Football

Blackpool Vs Birmingham, Tue 4 Jan 2011

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Blackpool's David Carney will miss the Barclays Premier League match against Birmingham on Tuesday after linking up with Australia ahead of the Asia Cup.

Elliot Grandin is unlikely to be risked as he missed the defeat by Manchester City because of a hamstring strain.

Manager Ian Holloway could be tempted to freshen up his side in an attempt to return to winning ways

Blackpool defender Ian Evatt is convinced his side can bounce back from the defeat by Manchester City.

Evatt claims they have good reason to be optimistic after running the Champions League contenders close on Saturday when just a single goal from Adam Johnson divided the teams.

Evatt said: "I feel so confident at the moment. I feel as though I can deal with anything. I hope it looks that way to everyone else.

"Not just me but the whole team is playing with so much confidence. I feel as though I can take on the world. That comes down to the gaffer (Ian Holloway) giving us that belief.

"It is a big game against Birmingham. They beat us at their place, so we have to make sure we are at it from the start and get right into them.

"If we played like we did in the second half at Manchester City, there are not many teams that will cope with us. We have got to maintain our confidence and keep driving on.

"Look at how far we have come. Three or four years ago we were playing at Yeovil."

Evatt has been impressed by the progress of summer signing Matt Phillips and added: "He has a big, big future in the game as long as he keeps working hard. He will go on to bigger and better things.

"He has been different class since we bought him. If he carries on like this we will be lucky to keep hold of him."

This will be Blackpool's first home game in six weeks after bad weather disrupted their programme.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is considering making changes.

McLeish is mindful of City's forthcoming demanding programme, including a two-legged Carling Cup semi-final with West Ham, before the end of January.

He said: "We've got to consider maybe making some changes with this heavy schedule that we have and the heavy schedule we have after this game also to try and keep everyone fresh."

Midfielder Lee Bowyer is included in the squad although Blues are waiting to see if he will face a Football Association charge for his alleged stamp on Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna.

Play-maker Alexander Hleb is under consideration for a start from McLeish after making a substitute's appearances against Manchester United and Arsenal in his comeback from a hamstring injury.

McLeish will look to sign a striker who can step straight into the battle to avoid relegation.

McLeish brought in Nikola Zigic from Valencia during the summer and the Serbia international is only just coming to terms with the demands of the top flight in this country.

But he is aware any signing during the next month has to be ready-made to join the fight to stay up.

Robbie Keane, Jay Bothroyd and - on loan - Ryan Babel have been linked with a move to St Andrew's.

McLeish said: "We are working actively, the board and myself, to try and enhance the striking positions.

"The board are understanding of the situation and there are a few names we have talked about that could enhance the team.

"They are trying to help me to bring those players in.

"You are not going to bring in players lesser than the ones you've got.

"You are trying to bring in a bit of quality to make sure it can improve the team.

"We've got to be bringing someone in who can go straight into the team.

"That is the type of player we are looking for."

Birmingham have slipped into the bottom three but McLeish does not believe their current standing will put off any potential signings.

He said: "I think if they look at the points between us and five or six teams above us, they know one win can take us right in amongst the middle of the table.

"I don't think they only look at the league position and don't also look at the bigger picture.

"I think that's what you have to realise.

"People get paranoid just looking at the current position and thinking we are doomed because it is not quite like that yet."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Birmingham
Blackpool

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