Date: 27th January 2006 at 2:08pm
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With less than 24 hours before a tough and vital Cup tie Blues face Championships leaders Reading without their three centre halves. Cunningham and Taylor are injured and Matty Upson is suspended. Matty Upson replaced Manager Steve Bruce on the Club’s fans forum last night. He appeared along side assistant manager Eric Black. Neither knew who was likely to fill the centre half bearths and Eric Black added ‘ Marcos Painter one of the possible replacements has got stitches in his knee.’

If Steve Bruce was hoping to sign a centre back for the weekend then he would have to be doing it from his sick bed as he was last night struck down by flu.

Added to Karren Brady’s impending operation on Monday Blues will find concluding signings even more difficult as the deadline draws nearer.

Blues intend to put out their strongest available side which probably will be the same set up as last Saturday. Expect Bruce and Tebily to replace Cunningham & Upson with the so far untried Oji to make the bench.

Dunne and Forssell will probably start by warming the bench but could be given more minutes as the quest for full match fitness continues.

Reading may well rest some of their main operators but they have the good fortune to have the like of Leroy Lita who is taking every opportinity to cement a place in the side. He netted a hat trick in the last round against Albion. This will be a tough nut for Blues and if a replay is needed then the Bolton game will be postponed.

This won’t suit Blues as it will give Bolton the chance to get back their African players.