Happy to be Underdogs

Chris Hughton is happy for his Birmingham City side to go into Wednesday night’s Europa League tie against SC Braga as underdogs.

The two clubs have already met this season at St Andrew’s, with the Portuguese team running out 3-1 winners.

And as Group H enters a pivotal stage in the campaign Blues, Braga and Club Brugge are all level on points with two games remaining.

“Braga are a very good side that are used to playing in European competition and I think they are still favourites to win the group,” said Hughton.

“But there’s no harm in that from our point of view. It’s a good way to look at it and makes us conscious of how big the task is on Wednesday night.

“We saw their qualities when they came to St. Andrew’s.

“It will be very much about how we cope with their quality on the night and how they cope with any threat we have.

“I think they will be wary of us as well. They will have seen the result we had in Brugge and know that there aren’t many teams that go over there and win.

“But they will see it as an opportunity being at home and they will want to play their own game.

“They go to Brugge in the last game and there’s no guarantee they are going to get anything there, so they will see this game as the game they’ve really got to win.”

Blues face Maribor in the final group game next month, so a draw against Braga would be an excellent result for Chris Hughton’s team.

But the Birmingham boss has insisted that going to Portugal just for the draw would be a mistake.

“I don’t think you can go for a draw,” he added.

“With that type of mentality if you fall behind in a game, then it becomes difficult to pick it up again.

“That doesn’t mean that if you are approaching the last ten or 15 minutes and the game is going a certain way that you don’t settle for a draw, because that’s normal in football.”

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