Football

Birmingham Vs Blackburn Rovers, Tue 15 Dec 2009

Same again for Blues (©PAphotos)
Same again for Blues (©PAphotos).

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has no fresh injury worries ahead of Tuesday's home Barclays Premier League clash with Blackburn.

Veteran midfielder Lee Carsley reported to training with a stiff back on Sunday but it is not expected to keep him out of contention against Sam Allardyce's team.

McLeish is again likely to field an unchanged line-up as City look to extend an unbeaten run of seven matches from which they have collected 17 points.

David Murphy, Garry O'Connor, Martin Taylor and Teemu Tainio remain long-term injury absentees.

Blues have 24 points - the same as Liverpool - after a seven-game unbeaten run and they will be aiming for a fifth successive win against Rovers.

But McLeish has his feet firmly on the ground and knows the situation can quickly alter if his players become complacent.

He said: "We've reached the giddy heights of eighth position but we have to move on. We don't look back and the focus is on winning the next game.

"We have home advantage. It is always an opportunity at home if you have got half a decent side and I've certainly got that.

"After 16 games, to think we would be level on points with Liverpool is stuff that dreams are made of.

"I am sure Liverpool won't be looking at it like that but we have to be proud of what we have achieved so far.

"But we know this league is so unpredictable in terms of results. You see Wigan lose 9-1 to Spurs and then come up with a couple of brilliant results.

"You can't rule anything or anyone out and we have got to earn the right to win.

"We have to be relentless and the challenge for the players is to keep producing top-drawer performances."

David Dunn is set to miss Blackburn's trip to his former club as he continues his recovery from a calf problem.

Dunn has been forced to sit out Rovers' last three games with the injury he picked up against Stoke last month.

Vince Grella is also expected to be sidelined for the match at St Andrew's after coming off with a thigh injury in the goalless draw at Hull on Saturday.

Boss Sam Allardyce admits Blackburn are missing the goals and influence of Dunn.

Dunn remains the club's leading scorer with six goals and manager Allardyce is hoping the 29-year-old will be fit to return for Saturday's game against Tottenham.

"It shouldn't be any longer than this week," Allardyce said. "I would expect him to be fit at the latest for Spurs on Saturday, unless he has any more problems in training.

"Training last week was the main problem - he felt a little twinge again so we'll be a little bit more cautious and we are looking forward to getting him back.

"We need his goals. We have suffered badly in front of goal in the last few weeks and we must put that right now.

"Certainly with David being the leading goalscorer and provider of our goals prior to getting the injury just shows how much we have missed him.

"That is not to say we haven't created any chances - we have had some very good chances - but we haven't had the clinical finishing that we'd have expected from somebody else in the team."

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Topics:
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Birmingham

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