In-form Birmingham City gear up for Sheffield Wednesday challenge

Birmingham City boss Garry Monk
Birmingham City boss Garry Monk
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Birmingham City boss Garry Monk has challenged his players to prove they can compete against a "talented" Sheffield Wednesday squad this weekend.

The Blues currently sit three places above 14th-placed Owls and are a point better off than Jos Luhukay's team following a 10-match unbeaten run.

Monk's men will be searching for a fourth successive victory when they entertain Wednesday this Saturday.

"In the last three or four games we have been more clinical," admitted Monk. "We've scored the goals that our play has deserved.

"We have got to keep going.

"Sheffield Wednesday have a talented squad. Our motivation is to prove ourselves against squads like this.

"It's our determination and motivation to go out and get a positive result. That's what we will look to show this weekend."

Monk has praised the performances of Aston Villa loanee Gary Gardner. The midfielder, who spent time on loan at Sheffield Wednesday in the 2013/14 campaign, bagged the opener in Tuesday's hard-fought win over Reading.

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“I think he’s been great since he came in. There was the whole talk about bringing somebody in from your rivals when he first joined us,” Monk admitted, who is set to be without Jacques Maghoma (ankle) at St Andrews.

“I totally understood that. But knowing how he plays and what sort of player he is and knowing that his brother is here.

“And knowing that he’s from the area and what sort of lad is going to come into that training room I haven’t been surprised at all.

“He was never going to have any intention to let anybody down. Also he’s playing for himself as well.

“He’s had a difficult time at Aston Villa and hasn’t quite got going there and it looks like he’s playing for his career as well as us.

“He’s fitted straight in and is a really good professional and a great lad and he’s fitted straight into the changing room and the environment we’ve got there and we’re seeing the rewards out on the pitch at this moment.”