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Former Villa legend turned Blues coach Nigel Spink has predicted that Dwight Yorke's "strong character" will help him overcome hostility generated by his move to St Andrew's.


Blues fans have mixed opinions about former Holte End hero Yorke's transfer from Blackburn Rovers and, if anything, there is more animosity towards the striker from the Aston part of the city.

Spink, for 19 years a Villan, watched Yorke train for the first time yesterday and praised his ability and attitude. "I'm glad Dwight's here because he'll take the flak off me and I might be able to sit at the front of the dug-out rather than at the back when we go to Villa Park," joked Spink, Blues' goalkeeper coach. "Him coming here is certainly the talk of the town and you have to say it shows a lot of bottle on his part.

"To put himself in this sort of environment, not knowing what sort of reaction he'd get from either set of fans, that takes courage. "We talked about it yesterday and, obviously, he knows all about the rivalry. "When you play for Manchester United, everyone hates you, so nothing will faze Dwight. "Knowing the Birmingham fans like I do now, I think they don't care where a player comes from as long as he does the business. "And I think what should be remembered is that Dwight could have settled for an easy life at Celtic. "But he said he wanted to stay in the Premier League. He wanted to join Birmingham and he's busting a gut to do well for us. He's got a definite twinkle in his eye."