Writer: Christopher Handy
Date:Friday July 18 2014
Birmingham will step things up from training level to a more match day feel against Mansfield Town tomorrow, according to Lee Clark is the Birmingham Mail.
Some players will be playing the full 90 minutes, although Clark confirmed that won`t include Donaldson and Thomas; the only two strikers fit enough to take part under the no risk policy.
Clark said the double fitness sessions will be ending on Monday and they will be toning things down and getting on with game preparation as if they would at any stage in the season. Birmingham take on Middlesbrough in just three weeks.
He also revealed Grant Hall will be back in the mix to play on Saturday, as will Packwood; although he still is not back in training.
"The other three will take a little bit longer I would have thought, but I`m not down in the physios` room every day pushing to get them out." The other three being Robinson, Novak and Spector.
Birmingham Boss Clark has also hinted he may look at a new tactical set up on Saturday but admitted only two fit strikers may mean he won`t be able to do it effectively.
It has been a long term ambition of his to play with two strikers up front "with confidence".
"If I go with the two strikers it would mean I would have to mix and match towards the end because neither of them will complete the 90 minutes, so we`ll end up putting somebody on the pitch who is not a striker for the last half-an-hour."
The manager also went on to say that with each week that goes by the pressure mounts on the players to get into his first team for that trip to Middlesbrough. It seems the players are gunning for it though.
All in all, Clark seems very positive about competing this season, as evidenced by him even considering a long term plan for a system in which Blues will deploy. I really like the idea of giving Birmingham a tactical identity.
Date:Friday July 18 2014
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