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Preview: Blues v Wycombe Wanderers

OUR FULL MATCH PREVIEW AHEAD OF BLUES' SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURE AGAINST WYCOMBE WANDERERS ON WEDNESDAY 4 NOVEMBER AT THE ST. ANDREW’s TRILLION TROPHY STADIUM (7.45PM KICK-OFF).

Aitor Karanka on how his players have adapted to changes in system and personnel in recent games
I’ve been really pleased because it’s been a big challenge - even for me. In all my games at Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest, I played with a 4-2-3-1 formation so without time to work on the training pitch, almost changing the shape every single game, the players have been fantastic. A coach can work for hours and hours but if the players are not adjusting on the pitch it’s nothing, so I am really pleased with them.

On the challenge of extending winning run…
I told the players after the game that it’s much better to have the winning run than the losing run. We’re in a good run now, we have to take advantage. We know how difficult it is to win a game in this division, so we have to keep going knowing that Wycombe is going to be a tough game if not the toughest one. The players are training and playing really well. When we came here, we brought eleven players in but now you can see that we have a full squad where everyone can play. I’m really pleased with all of them. The atmosphere in the changing room after Preston was really amazing and I just want to keep that going because the players deserve it.

On what to expect from Wycombe…
They beat Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday and it means they are improving. It’s the first season in the Championship for them. Now they are settling in, they won their first game so they will arrive even more dangerous and more difficult. It’s another game where we have to play how we know we can. We have to be consistent with our performances because if not, we will have problems.

On Gareth Ainsworth…
Gareth has done a massive job. I think we both lost a final at Wembley the same year. Now he got the promotion he was searching for and I’m really pleased for him because the club trusted him and now, they’re in the Championship. They’re improving, it’s going to be a tough game but I’m pleased for Gareth because he deserves success.

On changing expectations given recent run…
No I won’t change anything because I said at the very beginning, if I am to change my mentality every two or three weeks I would be lost. And I am not lost. After losing against Sheffield Wednesday and Norwich I wasn’t sitting here talking about staying in the Championship and worrying about relegation. Today I am not here saying the aim is the playoffs - no. The goal is the same as when I arrived, to compete in every game and our work will dictate where we are at the end of the season.

On enjoying his time at Blues so far…
I am really enjoying it, but I have since the very first day. It’s tough to enjoy it when you are a coach, is not always easy, especially in this league. Since I had the first meeting with Dong I was really looking forward to the job because we can do something nice here and I think we are doing. We had a very good transfer market, we started well against Brentford and Swansea. We have started to play the way I was expecting us to, so I am really pleased and the main thing for me is coming in to my office everyday realty excited because we have built a very good squad.

On team progress after nine games…
I think we’re in a good position. Apart from the points, which are always important but for me it’s about the way the team is working, how the players are performing, and they are doing really well. We’re improving a lot, we have another two games and then two weeks to work on the training ground. It gives us chance to get players back like Clayton and Clarke-Salter so we are in a good way and on good run but we have to keep improving because we’ve done nothing.

Blues team news...
Jake Clarke-Salter remains unavailable because of a slight calf problem whilst Adam Clayton is still nursing the ankle injury he sustained against Huddersfield Town. Zach Jeacock is also ruled out with an ankle injury. Josh McEachran is the only other absentee as continues his recovery from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

Wycombe team news...
No fresh injury concerns for Gareth Ainsworth who underwent minor back surgery which kept him out the dugout for Wycombe’s victory over Sheffield Wednesday. Ryan Tafazolli is pushing for his first start since returning from a minor issue.

Head to head...
Blues wins: 4
Draws: 0
Wycombe wins: 1

Last five meetings between Wycombe and Blues...
League Cup 13 Aug 2008 Wycombe 0-4 Blues
League Cup 26 Sep 2000 Blues 1-0 Wycombe
League Cup 19 Sep 2000 Wycombe 3-4 Blues
Division 2 18 Mar 1995 Wycombe 0-3 Blues         
Division 2 30 Aug 1994 Blues 0-1 Wycombe

Form guide last five games... 
Blues: WWDLL 
Wycombe: WDLLL 

BluesTV…
This match will be available to watch on BluesTV for just £10.

The game is NOT available on the red button, so BluesTV is the only place that you can watch tonight's fixture.



Click here for further details. If you’re an existing international package subscriber you will not need to purchase a pay-per-view package, as it is included within your current subscription.

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