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Birmingham: opposition opinion
by Andrew Ford of Yankee Bluenose

How will Birmingham do next season?
This season is a make or break season for Trevor Francis. This will be his fifth season in charge and if we don't go up this season it'll be curtains for old Trev'. I don't think that the competition in the division is that good, to be honest, so nothing short of an automatic promotion spot will be good enough this year. We also don't want to make the mistakes of other teams (sorry, Watford) who get promoted to the Premiership and don't build on their success. If we do go up, we aim to stay there !

What do you/Birmingham think of Watford?
Let's just put it like this : 1984 FA Cup Sixth Round : Blues 1 Watford 3; 1999 Division 1 Play-Off Semi-Final : Watford win on penalties. At the moment, Watford are to Blues what Germany were to England ! Apart from that, I don't think Blues fans have anything against Watford!

What is the most beautiful thing about Birmingham City?
The ground (redeveloped into something special and very intimidating to away fans at times), the fans (fanatically partisan and loyal, often spoiled by the 'hangers on' who give the club a bad name), the Good Times ("what good times?", I hear you ask...two Wembley cup final wins, the first English team to compete in Europe, and the last English team to win at the San Siro in Milan!), the Bad Times (Chester City, Scunthorpe, Doncaster, crowds of 4,000).

What is the ugliest thing about Birmingham City?
The ugliest thing about the Blues was last season's kit. Widely criticized by Blues fans as being reminiscent of a Tesco's shopping bag, this season the club decided to give the fans the vote, deciding on one of three new home shirts.

Which pundit do Birmingham fans hate the most and please think of something creative to do to him/her?
Apart from Jasper Carrott (but he's not a pundit) and Tom Ross (local radio host), the entire Birmingham media is claret and blue! Newspapers and TV are all slanted against the Blues. This bias DOES NOT go unnoticed by Blues fans. Probably the biggest 'Blues Hater' of them all has to be Gary Newbon. He'll forever be remembered as the guy who managed to get a Blues player suspended after personally providing video evidence to the FA (Noel Blake in 1983). Ask any Blues fan what they would like to do to Gary Newbon and your answer would not be suitable for a family club like Watford!

Can you recommend a friendly pub near St Andrews?
I wouldn't recommend ANY pub around St.Andrews for away fans. They can be very intimidating, even for home fans! If you do want a drink before the match, I suggest drinking in the city centre, or stopping on the way to the ground. However, I do recommend the Birmingham City specialty 'The Balti Pie' once inside the ground !

Where's the best place to park near St Andrews?
There's a small visitors' car park by the away section of the ground, and there is plenty of street parking - however, after two o'clock spaces are hard to find!. Probably the best area to try is across the road from where the away fans entrance is. But beware...the West Midlands Police Force sometimes take great pride in finding 'illegally' parked cars. In an evening game a few years back, what seemed to be half of the crowd had their vehicles towed away!

What's the nearest railway station to St Andrews and how far is it?
The nearest stations to St.Andrews are Bordesley and Adderley Park, however these are only served occasionally by local trains. The easiest is New Street Station in the city center. The ground is then about a twenty minute walk away.