By Tony Leighton
Birmingham City head into their Sky Bet Championship meeting with Queens Park Rangers on Saturday hoping for some long-awaited home comforts.
While they have been in promotion form on their travels, Blues have amazingly not won a league match at St Andrew's for over five months.
In their 11 home games since beating Millwall 4-0 on October 1st, Lee Clark's team have lost six and so have taken just five points from a possible 33.
Meanwhile, in their 12 away games in the same period, six have been won and only two lost to give them a highly creditable 20 points from 36.
Confused? So, perhaps, is manager Clark as he tries to solve the conundrum and get his team back to winning ways in front of their home supporters.
"Our away form," Clark told football-league.co.uk, "is top two or three. But our home form is bottom two, there's no skirting around it.
"We've not always got what we've deserved from our home games because we've put in some good performances in the last few months. But the table doesn't lie."
The truth shown by the table is that Birmingham are 17th and nine points above the drop zone - but third-bottom Charlton Athletic have three games in hand.
So with Blues set to entertain second in the table Burnley three days after facing fourth-placed QPR, turning around home form is as vital as it may be difficult.
Clark said: "We won't be expected by most people to beat either QPR or Burnley, but we'll go into both games with a positive mind-set.
"We put in a great performance when we played at QPR earlier in the season, and although we lost 1-0 we definitely deserved to get something out of the game.
"Their manager Harry Redknapp, who for me shouldn't be in the Championship because he's tried and tested at the top level, also said we deserved something.
"So although a lot of people will have this game down as another one where we won't take the three points, I believe that we are good enough to do it."
This may be a good time for Clark's men to be facing QPR, whose promotion push has stalled of late with just two points taken from their last five outings.
But if Blues are to get that elusive home win, they must overcome what may now be something of a psychological problem when stepping out at St Andrew's.
Not that Clark wants to get into psychology. "I don't want to talk about the home record," he insisted. "What's gone has gone and I'm not interested in the past.
"I'm interested in the future and the good young players we've got here who are desperate to do well for the club and the supporters.
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