Date: 5th January 2017 at 11:34am
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Blues turn their focus away from the league this weekend as they welcome Newcastle United to St Andrews in the third round of the FA Cup.

I’m expecting Gianfranco Zola to make a few changes to the side for this tie with a couple of fringe players getting the opportunity to impress.

If the team are to defeat the Magpies and progress into the fourth round, then I think that Reece Brown will be key to it.

He hasn’t featured yet since Zola took over from Gary Rowett as manager in December but I think he will get his chance to shine on Saturday.

We all know the quality that the 20-year-old possesses and if he is given a chance in his preferred central midfield spot then he can show his class.

Brown is one of the most gifted players on the ball at the club and his way of playing definitely fits how Zola likes to play football.

He can keep hold of the ball, move it on quickly and also find that killer pass through the oppositions back line.

If he drops deep looking for the ball, then I think he really can be the man to get Blues ticking against Rafa Benitez` side.

His size and physicality does seem to hold him back sometimes but if he can find pockets of space to pick the ball up, then a lot of the good work we do could well go through him.

It will be tough for him up against some top Newcastle midfielders but it will be good for Brown to test himself against the best in the division.

He hasn’t had too many opportunities to impress in the first team but, when the chances do come, it’s up to him to take them.

His St Andrews career has been very stop-start due to various issues but he seems to have got his head down and I believe he is ready to fulfil that potential and quality we all know he has.

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