Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce is convinced his team can bounce back from the misery of their first Premiership derby defeat at Villa Park.

The 3-1 reverse was made to taste even worse by new injury setbacks to Matthew Upson, David Dunn and Jiri Jarosik. Upson injured his Achilles tendon in the pre-match warm-up, Dunn lasted just 17 minutes, and Jarosik hurt his hamstring in training on Saturday.

But the Blues boss admits he will turn an anxious eye to tonight's Charlton Athletic-Portsmouth game before turning his attentions to the visit of Blackburn Rovers - and especially Robbie Savage - to St Andrew's on Wednesday night.

A victory for resurgent Pompey at The Valley would push them six points clear of third-from-bottom Blues, who have just four games left. And, just like his great pal across the city at West Bromwich Albion, Bryan Robson, Bruce knows that time is starting to run out.

"We'll have to see what Portsmouth do and then be ready for Blackburn on Wednesday," said Bruce. "But we've got to get a result against Blackburn to keep the pressure on.

"Then, whatever we do, we've then got to keep getting better results than Portsmouth.

"They're in the driving seat after an incredible run. To get four wins out of six is fantastic form.

"But they're getting those little bits of luck, like who your fixtures are against. It helps when you're playing against half a Middlesbrough team, half an Arsenal team and half a West Ham team. And it'll probably be half a Charlton team on Tuesday night."

Those same little bits of luck with the fixture list certainly are not going Blues' way right now.

Having to face a fired-up Villa side yesterday at this stage of the season made an already tough task an even taller order. And now they have to run into their old boy Savage - not to mention a few other former Blues adversaries in Mark Bowen, Mark Hughes and Craig Bellamy - in a Blackburn side still chasing a Champions League place.

It can only be hoped the long-awaited return to St Andrew's of a former golden boy turned figure of hate - 15 months after Savage left and a year after ducking out of the corresponding fixture - can at least fire up the crowd, to help spark Blues into a greater effort.

Bruce is honest enough to admit that Blues' position is still pretty grim in a season that has proved "horrific". But he also insists it is not all over yet.

"I still believe that there's one or two twists to come yet," he said. "We've been up against it for now for six months. And the table doesn't lie. We just haven't won enough games.

"But we've not given up the ghost. We've been trying to do that ever since the debacle of Liverpool, we've still got four games to go. And, with what happened in out three previous games, we've given ourselves a fighting chance."