Prior to the postponement of this crunch clash between Birmingham City and Manchester City at the Academy Stadium, Darren Carter previewed the battle.
Carter’s side will try to make the game as difficult as possible for their opponent, something the Blues’ manager made clear when speaking to the media ahead of the match.
Birmingham City: Reflections on the recent defeat
Speaking about Birmingham’s crushing 5-0 loss away at Chelsea in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, Carter claimed that his side made a good start to the game. However, they allowed the hosts to take control minutes before half-time when Magdalena Eriksson found the back of the net.
“It was frustrating because we’ve done so much good defensive work in the first half against Chelsea”, Blues-boss Carter admitted. “We shot ourselves in the foot with a set piece and again, that little moment of concentration.”
He went on to explain: “In the second half, we did some groundwork to win the ball back, but then we gave it away too easily. We didn’t retain the ball anywhere near enough to the level that you need to against Chelsea.”
Birmingham City team news
Ahead of the match on Sunday, Carter didn’t want to give any details on missing or returning players. “We’ve had a real bit of bad luck with injuries and COVID”, he said.
“It’s pretty much as we were, that’s pretty much it, really. It’s obviously not a great timing at any point in the season, but we’re obviously at a point when points are so in demand now.”
However, with the game postponed, this is now subject to change.
Preparations for Manchester City
Birmingham’s opponents are in good form at the moment. Especially Manchester City’s offensive powers which is sure to cause the Blues a headache. When asked how his side will try to be defensively stable for over 90 minutes, Carter highlights the importance of his squad staying in their structure.
He explained that Birmingham needs to be better with the ball and be able to retain it. With this approach, they aim to cause Manchester City problems. “That’s our challenge from the game last week and what we’ve got over”, Carter said. “We reviewed points of practice on the training field, so we can go and implement that.”
The Blues manager previews another tough match for his side. He expects Manchester City to be dangerous and relentless in front of goal. “I think they’ve got a fantastic way of playing and a really good structure”, Carter pointed out. “And, they’ve got multiple ways that can hurt you, especially in possession.”
He added: “I think you have to plan for every scenario as best as you can and make it hard for them, make them earn everything they get in the game. I said it to the squad last week at Chelsea that, when you come up against the top teams and top players, you’ve got to go toe to toe with them”
Carter encouraged his side not to fear the top teams but to respect them. “Man City are playing very, very well to get anything from us”, he said. “And on the flip side, we’ve got to bring up ourselves and the best version of us.”
The Blues boss continued: “And if we do that, we have a chance in the game. Man City pose so many threats that I don’t need to tell anybody about that. But we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
How to follow
The game between Birmingham City and Manchester City has now been rescheduled:
Wednesday, May 4th, 7 PM @ the Academy Stadium.
TV coverage is still yet to be confirmed