3 things Birmingham must do for cup success
It`s FA Cup action for the Blues tonight with Huddersfield in town as we vie for a place in the next round. With Manchester United in the 5th round up for grabs – it`s fair to say that the players won`t need much motivation ahead of the game.
The Terriers won`t be relishing the trip to St Andrews, given their horrendous poor form in the Premier League at present and this means we should arrive into the game with huge confidence – given our performances and results of late. Cotterill will be confident that the boys can deliver a big scalp tonight and maintain what has been an excellent run of form of late.
I have identified three key aspects we need to undertake to give us every chance to progress to the next round.
Restrict Aaron Mooy`s involvement
Huddersfield have a big void to fill in their attack due to the absence of top-scorer Laurent Depoitre, who is injured for tonight`s game, but the key to the Terriers success is likely to come from midfield ace Aaron Mooy.
The Australian international has been the bright spark consistently for David Wagner`s side after making his loan from Manchester City permanent last summer and he has the capabilities to cause us a vast amount of problems this evening.
It`s therefore crucial that we win the midfield battle and restrict Mooy`s involvement, putting him under pressure when he picks up the ball and ensuring that he doesn`t have pockets of space to work with.
Come out firing from the blocks
Huddersfield fans were extremely critical of their side following our 1-1 draw in the initial FA Cup tie and they`ll be expecting a response this evening, putting their team under a lot of pressure to perform.
We need to ensure that we start the game with a fast and fierce tempo, coming out of the blocks firing and making the first quarter of the game extremely difficult for our Premier League visitors – and an early goal would likely be decisive.
With the away team likely to be nervy, we need to capitalise and ensure that the game is made extremely difficult from the off. Chances need to be made and Huddersfield`s opportunities need to be severely restricted, especially as they`re likely to shut up shop if they nick an early goal.
Give Sam Gallagher chances
With three goals in his last five home games, including the winner against Burton Albion in the third round, Sam Gallagher is certainly our man of the moment and we need to ensure he`s provided with the opportunities to continue his stellar record.
The Southampton loanee has certainly emerged as a crucial player for us in the past few months, having initially struggled to establish himself in the ranks following his move to St. Andrews, but Cotterill has managed to get the best out of him.
As our top-scorer this season with six goals, Gallagher needs to be handed the chances this evening to score and he must also take them. It`s going to be a difficult test up against a Premier League defence but the starlet has already shown he`s capable in the final third.