Sutton targets Blues survival

January 6, 2006

Chris Sutton is determined to repay the faith shown in him by Birmingham manager Steve Bruce and the board of directors by helping the club retain their Premiership status.

Sutton has completed a short term move from Celtic and is poised to make his debut in the league clash at Charlton on January 14.

It is a new challenge for a player who won the league title at Blackburn in 1995 and countless honours in five and a half years at Celtic but the 32-year-old is relishing the challenge.

Sutton told the club's official website: 'When I met Steve Bruce and (managing director) Karren Brady they made me feel very welcome straightaway. I felt a warmth towards the club and I decided it was the right move for me at this time.

'The position that Birmingham are in at the moment isn't great but I will be doing everything I can to help Birmingham climb the table.

'They have got good players at the club which is another reason that I wanted to come here.

'I know what I have come into and I know it's not going to be easy but I want to do the best that I can. I feel that I do owe that to Steve Bruce who has brought me in and I want to do well for him and Birmingham City.'

Sutton also hit back at criticism of the standard of football in Scotland where he scored 63 goals in 127 appearances.

He said: 'I know what people think of Scottish football south of the border but it's not easy up there.

'It's very tough playing for Celtic or Rangers and in many ways it is more difficult than playing in the Premiership because of the expectation.

'There are many players that have gone up there from England and struggled.

'I am very proud to have played for Celtic and the last five years have been the most enjoyable I have had in football.

'Most of the time we have been in Europe and beaten a lot of good sides - the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Anderlecht, Lyon, Liverpool and Blackburn.

'But I am now looking forward to a new challenge at Birmingham.'

Sutton has missed large chunks of this season due to injury but is now over the worst and determined to take out his frustration on Premiership defenders.

He said: 'I haven't played a lot of games this season. I fractured my cheek after 10 minutes of the first competitive game and I was out for a couple of months.

'I have only started seven games this season which is obviously not ideal. I have worked as hard as I possibly can in the gym but I need to get training and playing.

'It's not going to be easy but first and foremost I want to get myself as fit as I can, get in the team and do the best that I can.

'But the main thing is for Birmingham to win and to climb up the table. That is what I have come here for and hopefully I can play my part and I can create and score goals for the team.'

Sutton has signed on a short term deal that will keep him at St Andrews until the end of the season.

He insisted that he was not looking any further down the line at the current time and just wanted to concentrate on helping Blues survive in the top flight.

He said: 'I have got an open mind as regards to what happens in the summer but all I am focused on now is to do as well as I possibly can for Birmingham, nothing else. Hopefully at the end of the season we will still be in the Premiership.'