BLUES EXIT WAS ON THE CARDS

Fa­hey’s ready to make fresh start

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE PLAY-OFF FINAL - By Luke Mur­ray

BIRM­ING­HAM City mid­fielder Keith Fa­hey has vowed to bounce back af­ter be­ing axed.

Fa­hey, 30, was shown the door by Birm­ing­ham af­ter man­ager Lee Clark opted not to take up the two-year con­tract op­tion that the club held.

Fa­hey was on a con­tract that was signed when Birm­ing­ham were in the Pre­mier League and that fact, as well as con­cerns over his fit­ness, led Clark to show him the door.

Hip and groin prob­lems ended his sea­son in March, just two games into his come­back fol­low­ing five months on com­pas­sion­ate leave in Dublin.

Fa­hey said:“I’m go­ing home and I will keep re­cov­er­ing. I’m not 100 per cent fit yet from in­jury, so I’ll keep work­ing on that and then I’ll see what op­tions I have over the sum­mer.

“I’m sad to be leav­ing be­cause I’ve had some good times here, and I was set­tled. Since I came to the club we’ve had a pro­mo­tion, two good years in the Pre­mier League, rel­e­ga­tion, a good Euro­pean cup run and the League Cup Fi­nal as well.

Suc­cess­ful

“In four-and-a-half years it’s been a suc­cess for me, any­way, and the club has been pretty suc­cess­ful while I’ve been here. I’m feel­ing it now be­cause we’re not do­ing quite as well.

“But I’ve re­ally en­joyed my time here, I’d just like to thank all the fans and ev­ery­body at the club who made me feel wel­come.

“Wem­b­ley and win­ning the League Cup was mas­sive. That was the best day of my life.

“The pro­mo­tion day (when Birm­ing­ham beat Read­ing on the fi­nal day in 2009), when I scored one and as­sisted on one, I don’t think I re­alised how big it was when it hap­pened.

“As high­lights, I can’t pick be­tween the two. If I was of­fered pro­mo­tion like that on the last day of the sea­son again I’d cel­e­brate it like there was no to­mor­row.

“Play­ing in the Pre­mier League is where you want to be and if you drop out of it you re­alise how tough it is with so many games a sea­son.

“The Euro­pean run was good as well. It was dif­fer­ent play­ing in Europe. I en­joyed the last year and hav­ing a good sea­son in the cen­tre of mid­field, which I hadn’t had the chance to do be­fore.”

Fa­hey, who made 144 ap­pear­ances for Blues and scored nine goals af­ter his £300,000 move from St Pa­trick’s Ath­letic in Jan­uary 2009, wasn’t sur­prised to be re­leased.

He added: “I ex­pected it be­cause I was watch­ing TV and read­ing the news­pa­pers, and it was clear what the man­ager was say­ing and how the club was go­ing to be, go­ing for­ward. The writ­ing was on the wall and when I went in and was told I was ready for it. I’m very dis­ap­pointed, but I can’t make the club keep me.

“Ba­si­cally they couldn’t af­ford to. It wasn’t about money for me, it wasn’t me say­ing ‘Lis­ten, I want what I am en­ti­tled to’ be­cause they had an op­tion on me and a re­duced con­tract wasn’t of­fered.

“It was just a case of the club say­ing ‘Sorry, we can't keep you’.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

AXED: Keith Fa­hey in ac­tion for Birm­ing­ham. Inset: Lee Clark. Left: Fa­hey lifts the Car­ling Cup

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