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Eyebrows were raised when Birmingham City signed him and questions asked as to why Steve Bruce thought he needed him but, six weeks into his Blues career, Dwight Yorke has slotted in rather nicely at St Andrew's.


Up against his former club, Manchester United, on Saturday, Yorke did not do what he had managed in his previous two home games by finding the net. Yet, as part of a fine all-round team contribution, the West Indian striker with the trademark grin did more than most to put a smile on home fans' faces.

Yorke was not the only one to think that Blues' first Premiership point against United in five meetings could so easily have been three.

"Overall, we're disappointed, but we'd have happily taken a point off United before the game," he said.

"It looks like we're on the up. We're massively improved from the Middlesbrough game (a 2-1 reverse on September 11 at the Riverside) and if we show the same commitment and fighting spirit we did today, there's every reason to think we can climb the table."

Yorke is also happy to have started silencing the doubters who wondered whether such a former Aston Villa favourite could ever fit in at St Andrew's, especially after the way his career had turned sour under Graeme Souness at Blackburn.

"Every manager is entitled to their opinion, but people who know me know how hard I work," said Yorke.

"I'm just up for it. [Going to] Celtic might have been a easy option for me, to get away from England and coming back to Birmingham, to be on the other side of the city from Villa, was a great challenge but I'm delighted I made that decision. What is important to me now is Birmingham City.

"Steve Bruce has given me the opportunity and I hope I can repay him in many ways."

The only form of repayment manager Bruce is looking for, though, is goals, and the forging of Yorke's frontline partnership with record signing Emile Heskey hints that they might be about to come.

Blues team-mate Robbie Savage certainly believes so. "People look at big Emile upfront and think we only play one way," he said.

"But don't forget he's got a fantastic touch on the floor. He's linking us up with Yorkey off him and, with David Dunn in that role behind them, we look like we can score goals."