Murphy wary of Brugge threat

Birmingham left-back David Murphy remains wary of the threat Club Brugge will pose in Thursday's Europa League encounter at St Andrew's.

Last Updated: 03/11/11 at 09:48

Murphy: Blues host Brugge

Murphy: Blues host Brugge

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The Blauw-Zwart parted company with head coach Adrie Koster at the weekend following their fourth successive defeat, each of which coming from winning positions - a sequence kickstarted by City's 2-1 triumph in the Jan Breydelstadion a fortnight ago.

Saturday's 5-4 home league reverse to Genk proved Koster's swan song after Brugge were leading 4-2 with 20 minutes remaining, with coaches Rudi Verkempinck and Philippe Clement taking charge.

Blues put in an impressive performance in Belgium as Chris Wood's winner in the 10th minute of stoppage time clinched victory, and Murphy is expecting another tough test this time around.

"I think it will be very similar to what we faced over in Brugge," Murphy said.

"Sometimes when you lose a manager, as a squad of players, it can bring you closer together.

"Which can make the task a little bit more difficult, so we're certainly expecting a very difficult game."

Birmingham currently lead Group H on goal difference ahead of Brugge, with six points apiece at the halfway stage, but Murphy insists that will not affect the thinking of him and his team-mates going into the tie.

"We approach the game in a similar mindset to before," he added.

"I don't think we see ourselves as favourites, we're just going out to enjoy it, enjoy the experience and hopefully that will take us to where we want to be."

Surprisingly, Murphy is City's joint top scorer in Europe this season along with on-loan striker Wood, not a bad accomplishment for a full-back.

One of Murphy's two goals was in fact City's crucial equaliser in Brugge two weeks ago and although he enjoys finding the net, the former Middlesbrough and Hibernian man retains more of his focus on clocking up the assists.

"It's always great to get on the scoresheet but I think I focus my game on providing goals rather than scoring goals," he said.

"It's always nice (scoring goals), it's something I've tried to add to my game and hopefully I can keep doing so."

Birmingham welcome back midfielder Wade Elliott (calf) and centre-back Pablo Ibanez (concussion) into contention, but Morgaro Gomis (groin) and Jordon Mutch (ankle) remain sidelined.

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