Ahead of Wednesday’s game against Birmingham City, Bluemoon caught up with John from Blues Muse and Kev from Joys & Sorrows for a lowdown on the opposition...
1. Who do you think will be Birmingham's key players this season?
John: Any player that can last our almost 60 combined games in the Championship, Europa League, Carling Cup and FA Cup this season. That and any player that forgets to pick up his pay packet will get a place in the team on a regular basis I'm sure.
On second thoughts - and I'm glad you didn't ask about possible 'off-key' players - I'm looking at Curtis Davies, Chris Burke, Nathan Redmond, Jordan Mutch, and Jean Beausejour to mature into useful pros.
Kev: Chris Burke and Jean Beausejour will be key, along with Marlon King. I suspect that the fact our defence is virtually new, they will be too. I just hope key in a right way!
2. Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
John: Yes actually. Within a year we'll have a rich Chinese investor involved, but with no criminal record. Our village hall rummage sale finds will do very nicely in the meantime methinks.
Kev: Yes on the whole. Obviously getting relegated has meant we had to cut our cloth accordingly. I would have liked another defender and a ball winning midfielder personally. Obviously Marlon King was an eye-opening signing. (Signed by our previous manager). But I have to say, I have been really impressed with him. He knows how to put a shift in, and although not yet match fit, is already having a positive impact.
3. What are your expectations for this season?
John: A very strong finish to the season, but a roller-coaster ride prior to that materialising. I could amusingly predict that we'll win the Carling Cup again, but your reserves will stop that little caper on Wednesday.
Kev: I think we have the squad for a top 6, providing our defence can settle. We have not started that well, but this league is a long haul so there is plenty of time to get a run going.
4. Are you happy with the manager?
John: How did you find out about us? Oh, hang on you . . . well yeh, absolutely. His teams play football and attack. Sure we've lost some games but our entertainment value is up 500% over what Steve Bruce and Alex McLeish could concoct with the dour and dire Birmingham City teams of 2003-2011.
Kev: ABSOLUTELY. We have played MUCH better football under Hughton. I am confident he can get us promoted either this year or next.
5. Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
John: Yeh right, I tell who he is and Mancini and his brother Henry come in and buy him. Hold on a mo though . . . he's a Birmingham City sufferer like the rest of us, so he'll stick around for a while it's safe to say. With that in mind I'll divulge his initials which are Nathan Redmond. Oh ****! [piffle]
Kev: Nathan Redmond is the obvious one. He is 17 and already has shown he can do it. We've not had anyone like him since the days of Trevor Francis. He is fast, good on the ball and put over great crosses. He also has a decent shot on him.
6. If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
John: If has to be only one player it would be Carlos Tévez as he gets it done. Adam Johnson too if you're short of cash.
Kev: Anyone from you 1st, 2nd or 3rd squad! Seriously though, it has to be either Aguero or Tevez. Wouldn't say no to Nasri either actually!
7. What is your perception of City as a club?
John: Rich, sky blue, and now starting to be real contenders on all fronts.
Kev: In truth I used to hate Man City. It goes back to when John Bond was manager. We went to Maine Road with loads of injuries and "parked the bus" and got a 0-0. Bond was extremely disrespectful about us. The return game at St Andrews was somewhat feisty, (it finished 2-2, but we should have won!) Anyway the ironic thing, was that Bond became our manager not long after. I never set foot in St Andrews the whole time he was in charge.
In recent times, that feeling has subsided towards your club, and I just mildly dislike you now! (Only joking!). It's great to have another club that could now win the league, and I'm sure you will.
8. Likely Birmingham starting XI for Wednesday, and score prediction?
John: I think it'll be mostly your reserves against our PoundSaver bargains, those needing game time, or are returning from injury. . . . so perhaps . . .
D Parnaby, Davies, Spector, Murphy
MF N'Daw, Elliott, Gomis, Beausejour
F King, Zigic
4-1 to Citeh.
Kev: Myhill, Ridgewell, Ibanez, Carr, Murphy, Spector, N'Daw, Elliott, Redmond, Rooney, King.
City 4-0 Blues.