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Preview: Blues v Wolves

We'll treat Wolves with the respect they deserve but hopefully not too much on Monday night.

Steve Cotterill

A full match preview ahead of tonight's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Blues and Wolves at St. Andrew's (7.45pm kick-off).

Steve Cotterill on the mood around the training ground since the well-earned draw against Sheffield United...
"When you get a positive result then the vibe around the training ground is always going to be better. I don't think that there has been a good vibe around for a long time. So, it's not something that's going to change overnight and it's not something that's going to change over one result and I wouldn't want it to change over one result. For me there's got to be a balance that when the football club goes from losing games on a more regular basis to winning games on a regular basis you've got to make sure there's an even keel in and around the place."

Steve Cotterill on getting the balance right between nullifying the opposition and imposing ourselves on the game...
"We've got to try and do that. We do that most weeks anyway. There are always strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and your own strengths and weaknesses. We will always break the week down into compartments of when we're doing what. One day will be working on defending without the ball, before we flip into a little bit more about what we'll do with the ball."

Steve Cotterill on what he expects from Wolves...
"I'm expecting to see a confident team because their scorelines and their results have suggested that. But we've already played teams in the top half. I think we've played the top five teams out of seven or something like that.  It hasn't been an easy run of games anyway. It's been a run of tough games. We'll treat Wolves with the respect they deserve but hopefully not too much on Monday night."

Steve Cotterill asked if he'd identified any weaknesses in the Wolves team...
"Maybe. They've also got plenty of strengths as well. We have to try and identify anything we can go on. One thing is for sure I wouldn't tell anybody if I had found one. But they are a good team and they will get the full respect off us. They'll be doing exactly the same as us this week trying to identify our strengths and weaknesses."

Steve Cotterill asked if he thought Wolves were certainties for promotion with the way they've been playing...
"My thoughts don't veer towards Wolves that much. I haven't thought about it. I'm Manager of Birmingham City and that's my only focus and thought. What Wolves do is really irrelevant to us and to them other than you have to give credit where credit is due because they've done very well this season so far. But it's not all over because there are always twists and turns in this Championship table. It's not so much now, it's perhaps when it gets towards the nitty-gritty at the end. They've got a big supporter base behind them, it's a big traditional club. They've been in the Premier League before, so they've experienced it. So, all the factors are good for them."

Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo's comments...
“I have been involved in many derbies, in different countries and regions. Monday is special, and you have to deal with your emotions. It’s a derby, we cannot forget that – derbies are different. We look at Birmingham as a good team – a tough team. It is a derby and we have to deal, and the best way to deal is to take care of your emotions. Taking care of your emotions during the game is the most important – dealing with our emotions but never stop playing, always going for the win.”

Blues team news...
David Davis (knee), Jason Lowe (hamstring), Craig Gardner (calf), Stephen Gleeson (quad) and Carl Jenkinson (shoulder) have all returned to training. Isaac Vassell (knee) and Maxime Colin (hamstring) are definitely out.

Wolves team news...
Record signing Ruben Neves is suspended tonight after collecting five yellow cards. Defender Phil Ofosu-Ayeh is out with an ankle injury.

Tickets
Tickets for this evening's game are on general sale. For prices and purchasing details, please click here.

Listen live
BluesTV will have live commentary from St. Andrew'sevening. If you would like to subscribe to BluesTV, please click here. Because this game is being shown on Sky Sports, BluesTV are not authorised to broadcast it.

Match Officials
Simon Hooper will referee this evening's match at St. Andrew's. The Wiltshire-base official has taken charge of 19 games so far this season, where he has dished out a total of 58 yellow cards and two reds. The last Blues game he refereed was Blues' Championship away game against Millwall in October. Blues were beaten 2-0 in that match and there were four players cautioned; including Maxime Colin and Michael Morrison for the visitors. The last Wolves game he oversaw was their 1-0 home defeat to Wigan Athletic in February 2017.Four players were booked in that fixture - with Wolves' Bright Enobakhare and Andreas Weimann yellow carded for the hosts. Mr Hooper will be assisted tonight by Philip Dermott and Daniel Robathan.

Supporter behaviour
The Club urges all supporters to refrain from anti-social behaviour and conduct themselves in the correct manner at all our games, inside and outside the ground. The overwhelming majority of our support is well behaved, law-abiding and the passionate backing the team receives is greatly appreciated. However, as a Club we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of coins and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting. In particular, the throwing of coins and other missiles is extremely dangerous and is not tolerated whatsoever. This is a very serious offence and any supporter identified to have committed this and other such acts will be banned by the Club and subject to the possibility of criminal prosecution. Birmingham City Football Club will continue to work closely with the police, football authorities and ground authorities to stamp out all types spectator misconduct. We would also like to remind supporters that if there are incidents of this nature in the future the Football Association have the power to impose a serious financial penalty on the Club and order matches to be played behind closed doors. The Club urges all supporters to assist us and help eradicate unlawful practices.
Thank you.

Important message to Blues supporters
The Club recently launched a campaign to remind supporters about the effects of anti-social behaviour. Click here for more details.

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