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Clark praises spirit of players

23 December 2012

Birmingham manager Lee Clark praised the spirit of his side after Nikola Zigic's 89th minute strike earned a 2-2 draw against Burnley at St Andrew's.

Clark had seven teenagers in his side and things looked promising after Curtis Davies scored in the first half for only his second goal of the season.

Burnley fought back with two goals in the space of two minutes from Danny Ings and Ross Wallace, but Birmingham struck late to salvage a point.

"It was another comeback," Clark said. "We deserved the draw with the youngsters putting up a spirited performance.

"That was our best first half at home for many games. There were a couple of situations Burnley had in the early part of the game. But we dealt with that and we deservedly took the lead. Then there was a mad couple of minutes in the second half when Burnley scored twice. Burnley had a spell for 25 minutes but we switched from doing the basic things.

"To give away the ball from the restart gave them an opportunity because we were fully aware that Ross Wallace has a terrific delivery and I don't think many goalkeepers would have stopped that free-kick."

Burnley's manager, Sean Dyche, must have thought it was never going to be the Clarets' day.

Martin Paterson had three early chances while leading marksman Charlie Austin headed home what would have been the equaliser only for referee Eddie Ilderton to blow after Kieran Trippier - who crossed for Austin - was fouled by Mitch Hancox.

"It the madness of football. I told the lads that we are over-due a win. We need the rub of the green that sometimes changes," Dyche said. "In this match it went Birmingham's way. We have only lost one in six games but we have had four draws.

"We have to challenge to turn those performances into wins. I thought the lads deserved a win because I thought it was a thorough performance. The style of play and the way they delivered it I thought was excellent.

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