David Gold admits to hoping that Chelsea would win the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool on Saturday - to boost Birmingham City's hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premiership.

In the event, the Birmingham chairman was disappointed with Liverpool's 2-1 victory at Old Trafford because he believes that it will aid Portsmouth's bid to remain in the top flight.

Portsmouth play at home to Liverpool on the final day of the season, May 7, and Gold is worried that the FA Cup final-ists will field a weakened team for the Premiership fixture at Fratton Park.

"I was really hoping Chelsea would win the semi because I am fearful of Liverpool putting a reserve side out against Portsmouth on the final day of the season," Gold said.

"I accept you have to ride your luck at times but there is no question in my mind Portsmouth have had all the good fortune going.

"Whereas we are picking our way through the most extraordinary run of injuries ever experienced at this club, Portsmouth have so far played West Ham's reserves, Middlesbrough's reserves and Arsenal's reserves.

"The whole situation has been very difficult for us and this is the worst-case scenario."

By that rationale, Saturday was a bad day for Gold. Not only did Birmingham drop two points in a goalless draw away to Everton, but Portsmouth regained the initiative with a 2-1 victory at home to Sunderland.

It means that, with two matches each remaining, Portsmouth have two points more than Birmingham and have the matter in their own hands.

However, in a survival fight made uneven by Birmingham's chronic injury list, Gold has already seen Portsmouth benefit from playing weakened sides, and now he expects it to happen again.

After picking up seven points in clashes against West Ham, Middlesbrough and Arsenal, all of whom were distracted at the time by other matters, Portsmouth now know they will end the campaign by entertaining a Liverpool outfit limbering up for an FA Cup final just six days later.

"I can think of nothing other than avoiding relegation," Gold said. "It is all I breathe and sleep - and there is not much of the latter. I lie awake at night wondering if there is anything else I can do. I am kicking every ball and making every tackle.

"I am probably sweating more than anyone. Quite frankly, after every match I am physically and mentally exhausted.

"But, I am not on the pitch and I am not in the dug-out. All I can do is remain optimistic and keep spirits up as much as I can."

Gold says that Birmingham have a "contingency plan" should they fail to overhaul Portsmouth over the frantic last 14 days, sees Birmingham enter-tain Newcastle United next weekend before visiting Bolton Wanderers on the final day.

"We cannot afford to dwell on what would happen if we went down," Gold said.

"I still think six points will be enough but we have just experienced a sad day because 20 minutes from the end, with Portsmouth losing, everything was looking very rosy for us."