Monday 19 March 2018

Doyle: Birmingham's focus on Cup shock

IRELAND international Colin Doyle has told his Birmingham City team-mates to ignore Chelsea's off-field problems when the two sides clash in the FA Cup tonight

Just after the sacking of Andre Villas Boas, Chelsea travel to St Andrews to face a Birmingham side which is weakened by injuries, as Irish stars Keith Fahey and Stephen Carr are set to miss out while new signing Caleb Folan is ineligible.

"Their manager being sacked is not going to make much difference to us," said Cork-born keeper Doyle. "They are still the same players. We've got to concentrate on ourselves. We went there and got a good result."

Doyle is now used to his role as City's go-to guy for Cup matches as Boaz Myhill is favoured in league games - Doyle has made nine appearances for City this season but just one of them came in the league.

"It is difficult to come in having not played. It is not nice,'' said Doyle.

"And it is different being on the bench as a 'keeper than an outfield player because tactically you will never bring on a 'keeper.

"I train as hard as I can every day, work with the 'keeper coach. It is frustrating but it's something you get used to."

Meanwhilem, Birmingham boss Chris Hughton believes a different breed of financially motivated football club owner is why managers are given less time to make their mark.

The scenario Villas-Boas finds himself in is something that Hughton is familiar with after being dismissed as Newcastle boss when lying mid-table in their first season back in the Premier League 15 months ago.

He said: "The days when Alex Ferguson could wait nearly four years to win his first trophy at Manchester United are well and truly gone, I think.

"The days of the family involvement, a family board who wouldn't get involved on the football side very much, who gave the manager time, have gone.

"The owner is very much involved, (it's) a financial involvement and the club is run more as a business."

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