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League points before contract talks

Boss Alex McLeish expects Mehdi Nafti and Maik Taylor to have contract talks with Birmingham City in the near future - but is keen for the focus to remain on the battle to avoid the drop.

Midfielder Nafti, who moved to St Andrews from Racing Satander in January 2005, is currently competing in the African Nations Cup with Tunisia. Although the 29-year-old's contract is set to expire in the summer, it has been reported the club have an option for a 12-month extension.

Goalkeeper Taylor's contract also expires in the summer. The Northern Ireland international has previously suggested he is happily settled in Birmingham and has no desire to move elsewhere. Given Taylor is now 36, it is feasible that he will be offered some sort of coaching role at St Andrews once his playing career finishes.

McLeish told the club's official site: "That is something that has to be organised once he (Nafti) gets back. I'm sure his agent will lock horns with Karren Brady and the club and see where we take it.

"Let's try and get some points on the board first and get to a position where we can sit down and talk again. I'd rather people focused on the prestige of being in the Premier League rather than money and personal matters.

"But the fact is that we agreed that we'd talk to Mehdi when he came back so that has got to be done. And it's the same with Maik Taylor's contract."

Following the disappointing 1-1 draw with basement-boys Derby County at the weekend, when Birmingham should have wrapped-up all three points with ease, it is essential to get something out of the next three games.

Though given the next three games are a trip to West Ham before Arsenal and then Spurs visit St Andrews, McLeish's desire to concentrate all attention on getting points on the board is clearly wise.




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The Journalist

Writer: Jasper's Parrot Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 6 2008

Time: 3:23PM

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