Clark targets Blues pick-me-up

Lee Clark hopes to provide Birmingham supporters with some welcome cheer by making the Capital One Cup quarter-finals as Stoke prepare to visit St Andrew's on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 29/10/13 at 19:08 Post Comment

Lee Clark: Birmingham boss ready for Stoke test

Lee Clark: Birmingham boss ready for Stoke test

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Blues have endured tough times since shocking favourites Arsenal in the final to lift the League Cup trophy at Wembley in February 2011, one of the finest days in the club's 138-year history.

Relegation from the Barclays Premier League followed that same season and City have been unable to make it back to England's top table since, while they currently sit just two points and two places outside the bottom three in the Sky Bet Championship.

Their off-field financial struggles have prompted the sales of prized assets such as Jack Butland, Curtis Davies and Nathan Redmond to raise much-needed funds.

But the visit of Stoke provides manager Clark, who has been in the hotseat for 16 months, with a further chance to put smiles on the faces of Birmingham fans.

"I'm conscious of that every time we play, I want to give the fans a little bit of happiness because I understand what's going on and the predicament they're in," Clark said.

"In terms of people who are at the forefront of my mind are my players, my staff and the supporters - I want to make them feel as happy as I possibly can every time we play.

"A good cup run can do that, I felt that after we beat Swansea in the last round, and we've got a chance against a Premier League team on Tuesday night.

"It's a tough call for us but every time we get out on the pitch I want to give them something back because I sense the support they're giving me and the group is really good. I can imagine they're frustrated at times, but over that they're seeing the reality of what we're doing."

Clark continued: "I listen to the fans and I see them around the stadiums and I think they're showing a lot of belief in us and feeling towards the players because they understand the predicament we're in.

"That we're trying our very, very best to make sure that, one, we hope to have a good cup run and two, the club is a Championship club for whenever anything, if it's going to happen, happens."

Having knocked out holders Swansea in the last round, Birmingham find themselves in the fourth round for the first time since their Wembley success.

A place in the last eight is at stake against Stoke and Clark knows all too well that an extended cup run could well provide a boost to finances for the cash-strapped outfit.

And that brings with it the potential of the Blues boss adding to his ranks in the January transfer window and also keeping hold of his talented youngsters.

"You get the kick-back on the gate receipts and then if you progress through the next round, dare I say if you ever got to the final, I think Bradford were quoted as having made something like half a million pounds from their cup run or the final alone," Clark said.

"Any way we can get funds into the club. I might even then be able to switch my phone on on January 1 and start doing a bit of business."

Regarding potential player sales, he added: "I've got some talented young players who will be catching people's attention but I'm hoping we don't have to go down that route this January.

"If it was to happen again with another couple of players it's difficult to keep going to the well and keep bringing a couple more out, you can't keep doing it on a repetitive basis. You need a bit of help."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m concerned as I have swore at football matches and whilst watching football on the TV. Am I also in line for an FA charge?

mufc phil
Wilshere charged by FA

I

m a big Rafa fan, but when he substitutes Ronaldo after 60 minutes of his first game, which Real draw 1-1, I don't see the Real fans being patient. He'll be gone before October is out.

the tree
Rafa quiet on Sterling and De Gea

W

hy no blog? that's my summer ruined. Can someone start a petition on change.org please?

myyoot
The New Dawn Gossip

Footer 365

Benitez emotional at Real unveiling

Rafael Benitez refused to discuss Real Madrid's apparent interest in Raheem Sterling and David de Gea at his Bernabeu unveiling on Wednesday.

Rafa Benitez says he has 'realised a lifelong dream' after being named Real Madrid coach

Rafa Benitez says he has 'realised a lifelong dream' after being installed as the new coach of Real Madrid.

Prince Ali targets interim FIFA presidency before an election

Prince Ali of Jordan is investigating if he can be FIFA's interim president before an election, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Does Anybody Care About Russia?

Do any of us really care about the decision to give the 2018 World Cup to Russia? We're not sure anybody does. We have mails on Blatter, Rafa and lots more...

Celebrate Good Times, But Hard Work Starts Now

The Mailbox is joyous over the impending departure of Sepp Blatter, but offers a reminder that problems remain. Plus title winners, CL play-offs and Nigel Adkins...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company