King expecting much-improved showing

09 May 2012 08:17

Marlon King has promised a different Birmingham will show up as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of their play-off semi-final at home to Blackpool.

A below-par Blues were second best at Bloomfield Road on Friday night as the Seasiders claimed a slender advantage to take to St Andrew's on Wednesday night, Tom Ince's speculative long-range drive deflecting off Curtis Davies for the only goal of the game.

Birmingham could easily have nicked a draw at the close, King himself clipping the woodwork for a second time on the night, and he said: "We've put it right on the training ground and I think the boys are hungry and raring to go. Wednesday night should be a different game."

Asked about the mood among the squad after Friday's result, King added: "It was disappointing, but we knew that we had chances and we're going to get more chances.

"I hit the woodwork twice and on another night they could have gone in. But we know we weren't anywhere near where we can be, where we should be - we want to put that right."

The 18-goal striker, who is bidding to become the first City striker to reach 20 goals in a season since Steve Claridge in the mid-1990s, scored in both league meetings with Blackpool this season, with a 2-2 away draw and 3-0 home victory part of a 60-game season heading into the play-offs.

Blues are set for their 62nd match of a long campaign, but King added: "There's no point playing 60-odd games if you've got nothing to show for it at the end. We will focus on Wednesday and we are raring to go."

Meanwhile, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway believes his team's new-found defensive solidity could hold the key to success tonight.

The clean sheet in the first leg was the third in a row at Bloomfield Road and, in an ongoing eight-match unbeaten run, the Tangerines have not had their defence breached on six occasions.

Holloway said: "We looked solid (on Friday). That's what we've improved on. We probably didn't do that enough early in the season, but I thought my two centre-halves and two full-backs were absolutely outstanding. With Angel Martinez in front of them as well and (Barry) Ferguson getting a foot in, we didn't look like we were going to let anything in."

Source: PA