‘Type of people’ – Chris Wilder launches into Aston Villa and Birmingham City debate
Chris Wilder has described Birmingham City as a ‘working class football club’ and referred to their rivalry with Aston Villa.
The Middlesbrough boss is taking his promotion squad to St Andrew’s on Tuesday night and expressed his admiration for their next opponents.
Wilder admits the Blues are now paying for poor recruitment in their previous promotion attempts, but expects no favors from Lee Bowyer.
Speaking ahead of the game, he even wandered into what, in the Second City, is controversial territory: “Birmingham are another entrenched football club and people will talk about their rivalry with Villa and the type of people who support every club,” said Wilder.
“I think Birmingham are a working-class football club, not afraid to get their hands dirty, and I think the fans want to see that in their team’s performance.
“You look through the Championship and Birmingham are another team that have played in the Premier League and won a major trophy.
“So they have a great history and had a period where financially they tried really well to come back to the Premier League and maybe are paying a bit of a price for that more recently.
“But it’s a proud football club with a lot of good players and a committed and ambitious manager who will want to do well.”
Tuesday’s game is the first of a big week for Boro, a win over the Blues could put them back in the play-offs and in good spirits ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea.
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Wilder relishes the challenge: “It’s a bit of a skirmish until Christmas, then it continues after New Years. The race is really on. You want to position yourself to be involved.
“We are involved and a lot of clubs, like Birmingham City, want to be involved and in our shoes, so we don’t take it for granted.
“Now is not the time to lower the tools. Time to pick it up and go. We are an attacking-minded team. Our mentality is to go for the wins. We are not a counter attack team.
“We can be pushed back at times, but we are a positive team and hopefully for the last ten games of the season we can definitely show that positivity that we have shown in the previous 18.”