Clingan ready and willing to take the Maik

PUBLISHED: 09:38 23 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:09 10 September 2010

Sammy Clingan curls in a sublime free kick for the equaliser at Birmingham. Photo: Alex Broadway

Sammy Clingan curls in a sublime free kick for the equaliser at Birmingham. Photo: Alex Broadway

Sammy Clingan heads home to Belfast this week for World Cup qualifiers with Northern Ireland - and is already preparing a special homecoming for team-mate Maik Taylor.

Birmingham City goalkeeper Maik Taylor can only stand and admire Sammy Clingan's free kick. Photo: PA

Sammy Clingan heads home to Belfast this week for World Cup qualifiers with Northern Ireland - and is already preparing a special homecoming for team-mate Maik Taylor.

Clingan left the Birmingham goalkeeper rooted to the spot on Saturday as he fired in the free-kick equaliser which earned City a deserved point at St Andrew's - and he isn't about to let his colleague get away lightly.

"I knew once it left my foot and it went over the wall that the keeper wasn't going to get across because he was so far across the goal," said Clingan.

"I know Maik, he's a good keeper. I'll be meeting up with him next week so I think I'll give him a bit of stick. I think he'll hear me all week talking about it.

"It was a bit windy there and I knew if I got it over the wall it would go on because I knew I was going to try and get a bit of pace on it and I did and thankfully it worked.

"But it's just nice to get a goal - I don't get that many and it was nice in an important game."

Clingan's goal was his fourth of the season - five if you are of the opinion that the opener against Wolves back in October was his - and was necessary after Birmingham had grabbed a controversial opener when the City camp believed Cameron Jerome had fouled keeper David Marshall before prodding the ball home.

"I thought the team played really well from start to finish and I think we were unlucky not to win the game," said Clingan.

"To be fair, Birmingham had a few chances as well, but I think we had the better of the chances and I think we were a bit unfortunate with the goal as well.

"You normally see with 99pc of them the keeper gets the decision, but today he didn't get it and thankfully we got the equaliser from myself.

"The ref didn't give it but we have to get on with it. We've had some refereeing decisions this season that have let us down, but we just have to get on with our game and hopefully just pick up points as often as possible and just try and get away from relegation."

The point helped keeps City out of the bottom three - a confidence booster going into the two-week break.

"Obviously it is not nice being down at that end of the table, especially in the relegation zone, so I think the lads will be going away with a lot of confidence from today's game," Clingan said.

"We have showed we can compete with the best teams in the league - we have competed with Wolves, we have competed with Birmingham on two occasions. We just have to look forward to the Sheffield Wednesday game and hopefully we can get three points.

"It just shows the lads are digging deep for each other and there is a great camaraderie in the camp. We know it's going to be tough until the end of the season, but we feel confident.

"I think the fans were incredible today - even when we were warming up we knew the fans were going to get behind us right from the start and it was great to score in front of them as well and go over and celebrate with them, when you see all those yellow jerseys there. They were noisy today and all the lads have seen that and we upped that performance."

So what has Bryan Gunn brought to the Norwich City party that appears to be working?

"The lads have taken to him since the first day he came in," said Clingan. "He knows about the club, he's a legend here, he has brought Norwich coaches in with him who have played here before and they know the club, in and out, so we just are happy he has been placed in charge and all the lads are behind him."

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