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Preview: Blues v Barnsley

The players are very committed. They have felt very bad since Saturday. At the end of the day they are putting everything in for the Club and they are feeling as hurt as the supporters.

Pep Clotet.

Pep Clotet says Blues are aiming to bounce back against Barnsley at home this evening.

Blues face the Tykes at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadiumstill  smarting after their first EFL defeat of the season at Nottingham Forest.

Clotet says everyone must embrace a positive way of playing and maintain an attitude, pointing to the display and reaction to it in the opening home game of the campaign, against Bristol City.

A glimpse of what could be to come when new players have fully settled in was seen, and Blues were seven minutes from recording a second successive victory in the league.

"Absolutely we want to bounce back and make sure we return to being solid and keep going on from our last performance at St. Andrew's," Clotet told bcfc.com.

"It was a very positive performance. Good things came out if it.

"The team was not nervous. The team wants to play, wants to create problems for the opposition, wants to take it forward.

"At the same time, we know we don't want to lose our passion, we don't want to lose our determination, that solidity and spirit we showed last season.

"Yes, we are still doing a lot of working, testing things, helping players to adapt.

"So there are going to ups and downs. Unfortunately this is common when you are trying to get new players into this transition.

"But firmly in our mind is the will to do it well and keep going in the right direction, the direction we want to go."

Blues remain without Jacques Maghoma, Jonathan Grounds (both calf), Kerim Mrabti and Cheick Keita (both hamstring) and are waiting on international clearance for Jefferson Montero, who travelled with the squad to the City Ground.

That 3-0 defeat stung the players, as Marc Roberts spoke about post-match.

Clotet said: "The players are very committed. They have felt very bad since Saturday. At the end of the day they are putting everything in for the Club and they are feeling as hurt as the supporters.

"That's a good sign. It is a sign that we have a healthy squad that is determined to make the Club better and to move us forward.

"There are things we have looked at and worked on and we know we need better."

The crowd can play a significant part for Blues as well, says Clotet.

"We look forward to this game at home, having the possibility to bounce back, especially with the help of our people.

"We all know that they are going to be there.

"It is one of those nights that it will be great if the players feel their welcome, their help, their strength.

"It will be a tough game against Barnsley and we will do our utmost to put on a performance and get the points."

Here is the rest of our full match preview

Barnsley First Team Coach Chris Stern's comments ahead of the game...
“Having watched the game at the weekend, they (Blues) had a blow at Nottingham Forest – similar to us against Carlisle. Every time this happens you want to react stronger, so we need to be alert and we’re aware of that, but I think we have a good chance to take three points from Birmingham. I’ve been told that we have a very good record against Birmingham – especially away. We always bring lots of supporters to the game, so we hope we can make them happy. It’s a totally different game to the others; they’ll be hoping to show a good performance compared to the weekend and we hope we can keep up our good record against them."

Barnsley team news...
Alex Mowatt missed Barnsley's last two games with a side strain, but could return tonight. Two players are in line to make their Barnsley debuts following their arrivals at Oakwell on transfer deadline day - striker Patrick Schmidt and winger Clarke Odour.

Stat attack...
- Blues have not won in their last five Championship meetings with Barnsley (drawing two), losing both matches the last time they met in the 2017/18 season.
- Barnsley are unbeaten in five league visits to Blues since losing 2-0 in August 2008 when Kevin Phillips and Garry O'Connor scored.
- Each of our last four home league games have finished level, with Blues opening the scoring in the last three.
- Barnsley have lost their last seven away games in the Championship, conceding at least twice in six of those.
- Lukas Jutkiewicz has scored in his last three home league games for Blues. The last player to score in four in a row at St Andrew's for Blues was . . . also Jutkiewicz, in October 2018.
- The average age of Barnsley's starting XI has been 22 years and 310 days, the youngest in the competition this season.

Last five meetings between Blues and Barnsley...
Championship 24 Feb 2018 Blues 0 Barnsley 2
Championship 04 Nov 2017 Barnsley 2 Blues 0
Championship 31 Dec 2016 Barnsley 2 Blues 2
Championship 03 Dec 2016 Blues 0 Barnsley 3
Championship 01 Jan 2014 Blues 1 Barnsley 1

Line-ups last game...
Nottingham Forest v Blues (4-4-2): Camp, Colin, Pedersen, Dean, Roberts, Gary Gardner (Gimenez 60), Sunjic, Davis, Villalba, Crowley (Seddon 90), Jutkiewicz.
Subs (not used): Stockdale, Harding, Craig Gardner, Clarke-Salter, Medina.

Barnsley (4-4-1-1) v Charlton Athletic: Radlinger, Sibbick, Andersen, Diaby, B.Williams, Wilks (Styles), McGeehan, Bähre, Thomas, Chaplin (Thiam), Woodrow.
Subs (not used): Collins, Halme, J.Williams, Cavaré, Schmidt.

BluesTV...
The game is being live streamed on BluesTV. Jonathan Bell will provide match commentary for our TV and audio audiences. Kevan Broadhurst will be in the BluesTV studio and former Blues striker Dele Adebola will provide co-commentary analysis. Forget the rest, if you want an expert, bespoke service tailored to Blues fans by Blues fans, then check into BluesTV coverage.
To watch, please click here.

Match officials..
Referee Geoff Eltringham will take charge of tonight's game. So far this season, the County Durham -based official has refereed two games where he has produced a total of two yellow cards and no reds. The last Blues game he refereed was our Championship away game at Bristol City in February 2019. Blues won that match 2-1 and there were five players booked; including Maxime Colin and Jota for the visitors. In total he has refereed 11 Blues matches, five of which we have won and six we have lost. The last Barnsley game he took charge of was their 0-0 home draw against Preston North End in December 2017. There were four players cautioned in that match; including Joe Williams for the hosts. He has refereed a total of 13 Barnsley games, of which the Reds have won four, drawn four and lost five. Mr Eltringham will be assisted this evening by Adrian Waters and Nicholas Barnard, with James Adcock acting as the fourth official.

Tickets..
Tickets are on general sale priced at just £15 for adults, £10 for seniors, 19-24 and 16-19. Under-16s will pay just £5. Click here for purchasing details.

Message to supporters...
The Club urges all supporters to be responsible in their behaviour and actions. Birmingham City knows that the overwhelming majority of our supporters do not indulge in anti-social activities and are passionate about the players and the Club. We appreciate this and never take it for granted. We adopt a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of missiles and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting. Pitch encroachment is forbidden and against the law. Please DO NOT encroach onto the pitch, under any circumstances. Think of the damage you may be doing to your Club and also the punishment you may incur personally. It is important that bottles, coins, flares and other items not thrown at our matches. Again, we would like to thank the overwhelming majority of supporters for their backing and their understanding.

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