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Birmingham City v AFC Bournemouth: Rowett placing no extra significance on cup tie

Gary Rowett says Birmingham City are placing no extra significance on their FA Cup third-round clash with AFC Bournemouth despite the emphatic defeat suffered the last time the south-coast club visited St Andrews.

Birmingham host Bournemouth on a good run of form having lost just one of their last six Championship games. Rowett’s men are two points outside the play-off places in eighth.

However, recent history is not on the side of the Midlands club, who suffered an 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Bournemouth at home in the league in October 2014.

Marc Pugh scored a hat-trick in that game, before Eddie Howe’s men completed the double over Birmingham with a 4-2 win in the return fixture at the Vitality Stadium as Bournemouth surged to the title.

“One or two people have suggested this game’s going to define where we are in terms of how much progression we’ve had,” said Rowett, who was appointed two days after the 8-0 humiliation.

“I just think over 14 months that one game’s not going to define our form over that period.

“It’s an iconic game because of the scoreline [last season].

“We treat it as any other game, it’s a game we want to win, yes it’s an FA Cup game, a lot of teams up and down the country might make some changes but for us it’s a game we want to try and win.

“Bournemouth have got some excellent players, I’m sure they could change all 11 players and still have a very, very strong side with a lot of attacking threat.

“We’ll just focus on what we do. We know we’ve got to be incredibly competitive come Saturday.”

Bournemouth have impressed since promotion to the Premier League and are four points above the relegation zone following a run of three games without a win.

The visitors are set to be without Joshua King due to a knock and Tommy Elphick (ankle), while long-term absentees Max Gradel and Callum Wilson remain on the sidelines.

Howe’s men take on West Ham on Tuesday before facing Norwich City the following weekend and, with two crucial home league games on the horizon, the Bournemouth boss is likely to make changes for this tie with the focus fixed on their fight for survival.

Thu 7 Jan, 2016
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