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English Capital One Cup

Wednesday, 27 August 2014,

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  • Kickoff: 19:45 BST
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      Birmingham City

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      Clark eyes Black Cats scalp

      Boss Lee Clark has urged Birmingham to go for the kill against Sunderland and believes they have finally turned the corner.

      Blues host the Black Cats, last season's beaten finalists, in the Capital One Cup second round on Wednesday with the manager insisting they are over their struggles, after avoiding relegation from the Championship in May.

      Clark helped them Sunderland to promotion to the Premier League in 1999 before joining Fulham that summer after he was spotted wearing an offensive t-shirt which mocked Black Cats fans.

      Birmingham, 2011 winners, beat holders Swansea in the competition last season before losing on penalties to Stoke and Clark wants another big effort.

      "With my background I'd like to win the game. You want to win it to get into the next round," he said.

      "I'm hoping my lads will have a right good go and we'll have another Swansea and Stoke situation where we're putting pressure on the Premier League team.

      "We are showing people we're a powerful Championship team. We have to replicate the performances we've had at home."

      Clark is without Matt Green and Gavin Gunning (both knee) while Andrew Shinnie (back) is still unavailable.

      Sunderland lost 3-1 to Manchester City at Wembley in last season's March final, despite taking the lead through Fabio Borini.

      And after their 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday Steven Fletcher insisted confidence is high.

      "We're absolutely delighted with the start we've had," he told the club's official website.

      "The point against United is a good result, especially after we went a goal behind and it's a good show of character to come back."

      Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is likely to hand several of his summer signings a chance at St Andrews with keeper Costel Pantilimon, defender Billy Jones, who has shaken off a hamstring problem, and midfielder Jordi Gomez in line to play as he shuffles his pack.

      However, he intends to retain the bulk of the side which drew 1-1 with Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday - a game winger Adam Johnson missed because of illness - with only midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini (groin) unavailable through injury.

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      • Birmingham City
      • Sunderland



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      Head to Head

      Birmingham0 - 3Sunderland
      Birmingham2 - 0Sunderland
      Sunderland2 - 2Birmingham
      Sunderland3 - 1Birmingham
      Birmingham2 - 1Sunderland
      Sunderland2 - 0Birmingham


      • Teams sheet currently unavailable


      • Teams sheet currently unavailable

      Black Cats finish strongly

      Sunderland's late show sent the Black Cats through in the Capital One Cup - and leave Birmingham fuming.

      Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnson and Connor Wickham struck in the final 13 minutes to stun the hosts and give the Premier League side a 3-0 win.

      But Blues were angered after Gomez's opener, claiming the ball had gone out in the build-up.

      The Black Cats made hard work of the win as David Cotterill hit the post and Clayton Donaldson missed for the hosts.

      It was harsh on Birmingham, who had matched the Barclays Premier League side in Lee Clark's first meeting with Sunderland as a manager, after a two-year spell with the Black Cats which ended in controversy in 1999.

      The former midfielder was forced to leave after wearing an offensive T-shirt which mocked Sunderland fans.

      Clark called on Colin Doyle in goal while opposite number Gus Poyet made six changes from the side which held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at the weekend.

      Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones and Gomez made their first starts for the Black Cats.

      Sebastian Larsson also started, having spent five years at Blues before moving to the north-east.

      Paul Caddis tested Pantilimon from distance early but any early hope for a Birmingham onslaught was swiftly dashed.

      Blues' grit and determination gave them a foothold but they rarely breached the Sunderland backline with serious menace in the opening half an hour.

      The game's pedestrian nature did little to conjure a spectacle either.

      The visitors, disjointed and ragged, rarely looked like a top flight side with Jozy Altidore isolated up front.

      Doyle was well protected by the Birmingham defence and limited and limp Sunderland lacked the nous to penetrate.

      The hosts created the best chances late in the first half though and could have gone into the break ahead.

      First Wes Thomas turned Mark Duffy's cross wide on 43 minutes and 60 seconds later Cotterill hit the outside of the post from a tight angle.

      They were brief bright moments in a dour first half and things did not improve in the early stages of the second half.

      While Birmingham remained the aggressors, their final ball rendered any build-up useless with Sunderland easily holding firm.

      Gradually the top flight side began to take charge through.

      Gomez could not force the ball in after a 65th minute scramble and Doyle saved Liam Bridcutt's low effort a minute later.

      However, the Black Cats broke the deadlock with 13 minutes remaining - when Gomez received the ball 25 yards out and rifled into the bottom corner.

      Birmingham were unhappy though as they felt the ball had gone out deep in the Sunderland half during the build-up.

      Donaldson wasted a fine chance to instantly level when he shot at Pantilimon and David Edgar shot over before Sunderland sealed the game.

      Johnson fired in after Altidore's shot was saved in the 87th minute, before Wickham stroked in from 15 yards a minute later.

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