Clark eyes another Cup shock

  • Last Updated: January 24 2014, 13:18 GMT

Lee Clark believes victory over Swansea in the FA Cup on Saturday would top the Capital One Cup success over the same opponents earlier in the season.

Lee Clark: Excited by Swansea clash
Lee Clark: Excited by Swansea clash

The Swans were playing in the League Cup for the first time since lifting the trophy at Wembley last season when they were humbled 3-1 at St Andrew's.

Birmingham would not get any further, losing to Stoke on penalties following an eight-goal thriller, but Clark is targeting another run in a cup should they manage to upset Michael Laudrup's Swans once again.

"We are excited to be playing Premier League opposition in a great competition on Saturday," he told the Birmingham Mail.

"We really enjoyed the night we beat them in the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup is even more prestigious than that. We want to be going through to the next round, without a shadow of doubt."

Clark has dismissed any thoughts of resting players for the tie and keeping his men fresh for Blues' Sky Bet Championship campaign.

Birmingham are just five points above the relegation zone after winning just one of their last six league games and must host leaders Leicester three days after their battle with Swansea.

But Clark believes his side are better off going into the clash with the Foxes with a morale-boosting victory rather than sacrificing the chance of success.

He added: "I will be putting out players to win the game on Saturday because it would be a great feather in our cap if we could beat Swansea in another competition.

"It's not just about the cup. Winning becomes a good habit and going on an unbeaten run is a good habit and I will be sending the players out to try and do that."

Clark's men have struggled with injuries this season, but they have been handed a boost with veteran striker Peter Lovenkrands and Tom Adeyemi, who scored in the victory over Swansea in September, returning to contention in time for the game.

But the biggest boost to Clark's hopes could well be the signing of Manchester City striker Albert Rusnak on loan.

His parent club have given the Slovakia Under-21 international permission to play in the competition and he will give Blues a much-needed goal threat.

They have scored just one goal in their last three league games and have missed the presence of Jesse Lingard since he returned to Manchester United, having netted six goals in 13 games during his loan stint.

Four of those, however, came in Lingard's first appearance for Blues and, while Clark believes Rusnak will be able to replace the United starlet, he does not expect a quarter of goals this weekend.

He told www.bcfc.co.uk: "He plays in a Jesse Lingard-type of role and is a similar type of player. I wouldn't be saying that he'll probably go and score four on his debut, but we're really excited by him.

"I spoke to Patrick Viera at Manchester City and he has really high hopes for Albert to be in and amongst their array of mega-talent next season in their first- team squad.

"We've been given permission to play him in the FA Cup by City so we'll be looking to put him (straight) in there."


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