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The Preview: Charlton Athletic v Blues

Posted: Fri 07 Feb 2014
Author: bcfc.com
Image by: Pete Stanley

bcfc.com previews Saturday's Sky Bet Championship game against the Addicks at the Valley (3pm kick-off).

Lee Clark on his side's comeback against Derby County last weekend...
"I was delighted with response I got from the players. We had to work extremely hard to keep Derby at bay in the first half. Then we get our noses in front and then all of a sudden we’re behind, albeit to a deflection. Couple that with the injury we got to Tom and you think everything is working against you. Then they score another good goal from their point of view. But the lads never gave up and kept fighting and pushing and got a tremendous point at the end of the day."

Clark on giving five players their debuts against Derby...
"It was the youngest ever staring XI in the club’s history, so it's another record broken. I did it last year by fielding the most teenagers in one starting XI. It just shows you the task they had and how well they stuck to it against a very good Derby team and all credit to the young players. It was first time for a lot of them playing at this level, but they did really well. The more they play alongside each other, the more they'll gel and understand each others' games."

Clark on the return of captain Paul Robinson following his two-game ban...
"It's huge for us to have our captain back. Not only is he a leader in terms of his captaincy, he’s a leader in terms of his performances. Everything about him epitomises what I’m looking for in the group and it's a huge bonus we’ve got him for Saturday."

Clark on the remainder of the season...
"I said to the group before the Derby game that this is the second half of our season. The first half had been going really well until we suffered the loss of important members of the squad and the team. It was plain to see in January that it hit us really hard with the results we got. I was pleased with the business we did in bringing players in even though they don't have that much experience. But we’ve got great belief in them and that they can come here and do a good job and we’re looking forward to it."   

Clark on the test that Charlton Athletic will pose...
"We understand we're in a precarious position and we’re going there trying to win a football match and that’s our only concern. They obviously beat us at St. Andrew’s earlier in the season and it was a really poor performance from us on the day. We know it’s going to be tough because Chris Powell always demands high standards from his players. The pitch isn’t conducive to good football. It’s going to be a battle and everybody has got to be prepared to roll their sleeves up."

Blues team news...
Captain Paul Robinson returns to the squad after serving out a two-game ban for collecting ten yellow cards this season. Manchester United loanee Tom Thorne is out for several weeks with the ankle injury he picked up on his Blues debut against Derby County. Mitch Hancox is available after recovering from an ankle problem. Matt Green (knee), Jonathan Spector (thigh), David Murphy (knee), Akwasi Asante (hamstring), Amari'i Bell (knee) and Neal Eardley (knee) remain out.

Crowd safety
Birmingham City Football Club would like to remind supporters that irresponsible conduct such as the throwing of objects on or towards the field or any acts of disorder is deemed as misconduct by The FA, therefore this will not be tolerated by the club. Such behaviour reflects 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. 

Betting...
If you want to place a bet on the game, use Sky Bet and they will give a share of the revenue back to Blues. Plus sign-up now and get a free matched bet up to £30. Just click here. Looking to Saturday's game at the Valley, a Blues win is priced 11/5, the draw at 9/4 and a Charlton victory at 5/4. 

Tickets...
Please click here for prices. Pay on the gate at the cash turnstiles at the South Stand for BCFC Supporters.


Stat pack...
- There have been 58 league and cup meetings between the sides. Charlton have won 21 of them, Blues 18 and 19 have ended all-square.
- When the teams met back in November in the corresponding league fixture at St. Andrew's, Charlton won 1-0 thanks to a 57th minute goal from Dale Stephens.
- Blues have failed to win on any of their last five visits to the Valley.
- The last Blues away win against Charlton was a 2-0 success in April 2003 in the Premiership.
- The first meeting between the sides took place on 19 September 1936. The First Division fixture at the Valley finished in a 2-2 draw.