Date: 21st January 2008 at 2:45pm
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Birmingham City new boy James McFadden is convinced the club can avoid relegation following his 18-minute cameo appearance against Chelsea at the weekend.

Although Birmingham were on the wrong end of a 1-0 result, McFadden is confident that he has already seen enough to make him believe the team will begin the first game of next season as a Premier League club.

It is essential the 24-year-old Scotland international quickly finds form – and he did enough on Saturday to suggest he will do – and starts to show he was worth every penny of the £6million his transfer from Everton may eventually cost.

The Birmingham Post quoted McFadden as saying: “It was very hard lines. The first half, especially, we were the best side and had a few chances. Overall, we were unlucky in the end. Just from today’s performance, I think I have seen enough that we can stay up. We played some good stuff and worked hard.

“It is unfortunate we have lost because we deserved a lot more. We were making a few chances and we didn’t punish Chelsea. Hopefully, myself along with the rest of the strikers can start chipping in with some goals.

“I would back Birmingham to stay up. They have got enough, especially with the players they have brought in. McFadden is going to score goals. Their boys upfront are a handful. I’m back them to stay in the league.”

However, despite the good performance, the fact remains that Birmingham are only out of the relegation-zone on goal difference and Alex McLeish will have to do whatever is needed to get the new players linking-up well as soon as possible.

Fortunately, as things currently stand, it appears likely that Derby County will be relegated and Fulham are also sliding towards oblivion, meaning that Birmingham’s next two matches – against Sunderland and Derby – are must win games.