King: pressure is off Birmingham

PA Sport
Marlon King
Marlon King

Marlon King insists the pressure is not on Birmingham heading into the npower Championship play-offs.

King, with 18 goals to his name, has spearheaded a City campaign which, it is fair to say, was relatively low on expectations last summer when the striker arrived on a free transfer from Coventry.

King said: "My feeling is, being brutally honest, if we didn't have Europe and the other cup games I think we would have finished automatic (in the top two). But we've got a job to do and it's Blackpool. It's going to be a tough two games and then we'll take it from there."

An overhaul of the club's squad following relegation from the Barclays Premier League, a change in management, well-documented cash-flow problems and a gruelling Europa League campaign left supporters hoping for, rather than expecting, an immediate return to England's top flight.

Sixty games later and Birmingham head to Blackpool for the first leg of their play-off semi-final having finished a commendable fourth in the table.

He continued: "If we considered (missing out on automatic qualification) a disappointment then I don't think we'd be at this stage discussing play-offs. If we dwelled on 'what could have been' then I don't think we would have been able to have got to this stage of finishing fourth - strongly. We haven't lost in our last nine games, five draws and four wins is very, very strong by anybody's record.

"And I don't think anybody in the play-offs would want to play us. I don't think the pressure is on Birmingham City, I think it's on other teams.

"Blackpool will want to get back to where they came from, West Ham have spent a lot of money and Cardiff have been in and around it. We're just a relaxed bunch and we've got a very calm and cool manager and staff, and we've got very passionate fans and people around the club."

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