Chris Hughton has urged Birmingham City to force their way back into Championship play-off contention – in the most competitive division he has known.
Blues face a tricky game at Crystal Palace tonight (Monday) and the manager said a positive result was needed.
“That’s the aim of course, to get back towards those play-off places,” said Hughton, with his side having three games in hand.
“What you want to be is in contention. What will stand in our way is a lot of other teams that will think the same way.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen this league as competitive as it is at the moment and I can see that going right through to the end of the season.
“There are more teams in this Championship that are capable of winning games.
“We have to make sure we take care of our business and if we can win enough football matches then we’ll be okay.”
Apart from Liam Ridgewell (thigh), Hughton has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Marlon King and Stephen Carr were rested from Blues’ Europa League victory over NK Maribor on Thursday and should return. Whether Hughton brings back Guirane N’Daw after starting him against Doncaster Rovers – he was an unused substitute in Europe – is among the intriguing decisions he has to make.
Jean Beausejour returned on Thursday after a two-game break, while Nathan Redmond came in to give Chris Burke a breather, and promptly lit St Andrew’s up.