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Lee Clark confident Birmingham City will survive

21 April 2014

Birmingham City boss Lee Clark insisted his side could survive in the Sky Bet Championship, despite their 4-2 mauling at home to Blackburn Rovers.

That defeat, in which City conceded four first-half goals, left them out of the bottom three on goal difference only.

They have a tough run-in, with two home games against Wigan and Leeds, having failed to win any of their last 16 at St Andrew's, followed by a final-day trip to Bolton.

On Monday, the hosts had no answer to the lethal finishing of Rudy Gestede, who scored a hat-trick of headers, with Todd Kane getting the other.

Second-half goals from substitutes Nikola Zigic and teenager Demarai Gray could disguise the emphatic nature of the loss.

But Clark said: "I am confident in the players. We have to have the mentality that we have shown in second halves during this wretched run.

"We have to show this form from the first whistle. It seems that there is a domino effect. We concede the first goal and it results in two or three goals and four in the first half on this occasion.

"If we were to win our two home games then we should be okay."

Clark admitted that Birmingham never heeded the early warning signs against Blackburn and paid the penalty.

"We were really punished and it was not good to watch," he added. "We responded well in the second half, but we certainly need to perform and our future is in our own hands.

"We have to get rid of the negative thoughts and go again."

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer was full of praise for Gestede and his side, now unbeaten in their last 10 games.

"I thought we were terrific first half," he said.

"Our football was good and the big man, Rudy Gestede, was unplayable. He took his goals ever so well.

"We always knew Birmingham would come and fight in the second half and that is exactly what they did, although we were disappointed with the two goals we conceded.

"But overall we have come away from home and scored four goals, which must be pleasing.

"We are now unbeaten in the last 10 games. It has been a very busy period for us and the quality of the squad shone through against Birmingham as we lost four players from last Friday.

"Everyone played their part and we now have to see what happens on Saturday."

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