Date: 7th January 2017 at 11:47am
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The FA Cup third round has been seen as a distraction in recent years. It seems every single club in the top two tiers of English football has bigger priorities. But ask supporters of any club if they dream of seeing their club captain holding the trophy aloft at Wembley, you’d have to wipe the dribble from their mouth.

At this stage, the cup could act as a confidence booster. Blues need a result under Gianfranco Zola to keep the pressure off, whether that is today remains to be seen.

Make no mistake about it, Newcastle are a very good side but also beatable. They’ve lost four of their last eight games and haven’t won an FA Cup tie for five years. They haven’t got past the first hurdle – be it third or fourth round – for a decade. They will be without an array of first team regulars. The magic of the cup isn’t lost on their fans though, they’ll be backed by around 5,000 Geordies at St. Andrews this afternoon.

While Zola says that this game will give him a chance to see some of the fringe players, he has also admitted he won’t make wholesale changes. Today may be be the perfect time for the likes of Stephen Gleeson, Maikel Kieftenbeld and Robert Tesche to prove they’re worthy of a future at the club before a couple of centre midfielders are bought in next week. By the time we play Forest at home next weekend, the middle of the park may have a different look. And a familiar one…

As we go into today’s game in a less than confident mood and stare around the empty seats that will undoubtedly drown St. Andrews, we have to dream that one day Birmingham City can win the FA Cup – something they’ve never ever done before.

As always, Keep Right On.

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