Nottingham Forest: Not signing Chris Burke came back to haunt us, says Alex McLeish
ALEX McLeish admits the failure to sign Chris Burke during a frustrating January window returned to haunt Nottingham Forest in spectacular fashion.
The winger netted twice to ensure a miserable return to St Andrew's for the Reds boss, who saw the club fail to capture any of the three players they tried to sign on deadline day.
Forest bid £500,000 for the Scottish international, but Birmingham rejected the offer – and will be glad they did following his match-winning display in a 2-1 victory for the Blues.
"He is a good player, that is why I wanted to sign him. He did against us, what I hoped he would do for Forest," said McLeish.
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"I know the type of professional he is and the type of player he is. He has come inside, we had sat deep in the box and not got a block in.
"Burky has come back to haunt us. It is not something that you could ever say would not happen. We tried to get him but were priced out of it. You have to accept that.
"I am disappointed we did not get the deals through, over the line on deadline day. Just as Harry Redknapp will be disappointed with the ones he did not get over the line. Although, to be fair, he did get one or two!
"Every manager is disappointed when things do not get done, when they do not go through. It haunted us badly on Saturday."
McLeish hinted he will make changes again when Forest travel to face Bristol City next weekend.
"Perhaps Adlene Guedioura coming back can give us some legs in the team, that would help," he said. "Maybe Daniel Ayala is ready to come back as well, in the centre-back position.
"This is why we wanted to add in January, to try to give the other players a wee boost to go further up the table.
"There is not much between sides, but when you lose goals like we did, it is tough to watch.
"There is not a lot I can do about that. The players have to take responsibility. They have to make sure they are not losing possession like that.
"Karl Darlow has been very bright for us and had a good game, but he was perhaps a yard too far off the line. But I am delighted with him generally.
"The players have to up their level. The level has dropped from a few individuals. I don't think it is confidence, because we have worked hard on that with them; we have encouraged them.
"It is up to these guys to give themselves a shake. We need to get a grip on things and move up the table."