Blues host newly-promoted Wycombe Wanderers on Wednesday night under the lights.
The Chairboys are in recent good form, drawing at home to promotion contenders Watford and then going on to beat Gary Monk’s Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
Although manager Gareth Ainsworth was unable to attend their first Championship triumph, thanks to having to undergo a back operation, he’ll be back on the sidelines hoping for another victory at St Andrews.
Blues, though, are also in very good form after two impressive back to back wins against Huddersfield and Preston has propelled Karanka’s side into 11th place and very much kickstarted the season after a rocky opening.
Goals from new loanee signing Riley McGree and Gary Gardner was enough to snatch all three points and finally break the ‘Deepdale curse’.
Tomorrow night will be by all means a tough game against a side full of confidence. We spoke to Wycombe Wanderers fansite Chairboys Central ahead of the game:
A point against Watford and a victory over Sheffield Wednesday, do you think you’ve settled in well in the division and do you have more faith in the side moving forward?
Definitely. I had faith from the beginning, but we look like a competitive Championship team now. There was always going to be an adjustment period as most of this squad had little to no second tier experience, but we couldn’t have gone on much longer without getting that first point and – more importantly – win. We’re strong psychologically, but such a long losing or winless run at the start of a season would push anyone to breaking point. The last couple of games have brought the results out performances since the international break have deserved and we’re only two players short of a fully fit squad now, so things are very much looking up.
Where do you think you’ll finish in the league?
It’s still too early to be making any proper predictions, but I think we’ve got enough about us to stay up. That’s all I’m going to say!
We understand 8 of your players played on Saturday that were in League Two, have they been key to the club’s success?
They have – and seven of them are likely to be regulars this season. They’ve grown into every challenge they’ve faced and it’s been amazing to watch really. Everyone will focus on Adebayo Akinfenwa and possibly Joe Jacobson – and they have been and continue to be immense – but the most remarkable story is probably that of midfield boss Curtis Thompson, who wasn’t wanted by Notts County in League Two but is now every inch a Championship quality player. There is no better managerial duo than Gareth Ainsworth and assistant Richard Dobson when it comes to bringing out the best in players – not least those who others have written off.
A quick one on our former goalkeeper David Stockdale, how well is he doing for you?
Stocko was brought in as cover and competition for Ryan Allsop, so he hasn’t played yet, but he’s been a great servant on loan in the past – especially off the pitch as a huge character and motivator.
What players should we look out for on Wednesday night?
Other than those I’ve already mentioned, centre-back Anthony Stewart – now in the sixth season of his second spell at Wycombe – is in the form of his life; he has been since the start of last season and produced the greatest individual Wycombe performances of all time in the play-off final win over Oxford. Fellow centre-back Josh Knight and midfielder Dennis Adeniran – on loan from Leicester and Everton respectively – have both made instant impacts, slotting seamlessly into defence and constantly turning defence into attack respectively. And forward Scott Kashket – another player who’s been here since the League Two days – has made a great start to Championship life, scoring our first two goals and generally terrorising defences – and goalkeepers who like to take their time in possession.
What are your thoughts on Birmingham and do you think you’ll get anything out of the game?
You should be very hard to break down and I think you have enough weapons to hurt us with, but I see no reason why we can’t hurt you and come away with at least a point – even if it’s the most horrible 0-0 anyone’s ever seen.
Finally, what is your score prediction?
Let’s go for that horrible 0-0!