Pep Clotet expects home comforts as Birmingham face ‘away’ FA Cup clash vs Coventry… at their own St Andrew’s stadium

In a less glamorous version of the Milan Derby, Birmingham and Coventry meet at a ground they both call home on Saturday.

Coventry have groundshared with Blues after being kicked out of the Ricoh Arena by rugby union Premiership club Wasps last summer.

And now, thanks to the FA Cup fourth-round draw, tenants play host to their landlord as Coventry were drawn at ‘home’ vs Birmingham.

NINTCHDBPICT000551554533 e1579871651290 - Pep Clotet expects home comforts as Birmingham face ‘away’ FA Cup clash vs Coventry… at their own St Andrew’s stadium
St Andrew’s has played a similar role to the San Siro this season
CameraSport – Getty

It means a rather bizarre ‘away’ fixture for Blues at their own stadium – but manager Pep Clotet doesn’t expect it to feel like one.

He told talkSPORT: “I’ve never seen it before! There are a lot of teams in the world who share stadiums but for us I’ve never seen it.

“It’s a good feeling because we know there will be a lot of our fans there backing us. At the end of the day, Coventry are renting our place, so we need to make sure it feels like our stadium.

“We know the fans will make sure of that. But we still need to prepare like a normal away game.”

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The deal with Coventry has placed serious pressure on the St Andrew’s pitch, with 35 games already played at the famous ground this season.

And Clotet admits the effect on the surface has changed the way Birmingham play their football.

He added: “They know the pitch as well, but we feel comfortable at home. Who knows – maybe the fact our away form is so good will help us in this game!

“The style gets a little bit compromised because the surface has a massive impact on the quality that the players can deliver. Every game we take into account the pitch we’re playing on.”

Listen to Pep Clotet speaking to talkSPORT, above…


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