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      OPPOSITION VIEW - BIRMINGHAM CITY


Ahead of Saturday's FA Cup clash with Birmingham City at St Andrews, we caught up with
@StAndrewsVicar. Amongst other things, he gives us his views on Blues' season so far, Gary Rowett, former Baggie Paul Robinson and the game itself.

Now that we're just over halfway through the season, how would you view City's campaign so far?

We guessed wed struggle as ten players arrived during the summer mainly on frees from a lower Division, that proved to be true under Lee Clark. As soon as Gary Rowett was appointed the apathy around the club disappeared, results have improved greatly and St Andrews is bouncing again.

There's been a huge turnaround in the club's fortunes since Gary Rowett replaced Lee Clark as boss, what's Rowett done to make such a difference?

The first thing he did was bring in Michael Morrison, played players in positions they were comfortable with and made us more compact and competitive. Consistent team selection illustrates he trusts the players. Amazingly in his twelve league games in charge hes only named a total of thirteen different players in the starting line-up.   

Are the play-offs a realistic possibility?

Current form would suggest they are but injuries and suspensions would hit us hard as the majority of the squad who arent currently playing lack quality. Hopefully Rowett can address this problem in the transfer window.

Is there any light at the end of the tunnel with regards to the ownership of the club?

With two factions fighting within BIHL for control it appears a sale is as far away as ever. Currently if we spot a light at the end of the tunnel its normally an express train heading our way.

What tactics and line-up can we expect to see Gary Rowett deploy against the Baggies?

In the majority of games under Rowett weve had less possession but when we have the ball we move it quickly and have been quite clinical. We study the opposition now and in a few games weve benefited where Rowett has detected a weakness for us to exploit. Expect David Cotterill to take set pieces, Andrew Shinnie to be the most creative and eleven players to put a shift in.

How's former Albion left-back Paul Robinson doing for you?

These days at left back hes a liability now playing at centre half hes currently playing well. The signing of Michael Morrison has given him a new lease of life and theyre proving to be a good combination. Hed still run through a brick wall for the cause.

City brought in another former Baggie on Monday with the signing of Lloyd Dyer from Watford. Are you happy with his signing and is there anything else the club needs to be doing transfer-wise?

Its great that were actually participating in this transfer window. Dyer was a key player for Leicester when they got promoted last season so Im quite chuffed with his signing. Obviously we all hope hes not a replacement for Demari Gray with the usual vultures hovering. We need options and players to come in that will improve the starting eleven

Any particular memories that stand out from previous games against Albion?

Two clashes at the Hawthorns during Promotion seasons stand out, October 1991 when Kevin Drinkell scored the only goal for Blues and April 1994 when Louis Donowa had the game of his life in a 4-2 win, terrific atmospheres for both games. Apologies that I've gone back 20 years not quite as bad as the B6 brigade.

Player of the season so far?

David Davis, he doesnt get many headlines but gives 110% in the engine room and has been a great acquisition. Really cant believe the Dingles let him go.

Anyone been particularly disappointing?

Neal Eardley tends to be an accident waiting to happen its the way its going for him lately.

Prediction for and thoughts on Saturday's game?

I reckon it will be a draw hopefully with a few goals, with a near full house and 5,500 visitors it should be a great atmosphere. Id like to see two full strength sides in an open game but thats probably wishful thinking. Certainly looking forward to welcoming back Gardner and Foster (or even Myhill) two heroes of 2011.

Hope you all enjoy Saturday bar the result, Boing ! Boing !



 

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