Date: 1st July 2006 at 2:41pm
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Steve Bruce has expressed his delight in signing right-back Stephen Kelly from Spurs in the Birmingham Mail.

The Birmingham City manager said ‘I like the way Stephen plays and I like his approach to the game. He’s aggressive, very quick and athletic and he’s hungry to do well.’

‘He’s played almost 50 games for Tottenham and he’s more than held his own in the Premier League. But he’s got a bit frustrated there and he reminds me a lot of Matthew Upson in that he had the same problem (whilst at Arsenal).’

Adding ‘By coming here, he knows that he’s going to get a chance and that he will be an important player for us. Matt relished that kind of opportunity and responsibility and I’m sure it will be the same with Stephen. The good thing is that he wanted to join and prove himself with us.’

Bruce was also impressed with Kelly, who recently became a full Republic of Ireland international, the day he scored against the Blues!

‘He impressed me that day and he took his goal very well. I think it’s well known now the kind of players we want at this club and Stephen fits the bill. You do need one or two with experience, of course, but we have identified the need to rebuild with young, energetic players who have that desire and determination to do well. I’m sure our supporters will relate to that and the way we are going about giving them a new-look team.’

Blues are now being strongly linked to a second Spurs defender in Calum Davenport. Sheffield United’s Chris Morgan has also been linked.

Bruce said: ‘When I look at the squad, the balance is quite healthy – four strikers, four central midfield players, two people on the left and right-hand side positions. Defensively, we just need a little bit of strength there, and we are talking with an individual at the moment.’