Alex McLeish is happy that the Birmingham City board have given him strong backing in the transfer market this summer, but the Scotsman still feels that his squad are short of a midfielder or two to add much needed quality to the heart of his side.
The Blues signed veteran midfielder Lee Bowyer on a free transfer today, but McLeish remains convinced that a playmaker is now the requirement, if his side are to be successful in their aim of surviving in the Premier League next season.
"The directors gave me the money for the young centre-halves (Scott Dann and Roger Johnson) which was more than I expected for that position," he revealed to Sky Sports News.
"But they know, and I know, that we're not strong enough to mount the challenge in the Premier League without the addition of a real quality midfielder, or, dare I say it, two midfielders."
Bowyer today signed a two-year contract at St Andrews, and will bring genuine Premier League experience to the side, after spending time at the club last season on loan from West Ham United.
"He made a great contribution. I felt that as he was a free transfer [he was a good signing]," McLeish explained.
"It's very difficult to bring in players on transfer fees. Once you start negotiating transfer fees then you start with figures like £3 million upwards, for anybody for the Premier League, unless it's a really young one with potential who you know is not going to play for you right away.
"So we know the parameters and Lee fits the bill for the Premier League, so for me it's good business."
As for other players who could reinforce the City midfield, Newcastle United's Joey Barton and Rangers' Barry Ferguson are players who have been linked with a move to the West Midlands. McLeish was staying tight-lipped about any further potential recruits though.
"I'm not going to speak about any players, it's not fair to talk about other teams' players, and certainly it's not fair to the Birmingham fans if we start talking about speculation," he asserted.
"The only time I will say anything official is when we've got a player over the line."
Zack Wilson, Goal.com