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The Preview: Blues v Stoke City

Posted: Tue 29 Oct 2013

Blues v Stoke

Image by: Pete Stanley previews tonight's Capital One Cup fourth round tie at St. Andrew's (7.45pm kick-off).

Lee Clark on taking the positives from the 1-1 draw against Derby County at the weekend...
“It was a positive result. I was delighted with the attitude, application and fighting spirit of the players because Derby County were on a good little run.

“We would have preferred three points, but if you can’t get three, one away from home is a decent way to go about it."

On how pleased he was to see Lee Novak score the equaliser against the Rams...
“The whole club, the players and the staff are delighted for him.

“He’s got a fantastic work ethic. I know all about him, I have worked with him for a long time, and I think he can deliver for the club.

“When you are a forward player you get judged on your goals. It hasn’t been easy for him at the start of the season, but I said earlier in the week if I got every player to write down their preferred eleven - with the exception of themselves - I would have thought every other player would put Lee Novak in because of what he gives the team. Hopefully it will give him a boost and he can kick on from it now."

On the importance of the League Cup as a competition...
“I believe it’s special. It’s important to the club. The fans and the people associated with the club when they won it, will always have it etched in their history.

“People who are around now and were part of that day, will never forget it for the rest of their lives.

“You are in the game to be a winner and it is important for this football club to go as far as it can.”

On being the underdogs against Premier League Stoke City...
“In professional sport there is nothing better than going back into a winning dressing room. When we did it against a team from a higher league (Swansea City in the last round) it’s even better.

“We know it is going to be difficult again. We are going to be the underdogs because we are playing a team from the Premier League that have many quality players and international players.

“Stoke have got power and physicality, but they've also got technically very gifted footballers. But we can give ourselves a chance like we did against Swansea, if we apply ourselves and respect them but not fear them."

On how a cup run can help foster a feel-good factor...
“I am conscious of that every time we play. I just want to give the fans a little bit of happiness because I understand what’s going on and the predicament they are in.

“In terms of the people who are at the forefront of my mind, it is the players and my staff and the supporters. I want to make them as feel as happy we can, every time we play. A good cup run can do that. I felt that after Swansea and we have got another chance against a Premier League team."

Team news...
Chris Burke felt a tightness in his hamstring against Derby and will miss out against Stoke. David Murphy will be rested after recently returning from a long stint out with a knee injury. Manchester United striker Jesse Lingard would have been ineligible to play at the request of his parent club, but is also in the process of receiving treatment for a knee ligament problem. Colin Doyle is expected to be given a start in goal ahead of number one keeper, Darren Randolph. Jonathan Spector (thigh), Akwasi Asante (hamstring) and Neal Eardley (knee) are all sidelined.

Ticket information
Full ticket details can be found here. There will be ten cash turnstiles in operation for Blues supporters - five in the Kop and five in the Tilton.

Crowd safety
Birmingham City Football Club would like to remind supporters that throwing objects on or towards the field of play is unacceptable and deemed as misconduct by The FA, therefore this will not be tolerated by the club and its safety team. Incidents of this nature reflect badly on Birmingham City and the image of the game. Supporters should also be aware that they are responsible for their own and others' safety when attending fixtures at St. Andrew's. A full breakdown of ground regulations can be found here.

If you want to place a bet on tonight's game there are 55 betting options available from the Football League's Official Betting Partner Sky Bet. A Blues win is priced at 11/4, the draw at 12/5 and a Stoke victory at 1/1. Please access the Sky Bet site using this link

Stat pack
- Stoke City have won the League Cup once - in 1972. Blues have won it twice - in 1963 and 2011.
- Since their 1972 success the Potters haven’t made it further than the quarter-finals - they reached the last eight in 1978/79 and 2008/09 respectively.
- Despite their 167 appearances throughout League Cup history, the Potters have never been drawn against Blues.
- The last time Stoke were victorious at St. Andrew's was almost a quarter of a century ago on 25 October, 1998, when the visitors won 1-0 in the old Second Division.
- Stoke have failed to win in their last nine visits to St. Andrew's, with six defeats and three draws to show for their efforts.