x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Mick McCarthy urges Wolves to use momentum to beat Birmingham

Coach, whose English Premier League side are in the relegation zone, does not not want any 'heroic failures' against their central England rivals in the FA Cup.

Although Wolverhampton Wanderers could trade divisions with Birmingham City at the end of the season, the relegation-threatened Premier League club will get a chance to put their local rivals in their place when the teams meet in the FA Cup on Wednesday.

The central England sides are set to replay a third-round match at Molineux after a 0-0 draw on January 7 and Birmingham are the form side. While Wolves are just a point above the Premier League relegation zone, Birmingham hover just outside the promotion play-off spots in the second-tier Championship following a 6-0 win at Millwall at the weekend.

But Wolves showed they can still compete with in-form sides with a 1-1 draw at third-place Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday and Mick McCarthy, the manager, is looking for his team to carry that improved form into Wednesday's match. "We have been harder to beat in recent weeks, without a doubt," McCarthy said. "I didn't want any more heroic failures."

The chance for local bragging rights should mean neither side are complacent about a match that both might understandably place below league fixtures on their list of priorities, but McCarthy is still set to tinker with his line-up.

Steven Fletcher scored his ninth goal of the season at the weekend but is likely to be omitted.

"I did [rest Fletcher] last week against Birmingham amid much confusion about why I wasn't playing my best player," McCarthy said. "Well, I want him to play in the Premier League because it's paramount we have a player there who is on a run and is scoring goals."

After losing his first match as the Queens Park Rangers manager 1-0 to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday, Mark Hughes aims for his first win as his side host third-tier Milton Keynes Dons on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Bolton Wanderers host Macclesfield Town.