Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish is ready to hand in-form Kevin Phillips more minutes.

The impact of the 37-year-old during the past few games has impressed McLeish.

"There was a lot of interest in Kevin on transfer deadline day, but I had to bat it away," revealed McLeish. "I thought 'I can't let Kevin go' but, at the same time, if I'm keeping him, I've got to be fair to him.

"He did really well in the Coventry game, earned his introduction against Manchester City, won us the penalty, and we've got to think about him for the rest of the games.

"I'm delighted he is still here and making a tremendous contribution.

"I have been tinkering with the strikers in the first half of the season. We've never really been able to find a combination or a single striker pulling up trees.

"I was loathe to start Kevin in games when most of the players in the Premier League are young and fast at the back. But people with a brain as quick as Kevin, that can be the difference.

"He knows where to make the right sort of movement around Nikola Zigic. I can't teach him that, he's a genius with that kind of movement."

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