Barry Ferguson makes Blues commitment

Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson has signed a one-year extension to his contract to remain at St Andrew’s until the summer of 2012.

The 32-year-old, who was named the club’s players’ player of the season last campaign, has impressed since moving to the midlands from Rangers last summer and was delighted to have signed his new deal.

Ferguson, who is currently on the club’s pre-season tour of Hong Kong and China, said: “Before I left on the tour it was all agreed and I signed on the dotted line. I can now concentrate on another two years at Birmingham.

“It was kind of a dual thing: they came to me and had a chat, and I was always interested.”

The Scot also revealed that playing a part in a strong season for Alex McLeish's side, who finished ninth in the Barclays Premier League had made it an easy decision to stay.

Ferguson said: “I loved my first season down there. I’ve never hidden that. I was more than happy to extend the contract by another season. I can now focus on trying to do the job I did last year, and do it even better.”

It was announced last week that the former Blackburn player would not make himself available for international selection under new Scotland boss Craig Levein.

Under former boss George Burley he had been stripped of the captaincy and not considered for selection after indulging in a late-night drinking session following a World Cup qualifier against Iceland and then making obscene gestures from the bench at Hampden Park.

Ferguson hopes his decision to focus on club football will benefit Birmingham.

“It was a major decision I took,” he said. “I spoke to Craig Levein at the end of February and I honestly didn’t then think about it until the end of the season. I said to Birmingham I would give them everything when I came down, and I’m a firm believer in keeping my word.

“I wanted to make sure I finished the season as good as I could and then I went away and thought about it.

“I spoke to various people and came to a decision. It’s been put to bed now and now I can focus on Birmingham.

“I was going to leave it until the start of August, but I just felt that Craig was a guy who came down to see me, we spoke a couple of times on the phone, and I thought I had to let him know before pre-season started.

“I wanted to concentrate on my pre-season here and, at the same time, there was my contract as well, and I wanted to get something sorted.”

Ferguson now hopes to help McLeish’s men improve on last term’s excellent performances.

“We’ve got a big job this season to try to do what we did last season, better than last season,” he said.

“I believe the players we’ve got here, the characters we’ve got here, are the right bunch. The gaffer’s brought in further signings and I am sure he is after three or four more.

“I think you always do need to bring in fresh blood. The gaffer knows what he’s doing and he won’t stand still – and the club can’t.”

More in this Section

Graham adds to Scotland woes after Russell exclusionGraham adds to Scotland woes after Russell exclusion

Achilles injury halts Okunbor's AFL progressAchilles injury halts Okunbor's AFL progress

'We don't know where we stand': Potential loopholes undermine new rules'We don't know where we stand': Potential loopholes undermine new rules

England hold clear-the-air talks over Saracens issue ahead of Six NationsEngland hold clear-the-air talks over Saracens issue ahead of Six Nations


Lifestyle

IT IS movie award season and Irish designers and their luxury creations were the stars of the silver screen this week.From red carpet to luxe rugs: Ireland's designers get movie-star treatment

Falsies don’t have to be fiddly, says Katie Wright.5 common myths about false lashes

Hiring professional designers to guide you through a home revamp can get you what you want, which doesn’t necessarily have to be what TV home improvement shows tell us, writes Carol O’Callaghan.What a professional interior designer can do for you when planning a home revamp

Kya deLongchamps turns the spotlight on countertop stars to look out for in the last throes of the January sales.Counter culture: Some star kitchen appliance buys

More From The Irish Examiner