Barnet are the visitors to St. Andrew’s tomorrow night (7.45pm kick-off) as Blues get their competitive 2012/13 season underway in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
Clark has already made it clear that he’ll start his strongest available XI against the Bees as he aims to start the new campaign on a victorious note.
Having lifted the famous silverware at Wembley back in February 2011, Blues have a very special bond with this knock-out cup competition and although he wasn’t associated with the football club at that time, Clark believes those memories alone are enough of an inspiration.
Looking ahead to the club’s first ever fixture against Barnet, he told bcfc.com: “How serious will we take this competition? We’re a club who are quite unique in that we won it a couple of years ago and everyone connected with the club – supporters, players and staff alike – would love that occasion and type of feeling all over again.
“It’s vitally important that we go into the competition trying to win every tie.”
Judging from some of the results elsewhere in the opening round of the competition, it’s clear that winning the tie will be far from straight forward.
Several of Blues’ npower Championship rivals were taken the whole distance by clubs from lower divisions while Blackpool were dumped out of the competition by Morecambe on Sunday.
Looking at the threat Mark Robson’s npower League Two side will bring to St. Andrew’s tomorrow, Clark continued: “Barnet will be very tough. They’re coming with nothing to lose and they’ll get the ball down and play because that’s the philosophy of their new manager.
“My lads have to treat Barnet with the same amount of respect that they treated the likes of Plymouth and Bury with during pre-season.
“We’ve got great examples of the course of the weekend where we had two or three Championship clubs scrape through on penalties even with home advantage then on Sunday a Championship club in Blackpool lost to a League Two club at home.
“That gives us the perfect kick up the backside if we ever needed it that we can’t take these teams for granted. There’ll be no pressure on Barnet and it’s up to us to deliver the result and performance.”
Having been withdrawn five minutes into the pre-season fixture against Royal Antwerp on Saturday with a thigh injury, captain Stephen Carr will be assessed over the next 24 hours.
Clark will be hoping to have Jonathan Spector available for selection but Keith Fahey is still short of being ready for action. Meanwhile Jack Butland will be away on international duty with England for the fixture.