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Preview: Blues v West Brom

We know if we keep trying to put our best performances out on the pitch the first three points and wins are only a matter of time.

Garry Monk

A full match preview ahead of tonight's Sky Bet Championship fixture against the Baggies at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (7.45pm kick-off).

Garry Monk on testing himself against a West Brom side managed by Darren Moore, who he was with as a player at Torquay...
“I was just a young schoolboy coming into the YTS at that point when Darren was in the first team. Obviously being a centre-back I paid a lot of attention to the centre-backs at the club. It was great that he went on to have the fantastic career that he had, and I've seen him quite a few times since then and he's a good guy. He did fantastically (at West Brom) at the end of last season in a really difficult situation and I'm happy that he got the job permanently. And he's started this season really strongly and they'll be looking to bounce straight back."

Garry Monk asked how Blues would try to nullify West Brom's attacking threat....
"They've got strength and high quality across the pitch. Not just attacking-wise but defensively as well. These are the challenges you have to rise to. We did that at the end of last season and we've continued that this season, albeit we haven't got the results that we feel we deserve. People that have watched us this season will understand that and see that we've done more than enough against some strong opponents to win those games. We have to put another strong performance in and be at our best both defensively and offensively and that will give us an opportunity to potentially win the game."

Garry Monk asked if he felt that Blues' results have reflected their performances...
"No, I think we've been a bit unlucky with the results that we've had in terms of points. We've performed really well in the majority of the games. I think that everyone that has watched us this season can see that we've done more than enough to get our first win already. But that's the way it is. We haven't got it, but we're determined to get it and we have another opportunity on Friday to get that first win. In terms of this early stage of the season, the performance levels we've produced and put out on the pitch have been really high level. There are things we need to improve on within that which we know, but the group are committed to that. We know if we keep trying to put our best performances out on the pitch the first three points and wins are only a matter of time."

Garry Monk asked if he needed to remind his players about the need to be disciplined in a derby fixture...
“We need to play our game, understand what are playing against, the threats they have in their squad. But the focus is on us, we know that if we can get our levels to the right level of performance that we can be a handful for everyone. Yes, we are going to work to nullify their strengths but our main focus is on our strengths and what we can do. We go on the pitch with that mentality in mind. That will never change. That’s the way I work."

Garry Monk on whether he thought it would be a tight encounter...
“We will see. It could be a goal bonanza or it could be a boring 0-0, who knows? What we have to do is put on a performance we can be proud of and our fans can feel proud of. We are motivated to do that, it’s a Friday night at St Andrew’s.”

West Brom Head Coach Darren Moore's comments ahead of the game...
“Garry is a leader and Birmingham have got the right man there to lead them. He leads from the front. He has a great managerial record to date and he’s done well. There are things he can and can’t affect but what he can do is continue working with the team. His team are performing very well. That’s credit to him. I hope he continues to work and develop the team and I’m sure the results will change. This is an old rivalry and we do battle again on Friday night. We’ll be contesting and battling for the three points available. They’re excellent matches to play in and this is obviously my first derby as a head coach. I’m looking forward to the game and my adrenalin levels will raise for it just like it does for any other. There’s no such thing as favourites in a local derby because of the excitement that builds. It adds a little bit more flavour than a normal fixture and my phone hasn’t stopped going this week. I have friends on both sides.”

Blues team news…
There are no fresh Blues injury concerns ahead of the game. Long-term absentees Isaac Vassell (knee) and David Davis (ankle) remain out.

West Brom team news...
Winger Oliver Burke withdrew from the Scotland Under-21 squad during the international break because of an issue with his knee but is expected to be available this evening.

Last five meetings between Blues and WBA...
FA Cup 24 Jan 2015 Blues 1 West Brom 2
Premier League 05 Mar 2011 Blues 1 West Brom 3
Premier League 18 Sep 2010 West Brom 3 Blues 1
Championship 18 Mar 2007 West Brom 1 Blues 1
Championship 28 Oct 2006 Blues 2 West Brom 0

Form guide. Last five Championship fixtures...
Blues: LDLDD
WBA: DWWLW

Ticket news...
This is a Grade C fixture and tickets are still available. For prices and purchasing details click here.

BluesTV…
Because tonight's game is being broadcast live on Sky Sports, only BluesTV subscribers in the countries below will be able to watch live coverage.

EUROPE: Albania, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Spain, Ukraine.

ASIA: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan.

OCEANIA: American Samoa, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna.

Subscribers in the UK and in other countries not listed above will be able to listen to the game on BluesTV. To sign up to BluesTV, click here.

Geoff Horsfield Foundation Charity Collection
The Club is asking supporters to bring toiletries to donate to the Geoff Horsfield Foundation ahead of tonight's game. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary products and deodorant are just some of the items that are desperately required. There will be two drop off points outside the Kop reception and Main Stand reception from Friday, provided by Biffa. There will be also a bucket collection outside the St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium before the game for the Foundation.

Match officials…
Andrew Madley will take charge of tonight's game. So far this season, the West Yorkshire-based official has refereed just six games, where he produced a total of 16 yellow cards and one red. The last Blues game he took charge of was our Championship away game at Middlesbrough last month. Blues were beaten1-0 at the Riverside, with Cheikh Ndoye cautioned for Blues and Craig Gardner being sent off late in the game for a rash challenge on Boro's Jonny Howson. No Boro players were booked in that game. The last West Brom game he took charge of was their FA Cup third round home tie against non-league Gateshead in January 2015. The Baggies trounced Gateshead 7-0 and no players from either side were cautioned. Mr Madley will be assisted on Friday by Steven Meredith and Lee Venamore, with Robert Jones acting as the fourth official.

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