxed out of retirement by Birmingham boss Alex McLeish 18 months ago, has now agreed the addition of a new 12-month option.

The 44-time Republic of Ireland international was one of his club's best performers when they finished ninth in the 2009/10 Premier League and he is looking forward to the start of the new campaign at Sunderland on Saturday.

"It's important to keep our standards high, to keep playing with quality and to look to kick on," Carr told Birmingham's official website.

Honest

"But it's important for everyone to remember that although we are ambitious and want to aim high the most important thing is still to stay in the league."

Carr added on his retirement U-turn: "I've got to be honest, I couldn't see any of this happening 18 months ago. And now I just can't wait to get started on Saturday.

"I know all of the lads think exactly the same, they are relishing the challenge. And it's one we're determined to rise to."

Meanwhile, Birmingham are still waiting to see whether AZ Alkmaar striker Moussa Dembele will agree a £5million deal.

Dembele has held talks with McLeish's club, who remain favourites to sign him despite interest from West Ham and West Brom.

The striker said: "I'll make a decision in the following days. I don't want this to go on too long."