BLUES LOOK TO STRENGTHEN GRIP
Birmingham have a chance to strengthen their hold on a play-off place in the npower Championship as they travel to Burnley on Tuesday night.
Blues sit fourth in the table at the top of tight group of five teams separated by just two points.
But Chris Hughton's men have a game in hand on all their rivals and can seize the initiative in the battle for positions as they play that outstanding fixture at Turf Moor.
The game is followed by a home clash with Crystal Palace and mood is upbeat after they claimed only the second win in nine games at Doncaster last Friday.
Defender David Murphy told the club's website: "They are both tough games, both teams fighting to get up there. Burnley away is never easy but we will prepare right and go there full of confidence."
Hughton has named an unchanged squad for the trip to Lancashire where they will face a Burnley side out to prove their current position does not do them justice.
The Clarets are 16th and out of realistic play-off contention but manager Eddie Howe believes his side are good enough to be challenging with the likes of Birmingham.
Burnley's chances were scuppered by a recent seven-game winless run but they emerged from that with a convincing 5-1 defeat of Portsmouth last time out.
Howe told his club's website, www.burnleyfootballclub.com: "The gap is so small.
"A couple more wins - without having gone on this bad run - and we would have been right up there.
"The gap between all those sides is very small.
"There has been a lack of consistency in the division from a lot of sides this year.
"We fall into that category and that is hugely frustrating, but we won't give up.
"We have still got points to play for and we will try to win every game."
Howe now wants to build some momentum with back-to-back home games against Birmingham and Brighton this week.
He said: "We have got a busy schedule and with such a small squad it is going to be a tough ask.
"Every game now is very difficult and Birmingham come here chasing the top six.
"We know it is going to be a difficult game but we believe in what we are trying to do and I am sure we can perform."
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