Football - Clark eyes more cup scalps

Birmingham boss Lee Clark believes his side stand a chance of making the Capital One Cup quarter-finals if they can replicate the kind of performance which dumped out holders Swansea when Stoke visit St Andrew's in the fourth round.

PA Sport Report

Blues, one of only three teams outside the top flight still remaining in the competition, have been paired with the Potters in the last 16 after claiming an impressive 3-1 victory over the Swans, who lifted the trophy at Wembley seven months ago.

It is the first time Birmingham have reached this far since winning the League Cup themselves in 2011 courtesy of a memorable final triumph over Arsenal, and they will now look to overcome Mark Hughes' charges at the end of October.

"It's a tough tie, but it was always going to be," Clark said.

"You want to be at home and then you do want a Premier League tie because they whet everyone's appetite.

"Stoke are a bit of a local club so hopefully they'll bring a lot of fans, our fans will see what we're trying to do and we'll generate a great atmosphere.

"If my players can reproduce what they've done here then we'll give ourselves a chance. It's always difficult because you're coming up against international class players but we'll look forward to that when it arrives."

Clark added: "I've always taken this competition seriously but once you become manager at this football club you have to because I've heard all the stories from people who work here and the supporters who I bump into - two years ago was one of their greatest days. To win a major trophy, whatever one it is, is huge."

Swansea, boasting 10 changes, dominated the opening period at St Andrew's and hit the woodwork twice within a matter of seconds but, in a classic game of two halves, the Sky Bet Championship hosts duly appeared a different animal after the break.

Goals from Dan Burn, Matt Green and Tom Adeyemi sent Birmingham clear before Wilfried Bony headed a consolation deep into injury time.

It was Swansea's third away day in less than a week after a memorable Europa League success at Valencia and a Barclays Premier League victory over Crystal Palace, but manager Michael Laudrup refused to use that as a reason for the defeat.

"No excuses," he said. "Yes, it's the third away game in just six days but it's no excuse.

"We have a good squad so we can change, yes there were a lot of changes from one game to another but it depends how you see it.

"I don't have a starting XI and then another XI who only play a game like this. There were a lot of changes but five of them started at Valencia."

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